At Wear Your Voice, we are all about supporting badass Oakland women making art and making change. So let me introduce you to Oakland band Queen Crescent.
Queen Crescent began in 2012 with a question: what if four women of color musicians obsessed with 1970s heavy psych rock, prog, and proto-metal started a band? Founded by drummer Amy Martinez and guitarist Andrea Genevieve, with flutist Melissa Vu joining soon after, Queen Crescent was formed. Bassist Marisela Guizar joined later to complete this rocking quartet. The name comes from the waking energy of the moon. According to Andrea, “We didn’t want to use ‘moon’ literally, as we realized that lots of other bands had that name so we decided to ride on the concept of ‘Queen Crescent.’ The moon archetype is a very powerful and old symbol. It resonates with people on a pretty visceral level. And the crescent moon is partially hidden. Because it’s veiled it draws you in.”
To celebrate Queen Crescent’s debut LP coming out in March, I sat down with the band to learn about their background, their process and how they wear their voice.
You describe yourself as “music born out of the psychedelic womb” and also refer to yourselves as “witch rock.” Can you elaborate on that? Do rituals, woo, moon cycles and all that fun witchy/hippie stuff factor into your creative process or performances?
We say our music is born out of the psychedelic womb as a nod to all the amazing heavy bands of the past that have played a role in our “birth” so to speak. “Witch Rock” is one way to describe our music. It’s heavy, sometimes dark, and moves between worlds. But to be honest we don’t relate to hippie or hipster woo cultures. It just doesn’t speak to our experiences. Yes, we write about mind expansion, ancestors, and social justice but we’re more akin to bands from the 1960s and 70s that were speaking to their lived experiences – bands like Los Dug Dug’s, MC5, or XIT, rather than a band like Coven or something kitschy like that. We make music that celebrates our perspectives of spirituality, society, and our individual histories.
At Wear Your Voice, we’re trying to redefine the way women are represented in the media. What are the unique challenges you face as women in the music industry?
Being women musicians in a male dominated music scene is definitely its own challenge. However, we choose to take that on with confidence. So far, we have had an amazing, positive response from the music community and our beloved fans. Most of the time when people see us live, their minds get blown. Whatever preconceived ideas they’ve had about our band goes out the door by the end of our set. We like having that power to shift paradigms. That’s what matters the most.
What does “Wear Your Voice” mean to you?
“Wear Your Voice” means that we can be who we are, when we are, and how we are with no explanation and no apologies. Living life authentically, being present with your words always, and speaking your truth no matter the consequences.
To hear more music and find out about upcoming shows, check out the following links: