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Interview: Oona of OONA

February 22, 2011

OONA will be playing with Dan Deacon at the Indy tonight. It’s going to be a screamer of a show (and by that I mean way fun, not with actual screaming.) Oona, bad-ass front woman and lady rocker, was kind enough to share her time and thoughts on the Noise Pop festival. Interview below

Have you ever played Noise Pop before?
No. We’re thrilled! Noise Pop is a great festival, and of course it feels really good to have the support of your hometown. There are no bad bands in a festival like this – just bands suited more or less to your taste, and I think that raises the caliber of everyone’s performance. I was delighted when I got the email from Dan asking us to play… but I had to curb my excitement til I heard from the rest of the band. Those guys keep me on tenderhooks sometimes.

If you could only go to three shows in the line-up, which ones would they be?
Geographer, The Stone Foxes & Grass Widow. They’re local bands whose music we really enjoy. My local picks. Although I think Grass Widow relocated to Seattle a few years ago…. I’m looking forward to seeing them again!

What’s it like being a woman in the indie music industry?
That’s a great question. I know I’m working with the right people when it’s not an issue, know what I mean? Music is quite the equalizer. Playing music forces you to be honest with yourself and how good a player you are… there’s no Title IX, no affirmative action, and if you’re working with the right people they will judge you on the merit of your ideas and your abilities. The biggest roadblocks I’ve faced in music have been self-inflicted… pride, insecurity, what have you. My biggest mentor has been my aunt – a Berkeley rock’n’roller from the ’60s, and you better believe she can hold her own. So I was blessed with great role models from jump… My first band was all girls – that was a space I felt comfortable to make mistakes and explore the very personal journey of songwriting, and I taught at Girls Rock Camp for that same reason, to help create a space for self-expression and creativity without blushing.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very much a boys’ club in a lot of ways – humor, bathrooms, amps that require huge amounts of upper body strength – but the people I work with respect me for what I can do, which is rock a mic like the world’s about to end. And I refuse to let that other shit trip me up anymore than it has already.


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