In Our Own Words: Participants on NEF 2014

Published  June 2014
Silver Godling

Silver Godling

“Brittany and I had been trying to play music for a while, so when she just signed us up, we had to do it. I kind of dreaded it at first, but then once we started practicing it felt natural and the pressure lifted. For the event I was so fucking nervous! I had this anxiety that  translated into this crazy adrenaline rush where I could not stop smiling. I just tried to hold it together and do what we had rehearsed. As soon as we started playing, the crowd went totally  wild and… it was beautiful. I felt so much love from my community and complete strangers alike. Afterward  everyone kept coming up to us and saying really nice things. People were like ‘I didn’t know you could shred like that! You are a metal goddess!’ It felt so good. I felt so much love and support.”  —Bren, from Eucharist

“One night at Prytania Bar, Jasper Denhartigh of Heat Dust told me about  NEF and I thought, ‘Shit! That is for me! I’m a queer lady of color with budding rockstar aspirations!’ I met Osa at a Community Kitchen event and she was really welcoming and open, which helped me have the confidence to participate in NEF Band Speed Dating at Morning Call. I was really nervous  and didn’t know anyone there, but I’m glad I went because it was really fun. Next year I will remember to bring a pen because you meet lots of fun people in a short period of time. The NEF mixers and Facebook group helped  make NEF feel like an attainable goal that got me motivated to practice and write my first song. I was worried that  our band wouldn’t fit in because we have sort of a dark, dream-pop vibe, but when we performed it felt good to see strangers digging our music. It was the first time I experienced being able to play and see people I didn’t know dancing with us. Playing NEF gave me a lot of confidence and motivation to keep playing. After our first show, performing seems a lot less scary. Since then, Beautiful Sons has played at Circle Bar and in June we’ll play at Gasa Gasa. I look forward to playing future shows with some of the other  NEF bands and definitely plan on participating next year. So if any ladies need a bassist for their new project, get at me.” —Christina Illarmo, from Beautiful Sons

“As a gay man playing at straight-owned venues to mostly straight crowds, you really notice how different you are, and how much your sexuality can set you apart.  I’ve never experienced direct, obvious homophobia in the New Orleans bar scene per se (or at least nothing I couldn’t handle), but the bar circuit is certainly a heterosexual male-dominated scene.  NEF was just the opposite, and it was great to be a part of it. Looking into the audience of women, queers, and allies, I felt really comfortable and excited. I guess the only thing I can compare it to was when my old band, Skate Night!, played Austin’s first Queerbomb Festival. I always like playing to an audience that’s dressed way cooler than I am. I never  know which bands to approach when trying to book a show, and that was something NEF was super helpful with. I got to see local female-fronted acts and queer acts whose music would pair well with Beautiful Sons. I am already  in touch with a few bands from the fest about booking shows with them in the future.” —Sam Houston, Beautiful Sons

“New Diet is my baby and I will continue working on it as long as I can. I would like to have other people join at some point. I play guitar and keyboard over electronic punk music I produce, and sing on most tracks. NEF helped me grow as a musician because  it was the first time I was able to play something I worked on entirely on my own. It was a bit nerve-wracking but I got a lot of positive feedback which feels great! This was the first time I played any form of electronica. I felt very supported on stage; I was hoping people would have danced. I even left my setup at one point to shake a leg. I felt like a badass dancing to my own music.” —Kyle Sweet, New Diet

antigravity_vol11_issue8_Page_10_Image_0001 “We played on the floor, not on the stage. I grew up with the weird, alienating spectator/spectacle nature of classical performance, so the floor was important. With our music, being on the floor next to the people who can make music with me is crucial. Everyone’s excitement, nervousness, and lack of expectation was exhilarating and inspiring,” —Emily McWilliams, Silver Godling

“We all played music before, but we wanted to play for NEF because it is a showcase for bands of mostly lady gays, we wanted to play along with our sisters  to the front.” —Kate Kibby, Eucharist

“It can be intimidating to bust into the scene as a beginner. The vibe behind having an event specifically for that creation and showcase is the encouragement that should be happening constantly. My singing before this had been mostly pretty or very melodic and now my newly discovered joy is screaming ‘We need to @#%&’ into a microphone. I only just started being in bands a year and a half ago. This project had varying degrees of performance and musical experience. We came mostly wanting to give it a shot, as friends with so many feelings to express and babes to discuss. Writing  songs together was something we were all worried about, but it was actually some of the best moments in our band. I had never done that before with so many other people; it was a ton of fun. For the big moment, I prepped with black eyeliner, a mason jar of white wine and a shot of whiskey. It’s a proven  scientific formula. I was a little nervous  about performing, but that dissipated once I got up there. We practiced real hard and were ready to debut. Plus, we nailed it! If the number of bands  doubled this year from last, maybe NEF 2015 could be in the Dome!” —Katie Hunter-Lowrey, We Need To Talk

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