International Women's Day

This International Women’s Day, we decided to gather a couple of friends of Disturbia to talk about their experiences with empowerment, identity, and expression. Joining us for this insightful chat are Amy (she/her), the singer and Annabelle (they/them), the drummer of the punk grunge band Witch Fever, and one half of the emo power-pop duo Hot Milk, Han Mee (she/they). Keep reading for more...

Amy by Adam Taylor

Hi guys! Can you sum yourselves up in a few words?

Amy: I’m Amy, I’m 27 and the vocalist of Witch Fever! I have a Masters in Gothic English Lit, I’m a massive bookworm, I’m passionate about feminism & social politics.

Han: I’m just living life, trying to make people feel good, let go of anger and create a place where we can just be ourselves. I have a lot to say and shout about, and I am super happy to be able to do that.

Han and Jim by Jessie-Rose Lena

Who inspired you in your life and career?

Han: When I go home and see my mates from school, they tell me they’re proud of me because no-one gets out of Preston… I feel recharged. I’m doing this for every kid in small Northern towns being told they can’t do shit… I feel inspired by my surroundings, empowered by the streets of Manchester (where I live), where Suffragettes and working class campaigners walked before me. I think to represent those inspirations in the modern day is such a privilege. 

Annabelle by Derek Bremner

What are you most proud of in your careers?

Amy: There are so many things we’ve done that I’m proud of, but opening up for My Chemical Romance at MK stadium is really up there!

Han: The album we’re about to drop - it encompasses everything I love. I think it’s lyrically the best I’ve ever written.

Han and Jim by Jessie-Rose Lana

Has punk embraced feminism, and do you think it would embrace IWD’s movement towards equity over equality?

Annabelle: With the Riot grrrl movement of the ‘90s and the current day punk scene, it feels as though feminism and calling for radical change to society is a recurring theme. However, misogyny is still prevalent across the music industry. Given punk's association with anti-authoritarianism ideologies, punk would definitely embrace equity over equality!

Amy by Nick Bezzina

Do you feel like you have been treated differently as a woman in the music industry?

Amy: For sure! There’s definitely this ingrained opinion in the music industry that women and gender non-conforming people aren’t as capable, entertaining or worthwhile as men. As women and gender non conforming people, we are often trying to win over a crowd and prove we deserve to be there.

Witch Fever by Rueben Bastienne Lewis

Do you have any advice for women starting out in a career in the music industry?

Amy: Listen to your gut feeling, and don’t let anyone make you feel shit just ‘cause they don’t respect you as a musician. Write for you, not for anyone else - the passion you have for what you’re writing makes it special!

Han: Implant yourself as immovable. Never shit where you eat. Give them banter back, but better.

Han by Adam Taylor

Finally, what does liberation and complete equality between all genders look like to you?

Annabelle: Liberation for all genders must include liberation from sexism, transphobia, homophobia and from all forms of oppression including racism, ableism and poverty. This would mean huge systemic change, including habitable housing for all, free universal healthcare, ending mass incarceration and, ultimately, freedom from all forms of class struggle.

Listen to our IWD 2023 Playlist

Fancy a gig this year?

Witch Fever are currently touring the UK until September, including a date at Download Festival. Catch up with Hot Milk on their tour throughout the Americas this summer, or in the UK at Reading and Leeds Festival.