Welcome back to Free Spirit Friday, a weekly segment where I interview local artists and creatives of all kinds. Every Friday a different artist will be featured until I run out of people to interview. If you would like to be featured on Free Spirit Friday, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This week I’ve interviewed Anna Reasner from the band “Glitter Lung.” Glitter Lung is an up-and-coming feminist punk band, and they’ve hit the ground running with shows. I first met Anna at a bonfire and found to her to be hilarious, smart and strong. She’s a fantastic person and I’m delighted to have the chance to interview her.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Well, my name is Anna Maria and I just moved back to Rochester, MN about a year ago now. I have a 15-month old daughter that grows sassier by the day and am currently working on my degree in marketing. I front a new project titled Glitter Lung, which is a beautiful friendship and an amazing outlet for me right now. We’ve been playing together for about two-three months now and it’s been my driving artistic force recently. I also get behind a camera and in front of one every now and then and have a tendency to paint when upset. That’s really all there is – or at least all I have time for.
What kind of music do you make?
Glitter Lung is a punk band that draws a lot of inspiration and aesthetic from the Riot Grrrl movement of the early 90’s. We incorporate a multitude of genres and mediums as we see fit but it all tends to be coated in punk. Our guitarist, Kelly Mason, is an extremely talented songwriter – Kelly definitely challenges all of us in the band to be versatile and experimental. Our vision for the band is to really express whoever we want to be – and exactly how we want to do it. I, and I think the whole band, have found this as an avenue to express our anger, our sadness, and our joy without fear of judgement – this genre allows for that and then some.
What draws you to it?
Riot Grrrl is just this awe-inspiring thing that happened right when the punk scene really needed a wakeup call to what was happening. I think the environment is a lot different now but the sheer expression of unabashed femininity remains something that is desperately needed in the music scene, especially in Rochester. I think there’s this still this preconceived notion that expressing your femininity is seen as a submissive act and I don’t really think that has a place anymore. Masculinity and strength are not mutually exclusive – you can be feminine and downright girlish without playing “weak” or “dumb.” Riot Grrrl just created this type of aesthetic where you could wear pigtails and skirt while also screaming from the bottom of your lungs and where girls could actively participate in the punk scene without fear for their safety.
What has been your favorite experience as a musician?
Well, I honestly haven’t been a musician for very long but my band had a pretty memorable first show. I was super nervous about it because I hadn’t done anything quite like it before but it couldn’t have gone any better. We played at the Kitty Cat Klub up in Minneapolis and the lineup was just intimidatingly talented! We had a good crowd and a really good time. Our bassist, Cecelia, did bleed a little bit but it was all in the spirit – punk music right? She also proposed that night. I don’t think we’ll be forgetting that show for a very long time.
What is your dream gig?
Recently I’ve been kind of dreaming about playing the Triple Rock with Kitten Forever and Bruise Violet. I’ve been really digging them lately ever since I saw Bruise Violet at the Strange Girls Never Die exhibit up at Co-exhibitions in the cities. I think the dream itself is just to create a sense of community within what we’re doing and drive our message to those who need it.
Who or what has influenced you most?
I can’t say I have one direct influence. I’m still figuring out what I’m doing and just experimenting with all of it. Katie Jane Garside (Ruby Throat, Queen Adreena & Daisy Chainsaw) has been a big influence in my showmanship, she’s just incredibly theatrical. Bikini Kill, the Distillers, 7-year Bitch and Bratmobile have really had an influence as I develop my vocal style.
What kind of community-driven projects would you like to be part of?
I’m really looking forward to getting more involved with C4 (Concerned citizens for a creative community) here in Rochester as much of my band and many of my friends have really found a source of support from the organization. I would love to get more involved with the safe space opening up in the cities and really any organization that promotes the safety and wellbeing of the community. The apparent need I see in Rochester right now is for non-bar music venues in town, also there is very little support for the local music scene that is consistent and well-funded. I am hoping that Glitter Lung becomes a major voice in changing that.
What would you like to see happen in the Rochester music scene?
Honestly right now I really want to get some of the other Grrrl bands in the area together for a show. I really want to see more punk shows, more riot Grrrl bands, and more of a community in that. In Rochester specifically there just hasn’t been much of a feminine presence or a continuous punk scene in a long while. I just want to remind people that feminism isn’t dead. That isn’t too much to ask is it?