Background of Boys Night (By Natalie)
Behind the music/instrumentation:
Have you ever had to write a paper and the white page (or screen, these days) just stares back at you and you think, “I don’t know if I can ever write another word. I just can’t write. I can never write a paper again.” Well… that’s similar to the feeling I was having before I wrote the music behind Boys Night. I was over-editing all the music I was writing, to the point that I was finding myself left with nothing. Everything had to be JUST RIGHT, otherwise it could not be. Eventually I thought, I’ve got to just power out a song. Even if it’s ‘bad’, even if it has the most expected of progressions and changes… I need to just prove to myself that I can write a song. I wrote the progression on my ‘ol nylon string, just klunking out powerchords, and moving from one section to the other without the usual, “Oh, maybe it should do a weird thing here, and maybe it needs a more creative chord,” etc, etc. I just did what I thought would be obvious and didn’t edit at all. When we first started playing the song live, I figured everyone would view the song in the same way… it’s sort of a fake song… not a real song… because it’s just very basic. But, I was wrong. People continue to come up to me after shows, and say that Boys Night is their favorite, or that they enjoyed it the most. At first I thought it was a little insulting… here we have all these other songs that are so intricate, so thought out, and SO CREATIVE, and everyone likes this fake songy-song better? All those years of voice lessons and music lessons, and people like the one where I’m not really singing in a real voice, and I’m just playing along on the root note?!!?! But now I think it’s kinda cool. Sometimes the formulas are formulas because they work. It’s just that I had never really followed those formulas before : )
Background behind the lyrics:
I did not write all of the lyrics to Boys Night. I wish I could give authorship credit to everyone who said any of the statements that we satire in this song, but some of them are so common, it’s nearly public domain.
There was one precipitating event that led to the birth of Boys Night. Our good friend David Smith joined our band back in 2009, right before our CD release show for Get Out! David came off the stage after the show and one of the attendees approached him and said, “You know, I’m really glad you’ve joined the band. It makes them seem like less of a… gimmick.”
Oh, so because we are all women, we are somehow a joke band? Our gender makes us a gimmick?
Teresa and I sat in my backyard on a sunny day and brainstormed stories of all the ridiculous things that have been said to us, or that we’ve overheard being said about other female musicians over the years.
“People only care about that band because they have a hot chick singer. If I just wanted my band to be famous, I would get a hot girl to sing for us.”
“I’m a real musician, and I’d like to tell you that the last song you played was by far your best song.”
“So you play guitar? Yeah, we don’t really need an acoustic guitarist in this band”
“Another Perfect Crime scares me. Their songs are about hating men.”
Then there’s the little snippets about how we’re always compared to other all female bands (ALL of which we are very honored by the comparison, and I really do hope it’s true!… that’s not the point)… The first time I ever heard of anyone comparing us to a band that was not all-female was in a voice lesson with the amazing Wolf Carr (after we’d been a band for two whole years, mind you!). In the span of 1 hour he compared us to both Fugazi and Black Sabbath, and his ability to see beyond gender and to hear the SONGS forever won my respect. Plus… Fugazi? Black Sabbath?? I’ll take it!
Some of the lyrics in Boys Night are statements that were directed at us, but we turned around as if it were being said to a man, so that the true idiocy of the statement could be revealed.
You’re such a good male drummer- I can’t believe you’re in an all-boy band!
We had recently played on a bill that consisted of all female-fronted bands, and it was advertised as “Ladies in the Limelight.” I don’t have a problem with playing female centered shows, or female focused events, etc. In fact, I love it. But it brought up the thought… if we’re “Ladies in the Limelight” on Friday night, what were the other shows billed as that week? Saturday? Sunday? Monday? Tuesday? Were those all billed as “Boys Night?”
The lyrics in the chorus are a reference to the dominant male voice, and relays my frustration with the lack of awareness that I have seen from very smart people about how one-sided their art and media consumption has been in their lives. Those who don’t seek out a balanced voice will most likely hear male produced music- performed by men for men, from the male perspective. I challenge everyone to at least LOOK at your book collection, CD collection, movie collection, art collection, and your list of idols and role models. Are all of your favorite authors and directors men? Do you feel like there’s probably “enough” women onstage when you see a few here and there? At Sasquatch this year, where women were only 15% of the performers, we still had folks coming up to us and saying, “Really, only 15%? It seemed like there were a lot more than that!” See the Geena Davis video for more on why that is likely the reaction…
There will be further explanation of the rest of the song via a series of skits that act out some of the scenes from Boys Night. These will be filmed over the next few weeks, so be on the lookout! Interested in being in the skits? Contact us at: email@example.com