Gender in Rock

Lecia explains the lyric meaning of her new rock single ‘Mastermind’.

This is my new recording of ‘Mastermind’ and I am really happy with it. Make sure you download it for free by leaving your email here on the left. Its main purpose is to rock and capture the live vibe of my new 5 piece band!

The music industry is male dominated, where men generally hold more information and power. I learnt most of what I know about electric guitar and its surrounding context, from men. Generally speaking, men have more confidence than women; at least they did when I was growing up learning guitar.  

‘Mastermind’ explores my experiences of the relationship between men and women in male dominated working environments, particularly focusing on the music industry. I wrote ‘Mastermind’ around 2004, based upon my opinions and thoughts regarding gender equality, from my experiences at the time; today, I still mostly agree with those opinions.

I acknowledge the many welcoming and sharing male musicians, who have become great working partners for me and other women in the music industry. I have enjoyed a number of rewarding and productive musical projects with open-minded and non-judgemental male musicians. However, as a female in this industry, some men have appeared unsure about how to take me. I have come to this realisation based on their closed off, condescending and passively insulting behaviour. These men appear not to appreciate that my fingers and brain work just as well as a mans’ do.

There are so many talented female guitarists on the music scene now. Nita Strauss, Yasi Hofer, Bonnie Raitt, Ana Popovic, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Minnie Marks, Julz Parker, Orianthi and Tullara are just a few of the fantastic players who are paving the way for the next generation of female guitarists and artists. Big thank-yous must go to Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson’s guitarist) for being such an amazing inspiration for so many others, both female and male. Let’s not forget Joan Jet’s contribution to the standing of females in rock who, as a female guitar player, regularly faced comments such as ‘girls don’t play electric guitar.’ I hope this kind of attitude will be eradicated completely from the music industry. If only I had a dollar for every time I heard, ‘you play like a man’ or ‘you are the best female guitarist I have heard.’

Consider for a moment the words of Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin as they sang about women’s social positioning in ‘Sisters are doing it for themselves’.

‘Now there was a time

When we used to say

That behind every great man 

There had to be a great woman’

‘Mastermind’ hints at the same message in a different way:

‘We help you land on your feet.’ 

and

‘colour you can’t see, the ground beneath your feet’. 

These lyrics refer to the tendency for the woman to be there behind the man, often invisible, when he needs support, or is enjoying success. She is there enabling him to continue working and succeeding. That woman may be quietly achieving great things herself, unrecognised, or sacrificing her career for his.

In challenging the social positioning of women, ‘Mastermind’ also brings to the centre people who do not belong to a dominant or ‘normalised’ group. I wrote the line, ‘us the other’ based upon my own experience of not belonging to an easily-definable group; I know there are others out there who feel the same and may feel like an outsider. Through time, I have discovered it is ok to be different. It means you are an individual.

And so the line,

‘come on, give it some time, let it in, open up your mind, for us the other,’

is a call out to people to be open to all ‘others’ and not to judge them if they are different. Times are changing and more and more women are ‘doing it for themselves.’ But the music industry has a way to go yet to acknowledge women as equals.

I hope you enjoy listening to ‘Mastermind’ as much as I enjoyed playing, recording and writing it. Download it for free and get two extra free song downloads with it too. Watch the video clip and leave a like and a message. Send your friends to this blog post so they can get a free download too.

Thank you

Lecia Louise

Credits:

Song-writer: Lecia Louise

Mixing engineer: Guy Cooper and Lecia Louise

Engineer: Guy Cooper

Mastering engineer: Jack the Bear

Guitars/vocals: Lecia Louise

Drums: Ami Carney

Bass: Craig Kickbush

Second uitar: James Mcintyre

Second vocals: Andonia Hepi

Artwork: Slawomir Maria Nietupski

Film clip edits: Musiclive4U. Sasha Janwicz and Iouri IIioukhine

Footage: Sasha Janowicz, Strut Your Mojo, La Lissy, Guy’s go pro and Lecia’s iphone

Tags: , ,