News__ An Interview with Total Babes
Total Babes live by one rule: "When you get some, give some."
TOTAL BABES: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ROCHESTER POSI-PUNKS
Total Babes are three total babes from Rochester, New York. They write surf-inspired punk songs about alien abductions, love, hate, clothes and the end of the world. In the last year, they hauled their babe butts around the East Coast to spread their totally positive, total babe attitude. Seriously, you'll be smitten. Not only are they the most fun-loving, positive punks you will ever meet, but they love to share everything from clothes to tequila shots to great stories.
The world needed a glimpse into the minds of Ana Mon (guitars/vocals), Jesse (guitar/vocals) and Olga (drums/vocals), the three most awesome of babes.
When I first met you guys I was totally blown away with your positive energy. For real. Maybe it's because I'm used to playing shows with negative punk boys who are too-cool-for-school, but whatever the case, your energy really impressed me and put me in a great mood. Is positivity the Babes motto? How do you summon such positivity?
Yeah, what's with that? We hate that attitude too. We like what we do, playing music and going to shows, is really fun so why not enjoy it? We were really excited to be in Toronto playing such an awesome show, in such an awesome venue, and with such awesome bands. Awesome! Positive Mental Attitude!
You guys kill me. Your merchandise booth was like a boutique. How have you guys managed to make Total Babes into a lovable brand?
We're thrift store junkies and we're all about buying used stuff when possible. We re-purposed old clothes and pretty much made shirts we wanted to wear. Custom, one-of-a-kind Babe gear. We put a lot of time into making the merchandise. Our friends own a print shop and let us take over after hours.
How is the music scene in your home town of Rochester, New York?
Dirty, surfy, punk, fast. The underground scene is awesome and we take pride in it. Rochester is a hard place to live, it's grey all the time and the economy is non-existent. It can be really hard to throw shows and encourage a scene here, especially in an underground setting. It's like the town in "Footloose," no dancing, no parties, definitely no loud music. Johnny Law will shut your party down, send a cease and desist order to a house that is having shows and will arrest the people in attendance as well as raid the house that is hosting. It's made our scene closer, more tight knit. People who throw shows around here are putting a lot on the line and most of the kids here understand that. I don't think it's like this lots of places. We have to be sneakier, more clever, and have more fun! Where we're from music is illegal.
What's the craziest show you have ever played?
The first show we played takes the cake. It was at this crazy warehouse party we threw on Halloween 2010. There were skate ramps, rope swings, fire breathing, murals, string art, projection, a "Twin Peaks" inspired Black Lodge Bar, circus room, vape station/quesadilla bar, Frankenstein's lab, live Tesla coil demonstrations and a fucking maze. We got 20 people together to help us create the insanity and 500 people showed up. It was totally illegal and totally awesome.
What do you guys do when you are not making music?
Ana Mon: Play a lot of music, go to thrift stores, lose my keys too much. Having tons of fun all the while perpetually trying to expand and keep balance.
Olga: I'm into the herbs. I have a sweet dog that fills my days.
Jesse: I work in a tattoo shop and I try to push myself as a visual artist and a musician. I'm an avid yogi and I plan on becoming a teacher this upcoming year. I love to spend time with myself, stretching my body and mind.
Being a teenage girl is insane. We've all been there. What was your life like in high school and how has that affected who you are today?
Olga: At first I thought I wanted to hang with the popular cookie cutter kids but that didn't work because it wasn't me. So I did what I wanted, tasted a little party vibe early, went to see music instead of going to the mall.
Ana Mon: I was a weirdo with some awesome friends. I played in punk bands throughout the years and went to tons of shows. High school sucked, but I'm lucky I had a life outside of it. If it wasn't for photography and punk, I'd probably be a ways away from who I am today.
Jesse: I had a lot of fun in high school. I did whatever I wanted to, went to lots of shows, dyed my hair, pissed my mom off. Most of my friends were older than me, I think that helped me take the whole experience with a grain of salt. I always knew there was life after high school.
Do you think it's important for women to have female idols?
It's important for all people to have female idols! Women are awesome and having rad ladies to look up to is invaluable. Where would any of us be without Ella Fitzgerald, Wanda Jackson, Madonna or Gwen Stefani? Babes need babes, in both real life and in the media. It's necessary to filter out and redefine our society's portrayal of women. We live in a patriarchy so any time a group of ladies can come together to play music, or travel together, or build a table, we are smashing the state.
And on that note, define "Total Babe."
Everyone's a Total Babe if they want to be! You, him, her, this, that, us, them. It can mean and be whatever. We are Total Babes and so are you!
Check out Total Babes blog here for up-coming show dates and other information.