Rock ‘N’ Roll Show Gives Women the Stage 

It’s 2022, but we haven’t cracked the inequality code yet. Women and minorities often work more for less. To give women the stage, River Towns Music Group put together a show highlighting dynamic, female-fronted bands at Peekskill’s Paramount Hudson Valley Theater on Dec. 9. We interviewed the bill’s three female-fronted bands to learn more about them and their experience in the industry. Read on for what they had to say.  

First up, No Grudges, a funk/punk duo of high school sweethearts, Crystalla Gonzalez and Gabriel Castellar, who both grew up in Queens. They’ve played together for 10 years and been a band for two. 

Crystalla Gonzalez of No Grudges. Photo supplied.

Q: Who are your biggest musical influences? 

Crystalla: Our biggest musical influences are Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aretha Franklin, Iggy Pop, and the Stooges. 

Q: Who/what are your biggest non-musical influences?

Gabriel: I think our biggest influence is living in NYC itself. The different cultures and walks of life that co-exist here, make our up musical DNA. Crystalla and I come from a blend of nationalities as well, including Colombian, Puerto Rican, Dominican and Greek. 

Q: How can women support other women in the music industry? 

Crystalla: We can support each other by breaking down the competitive barriers that have been placed between us. Because the industry gives women fewer opportunities, sometimes it forces us to be unnecessarily competitive with one another. We’re stronger if we stand together. 

Tommy White, Aly Quiñones and Tom Gehlhaus of Lovehoney. Photo supplied.

Next up is our co-headliner Lovehoney, a rock ‘n roll band that’s been together since 2015. Members include vocalist Aly Quiñones, guitarist Tommy White, drummer Tom Gehlhaus and bassist Meghan Rose. Tommy lives in Garrison and the other members are based in the city. 

Q: How would you describe your band?  

Tommy: We’re inspired by 60s psychedelic rock, 70s hard rock, R&B, blues, and 90s alternative rock. We lean into a retro sound that goes with the aesthetic, as well as how we record. We only record in analog.  

Q: Who are your biggest musical influences? 

Tommy: Jack White, the Black Keys, the Kills, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Howlin’ Wolf, the Stooges, Arthur Lee and Love, the Beatles, John Lennon, Motown, Staxx, Chess Records, Joan Jett, and Tina Turner. 

Q: What can people do to support women in the music industry? 

Aly: Treat them as artists, not just a “woman in the music industry.” 

Q: Have you felt overlooked in the industry because you’re a woman?  

Aly: It’s 2022, we know girls can rock! Female artists are killing it in music; I don’t think we can be overlooked anymore. Where I do feel overlooked, is not seeing many bands with people of color playing rock ‘n’ roll. I know they’re out there, so why aren’t they getting as much exposure as all these other “rock” bands? We built the table, so we should get a seat. 

Q: Do you feel like there are enough women on festival and concert bills?  

Aly: At the end of the day, music has no gender. We should work together to make sure all artists feel supported, regardless of gender.  

Q: How can women support other women in the music industry? 

Aly: I really believe the best way we can support each other is to work together and stop treating each other like competition.  

Platinum Moon is our Fall Battle of the Bands winner. The five-piece band formed in 2018. Members include vocalist AvA Anduze (21, from Mt Kisco), lead guitarist Anton Klettner (19, Lewisboro), keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Joseph Klettner (17, Lewisboro), drummer Ethan Grosman (20, Putnam Valley), and bassist Toby Dorfman (18, from Chappaqua). 

Q: Who are your biggest musical influences? 

Toby: We’re heavily inspired by classic rock bands of the 70s and 80s, such as Led Zeppelin and Guns N’ Roses, as well as modern, female-fronted rock artists such as Halestorm and Dorothy.  

Q: Who/what are your biggest non-musical influences? 

Toby: Our parents. They’re our biggest supporters.  

Q: What are some of the challenges female musicians face that men don’t?  

Ava Anduze of Platinum Moon. Photo supplied.

AvA: Female musicians are often brushed aside. Many people take equipment from my hands because they say it’s “too heavy,” or tell me I don’t need to help because “the men got it.” I understand these comments usually have good intentions, but I’m there to be part of the team, not just stand there and look pretty. 

Q: Do you feel like there are enough women on festival and concert bills?  

AvA: I don’t really think about the number of women on concert bills. I think about the musicians on stage, male or female, and how they present themselves. If I know of a woman who would’ve rocked a stage better, then yes, she should’ve been up there. 

For tickets to the Dec. 9 show, visit bit.ly/3svLP9F

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About the Author: Liz Goodyear