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Sara Radle. I am in Walking Sleep, and also perform and release records under my own name.

How would you describe your music?

Generally speaking, it's indie-pop. Walking Sleep makes heavy use of guy-girl harmonies, catchy guitar hooks, and classic influences like The Zombies. My own music heads in more of a Beach Boys and Sixties girl group influenced vein of indie-pop. I love layering tons of harmonies over my own music.

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

"Walking Sleep: I sing and play guitar, and have contributed to a little writing here and there. In the studio, I sing and play acoustic guitar. On the business side, we're a partnership, so we each have equal say in what business decision the band makes.

In my solo project: I get to be the control freak. :) I make all of the business decisions, do all of the writing, produce the records, play most of the instruments and do all of the singing."

Describe your gear.

My baby is my Martin OM28 acoustic guitar, followed by my Rhodes electric keyboard. I play a few different electric guitars, including a Schecter and a Danelectro. I play through a Fender re-issue DeVille amp. I have some other random guitars and effects I use, but the ones mentioned are the ones I mainly use.

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?

I feel like there used to be a difference, but fortunately, I've seen that difference diminish more and more over the 14 years I've been playing in bands. I remember many times when my band would be loading in our gear for a show at a club. The person at the door would immediately mark my male band mates as band members, and then ask me which band I was a guest of. It was assumed that because I am a woman, I wasn't in the band. It happened so often, and it was disappointing that a lot of the time, it would be another woman making this assumption. These days, women have so much more of a presence in the music scene, that I don't think those same assumptions exist today. It's so great to be able to open up the weekly paper, look at the advertisements for upcoming shows, and seeing so many women. In the past, I think women weren't taken as seriously, because of stereotypes like the "token hot female bass player". These days, women are everywhere in rock music, and it's so great to see that happening!

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

The main thing I think about is the fact that women starting out today won't have to deal with as many struggles to be taken as seriously as their male counterparts. That's an awesome thing to realize.

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 advice I would give to a woman musician just starting out i the same I would give to any musician just starting out, regardless of gender - stick with it. I know that sounds so simple, but it's a competitive industry that can wear you down if you let it. As long as you stay focused and true to your vision, and are enthusiastic about it, that enthusiasm will be contagious. The more you do this, the more you learn from experience. The most valuable thing I've come to learn through my experience has been to be supportive of other musicians. When you create a solid community of peers, great things can happen!

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

My grandparents paid for piano lessons as a kid, so that's how I learned music theory and the basic piano I've retained over the years. My parents are folk musicians, and my mom taught guitar lessons to her third grade students who wanted to learn the instrument. After watching my brother sing and play guitar in his high school punk rock band, I wanted to do that, too. I stumbled upon one of the chord charts my mom used to teach her students, and taught myself basic chords. My brother saw me trying to teach myself, and showed me how to play a barre chord. With that under my belt, I could play any Ramones or Nirvana song I liked, and I was unstoppable. :)

Related Themes: The First Time