GA Voice - - Outspoken -

A few years back, we were tour­ing with the Ban­gles. We would talk with them about how in­sane it was that there were no hugely pop­u­lar all-fe­male bands. They told us that when they heard our first al­bum, they thought that we were go­ing to be the next, big all-fe­male band. It’s al­ways nice to hear, but things didn’t turn out that way at our la­bel. They felt like they were blaz­ing a trail with the Go-Go’s. But when it comes to mar­ket­ing and things like that, it seems that all-fe­male bands just aren’t as com­mer­cially vi­able.

A few months later, we were in­vited by the US gov­ern­ment to travel to the Mid­dle East to do some out­reach pro­grams in schools, youth cen­ters, etc. It was like Beatle­ma­nia for those kids to see any West­ern­ized band – but es­pe­cially an all-fe­male band. Af­ter these shows, throngs of kids were chas­ing us. There were mo­ments when it was ac­tu­ally dan­ger­ous.

How did that trans­late to what you do here in the US?

We wanted to be able to go into schools and meet with groups, em­pow­er­ing them to pur­sue ca­reers out­side of what they typ­i­cally see for girls. Things like science, tech­nol­ogy, math, engi­neer­ing and the arts. Hav­ing this non­profit is giv­ing us more of a pur­pose than just mak­ing al­bums, go­ing out on the road and play­ing mu­sic. Now, when we go to a town, we try to bring kids in from a lo­cal school or youth cen­ter. We’ll have them in for sound check and talk about our ex­pe­ri­ences as women in a male­dom­i­nated field.

March 3, 2017

Antigone Ris­ing’s new non­profit, Girls Ris­ing, em­pow­ers young women to pur­sue ca­reers out­side of what they typ­i­cally see. (Photo cour­tesy Black­heart Records Group) Antigone Ris­ing Fri­day, March 17 at 7 p.m. Ed­die’s At­tic Antigone Ris­ing and Michelle Malone Satur­day, March 18 at 7 p.m. and 9 pm. Crim­son Moon Cafe www.antigoner­is­

Are you go­ing to be do­ing that in At­lanta?

Yes! We’ve got a lo­cal Girl Scout troop com­ing to our sound check. We can’t wait! And when­ever we can, we try to bring other women in too. We’ve brought Cady Cole­man, a NASA as­tro­naut, to talk to kids. You don’t see many fe­male as­tro­nauts. We try to find women who are do­ing re­ally unique work that isn’t so unique for guys to do. Like a fe­male air­line pi­lot. We want to ex­pose the kids to strong women do­ing cre­ative and in­ter­est­ing work that isn’t typ­i­cal of women.

Any sto­ries that par­tic­u­larly stand out to you from your out­reaches?

Yes! There was a women’s cen­ter at the top of a moun­tain in this [Pales­tinian] vil­lage called Ni’lin. – we had to drive up a dirt path to get there. All the women from this town came to this – ev­ery woman in the vil- lage. It was a cul­tural ex­change where they shared their tra­di­tions with us and we shared with them.

One of the teenage girls was fully cov­ered and had a burqa on – cov­ered in tra­di­tional Mus­lim cloth­ing. She came up to [Antigone Ris­ing drum­mer] Dena [Tau­riello] and me, who were both wear­ing our Chuck Tay­lor high tops, and she pulled up her out­fit and she had Chuck Ts and blue jeans un­der her wrap. She was a slam poet and she per­formed her po­etry for ev­ery­one. She only spoke Ara­bic. We didn’t un­der­stand the words that she was say­ing, but the pas­sion and the fire be­hind it was so in­tense that we didn’t need to know. We could see her heart in her eyes. She wanted to be strong and em­pow­ered and ex­press her­self through her po­etry.

An­other time, we were in Tel Aviv and I was be­ing in­ter­viewed for a tele­vi­sion show like “Good Morn­ing Amer­ica,” but it was for Is­rael. It took place in this bombed-out build­ing that they didn’t want to re­pair be­cause if peo­ple knew they were still broad­cast­ing from there, they’d just re-bomb it. I’ve never been in a place like that.

I was ex­pect­ing to get ques­tions like “Where are you per­form­ing tonight?,” but this fe­male host started fir­ing ques­tions at me like, “Why do you think you can come into our coun­try and try to get any of our women to iden­tify with you?” She didn’t look very warm – her de­liv­ery felt hos­tile, but that was my in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

I an­swered, “We’re here to learn from you as much as to be un­der­stood by you.” I told her about our cul­tural ex­change in Ni’lin. She seemed to like that an­swer. Later that night, she and the host of the show came to the show and were re­ally kind and it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence.

You said last time we spoke that At­lanta is the band’s South­ern home. What do you want to tell your fans here?

We do consider At­lanta a sec­ond home. We have so many friends and fam­ily there – my kid’s cousins live there and we are there ev­ery Easter. The au­di­ences at Ed­die’s [At­tic] bring some­thing re­ally unique be­cause they’re se­ri­ous about their mu­sic. When you find a room like that to play, as an artist, you feel re­ally lucky. The At­lanta au­di­ence comes for an ex­pe­ri­ence. We are go­ing to de­liver that. For more in­for­ma­tion about Girls Ris­ing, visit Girl­sris­

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