THE SECOND PART OF ROC'S INTERVIEW WITH 7 YEAR BITCH
By: Jane Cain
Jane Cain: How's the tour been going? Have you gotten a good reaction from the audience?
Elizabeth: Yes and no. I mean, some of the crowds are just kinda standing around. We're used to playing in Seattle where people are really live.
Roisin: This is our first tour so I think that kinda...
E: People don't know our music.
Jane: What about Europe?
E: We had a good time in Europe, and we had really big crowds. It was pretty fun.
R: Yeah, the European crowds are totally different. Like Liz was saying, the crowds in Seattle--We're used to people flying on stage and flying around. And Europe's a lot more subdued, especially in Holland. They're a lot mellower; They'll kinda stand there and watch for the entire set. And then you leave, and then they start screaming and make you come and do an encore. And it's just really different. They want you to play for, like, an hour. It's weird.
Jane: Were there more males than females? What was the ratio like?
R: Yeah, there were definitely more males than females. It was always really cool to see women show up. Italy had...We had a show in Italy where there were no women. At all. And it was insane. I mean, the men shook our stage and were grabbing Selene's microphone. It was awesome! It was great!
Jane: Are you going to sign to a major label or stay on CZ?
E: We'll probably stay with another independent label or with CZ. I don't know yet.
Jane: Is the band going to do another album?
E: We're doing another record in January. (Note. 7 Year Bitch's second album Viva Zapata! was released on CZ records. And they made the jump to a major label by signing to Atlantic Records.)
Jane: She doesn't want to talk ...
Valerie: Selene just doesn't want to do an interview today.
V: It's nothing that...you know, it's just that sometimes she doesn't wanna do it. Often times we switch, and we'll only do, like...Two of us will do an interview rather than all four of us. Especially when you're on tour, you have to do so many of them that it gets hard to concentrate on them sometimes. So we, like, give each other a break and stuff.
Jane: Okay. I was going to ask her as far as her writing--you know, like you said, she writes about. Does she just write the songs herself?
V: She writes the lyrics.
Jane: Okay. She writes the lyrics, and you all write the music.
V: Liz writes, like, most of it-like, pretty much writes music. Stephanie wrote some of the songs, and Roisin wrote a song. And she (Elizabeth) brings it down; like, she'll fuck around with a bass line and bring it down to us, and we'll all work on arranging it together.
R: And afterwards Selene will come up with lyrics that fit the mood and feel of the song.
Jane: So, Selene writes the lyrics and whatever she's feeling. Do you all have any input?
V: Yeah, I mean, like, Selene and I wrote a song together. We wrote "Dead Men Don't Rape" together. Liz wrote "Gun". I mean, any of us that wanted to could write lyrics. But we're just busy worrying about other stuff.
R: A lot of times, we're all such close friends, that when she writes lyrics, we-most of the time we kinda know what she's talking about anyway.
V: We can identify with it.
Jane: What do you think about the whole issue of women not being taken seriously if they're raped and all that? You know, like they say we're the rapist almost. (i.e.-The Problem)
V: Yeah. Well, it doesn't surprise me. I mean, we live in a male dominated, sexist society, so women aren't taken very seriously on many levels at all hardly. You have to work really hard sometimes. Not all the time. Sometimes you meet people that are cool and they understand and they're smart enough to know that people are just people or whatever. But I think, on a whole, I like the way society functions, you know, that's the way the judicial system is, it's run by a bunch of guys.
R: But that song is written more about how women should handle themselves in that kind of situation, that women should just stand up for themselves and not like... just, like, get over in and get on with it and just get off your ass and go out there and take care of yourself. It's not, like, against men. I mean, a lot of people take it as a man-hating song. I mean, it's obviously a rapist-hating song, but both men and women hate rapists. Hopefully. But it's more written towards women. Women should stand up for themselves rather than twisting the issue around, you know, and trying to, like, point fingers. It's like, stop pointing fingers and just get over it and just get out there and kick some ass yourself.
V: Yeah. It's like... You know, 'cause there's a whole thing about that women should-it's their fault if they go out at night or if they're dressed a certain way or whatever. And I figure, you know, basically, I think that rape is like a war against women. It's a very established, very declared, very obvious war against women, and so women are trying to fight it with the wrong tools, you know. You can't go through a system that oppresses you and expect them to give you justice. So you have to take control of it yourself. And if some guy's gonna kill you or permanently damage you, you have just as much right to stand up and blow their fuckin' brains out. You know?
Jane: Do you think that clubs like titty clubs and stuff like that--do you think that it fosters men, like, getting so excited that they go out on do violence against women?
R: I wouldn't say that some guy's gonna go to a titty bar, like, get a hard-on and go out and rape somebody. But I do think that--this is me talking--I do think that bars like that and, like, the whole...Texas I think is a really weird state. They really exploit a lot of women; it's like lounge acts and that whole thing. I think it's not...Basically I think it's like a little stamp of acceptance. Like it's okay for women to be looked at that way, and I don't agree with it.
Jane: What do you think about it?
V: I think that, um...I agree with Roisin a lot, but I think that--I don't think that people walk into a tit bar and come out a rapist. I think that they already have those tendencies and ideas and that anger toward women from something else--probably from their childhood or for whatever fucked-up reason.
Jane: Like that whole thing about--"Well, I listened to an Ozzy Osbourne record, and I went and killed myself."
V: Right. Yeah, I mean...
Jane: You gotta have problems first.
V: Yeah. People have to take responsibility for their own actions. And I think that a sex industry...you know, it's kind of like a two-sided thing. Like, on one hand, I can totally understand it because women are infinitely more beautiful than men, and so they're twice as interesting to look at. So I can totally understand why people are fascinated with female sexuality and female beauty. It's been an age-old thing. I mean, you look basically at renaissance art, and women were the focal point of that as well. I just think that, umm... Too many people maybe can't make a differentiation between what is entertainment and what is real life. And so they end up treating women that they see, like they see these women in a bar, and they think that's the way all women are. So when they come face-to-face and try to relate with women, they're really fucked up about it because they have this idea about what women are supposed to be used for. And they're dead wrong about it, you know. It's like, no, these women that are up here dancing around are probably ten times smarter than you, and they may even have a PhD! So, I just think people get confused, and that's...you know, they do that not only with sex...
R: Yeah, women can totally control, like, so many more layers than men, you know what I mean? It's like women can cover so many facets. I think of myself and my peers that are women compared to, like, my peers that are men. I mean, yeah, I know tons of cool guys-don't get me wrong, Eddie, or any guy that's my friend that's reading this-but it's like women just cover all these different layers, you know what I mean? It's so rad they could just, like, be auto mechanics to fuckin' beauty queens or whatever, you know. They can cover all the layers. And I think they still come out an top.
V: I think guys are jealous of that.
R: Yeah!! I do too!!
VA: You know, they wish that they could put on make up and parade around and get all dolled up and then go out and, like, work on their car later and not have anybody look twice.
RD: Yeah! It's funny, man.
Jane: A friend of mine that lives here wants to open a lesbian club that has lesbian dancers and everything.
VA: That's great!
Jane: She says, I mean, I agree with her, also, she said, "it's women supporting women." But, I've heard alot of controversy over where they're saying, "Well, no. It's still degrading." But I don't agree. What do you think about it?
VA: I don't think that's degrading at all. I think that...I've seen a lot of lesbian erotica that's been written and produced by women, and I think that if anybody's telling a story about their sexuality in a way that's true to them, it is not exploitative. If people are being forced to do something, then it's exploitative.
Jane: I think it's the person's choice. I mean, they obviously know what they're doing if they're going to get up on stage and dance around.
RD: Yeah, exactly. I mean, I used the word "exploited" when I was talking about the bars that I was reading about and things in Texas, but yet, if one of those women was to hear me say that, they would probably argue with me and say they are perfectly happy and comfortable with that situation. It's just that my problem with it is that it sets an example; it sets up a wall for someone like me that isn't like that, you know. And, it's like you were saying, it can develop confrontation and an ideology that men about 90% of the other women out there in the world that aren't like that.
VA: But I guess that goes along with, like, any social thing.
RD: Any situation, you know. And that's freedom of choice, so...
Jane: What do you think about the Riot Grrrls and their whole thing about feminism and ....
RD: I gotta go to the van and take an aspirin.
Jane: I mean, you've heard about all that.
VA: Yeah, yeah, we've been bombarded with it. I know some of the people that are in the Riot Grrrls. I know Kathleen from Bikini Kill and Allison from Bratmobile. And Allison's really cool. She did, like, the first interview we ever did, she did with us in one of the Riot Grrrl 'zines called Girl Germs. I think that it's a young movement. I think that the people, or the majority of the women that are in it are under 20. Or the ones I know about anyway. And I think that...so, to me, it kinda makes sense that it goes the way it does. But I think it's very reactionary and very short sighted. I mean, I don't agree with them not giving information to boys. Like, when they go to shows, they won't hand out their pamphlets to guys, and guys have to pay a different cover charge than girls. And I think that's pretty bullshit. You know, I just don't agree with that tactic at all; it's just not where I come from. But I don't agree with them--like, they have a really strong stance about people slam dancing and stuff. I can understand where it comes from, but I think they've taken it to an extreme and now it's gotten distorted and it no longer reflects what actually happens in the club, and so they've sort of, like, ended up being a police for something that doesn't even really exist all the time. I mean there's definitely times in clubs where you get a bunch of macho assholes up there, and they need to, like, get the fuck--you know, be told to get the hell out of there. But I don't think that, like, stopping the show and, like, making a big gender issue out of it is the way to do it. I would just prefer to go in there and kick the shit out of them, you know. Or have a bunch of people just, like, beat the fuckin' crap out of them, and then they'll leave real quick, you know!! I just figure...I mean, 'cause that's just the nature of that kind of a show. We really like it when people slam dance at our shows and stuff and stage dive and do all that. lt's really cool when a lot of women do it, too, and sometimes I get bummed out when muscley guys, like they don't pay attention to the fact that there might be smaller people there that wanna do the same thing or whatever. But, I figure...I mean, I've been in pits before, and me and Liz were, like front and center at a Metallica concert, just getting totally harassed. After a while you stay there for a while, you know, people leave you alone; they figure out that you're not just, like, you know, fuckin' shit up or whatever.
This concludes the second part of our interview with 7 YEAR BITCH. The third and final segment will run in the next issue of THE ROC.