So it's that time of year again, International Women's Day. A day to think about gender equality and do your part to get it recognised and more importantly, understood. Last year Alt:Mag did a Top 10 list on girls in gaming, and this year I've decided to do yet another top 10 list. This time I've decided to make a top 10 list of girls in rock music. This is going to be fun, and I've asked Jenny of The Story Of A Book to help me out, as she is an expert on this stuff. We tried to include the classic artists, as well as some modern artists that you may not have heard of. Remember this is our list of our personal favourites and is definitely not a definitive list, so your opinions may be different. Feel free to let us know who your personal faves are in the comment section below! Alright, let's go!
10. Jenna McDougall (Tonight Alive)
Lewis: Tonight Alive are a band I've gotten into recently, and Jenna's McDougall's vocals are definitely what stands out in their music... well of course they do... they're vocals, but you get what I mean. Anyway, Tonight Alive are really kicking up a storm in the land of Oz, and are breaking through everywhere else too, with their catchy blink-182-esque pop punk. They even got Mark Hoppus on one of their songs, so that gives them a thumbs up in my books.
Jenny: If you like Paramore pre Josh and Zac's departure, you'll love Tonight Alive. Guitarists Whakaio and Jake's melodic riffs compliment Jenna's vocals perfectly - take a listen to their cover of Mumford and Sons' 'Little Lion Man' for prime evidence.
9. Jess Bowen (The Summer Set)
Jenny: A band I’d never previously really listened to, I saw these as a support act back in October. As a fan of women in music, I was absolutely mesmerized by Jess Bowen’s skill behind the drum kit and spent their entire set staring at her in an almost creepy stalker-ish way, in a band full of men as well. I briefly met Jess afterwards and she was more than nice enough to let me get a photo: Nice and an amazing drummer. The songs are catchy too, definitely worth a listen.
Lewis: Have you ever heard The Summer Set's cover of Usher's 'Love In This Club'? It's awesome.
8. Suzi Quatro
Jenny: Singer-songwriter, bassist and all round badass, Suzi Quatro was the first female bass player to become a major rock star within the industry. Setting the bar for women in rock everywhere, Quatro has been cited as an influence to many other women in rock since - namely Chrissie Hynde, KT Tunstall and Joan Jett (more of her later). Check out her gritty vocals on legendary song 'The Wild One' and you can see why.
7. Courage My Love (Mercedes and Pheonix Arn-Horn)
Jenny: One of my favourite up and coming bands, Courage My Love play exactly the right mix of Pop Punk vocals and in the words of Lewis: 'shreddy guitar solos.' Canadian twins Mercedes and Phoenix (playing guitar and drums respectively) have nailed their vocal harmonies so tightly that you might assume that there's only one of them singing - you can tell that these sisters have a close connection both personally and musically. Check out the solo during their song 'Bridges' for a perfect example of the sheer talent these teens possess. After the aimcable departure of bassist David earlier in January, I'm eager to see in what direction Courage My Love will take themselves - and for definite will be following and supporting them in the future.
6. Charlotte Hatherley (Ash)
Lewis: I remember first seeing her in the video for Ash's 'Burn Baby Burn' (an awesome song, by the way) on the Kerrang! music channel. Even thought it was Tim Wheeler with the Flying V guitar, Charlotte was in charge of the real showing off in the song and I remember I was like 'wow, that girl is playing the guitar' and also 'wow, that girl is really awesome at guitar', bear in mind this was many years ago when I knew like, three bands, which all consisted of male members. Unfortunately she left Ash, but hopefully one day she'll join up again and record a new album, and not just join up again for a live reunion. It must be done.
5. Hayley Williams (Paramore)
Lewis: I may not be the biggest fan of Paramore, but it isn't hard to see that Hayley has had an absolutely massive impact on modern rock music. When Hayley got big with Paramore, her success paved the way for other female fronted rock bands, and created a demand for them in general. Sure, she wasn't the first female rock vocalist in history in a band full of men, but she has definitely revived women's place in rock music. She's inspired so many women of all ages to go out and do what she did. Good for her.
Jenny: I've seen her live twice. I love her so much.
4. Cherri Bomb
Jenny: Quite possibly one of my favourite bands ever, and almost certainly a band to watch out for in the future, because this all girl group have some amazing talent going for them. With a list of people they’re played with stretching from The Smashing Pumpkins to Steel Panther and even the legendary Foo Fighters, it’s a pretty amazing feat for a band whose mean age is barely even legal. That’s right, Miranda, Rena and Nia are all still teenagers. And to have shared a stage with so many big names already so early on in their career… Who knows what these girls are capable of? Definitely ones to watch: Cherri Bomb are going to be huge.
3. The Runaways
Jenny: The ultimate girl band that actually play their own instruments. Even if they were created by record producer Kim Fowley and didn't come together in the same way most rock bands do, they're still famous for their kick ass attitude, lead singer Cherie Currie's jailbait image and Joan Jett's gritty guitar riffs. If you look past all the drugs and drama, they're actually pretty darn good. Their legacy continued even after their breakup in 1979 and in 2010 a full length biopic was produced, once more catapulting The Runaways into success in the media.
2. Brody Dalle (The Distillers)
Lewis: I am a big fan of now-defunct band The Distillers, particularly because of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Brody Dalle's distinct, gritty vocals. Just watching a live video of the the band performing my personal favourite 'Beat Your Heart Out' is just enough to see the rawness of her natural talent. Since The Distillers, Brody has a new band called Spinnerette, but is currently working on a solo album. I can't wait to hear it!
1. Joan Jett
Lewis: Anybody who is aware of who Joan Jett is, will fully understand why she is number one on Alt:Mag's top 10 girls in rock music list. Former member of The Runaways and member of The Blackhearts, she has been referred to as the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll" many times during her career, and quite rightly so.
Jenny: Definitely an influence of mine, Joan Jett is rightly placed at number one on our list. In a male dominated world, Jett has conquered the ears and hearts of many a fan with her image, attitude and talent to become an individual icon in her own right. We'll leave you with her most iconicly-upbeat song, the monumental 'Bad Reputation'.