Screaming Females

Subscribe to Forte Magazine

Screaming Females

For 11 years now, Screaming Females have amazed crowds worldwide with their high-energy punk rock shows, touring extensively to the point that they have played in every state in America, with the exception of Alaska. The band, comprised of Jarrett Dougherty on drums, King Mike on bass, and lead guitarist and vocalist Marissa Paternoster (who was ranked in Spin magazines 2012 list of the top guitarists ever) are now making the trek down under for their first ever Australia tour.

The band is eager for the opportunity to branch out their cultural horizons and visit our beautiful country. According to Jarrett,
“I’m excited, we love touring and visiting new places and meeting people. It’s so engrained into who we are at this point. We have seen so much of the US and Europe, and at some point you either get sick of all that stuff or you want to see more of it – to venture to new areas of the world. So I guess we’re not sick of it yet.”

Their sixth LP ‘Rose Mountain’, was a different experience for the band by the incorporation of Matt Bayles as a producer. As Jarrett explains, “whenever we actually started looking for a producer, it was pretty tough to find somebody who we felt like we could work with successfully. So Matt was great because he had made records that had been nominated for Grammys and million selling records, but at the same time it was records that had loud guitars and very interesting crisp sounds going on. So we thought it was a good comprise of somebody who we thought would have input that we appreciate, while also still being able to capture the sound of a loud rock ‘n’ roll band.”

Originating in New Jersey, opportunities in terms of music seemed non-existent. According to Marissa, “Where Mike and I grew up there was no local music scene, that’s the long version of it and the short version of it.” She laughs, before Jarrett expands on where they really found their belonging as musicians.
“I think we had a similar experience in New Brunswick in New Jersey, where we formed the band and all lived for a number of years. [It] is a college town in New Jersey that there is all these bands that play basement shows, and there is this long history and culture of DIY bands releasing their own records and making things happen for themselves and making the life of hanging out with other artists and musicians and wasters and punks. So coming from suburban towns where you only see bands playing to thousands of people, it was a pretty big revelation to meet people who are playing in bands and running their own shows.”

Adopting the DIY ethic, the Screaming Females have consciously kept all of their releases independent, simply doing it for the love of touring and playing gigs, all whilst maintaining the bands camaraderie on the road. As best explained by Marissa,
“We started our band at kind of a growing period in our lives, as human beings; Mike was 17, I was 19, Jarrett was 21, and so it’s like an integral part of our personalities and our makeup and how we grew up. So I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t doing this. I don’t know how to do anything else.”

Written by Alex Callan

Photo by Lance Bangs

When & Where: The Eastern, Ballarat – August 7.