Friday, May 1, 2015


Photo © Jiro Schneider 

How did the band name come about and what was the driving force behind starting White Lung?

When the band started we were four girls and I did not want a name that was gendered or made our femininity the focus. I had all these horrible names scribbled in my journal but none of them fit. I was ripping lines of books I liked and stuff Lung Leg said in "You Killed Me First". We needed a name because our first show was coming up and we had to make the flyer. My friend Steven suggested the name White Lung because he was working at a bakery at the time. It was pure and gross. I met Anne-Marie in 2006 and we became instant friends. I needed to play in a band with her. Plus, she was, and still is, the best drummer in town. 

White Lung has been described as mostly as "punk rock"...among many different things. How would you describe White Lung's vibe to the unsuspecting listener? 

We play pop songs at the speed of hardcore. 

 You announced recently you're going to be doing some shows with REFUSED. You've gotta be excited about that?! 

I always look forward to being around Swedish people. 

© Ryan Rose Photography

 There are a lot of really rad bands around at the moment. Who are you listening to? 

I just listened to Beth's new album California Nights. I honestly have a hard time caring about new music right now because I am focused on writing my own record and have a lot of work on my hands. I listen to a lot of Waylon Jennings and Beefheart. My husband has the biggest collection of country and classic rock. I listen to a lot of Skynyrd. 

What is it about the punk & rock n roll culture you love the most? And what do you think keeps it raw and genuine ?

The imperfections. 

 There's this shitty thing where the media labels bands with females in them as a "girl fronted band" rather than plain and simple a badass Rock band. How do you combat this and do you think this is something that will ever change?

It won't change as long as women artists as well as journalists keep going along with it. There was this article in I-D magazine earlier this year that featured my band and a bunch of other so-called "girl bands", which is really just a woman fronting backed by men so why this label even applies is beyond my logic, and the writer (who was a woman herself) wrote, "It is completely senseless that female musicians are seen separately, especially today." This statement completely contradicts the thesis of her article which purposely segregates women. She created the categorical gender difference in her title! If these writers (and interview subjects for that matter) truly believed it was “completely senseless” that female musicians are seen as “separate” then why are they still publishing articles that support this notion?

A journalist can not ask a woman “what it’s like to be a girl in punk” and not believe that their experience is somehow different. The female rock experience is different. That’s not the problem. The problem is that defensive, narrow-minded attitude perpetuated by certain musicians that assumes “different” somehow means “worse”, thus continuing to victimize themselves further into a rabbit hole of binary gender barriers by blaming the opposition as the source of the problem. I love seeing my peers talk about rail against all these sexist male rock journalists who are ruining everything and yet they completely dismiss the ill-informed, sexist work done by women just because it's done by a woman? It's really hard to watch, man. If we do not want "woman" to be a category of music, then stop publishing articles about it. I'm sick of talking about it.



The music industry can be pretty harsh and vapid in general but females seem to get a rougher ride than their male counterparts. I've always had a real admiration for women who are unrelenting and get up on stage night after night in front of sometimes complete misogynistic assholes. What made you want to start the band and what's the most empowering thing about being the front runner in a band?

I have said this before but I will say it again: I have rarely experienced sexism or misogynistic behavior from my male peers and fans since starting my band. It's a pretty simple exchange here. I've never had a bad experience with a sexist photographer or writer either. Waitressing was way worse. The last time I thought a person in the audience was threatening me, I walked out into the crowd and beat his face until the song was done. I would do that to anyone regardless of gender. I have no tolerance for ignorance, regardless of who it comes from. And it comes from all kinds of idiots. 

Do White Lung communally write music and lyrics or do you individually have your own parts and meet in the middle? 

We write our own parts. No one is allowed to say a word about my lyrics and they wouldn't. That's mine. 

©  Peter Senzamici
How would you describe the band dynamic? And how has it changed over the years?

Things changed drastically when we kicked out our long time bassist. She had been kicked out of the band before and was always unhappy so I don't know why this was a shock to her. Then, our good friend Hether Fortune (of the band Wax Idols) filled in on bass for a tour and ended up staying with us for the entire world tour of Deep Fantasy. Now, we have Lindsey Troy of Deap Vally on bass for the next two tours and I just adore her. I think I'm going to just have standout front women fill in on bass when they feel like it and then, once our fourth album comes out and we do the big tour again, find an eager young girl who can sing and play hard. That, or I'll put my husband in a dress and make him play with us.

When it comes to writing lyrics and the band ethos, what themes etc do White Lung address and whats most important to the band?

I've always written about sex and drugs. Those are my two biggest influences. 

 Whats next for White Lung in 2015 and onward?

We are going on tour with Refused then we are taking my husband's band Obliterations on tour as support for our East Coast run. We have a new bassist too, Lindsey Troy from Deap Vally who I adore. Then, we are going to make a new album that makes everything else we have done look like garbage. Well, they were. Now,  my life has changed. My husband has really opened up my understanding of the world, gender, love, everything. We'll see what the next album focuses on.