tom tom magazine
CH: What is it about drumming that makes it such a male-dominated pursuit? And why do women drummers need more support?
MA: Well, drums require a certain degree of physical stamina. They're big and they're heavy. They have lots of moving parts. In my opinion, women could use all the encouragement they can get because we're just not encouraged to do it, and we're not promoted when we do in the same way that guys are. If you pick up a drum magazine, there aren't any women in there. And women should play the drums because it's an empowering instrument. It's therapeutic, it's powerful and it requires a lot of confidence—all of these are great skills to have.
I grew up playing the drums, and now with two girls I want nothing more than for them to have kits to bang on. (Now, to find the space and the sound insulation...) There was nothing better over the holidays than watching the five year old pound away to Beatles Rock Band, keeping the beat and doing her best to keep up with the track.
The magazine looks fantastic; I'm especially fond of the one question, one drummer feature, which includes this bit from Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss:
We got a lot of media coverage the ten years I was in Sleater-Kinney. We were very careful about how we were photographed … we made sure we weren’t portrayed as weak, or helpless because we weren’t. We never liked sitting down in photos, or looking passive. Photographers often wanted us to be playful and sweet, and to style us in clothes that weren’t ours like we were dolls. I’m not sure guy bands get that same kind of treatment. We wanted to look like the Stones, to be cool, to be tough, to be heroes. Why don’t women get to be heroes?