Until all-female rock bands are as prevalent as their male counterparts, they're going to be a novelty. But if a band knows how to rock, eventually they'll be known for how they rock regardless of the members' gender. Meet Rocket.
L.A.-based Rocket is 21-year-old Lauren White on keytar (a keyboard worn around the neck) and vocals, 23-year-old Lauren Clark on guitar and vocals, Kelly Brewer also 23 and also on guitar and vocals, Vanessa "Roxie" Guzman on drums and 22-year-old Kristin Brokaw on vocals and bass. White, Clark and Brokaw went to high school together. They met Guzman--who they nicknamed Roxie because they forgot her real name and everyone decided Roxie was a cooler moniker than Vanessa. They then convinced Brokaw--who, with her heavy-metal background, was apprehensive about joining an all-girl pop/rock group--to round out the band's sound. Boise Weekly caught up with Clark and White during a break in rehearsals for their upcoming tour.
BW: How long have you guys been together?
Clark: Just over a year. We've had one member change. We had a drummer before Roxie. Before, we were three Laurens. We released an album called Too Hot To Be Bothered. It's a concept album about summer. It's almost an entire album of covers. Then the other Lauren moved to New York to go to college. We knew Kristin from high school: She was in a heavy-metal band. We asked her to join us and she was like, "Hell, no!" She's an incredible musician so we begged and begged her [to join us], and she finally said yes. And then we got the other girls and started writing immediately.
Who does the writing?
We all do it together, actually, which is not how most bands do it, but we have such varied influences that it's really fun. I would never imagine writing some of the songs, but we all have such different musical tastes that it comes out in a unique way.
Do you find that one of you has more say than the others?
Our band is a band full of leaders. It's hard at times, but the positives outweigh the negatives. If somebody's not happy with the way the song's going, she'll say, "No, that sucks."
And everybody's OK with that?
Yeah. Everybody's free to give notes on whatever. We're really open to trying everything. When we're writing and someone says, "Let's just try this," we all have to just try it, because maybe it's the best thing. It's a really good way to go about songwriting. If somebody comes in with a finished song, it's not going to have the Rocket flair.
You guys are going to be compared to other all-girl or girl-fronted bands--especially because you're from L.A.--like No Doubt or the Go-Go's. Where do you see yourselves on the all-girl band continuum?
White: I think it's inevitable that we're going to be compared to girl bands which is a good thing and sort of unfortunate. Like I've always said, it's good to be called a band as opposed to a girl band and I don't know why people always make the distinction. No one ever says, "That's a guy band." We're a band. It's great to be compared to people like the Go-Go's or Blondie because they've all been revolutionary artists but it would be nice to start something new without a gender distinction. It would be nice if people stopped saying "girl band." We want our music to be universal. We just love being in a band.
On your myspace site (www.myspace.com/rocket), you list your genres as "glam, rock and powerpop." Do you think "pop" is a dirty word in music?
White: We love pop music. [That genre] isn't anything to be frightened of. I mean, we want to write songs that are popular. What's wrong with that?
Clark: And we want [to write] songs that are catchy and fun to play.
Is that a force behind your songs: songs that people will like but that are also fun to play?
White: Absolutely. Besides the songs, our live shows are the most important thing to us. We want people to come to our shows and have a really good time. Fun is a major part of what we do.
What are your live shows like? Are they pretty high-energy?
[Clark and White both laugh out loud.]
White: We have stage alter-egos that come out. For the most part, we're really normal, calm girls. But we get on stage and we turn into Motley Crue in 1985. It's the best! It's so cool because we never thought [we had it] in us. We never thought we'd get up there [on stage] and be rocking and not care what people think.
Clark: And, it's really natural. We didn't sit down and say, "OK, we're going to be total rockers on stage." It just happened.
Does the audience respond to that? Do they loosen up and rock out as well?
White: Totally. Especially when there are large crowds. When we play to a sold-out house, people start going crazy. They feel comfortable doing that because we're doing that.
Are you guys touring new songs?
Clark: We play one original song from Too Hot To Be Bothered, a couple of songs from the Girls With Candy Hearts EP and then we mostly play new songs that will hopefully be on our new album.
Do you spend a lot of time on the road?
Clark: Our first tour was last summer with the Warped Tour. We played in Boise and that was our best show.
What made that show so great?
Clark: We were driving from Sacramento and it took us like 12 hours, we got a flat tire, we were completely out of it. We hadn't slept for three days but we were like, "Let's do it." As soon as we started playing, people started packing the tent that we were [playing] in and we were like, "This is the greatest show ever."
White: We sold out of our merch! We sold out of everything! We decided when we have a choice in shows again, we're going to play Boise. We love Boise!
Saturday, January 27, 9 p.m., $3, Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St.