The Origins of the Riot Grrrl Ethos

Marina is Red Riot Grrrl Zine: Herstory

This all started in 2018! I was at that point doing my MA where they ask you what you want to write you 12K word dissertation on. My answer? Riot Grrrls in Spain. I had no idea at the time if there was even much of a Riot Grrrl scene in that country but I set about finding out.

As I began my research, my professor told me not to just gather info, but to keep writing about it. I thought about keeping a blog of my work, just a way to organise some of the information and to get in touch with others on the underground music scene.

I’d played in bands all my life and music was my passion. It felt really natural to me to get the blog going. However, the design element and the tech element was a really learning curve and journey. My experiment was hit and miss and I would say it is only recently that I have happened upon a format that works for me. But that’s it with blogging, it really is down to the individual, their capabilities and what just ‘works for you’.

Success can just be a smile

I honestly didn’t expect the blog to be as successful as it was. I mainly hit twitter to begin with and made some good contacts there who I now consider good friends. I began to build my following and was eventually headhunted by a few other publications to write for them. I was sent by Lush to review Supersonic and this was a real highlight for me. A whole weekend in Birmingham meeting new people, watching bands and a nice cosy albeit budget hotel to go back to at the end of the night. These kinds of days really make me smile and I really miss them at the moment.

As the blog has grown and grown, I have interviewed some of my favourite musicians and songwriters. During lockdown 2020, I got to interview Marissa Paternoster from The Screaming Females and very recently I interviewed Princess Maha from The Kut - their album Valley of Thorns has been one of my most played during 2020.

I have explored a few other avenues of features and have tried a bit of podcasting and my first podcast featured an interview with Modern Literature and coincided with the release of the track ‘Weeping Willow’, which premiered exclusively on my site for several weeks. I really hope to develop this in the near future as and when time allows.

There is no downside to blogging and anyone can do it if they have the passion and the commitment to it. However, that is precisely it. Blogging is not a lucrative business from the word 'go' and you aren’t going to reap financial rewards straight away, if at all. That’s why it has to be a hobby or a passion, or maybe that it ties in some way to your Uni courses.

I have found many, many wonderful things through running this blog. Other blogs and organisations such as Loud Women, Kiss and Make-Up, Grrrls with Guitars….. The whole team at the Supersonic Festival in Birmingham. Record labels Die Das Der, Hell Hath No Fury, Fight Like A Girl etc etc. Bands from all over the world, I would never have heard if it weren’t for blogging and basically I spend way too much money on their merch and vinyl!

I have real plans for the future of the blog right now and will share them with you as and when they happen as I don’t want to reveal too much too early. What I can say is that paper 'zine #003 is in the making and will include some fabulous goodies!

I can't predict the future or know what is going to happen to the music industry post-covid. However, what I can say is that I'm excited to get back to live gigs again, I just want to keep giving back to this amazing community that has 'had my back' on many occasions and given me many reasons to smile.

Let's keep going .... and dreaming of standing in the crowd, waving our arms in the air and singing our favourite tunes loud!