Black Women in Active Alternative Bands. Ft. Straight Line Stitch, Light Asylum, Bleed the Pigs, The Objex and Skunk Anansie.
Photo © Tim Tronckoe 2016, All rights reserved.
#skin #skunkanansie #live #energy #timtronckoe #timtronckoephotography #teamcanon (bij Rock Zottegem!)
Updates! *01/15* I had originally intended on keeping it short, but due to reader enthusiasm, here is a master version. Each contribution was appreciated, you freaks rock.
As an addition to the goth/post-punk/alt band masterpost, here’s a list of bands featuring members of color. Most are influential, others new discoveries or future freak gods. Thanks to research and helpful readers, here’s a bit of sick sound suitable for all taste buds:
Goth, dark or industrial:
- Creature Feature – Erik X is an evil composer and organ player with a special gift for raising the dead.
- Plastique Noir -the Brazilian band that made the song “Empty Streets” that’s just too dark to handle.
- O. Children – contrary to popular belief, Tobi O’Kandi is not, in fact, a black reincarnation of Ian Curtis.
- Thrill Kill Kult – sick industrial band with several poc members.
- Glorious Din
- Einsturzende Neubauten
- Android Lust – Shikhee is Bangladeshi, and she makes some of the best industrial music ever heard.
- She Past Away
- 13th Moon
- Malice Mizer and Moi Dix Mois
- Corrupted – awesome japanese doom/sludge band that are considered super influential in the scene.
- Light Asylum – heavy dark synth primarily. It’s really fun and the front singer HAS A MIGHTY POWER.
- Plastic Zooms
Punk or hardcore:
- Bad Brains – why most of the bands on this list even exist.
- Death – not to be confused with the metal band of the same way. Not that you could confuse the members in any way.
- Rough Francis – founded by the sons of David Hackney of Death.
- Pure Hell – afropunk taken literally.
- X-Ray Spex – Poly Styrene was the energy and feel of the band. Actually, she was just energy and feel period. Fun fact: she was also bipolar.
- Radkey – Rad.
- TMGE – Japanese band named “Thee Michelle Gun Elephant” or as they prefer: JAPANESE BAND NAMED “THEE MICHELLE GUN ELEPHANT”.
- Tamar Kali – powerful musician, especially known for “Boot”.
- The Objex – Feloney Melony’s got a wicked hawk and voice.
- Stiffed – Santi White now performs solo as Santigold.
- Cerebral Ballzy
- Suicidal Tendencies
- Midori – great jazz-punk fusion band.
- The Redscare
- Le Butcherettes – Mexican garage punk band.
- Atari Teenage Riot
- The Bags
- Dev Hynes – a British musician who started out in a punk band Test Icicles then went solo as a folk/indie musician as Lightspeed Champion and now is doing an electronic/R&B thing as Blood Orange.
- L’Arc-en-Ciel – Okay, so these guys are Japan’s other most famous export. These guys got known outside of japan for doing some major anime theme songs (Fullmetal Alchemist, Gundam 00, NANA live action movie, etc) and were the first Japanese act to headline Madison Square Garden (Japanese rock bands really like New York for some reason). Their bassist tetsuya (formally known as tetsu) gets bonus points for being one of Japan’s only out LGBT celebrities (he’s Bi).
- The Chariot
- Gogol Bordello – self described as “gypsy punk”. Singer Eugene Hütz is Russian-Ukranian with Romani heritage and born with a ‘stache. Nearly crazier than Little Big and Korpiklaani combined.
- The Bots – punk duo made of two brothers.
- Bow Wow Wow – IIIIIII Waaaant Caaandy!!!
- Love Equals Death
- Ritualization – blackened death metal from Orléans, France
Metal, funk/rap/reggae metal fusion or core:
- Blasphemy – Black metal, the biggest irony on earth as Caller of the Storms remains one of the rare black musicians within the genre.
- Babymetal – this Japanese trio is more metal than a viking woman on her period in the middle of a battlefield drinking the blood of her enemies to the sound of Immortal…for some at least.
- Wicked Wisdom – Will Smith’s wife get a band?? Yes she Will.
- Unlocking the Truth – these 13 year olds played in the streets of NYC before they opened for Living Colour.
- Absolace – amazing metal from Dubai.
- Living Colour – better than Dead Monochrome.
- King’s X – more hard rock, but hey.
- Bionic Jive – one of the better hip-hop/metal fusions.
- Skindred – check out the album “Roots Rock Riot”.
- Ego Fall – a Chinese folk metal band and also Corbac’s fave. Mixing tradition with heavier sounds.
- Static X – Japanese guitarist Koichi Fukuda & Mexican-American bassist Tony Campos.
- Sepultura – the founding members are all Brazilian, currently their lead singer (Derrick Green) is black. “Arise” is a massive album of pure metal awesomeness.
- Straight Line Stitch
- Blood Stain Child
- Tenger Cavalry – a folk metal band based out of Bejing who describe their style as “Mongolian folk metal”. Like this and you’d probably enjoy Ego Fall.
- Cthonic – Taiwanese metal band who’s lead singer is also the president for the Taiwanese branch of Amnesty International.Most of their music deals with their goal of an independent Taiwan and they’re really REALLY great.
- God Forbid
- Invasion – a stoner/psych-metal band fronted by a valkyrie space wizard out of London.
- Vodun – like invasion, marries punk, psychedelic, and doom metal influenced instrumentals with soul influenced vocals to create a unique and original takes on doom metal.
- Animals as Leaders – most suggested band on this list and for good reason.
- Veil of Maya
- Body Count – Ice T’s metal band rules. It would be a little tastier with ice cubes though.
- Hirax – pioneering thrash/speed metal band (with hardcore influences). Katon De Pena is one of the most distinctive vocalists of the then-burgeoning California metal scene. Though they never achieved the success of some of their contemporaries like Metallica or Slayer, they have long been an insiders’ favorite and cited as an influence by bands ranging from Napalm Death to Cannibal Corpse to Darkthrone.
- Infectious Grooves
- Melechesh – an Assyrian black metal band originating from Jerusalem whose lyrical themes include Mesopotamian mythology and occultism.
- Iron Man – American doom metal band with PoC members.
- Sex Machineguns – Japanese speed metal band.
- Hibria – Brazilian power metal band.
- Gevolt – Yiddish band from Israel.
- The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza
- X Japan – Probably Japan’s most famous metal export. These guys are the reason Visual Kei (basically Japan’s gothic metal scene) exists. All those flashy JRock bands wouldn’t exist without X Japan. They also recently just played a huge show at Madison Square Garden.
- Maximum the Hormone – Also known as “the guys that did that weird opening and ending to death note”, MTH do a fantastic combination of metal, punk, and even pop. The best part about MTH is that their lyrics don’t make sense even when translated so you can just have mindless fun listening to them even if you understand Japanese.
- Suffocation – one of the most influential death metal acts of all time. Terrance Hobbs’ incredible mastery of the guitar allowed the band to blend complex technicality into the genre without sacrificing raw brutality.
- Versailles Philharmonic Quintet
- Suicide Silence
- The Crimson Armada
- For Today
- Glass Cloud
- Heaven in Her Arms
- Here comes the Kraken
- System of a Down
- Fear Nuttin Band
- Year of the Dragon – founder was a member of Fishbone.
- Dir En Grey
- Coal Chamber
- Ill Niño
- Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in Dilapidation (FID) – Formed in Tokyo. Rad ladies playing some super hard grindcore.
- Sarcofago – Brazilian band
- Acrassicauda – Iraqi heavy metal. There is a film called “Heavy Metal in Baghdad”, about the band. Another documentary called Global Metal, which is by the same director as Heavy Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, is highly recommended.
- Sigh – one of the first japanese black mack metal bands led by a fierce lady.
- Sabbat – Japanese black/thrash.
- Blood Stain Child – rather epic sounding Japanese metal band with contrasting vocals and instrumentals.
- Gallhammer – female Japanese extreme metal band of doom. The wickedest chicks, definitely recommend.
- Avulsed – Spanish death metal band.
- Necramynth – Korean black metal.
- Crossfaith – japanese metalcore.
- As they Burn – deathcore band from Paris, France.
- Wolves and Jackals – blackened thrash/death metal from Atlanta, GA.
- Infernal Revulsion – brutal death metal from Tokyo, Japan
- Orange Sky – from Trinidad and Tobago.
- Monuments – it’s got saxophone and it’s awesome.
- Ego Likeness
- Peelander-Z – watch the videos, you’ll be happy you did.
Alternative or too cool to label:
- Bat for Lashes – Natasha Khan’s songs are ethereal.
- Skunk Anansie – Skin is a fierce woman with a fierce voice. Also, her eyes will pierce through your soul.
- Fishbone – literally unclassifiable: ska, punk, crazy cool…
- Dub War – often likened to Skindred. Not because the singer has dreads or anything. Or because it’s the same guy.
- The Slack Republic – fairly new (2005), looking forward to more.
- Pierce the Veil – they’re really more “Punk Pop” than anything else. All members are Mexican.
- Coheed and Cambria
- Alice in Chains
- Boris – japanese experimental metal band highly influential in the doom, stoner, noise rock scene.
- Bleed the Pigs – great band with a singer who has an awesome colorful fro.
- Jimi Hendrix – duh.
- Asian Dub Foundation
- BIS (Brand-New Idol Society) – considered “alternative Japanese idols”, and have done some amazing things including recruiting a new member who was rumored to be a high school girl and turned out to be Junko Koshino, a famous fashion designer who is 74 yrs old. Their song + video for MURA-MURA is excellent.
- Go Betty Go – chicano rock, “pop punk”. Several of their songs are in Spanish.
- Melt-Banana – Japanese noise rock band.
- Rage Against the Machine
- TV on the Radio
- Rain Machine
- Bloc Party – singer is gay and black.
- Little Dragon
- Asobi Seksu
- Blonde Redhead
- The Go! Team
- The English Beat
- One Ok Rock
- ELLEGARDEN – JAPAN’S BEST 90s/EARLY 2000s POP PUNK ROCK EXPORT I’M NOT EVEN KIDDING. Part of what contributes to this is Takeshi Hosomi (singer/rhythm guitarist) writing ¾ of the band’s discography in perfect english. Unfortunately they went on hiatus in 2006, but that spawned two more fantastic bands: Takeshi does experimental progressive indie in the HIATUS (its the same guy I swear), and guitarist Shinichi Ubukata formedNothing’s Carved In Stone which is basically a Japanese alt. rock supergroup.
- The Hiatus
- Nothing’s Carved in Stone
- Shonen Knife – you can’t talk about japanese girl rock without the literal originators of the movement/popularity. Because Kurt Cobain said he listened them, a HUGE surge of all girl bands started popping up over Japan.
- The Pillows – alt rock band from Hokkaido.
- Set it Off
- The Novembers
- Shiva En Exil
- Guns N’ Roses – Slash.
- (Hed) PE – (or Planet Earth) original sound described as “G-Punk”, a fusion of punk rock and gangsta rap.
- She Wants Revenge
- Skip the Use – with influence from various genres and a black lead.
- Elsiane – Formed in Montreal. Fronted by Elsieanne Caplette. Trip-hop/downtempo.
- Fall Out Boy’s bassist Pete Wentz English/German and Afro-Jamaican.
- Sonic Boom Six
- Cibo Matto – real cool duo.
- My Vitriol
- Buck Tick
- Wormrot – grindcore from Singapour.
- Toe – post rock from Japan.
- Guitar Wolf – “Jet Rock n’ roll”.
- Kanon Wakeshima
- The Coup – Yesssss.
- Street Sweeper Social Club
Submissions are now closed.
Skunk Anansie – Love Someone Else [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
I was going to cover my dashboard with Fefe Dobson. But then I changed the plan. I decided to rant a little. But my rant was starting to get crazy so I changed the plan again. It started when I saw quite a few posts about how no one could think of a woman of color singing rock & roll. The voice in my head immediately sounded like Alex Trebek;
Question: American singer and actress whose career has spanned more than 50 years. She has won numerous awards and her achievements in rock earned her the title The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Answer: WHO IS TINA TURNER?
Now instead of the rant about how rock music started in the black community, and how it makes me sad that people think that rock music ‘belongs’ to whites, I’m just gonna throw you some names other than Fefe that rock.
- Tina Turner- Undisputed Queen of Rock & Roll. Don’t tell that you’ve heard her sing Proud Mary and didn’t start headbanging and jumping around. Listen to: Proud Mary to start, but go find a greatest hits and just sit there and worship.
- Grace Jones-Grace, Grace, Grace, where do I start? Singer, model actress, complete icon. Some people might not consider her a rock musician, but if she ain’t a rocker, I don’t know who is. Listen to: Private Life and Corporate Cannibal.
- Jada Pinkett Smith- She fronts a metal band called Wicked Wisdom. She growls out like the best of ’em, and while she’s not a perfect singer, it’s like Iced-T once said, “Who can sing in rock ‘n’ roll?“ Listen to: Bleed All Over Me and Forgiven
- Felony Melody- Fronts the band Objex. You should see her mohawk, and her voice is powerful and punk. She melts me. Listen to: Eat This
- Graph Nobel- She reminds me a little of No Doubt circa Return of Saturn, slow, soft, heartbreaking. Listen to: Fyah
- Santi White AKA Santogold- The girl is pure rock in my opinion, but with her band Stiffed, she’s seen in the traditional rock band. Listen to: Hold Tight
- Shingai Shoniwa- Fronts the Noisettes. If Iggy Pop and Billie Holiday had a baby, it’d be Shingai. There are no words that can express my love. Listen to: EVERYTHING! Lol, but go ahead and start with Sister Rosetta, Don’t Upset The Rhythm, and their cover of When You Were Young
- Skin- She’s a solo artist but mostly fronts Skunk Anansie. The bands sound is "an amalgam of heavy metal and black feminist rage,” and man do I love it. Listen to: Alone In My Room (solo) Secretly (w/SA), and My Ugly Boy (w/SA)
- Danielia Cotton- A fucking beautiful voice. If you like classic rock, you’ll like Danielia. She’s opened for B.B. King and Lynyrd Skynyrd, how awesome is that? Listen to: Let It Ride, Make U Move, and Running
- Sophia Ramos- Where do I start? She is a true rock goddess, I don’t want to give another baby analogy, but if Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin had a baby = Sophia. She’s got an emotional, soulful, take no prisoners voice. Amaaazzzzinnng. Listen to: Torn Down, Freedom is Over, and Shining Still
- Lisa Kekaula- Fronts The Bellrays, she’s pure rock & roll, like fire man. Listen to: Infection (the video had a dancing bear!) and Fire On The Moon.
- Alexis Brown- Fronts Straight Line Stitch. METAL. METAL. METAL. Alexis demands attention, and gets it, with her screaming vocals. Lovvveee. Listen to: Black Veil
- Janelle Monáe- I consider her a rocker. I think she is progressive and psychedelic. Dude, she’s singing about a girl named Blueberry Mary, fairy gods, the words of Dhammapada, and coming alive like a schizo running wild, all while telling the story of an android in love with a human. Dude, it’s a fucking rock opera. She’s rock & roll. Listen to: Come Alive, Cold War, and Sir Greendown.
I think I reblogged this before, but it seems to have grown more awesome-r so reblogging again. Will tag later.
I’m pretty sure I have reblogged this before but so what
Skin of Skunk Anansie performing at Pukkelpop ‘11, photo by Javier Bragado
Mister me. Ego queen. Struts around me. Painted jeans. All I wanted was someone to rely on. I see You. You don’t see me. Nothing burns like Your empathy. All I wanted someone safe to lean on. I will stay, but You should leave. You go find what You looking for (…) come back to me. All I wanted was You
Skunk Anansie ‘I Will Stay But You Shoul Leave’ album: ‘Wonderlustre’
Skin aka Deborah Dyer – photo by Derek Ridgers
Skunk Anansie (July 31st 2010)
I HIT HIM WITH A PIECE OF HIS PHILOSOPHY
ANGLO-SAXON MUCK IN HIS TYPE OF GREED
WHAT DID HE DO TO DESERVE SUCH HATE
HE TRIED TO INTELLECTUALISE MY BLACKNESS
HE TRIED TO SUMMERIZE, TO INSTITUTALISE
STILL HE COULD RECOGNIZE, HE WAS MATERIALIZED
HE TRIED TO INTELLECTUALISE MY BLACKNESS
TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR HIS WHITENESS
HE TRIED TO INTELLECTUALISE MY BLACKNESS, SAVE ME
HE`S ALWAYS TRYIN` TO MAKE UP FOR HIS LITTLE SLIPS
THE JOKE ABOUT THE NIGGA AND THE YELLOW NIP
THEN HE TELLS ME I`M SO DIFFERENT FROM THOSE OTHER SHITS
WHEN HE TRIES TO INTELLECTUALISE MY BLACKNESS
MOTHERFUCKER DON`T YOU LECTURE – RISE ME
DON`T YOU EVER TRY TO LECTURIZE ME
Skunk Anansie by Damon De Backer.
I don’t want to write “nice little lyrics,” that wouldn’t be me. I am who I am and I don’t mince words, take it or leave it. As a black lesbian, I’m hardly the girl next door, more like the living nightmare of every conservative suburban house owner with a neat little garden. I really don’t care. If they don’t like me, fine. I can live with it and I don’t force myself on them, but I refuse to shut up and I can’t imagine anybody who could shut me up.
Skin from Skunk Anansie (1999 interview).
Skin – Skunk Anansie
Skin of Skunk Anansie in Jean-Pierre Braganza.
London, April 2013