Grass Widow

Grass Widow

From the beginning, the members of Grass Widow have maintained an objective of playing financially accessible, age-inclusive and gender-inclusive shows. As the band has continued to grow and share their post-punk influenced, intricately woven songs to larger communities through their latest release with Kill Rock Stars, their aim has been to challenge old paradigms of the music industry and confront the tired methods of categorizing music by paving a new path. "We believe in the value of music itself and promote a community in which musicians are treated with respect regardless of their pitchfork rating, their label or representation. The value assigned to a band by these forces is a manufactured concept supported by a music industry that thrives on advertising, objectification and reducing bands to "trends" and "fads" via the Internet. We want to bring the sense of integrity and accountability that is fostered in the D.I.Y. community we come from to this arena and inspire others to do the same."

Bassist/vocalist, Hannah Lew, drummer/vocalist, Lillian Maring and guitarist/vocalist, Raven Mahon chose the name Grass Widow for their San Francisco-based three-piece as a way to represent the approach they take to writing music. The phrase is rooted in 17th century literature; commonly referring to a woman whose husband is away at sea, but the visual associations of each word also provides an opportunity to interpret meaning on multiple levels. "For me," says Maring, "it's about a state of solitude when you realize parts of you may be missing." Lew adds: "The name Grass Widow refers to elements of the unknown or the subconscious, things not in plain sight."

Grass Widow approaches lyrical content in much the same way, using metaphor to express complicated, intimate themes. Inspired by the personal, they use myth and allegory to synthesize ideas and create new landscapes wherein listeners can draw their own meaning.

"We write lyrics about very personal and often dark subjects, but present the ideas in a way that disguises the content within metaphor and upbeat instrumentation," says Mahon. "Although we chose the name early on, it has evolved with us as our process has become refined."

Grass Widow formed in 2007 and quickly received attention within the Bay Area as well as national underground press via publications like Yeti. Influenced by similarly all-female punk and post-punk acts like The Neo Boys and Kleenex, they also note Roy Wood's The Move and The Kinks as a major source of inspiration, which can be heard in their three-part harmonies, complex arrangements and odd chord progressions.

In addition to these musical influences, Grass Widow is inspired by a legacy of women who have paved the way through their music and politics. Their collaborative songwriting process, the fact that they don't have a front person and that they all equally contribute to the work of the band speaks to this philosophy. In addition, they take the opportunity as an all female band to bring attention to the roles of spectacle and spectator in their scene and make a conscious effort to play shows where women are involved.

Pet Milk

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