« Previous Artist | Next Artist »

Jesse Sposato, Holy Hail

Photo of Jesse Sposato, Holy Hail courtesy of the artist

How would you describe your music?

this is always the hardest question. driven by a beat, catchy, poppy, dancey, 4ADish, artsy rock that still relates to the audience, badass!

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

in the band, we all kind of do our own thing and collectively make decisions that concern all of us. I write all of my own parts but I never write anyone else's. when we record, I record all of my parts first because that's usually how it works with drums, so I usually bang those out and then come back for mixing if I have time, but mixing can feel like too many cooks in the kitchen often and it's not necessarily my strongest suit, so...it kind of depends. business and marketing decisions...we have publicists so they help out a lot with that kind of stuff but for the most part we're all in the loop of making those decisions.

Describe your gear.

I have an old Japanese drum kit. It's red and sparkly, pretty tiny, and doesn't even have a brand name on it. It's super easy to fit into a van (or SUV for that matter), and there was always one piece missing so someone had to make me a special custom part to connect my rack tom to the kick drum. it always impresses me, seriously, every time!

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?

YES! Where to even begin...in general, there is a certain natural confidence guys exude that girls just wouldn't necessarily have the balls to even think of. This is most prominent on stage but surely in recording sessions and maybe even practices as well. The ways guys treat you as a female musician, what they expect from you, their reaction to you once they see you play... I don't remember a moment in particular. I feel like I've always known. Actually, scratch that. Going to hardcore shows in high school and being one girl of a million boys in mosh pits, and my very favorite, going to watch my male friends at band practice in high school! Like, why would I have ever wanted to do that? I can only imagine anyone coming to a practice of mine now for pure entertainment. I remember one time in high school in particular where I grabbed the microphone and sang all practice long, but still, the one time I joined the band, I was the lead singer. Kind of telling...

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

Sure. Women used to have songs written for them, dances choreographed...members selected and put together. They used to dress up in costumes that were super sexy and revealing to try to sell themselves. Many women do that now still, but clearly so much more is about taking it all back, making your own decisions, writing your own everything, picking out your own clothes, ones that you want to wear, etc.

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?

Hmm, not that I can think of? There must have been something along the way. Some advice that I really love in general is to think of your life like a movie and ask yourself what the character who plays you would do in certain situations. Or choose a character from a book you really love and when faced with tough decisions, ask yourself what would that person do and then follow that advice. That was kind of a tangent, huh? Advice, let's see...it takes at least twice as long to get really good at what you play. Patience is key when learning an instrument, but it totally pays off in the end.

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

I have always known drums were for me. I was a tap dancer when I was little and really loved that. tap dancing and drumming always kind of felt like the same thing to me, and music was always a big passion...then it became an even biggen passion in my teen years and after, so it just seemed kind of obvious/logical.

Related Themes: The First Time