A Band, NOT A Girl Band: An Interview With the Girls from the Pipers
The Pipers is a Toronto based youth band, the following interview consisted of Hanna, Astrid, and Leti. These are the girls of The Pipers! As a group they are spunky, wicked cool, and unapologetically talented. Each of these praiseworthy artists has their own fabulous personality that they influence the group with, appreciating each other and working together.
“THEY [female artists] ARE AMAZING AND POWERFUL!! Every time we have played alongside bands with female musicians, the overall vibe is free and loving. And it’s always inspiring seeing other women doing what they love! There’s a unique sense of security and sisterhood that’s hard to explain but it’s definitely always there in some way or another…we’re just overall supportive of each other and isn’t that just an incredible way to be?”
The Pipers is a beautifully diverse group and these incredible girls prove to be the cats pajamas!
How and when did the group form? What is everyone’s name and role?
The Pipers began as a threesome with Hanna as our lead singer, Astrid on guitar, and Leti on drugs (we mean drums) We met in our second year of high school at a party (Astrid and Leti knew each other for quite a while) (they’re twins) and long story short Leti and Astrid were playing Seven Nations Army in their basement, Hanna picked up a mic and plugged into a shitty amp and it was the closest thing to magic a drunken cover of Seven Nations Army could be! We’ve recently added two new members to our band; Sean also on guitar and Andrew on bass. And that’s that!
How would you describe your collective group sound?
Our collective sound is heavily influenced by each member’s love for a certain era and genre of music. Thus our music spans from sultry blues rock n roll (from Astrid) to love stricken power ballads (we don’t know where those come from) to nitty gritty dirty garage punk songs (courtesy of Hanna) to– you get the point. We’re still trying to figure out a better way to describe what we mean…ask again in like two years.
Is this something you’ve developed together or do you draw inspiration from other artists? If so, who?
We definitely draw inspiration from other artists, but with the varying tastes of each band member, these artists are vastly different, and with this, we manage to have our own sound, which hopefully doesn’t sound too much like any one artist. These inspirations are people/bands like Zeppelin, the Runaways, David Bowie T.REX!, The Killers, The Vaccines, Selena Quintanilla, Amy Winehouse, and manymanymany more!
As a group can you write a list of 5 of your favorite songs?
As of right now our favourite songs [are]:
- Life on Mars by David Bowie
- Watermelon man by Herbie Hancock
- Go All The Way by The Raspberries
- Only The Good Die Young by Billie Joel
- I Think I’ve Had It by The Gories
Are there any femme artists that have inspired each of you? Do tell!
There are tons and tons of womyn that have inspired us but as a band, one of our biggest influences would have to be the runaways, they are the people that made us want to be musicians, they are a huge part of who the pipers are. We also take influences from Amy Winehouse as we admire how she was shamelessly unorthodox. And really any and all women in the music industry who kick ass!
As womyn in the music industry, what is the most important problem to eradicate within the industry? Objectification of womyn, safe venues, lack of popular artists within the LGBQT+ community, etc.
Though there are many important problems that need to be eradicated in the music industry we feel very strongly about the fact that womyn should NEVER be subjected to objectification; that they should have the power to decide whether they want to express their sexually on stage or not. And with that, we believe women should never feel unsafe or disrespected doing what they love. Being in a band, from a business perspective, there’s always a question of trust between the band and who you’re doing business with. Your gender should not factor into how this business is done or how safe you feel doing it. Unfortunately at this moment in time for many womyn in many different parts of the music and art industry, it does. And it shouldn’t.
Is there anyone who has encouraged you the most?
The twins mum, Chantal, has DEFINITELY encouraged us the most. Not only does she let us rehearse in her basement, but she has always believed in us and comes to every show. From school gigs to bar gigs and everything in between. There’s a whole lot of noise and nonsense, that she’s had to endure; and we’re really thankful for that!
If you had advice for other emerging artists what would it be?
The biggest piece of advice we could give is to just do what you want to do and how you want to do it. To not censor yourself for anyone because when you love what you are doing, whether you are covering a song you really love or are writing a song that makes you feel like you’ve got magic in your veins, that is when you are most confident and can produce the most wonderful things. And that’s when you’ll be happy!
What’s your background as a group? I’m talking history, where have you played? Which venues did you enjoy the most?
When the pipers first started, we were just Hanna, Astrid and Leti, our first gig was at a cafe called madhus. It was an open mic night and one of the highlights was the complete BUTCHERING of “teenage dirtbag’ by wheatus on our part… But alongside this disastrous attempt at our first cover, we played our (then) first and only song, Henderson street. And it was magic. That fire in your veins and vast amount feeling that flowed out of us during henderson street completely melted away any self doubt that teenage dirtbag had caused. That, for us, was most memorable (though hopefully no one else remembers that teenage dirtbag thing). Since then we’ve played a few other venues. But really, all of our shows are all special in their own way. They all have something that something that we take with us, good or bad or WONDERFUL!
The band is currently working on their Bandcamp but keep up to date with them on Facebook!