Interview with Riot Girl: Mande From The Devotchkas & Yum Yuckers!



Age :38

Photo: Mande

Mande was the guitarist in the girl punk band The Devotchkas and is now the guitarist in the upcoming
punk band The Yum Yuckers!
Her way of playing guitar is a moshpit trigger ,and will make you wanna riot the shit out of everything!
If you listen to the Devotchkas songs One sided Society and Live fast die young ,and then
The Yum Yuckers songs Map to Nowhere and Burn , you will also notice her wide range of musical talent!
Shes also know for her hardcore image , huge mowhaks and killer riffs.

Mande is ,and will allways be: A true Riot Girl!

So heres the interview!

Can you remember when your interest for music started?

I always liked music, as a kid I loved oldies because that's what my mom and dad would listen to! I was about 12 or 13 when I started getting into more of the Rock and metal genres. I discovered punk when I was around 15 and fell in love.

and what made you wanna start playing music/sing?

I was always interested in playing an instrument. I started playing the flute when I was in 4th or 5th grade. As I got older and started listening to more rock oriented music I decided I wanted to learn to play the guitar. I wanted to be able to play all the music that I was into!

When/what did/made you deside to start playing/singing music ?

Once I started guitar lessons, I wanted to start playing my own music.

How did you learn to play your instrument /sing like you do?

I took guitar lessons when I was 14 and learned the basics. As far as writing music Elaine and I used to sit around and write tunes together! All we needed was to learn the basics, notes, chords etc and we just went from there!

Do you remember the first song you learned to play/sing to?

First song I learned to play was iron man by Black Sabbath.

Which musicians has had the most impact on you ?

Once I started to grow more interested in punk music I was heavily impacted by bands like the expelled, vice squad, x-Ray spex, and other uk 77 bands.

Photo: Mande

What does playing music means to you?

Playing music is an outlet for me. I love being in a band and having the ability to express myself through music.
I was much more active in writing lyrics when I was in the devotchkas.
Writing songs was a way to voice my opinion on whatever was going on in my life at that point.

Can you remember and describe your very first instrument?

I can't remember exactly what my first guitar was, I just know it was really cheap and my mom bought it for me for my birthday!

Are you ever influenced by old records & tapes?

I'm always influenced by the music I listen to!

When did you know that music was one of your missions in life?

When we started the devotchkas and wrote our first song! I realized that I was able to collaborate with friends and create music! It's one thing to sit around playing guitar by yourself, but once you get to the point where you can put the music together with lyrics you feel like you accomplished something! And to have fans that can relate to your music, there is no other better feeling!

How and when did you get your band together?

Yum-yuckers was formed about 3 years ago. I hadn't played in a band for about 9 years and I formed a band with a long time friend, who's now my main squeeze, and friends of his, we were called coffin fit. Our singer moved and we reformed with Roy and we became the yum-yuckers!

Photo: Mande

Which band have you played in / Are you playing in?

I was in the Devotchkas and I currently play in a band called the yum-yuckers.

How would you describe your music style to other people?

I would say we have a garage/grungy/rock punk sound. I'm not great at describing our sound!
A lot of people say we sound like the misfits, but I think it's mostly because of Roy's voice.

I know you have played alot of gigs , does it ever happen that you get nervous before a show?

I always get nervous before a show! I don't think that feeling will ever go away!

What advice would you give to beginners who wants to start a music career?

Just do it! Pick up an instrument and go! You don't have to be an amazing musician to create amazing music.

What kind of concerts do you like to go to yourself?

I like all kinds of concerts from small house shows to big venue concerts.

Have you ever gotten rejected by venues because of the kind of music you play?

Not that I can remember.

Photo: Mande

As a girl , have you experienced beeing underestimatet musically?

Yes! Not so much anymore, but back in the devotchkas days definitely. There were always rumors that we didn't actually play our instruments.
Being an all girl band we weren't taken seriously for a long time.
Because we were dating male musicians people accused us of riding on their coat tails.
Or, there would be a general attitude of how "cute" it was for a bunch of girls to be in a band.
The heckling was really annoying too! Guys yelling "show us your tits" while we were on stage, it just pointed out how misogynistic the scene was.
Not everyone, but a pretty big percentage.
There were a lot of challenges to overcome being in an all girl band, especially back in the 90's where the punk scene was predominantly male driven.
There weren't many girls, let alone girl musicians. I would always be super nervous when we played shows because I always felt we were being judged.
But we just didn't let that hold us back! We were having fun and we didn't let the negativity effect what we were doing.
Our attitude was always, if you don't like us then don't listen to us and don't come to our shows! Haha!
Even years later after the band broke up people talk shit about us, how much we sucked, etc, but we must've left some kind of mark if we're still a topic!!

Is it difficult for you to balance your music-career with your personal-life?

It can sometimes be difficult, but you just have to make time to do things you love. That's the only way to balance your life!

What is your best music related memory?

Definitely having the opportunity to tour Europe 3 times with the devotchkas! Those were some of the best times of my life!
To go to some small town in another part of the world and you have fans, and these fans know the lyrics to your songs, there no words to describe it!

Listening to your records (The Devotchkas, The Yum Yuckers) ,
I can hear you have your own sound , is this something you have worked hard on to achieve?

I can't say that I've worked hard to have a specific sound.
I like to write songs that I would personally listen to!
It helps to have influences from different genres of music.

As mentioned earlier , you where the guitarist in the Devotchkas .

How was that experience for you ? What was the best part about it?

As I mentioned before the chance to travel to other parts of the world to play out music! I would have never been to Europe if it wasn't for the band!

All the great people we met though touring! I'm still friends with people we met on tour and that was 14 years ago!

I still get messages from people from around the world that started writing music and starting bands because they were influenced by us, that is the most rewarding! And especially that we influenced more women to be involved with the punk scene! When we started the band I had no clue of the impact we would have! We were teenagers having fun writing some tunes, who knew that we would have fans all over the world! Or that we would be the inspiration for other people to form bands and get more involved in the scene.

Photo: Mande

And how do you see the future for you new band The Yum Yuckers?

We have quite a few songs that we are working on, so hopefully we can release an LP sometime in the near future.

And last but not least , what goals do you wanna reach with your music?

I feel like most of my goals have been met! I'm in a band that I love, with people I love and we love doing what we do!

Thanks for the interview!

Check out her new band Yum Yuckers!


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Trendkilling Music

Trendkilling Music

2, Oslo

Trend Killing Music! The title says it all, this is a blog focusing on trend-killing music, both domestic and abroad! Interviews, music review's and alternative fashion are some of the things that will be regular topics . Stay tuned !