This Is What It Sounds Like When Girls Scream

by Tess Duncan

Mish Way is the lead singer of Candian punk band, White Lung. She also writes for BUSTVICE, and is the Senior Women’s Correspondent for Noisey. She recently wrote an article about her experience in the underground music scene as a female “screamer.” We’re huge fans of Way over at BUST and are pretty stoked to hear her share insight as a musician and a writer. Here are some choice quotes from the article that we found pretty damn fascinating.

“As a baby, I had colic. Colic babies never shut up. They cry and cry and cry as their parents scramble to try to fix the problem. My parents say that they did not sleep until 1987. I was born a screamer and I’ve been one ever since.”

“For me, it’s not a hysterical thing. It’s about assertion. The stage is the one place where I feel completely powerful and my instrument, my voice, naturally wants to reflect that. New York noise artist Pharmakon does this perfectly. She’s all confrontation. She toys at the edge of the stage, kneels down into one person’s face and screams like an alien monster ready to feast or give birth or fuck you up. It’s prodigious. It’s threatening. It’s exciting. When I perform, I don’t shriek as though I’ve been frightened — because I’m not scared. I’m in control. I project to create a space around myself. I want to reveal all the tension in the room.”

“Screaming is not the most popular thing. I run a risk doing it because I know, as well as you do, that not everyone likes to hear a person scream, especially a woman. It’s different when a woman screams. I wish it weren’t, but it is. I’ve been told my whole life to sit down, shut up, be quiet, stop being a whore, whatever. There comes a time in your adult life when you realize you do not have to listen those ridiculous demands. You can reject the archaic stereotypes of your gender.”

Read the full story at The Talkhouse, a website run by Michael Azerrad, Michael Tedder, and Adrianne De Loia.

Photos via The Talkhouse and Tumblr

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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