We recently caught up with the super fierce and kick-ass ladies from Crowd The Airwaves, a garage/punk rock band from New York City who have just launched their EP, Devil May Care. There is no possible way to not fall in love with this group of strong, loud, and beautifully fouled mouthed woman. I definitely recommend attending their shows; their personality just exhumes coolness and that rebellious ingredient that a garage punk band requires. Pair Crowd The Airwaves with a delicious whiskey drink and you surely have heaven. With Heather’s smooth, cool voice, Lindsay louder than hell drumming, and Christina’s rhythmic guitar playing; this band has the chemistry and the passion to make an impact at NYC’s venues. They’re a force to be reckoned with truly and in our conversation they are a band of tiny yet powerful women. Bands like this are truly one of kind. Between Gelatos and Bellini’s we discussed Dave Grohl, women in rock, and how amazing bonds can be created with a passion for music.
How did you guys meet?
Heather: I wanted to start an all girl band and we all had great chemistry and were like, “This can work out!!” Then we met Lindsay at their Road To Ruins show which was the name of our Runaways tribute band. We originally had gone there to support Becca and ended up meeting Lindsay and I saw Lindsay drum and I harassed her behind the drums.
Lindsay: I thought she was going to attack me. I was like, “Can I just get out from behind from the fucking kit first?”
Heather: *with great enthusiasm* I was like, “I WANT YOU IN MY BAND!!” Lindsay was probably moving at that time and then she ended up not moving. We jammed together and we all jives really well and was like hey I’m throwing my hat into the ring and was like I know you guys are looking for a drummer. We chose her cause she was our favorite and the rest is history.
Lindsay: So I’m also a guitarist so I do a bunch of solo stuff. I’m the only one in the band who is currently a full time musician. I was on a solo tour in the South West and I used to live in Arizona. So I was down there for a few weeks and I got this call from my friend Samantha, who happens to be a mutual friend with Becca and I. She wanted to make a Runaways tribute thing for her birthday and she wanted me to play the drums and I was like alright I’ll deal with that when I get home. I met Becca through there because she was the rhythm guitarist. They were like, well we got rid of our drummer and my husband and I were thinking of moving because he had gotten promoted. Something that drew me to Heather, Christina, and Becca is that I’m a few years older; I’m 28 and everyone else is in their early twenties. I’ve been doing this in some capacity or another for 14 years now and I started in my mid teens and I’ve been in and out of bands. This is the first band that I’ve been with for a really long time or where I felt all of the band members weren’t completely misguided. Goals or focuses that didn’t match up with mine and that is really important for a band to have, like a unified focus. It’s a thing I learned about over time and that’s what drew me to them I thought hey yeah consider me and they ended up choosing me. A year and a half later, here we are.
Christina: I think I know Heather, what, like four years now.
Heather: Yayyyyy! *we all cheered as Heather receives her Bellini with a raspberry*
Christina: So I met Heather when she was studying opera at Queens College and I’ve been a violist since I was 7 or 8 years old. I remember Heather asking me to join a band – she was like, I really want to create a band and I’d think you’d be great on rhythm guitar. At first I was like I know like only 2 chords on guitar. I don’t know how to play this instrument. The rest of the time I learned from Becca and Lindsay mostly and tried my best and now I’m doing some vocals eventually. I feel pretty confident in my string playing, I haven’t blown up any amps yet!
Becca: Heather approached me around Feb/March 2013 and I was in school. I yessed her to death because I was on some projects that fell through because I had the chance to even get on board. So I didn’t expect for this one to be any different than the others. Summer came along and Heather approached me again and everything fell into place. And by August 6, 2013 we had started this band and it’s great because I have a lot of faith in this band.
How did you decide you wanted to play punk rock?
Heather: I’ve been singing since I was 3 and was trained in opera. I’ve gone around the world touring Switzerland and Israel performing with the Israeli Philharmonic and big names like Rene Fleming. I also opened for Tony Bennett at Radio City Music Hall in which I did a solo. When I got to college, I became really disillusioned with the classical community. It was very difficult when I had that musician moment where I got my ass kicked and I got kicked to the floor a couple of times. And it was like you know I need to pick myself back up again. I had this craving where I wanted to write my own music with a band and collectively work together on songs and have this free expression. Punk rock is this perfect venue because it’s all about the army and we can make music that speaks to the people around us. That and I wanted to reignite my passion for singing and I learned how to play bass in 3 months and was shaken out of my comfort zone but it has been the best experience of my life. Plus, we all have a background in music and our love solely began with rock.
Becca: I picked up a guitar and I wanted to be in a metal band; I was an extreme metal head, Slayer, Pantera, etc. It wasn’t satisfying to play, then I hear “I Hate Myself For Loving You” by Joan Jett and the BlackHearts and it brought me to a whole new place. I tried proto punk and moved on to The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones, etc. and then later bands like Minor Threat and NOFX meant more to me than any other genre because I connected with them.
Lindsay: Stevie Nicks is the reason why I’m a musician. I’m like the biggest Fleetwood Mac fan, you’ll ever meet, well not like obsessively. I grew up with classic rock so that is where my heart ultimately is but I also have a huge folk background like Joni Mitchell. I was on the folk circuit and the folk scene is an old boys club, sorry but true! I think there are a lot of double unspoken standard, total sausage fest. The band was now an opportunity to reinvent myself. Be able to say something that wasn’t going to be glossed over. *the pitas came to our table and there was a total sweetheart moment about sharing food*
Christina: Hi, this is Christina, I like long walks on the beach and uhm…my musical background was mostly classical music. I mean I liked it, I wasn’t super duper committed like doing it for the rest of my life but I really enjoyed it and I had a whole lot of friends who were in it with me. The thing with classical is that it’s very precise, very focused on perfection. You don’t have a lot of wiggle room. I’ve always listened to music that not everyone else is into like Anberlin, Blink 182, and Paramore. I don’t think I have the same taste as anyone else I know really like industrial and electronic. My dad was a hippie and was in a couple of bands; he plays the guitar and I remember being like, Damn, I want to do that!” I imagined myself being like a Hayley Williams or a Tom Delonge, except recently. Eventually I realized that I being in a band was a lot more different, I had more artistic freedom. I could actually write my own music and I found out that I’m actually pretty good at it.
Writing, is it solo or collaborative?
Heather: It’s collaborative to a certain extent. We want to be very democratic because we respect everyone’s vision and making it the best that it can be. So suggestions are always open, criticism is always welcomed as long as it is constructive and not said to be a dick.
Lindsay: It’s like if you think something sucks you have to back that up, why does it suck? You can’t just be like that fucking sucks. It has to be like that fucking sucks because…
Heather: Now when each person writes a song, we’re all writers and sometimes managing that can be a lot because we already have a backlog of songs from everybody in the band. We’re currently working on new material and we have four songs that we’re in the middle of. But nonetheless, whoever wrote the song has final say. If they don’t like it, the way it sounds or they don’t like how the song is being presented then they have every right to say so. The point of this band is to be better than what you think you can be and to be always pushing yourself.
*We somehow veered into a different subject about sex and bdsm.*
Lindsay: Sex is just so much more involved in the missionary position. We have a song called ” Strange”, which is about bdsm and we are proud to be part of the movement.
Heather: Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl inspires me lyrically, his lyrics always hit home and his vocal lines, his guitar lines. He’s just a true musician in every way and he’s not afraid to speak his mind. Female influences: Brody Dalle from The Distillers, she’s just awesome and super cool. She’s a huge vocal influence.
Bassists, I’m fairly new but listening to bands like Savage, Green Day, and Muse.
The Bass lines were the moving thing in a song. Like patting your head and rubbing your stomach, which we can all agree is what singing and bass playing is like.
Becca: For me, it was Joan Jett completely, like that I want to do and I want to be that and she was the first persons who made me believe that I could do that and be that. Against Me has been a writing influence such as Rancid and Kurt Cobain was a genius. I look up to his song writing ability a lot and also Tegan and Sara,
Lindsay: Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks for sure, my dad played it on a cassette tape when I was 3. Nirvana as well, I have family in Seattle and was influenced by my cousins to listen to Nirvana. Pearl Jam, Sleater Kinney, The Runaways, and Savages. It’s funny, I was at a Savages show and I was like ten feet away from Shayne, little had I known, he was from Pancakes and Whiskey.
Christina: Anberlin, Steven Christian, awesome voice and lyrics, Civil Twilight, Cell Dweller, Industrial Rock, weird electronic progressive, dubstep, classical music. Nut until I joined this band, but Janis Joplin ,Sousie Quatrro, Nirvana, Paramore, Blink 182 and The Pillows.
How has your music evolved since you first started playing music together?
Heather: We don’t suck anymore, we’re more tight, in tune with each other. Everyone has grown into their own skin and has evolved onstage and off. We all have a better sense of rhythm. Lindsay becomes Dave Grohl once she starts drumming with hair flopping all over the place
You’re releasing an Ep in March, where did you record?
Lindsay: So we recorded with Jino Arielly produced our EP.. Jino is the bassist who plays in a band called Natural Stranger. He has a studio in the Sunset Park area and we recorded the tracking of vocal, bass, guitar, and we used to a practice space down in Brooklyn and we all brought back all of the instruments back there because of the space. Then, it was mastered out in Los Angeles by a gentleman named Maor Appelbaum, great guy who has done a lot of metal albums and he definitely took of us on that. So thank you guys for your help. Christina went to Pratt and is great at designing and has been in control of our graphics like logos, posters, and merch. That was the basic process and we had chosen those 4 songs and honing and had Jino was supervising our band practice and gave us notes. We have been honing those songs for months
Becca: Yeah, Jino supervised our practice and gave us notes and he gave us amazing input that helped develop our songs and helped push them further. He never took control of the song
Lindsay: Yeah, Jino was an awesome music producer which is what a great producer does by helping the band improve and develop our songs more.
*We all take a gelato break, at this point they have all completely won my heart over*
Favorite whiskey drink?
Heather: I’m a pussy, I like whiskey sours. I like anything that taste like War Heads, which is essentially like a War Head with alcohol.
Lindsay: Lagavulin 16 Neat
Becca: Maker’s Mark Neat/ Jack Daniels Neat
Christina: Yeah, I think I’ll go with a Whiskey Sour as well.
*Becca is no longer in the band until further notice. She is currently on an indefinite hiatus.
Article by: Karen Silva