In a recent interview, 1980s punk pioneer Joan Jett described what being a woman in the rock scene entails and shared her thoughts on touring with bands who have frequently been accused of chauvinism.
In the interview, released by Rolling Stone yesterday (May 10), the punk guitarist discussed her upcoming stadium tour with Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard and Poison – bands which have received accusations of sexism.
“If I had to weed out every band you thought was problematic, I mean, there wouldn’t be very many left,” she explained. “I think everyone’s being a little… Chill out, it’s music.”
Jett progressed to describe her time in the industry, reflecting on the advice she’d give to her younger self regarding the attitudes you receive as a woman in the rock scene.
“[I would tell my younger self to] try to control my emotions a little bit better. When I was younger, [I was] very emotional, in a sense that I would take great offence to people talking about, ‘girls can’t play rock’, whatever it was.”
She continues, detailing how she is no longer fazed by working alongside bands accused of being misogynistic:
“It’s very prevalent, all over rock and roll. Look, all I can do as the woman I am is go out there and show an alternative view and do it my way,” she says. “I would say [it’s] probably not as misogynistic [now…] because you get creamed online and people seem to care about that. That doesn’t mean that it changes who they are [on a personal level], so maybe that’s dangerous. It goes underground. But I think things are changing.”
Looking toward the future of the scene, Jett continued to list the names of artists she thinks are “carrying the torch” for women in rock music, insisting that female-led bands such as Fea are changing the landscape for upcoming artists.
Joan Jett will embark on The Stadium Tour with her band, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts on June 16. Tickets can be found on the band’s website.
The full interview with Joan Jett can be found at Rolling Stone.