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Laura Pleasants, Kylesa

Photo of Laura Pleasants, KylesaDanin Drahos

How would you describe your music?

I would describe Kylesa as a heavy band in both sound and lyrical content. There are elements of punk, metal and psychedelic rock with male and female vocals. We focus mainly on song and structure in addition to catchy riffs and melodies.

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

I am co founder of the band. I write the music and lyrics along with my creative partner (the other guitar player and singer). Decisions are mainly made by myself, Phillip and Carl.

Describe your gear.

"1989 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top, Custom made aluminum neck guitar by Electrical Guitar Co., Guild Polara S-100 Marshall JCM 800 100w master lead, Orange OR50, Laney GH50 3 4x12 cabinets (Orange, Mesa Boogie, Krank) Fender Super Reverb Re-issue loads and loads of guitar effects pedals (delay, phaser, chorus, wah, flanger, etc)"

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

Absolutely. At least, in the metal / rock world. So many times I've been mistaken for the manager or the singer or bass player but never the guitar player (at least early on in our career). It became abundantly clear when I started seeing a lot of female fronted metal bands with women who played the part as sex symbol and not much else. The superficial nature of such bands on the cover of big rock magazines was a disappointment and a challenge. I feel like I have more to prove as a woman in heavy music.

Related Themes: Behind The Music

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

For sure. There could be no Janis Joplin today unless she maybe looked like Barbie. All female pop stars look the same to me and have very little identity. Hmmm. There could probably be a long answer to this one!

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

"I wish! I've learned a lot on my own! I would advise a woman to be herself and stick to her guns. Don't let the snide comments get you down but, rather, let them be a challenge for you to rise above people's misconceptions and ignorance. Take pride in what you do and work hard. The music industry is a tough ride. "

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

I liked the sonic quality of the guitar the best. And it looked the coolest.

Related Themes: The First Time