Marissa Paternoster, leader of Screaming Females, has a message for all would-be rock journalists out there: actually listen to their music before comparing them to other female-fronted rock bands in an attempt to take a shortcut.
When we first started playing, critics would often compare us to Sleater-Kinney, a band that I love and a band that definitely changed my life, Paternoster said. But I do not think we sound anything like them, and thats really just lazy music journalism. Its like, Theres a woman in the band and, therefore, theyre going to sound like this other band that has women in it! Thats not true at all; its just wrong.
Instead of subscribing to various labels, Paternoster said when it comes down to it, theyre a three-piece rock and roll band [that] loves to play loud.
That notoriety for playing loud has earned Paternoster the ranking of number 77 on Spins 2012 list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. But, like any other comparisons or titles she has accrued in her professional career, thats something Paternoster has shrugged off as well.
I honestly could kind of care less, Paternoster said. Those lists are made probably by some intern whos getting paid $4.75 an hour to compile a list of bullshit they found on the Internet and Im just a nugget of that bullshit they found on the Internet and they just flopped me up there, some
random number. It doesnt take away from the fact that it has garnered
me some attention as a musician, which I appreciate. But at the same time, it doesnt mean very much to me.
But what does matter to her along with bandmates Jarrett Dougherty and King Mike is playing the best gig possible, no matter how small the room, no matter how small the town. She said it is a work ethic that hearkens back to the bands start playing house parties and basement gigs.
Last night, we played in Laramie, Wyo. We had never played there before, and we played for like 15 people, but everyone was really nice, she said. It kind of depends, geographically, where we land. In Laramie, Wyo., we arent popular, nobody knows who we are, but theres still a lot of planet Earth that we havent covered, and there are millions and millions of people we would like to play for.
Unfortunately, their last gig in Oklahoma the first and only time theyve played the Sooner State didnt fare so well; they ended up in a cowboy bar and were quickly shown the door. At a confirmed gig at The Conservatory Wednesday night, they might not be playing for millions and millions of people, but they will happily settle for a roomful of fans looking to do some pre-Thanksgiving rocking.
Our M.O. as a band is to play as well as we can, play a good set and just sound good, Paternoster said. We dont have any pyrotechnics or belly dancers, so Im not sure what else we can bring to the table. But I hope people enjoy our music anyway.