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Laura Larson, Cadette and Kitten Forever

How would you describe your music?

"Cadette is kinda grunge-y, riot grrrl-meets-Black Sabbath. Kitten Forever is bratty dance-punk."

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

I write the songs in Cadette and co-write them in Kitten Forever. All decisions in both bands are discussed and decided between all the members.

Describe your gear.

I generally don't invest a ton of money into nice equipment and a lot of gear I use is shared among friends in other bands. In Cadette I have a Palamino tube amp and a sparkly black Squire Stratocaster guitar. In Kitten Forever I use whatever bass guitar and amp is lying around the basement, along with a Boss Overdrive/Distortion guitar pedal.

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?

"God, sometimes it feels like there are a million things. Major publications still focus more on what a woman is wearing than the music she is creating. Women are still questioned about songwriting credits on their own albums. Bands with all female members are labeled as a ""shtick."" I have, unfortunately, been ""reminded"" on multiple occasions that I would at some point need to ""choose"" between 1. being a woman musician who focuses on music and ignores the fact that she is indeed female, and 2. being a woman musician who embraces the uniqueness (or not) of being a girl in a band. These are choices that (with perhaps the exception of trans musicians) male musicians do not have to think about. The former may ostracize you from other female musicians, even to be deemed a ""traitor,"" while the latter may cause you to be pigeon-holed into one of the many stereotypes of being a woman in music (angry chick rocker, etc.). I mean, the fact that the question of differences in gender still exists just proves it itself. "

Related Themes: Old School vs. New School

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

I do think it's probably a lot easier now to be a girl in a band than in the past. There are still flaws and backlashes but you do see a lot more acceptance of females playing guitar than you did even back in the 90's; if you look at what Kathleen Hanna and all those girls dealt with during riot grrrl, I can't even imagine a world like that. They had beer glasses thrown at them, were called sluts and whores, had their clothes torn. Now we have rock camps for girls, more female-centered punk festivals. In Minneapolis, it feels like there are more girls in bands than I have ever experienced here, and the college radio station recently started a specialty show called "Girl Germs" where they have female musicians in-studio performances and interviews, and play music from female artists of various genres.

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?

"The best advice I've gotten was in the form of a (literal) slap in the face. The first time I ever recorded vocals separately from the music tracks, I was so afraid of my own voice that I was working myself into a real bad place; I had tons of anxiety about it and couldn't do it. A friend (Corrie Harrigan, now the drummer in Kitten Forever) grabbed me by the shoulders and gave me a pretty serious smack- no words were said but I instantly got it- chill out, you have this power in you, this is something you know you can do and do well. Don't question it, seize this, it's yours. Advice I would give- Don't be afraid to bust it out as hard and real as you can. Be passionate and sincere about what you are creating. Don't hold yourself to a lower standard because it's what's expected. Support other female musicians; don't play into that ""girl versus girl""/ingrained hostility/jealousy garbage. Love yourself first and always, duh. "

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

I was mad at the boys at school that thought they were hot shit because they could play a Green Day song.

Related Themes: The First Time