Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Aroarah: Taking The Testosterone Out Of Rock

Aroarah, the all female rock band from Sacramento, California, is out to prove to the industry and to the narrow minded world that testicles are not needed to play great rock and roll. The group consists of Lydia Gavin on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Chelsea Baker on bass and backup vocals and sisters Mackenzie and Morgan Knoester on percussion and lead guitar. The release of their first full length CD "The Big Package" will help their stance of female driven rock. I recently spoke to the girls about this and much more.

Aroarah- "Well, it’s been four years since we released our EP and we are very excited about our new CD. The preorders from places like Switzerland and Germany were great."

Johnny- "Let me make sure that I have the history of the band correct. You ladies got together during high school for a talent show and non of you had ever played an instrument?"

Aroarah- "Yeah, that’s true! We were determined to prove that we could do this. We tied for second place and at that point, we knew that this was what we wanted to do."

Johnny- "Your live show has really turned a lot of nonbelievers into fans. I am sure that you must have some great road stories."

Aroarah- "One of the funniest was in Boise, Idaho and it was Mack’s birthday. We went downtown to a party and afterwards we were walking back and literally "bumped" into a cab. The driver got pissed at us and got out and came after us with mace. Also, once in Billing, Montana the roof literally came crashing down on us!"

Johnny- "Here’s a little different type of question for you. I met a deaf person at a club a while back and had no idea that they were deaf. With help from a friend , I spoke to him afterwards and he told me that he could hear the rhythm and the beats, just not exactly like you and I hear them. So, if I was deaf and you had a blank canvas in front of me, how would you paint a picture for me to describe your sound?"

Aroarah- "Very cool question……hmmmm, well, it’s bright, upfront and in your face, hard and moving, lots of grooves, great beats, colorful yet contradicting and a drum snare that you can feel. How’s that?"

Johnny- "I would say that is very interesting! Speaking of interesting, I am sure this answer will be. Do you feel there is a double standard in the industry for women?"

Aroarah- "Oh hell yeah!! Some people see us as a novelty act and they don’t take us seriously. Then, when they do see us perform live we suddenly become an anomally and they don’t know what to do with us. We do get a lot of negative attention but we’re not a bubblegum act. We play real rock and it really takes people by surprise."

Johnny- "So, who are some of your musical influences?"

Chelsea- "Mine range from old school to new school. I love Zepplin, the Beatles, Creem and CCR and then newer stuff like Incubus, Chili Peppers and the Smashing Pumpkins."

Morgan- "Everyone is my influence! The Deftones, Ani DiFranco, Mike from Incubus, it’s a long list."

Mackenzie- ""Everything but classical music influences me."

Lydia- ""Mine would be the Foofighters, Chris Cornell and Soundgarden."

Johnny- "I always like to ask this question in all of my interviews because it’s fun to get inside of the mind of a musician. If you were trapped on a desert island and could only have one "store bought" CD, what would
you want there?"

Lydia- "Mine would be Journey ‘Greatest Hits’."

Mackenzie- "That’s easy, Led Zepplin 2."

Chelsea- "Classic choice…Pink Floyd ‘Dark Side of the Moon’."

Morgan- "Tool ‘Undertow’."

Johnny- "Another fun questions for your fans. Do you girls have any guilty pleasures that are printable?"
Aroarah- "Ha ha! Partying and drinking alcohol!! I’m just not sure if we feel guilty about it!!"

We ended the interview as I was slowly drowned out by the wave of laughter that followed their response. Let me tell you, these girls may like to party and have a good time, but they take their music very seriously. To hear the progression from their EP to newer songs such as "Hey", which has a great riff from Morgan that grabs you by the throat at the beginning and won’t let go. Then their is "Unfold" on which Lydia shows that behind that gorgeous face is a talented woman with some amazing vocals that have great range to them. The rhythm section of Mackenzie and Chelsea are not to be overlooked either as they pull this group together making it a very tight sounded band.

Their new CD can be purchased off their official website
www.aroarah.com, I-tunes and DF Jams. If you get a chance, go check out their EPK (Electronic Press Kit) that was put together after their EP came out in 2005 by none other than Shavo Odadjian of System of a Down. It is pretty amazing! These ladies are proof that the preconceived notion of balls to the wall rock and roll is just an outdated cliche. These ladies rock harder than alot of the male bands out there and definitely have more substance behind them.

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