LACUNA COIL singer Cristina Scabbia (photo) and ARCH ENEMY frontwoman Angela Gossow (photo) recently spoke to Katie Vrabel of The Hartford Advocate about being the only women on the bill of this year's New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, which takes place this weekend.
About that question "What is it like to be a woman in metal?" Scabbia says she understands that people have to ask the same stupid questions and that "They're not really stupid. ... But I can say that the most repeated question is 'How does it feel to be a woman in the band?' Like I'm handicapped or something. There's nothing really different. I mean, music has no sex at all. It's not that music is the property of men. It's kind of weird because giving this question, it's already kind of... racist! It's so stupid, it's like 'How is it to be alive being a female?' What are you talking about?"
A self-described tomboy offstage, Scabbia says of her onstage and on-camera image, "In a way of course it's still you, but it's also a kind of acting, and of course if you want to be an actor you have to have the proper clothes to represent you in the situation even better." Says Gossow: "It's so much easier to market a 'hot chick,' you know? You get so much more out of it. But when they market in the media, that's what the fans get, that picture, so obviously they respond to it that same way."
For Gossow, being a full-time screamer has been the best possible outcome of her long-term relationship with metal. She recalls: "When I started out listening to metal I was like 15 or 16, an angry teenager. And I think teenagers are always angry. They have so many problems, and finding their place in this world. ... I felt very lost, and I was one of the outsiders at school. And metal, it kind of reflected the way I felt inside. Like all the time. In the morning when I got up I listened to MORBID ANGEL, 'cause that was how I felt in the morning. And I ended it with CANNIBAL CORPSE, that's how I felt in the evening."
Metal is still her first choice for listening, but it's a happier relationship now, therapeutic for both band and fans. "Over the years, I've become, obviously, an adult. I mean, I grew up. And I know to cope with this world, and I found my place. Nowadays it's just that sort of energy is a part of me and it still is me, but it's not like I have that thing that I can't live without it anymore. As a teenager, I don't think I would have survived without metal. When I meet these kids nowadays, that come to the shows, they're teenaged, I still understand them, what they feel for the music and what it means to them. It's just, I know where they're at, this place they are at. And it kind of keeps me young, because obviously I meet people that are fifteen years younger than me but I just remember the times when I was like them. It's very peaceful, actually, because I know that I'm in such a different place nowadays, and very hopeful for these kids as well, wondering if they are going to find a better place in the end as well."