Interview w/ Shiragirl

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Artwork by : Sophia Bonafide

The Camera Affect Promotions had the pleasure of sitting down with New York native Shiragirl before her set during Vans Warped Tour to discuss everything from the creation of her own stage to her EP ‘Brooklyn Goes Hollywood’ to playing with Joan Jett. If you want to find out more about what Shiragirl had to say, keep reading below:

What was your reaction when you found out that this was going to be the last year of Warped?

I was super sad. I actually found out in 2017 that 2018 was going to be the last full cross-country run. I was bummed, it definitely felt like the end of an era.

What was your reaction when you were asked to come and play?

I was so happy and so excited and just honored to be included. Yeah, really happy.

So, I know that the Shiragirl Stage came about in a really unique way, correct me if I’m wrong. You pretty much asked Kevin (Lyman) if he could include more female bands on the lineup and he said maybe next year and you just did it anyways. 

Yep that’s exactly it!

What was that like knowing you had kind of “defied” him and you ended up with your own stage?

So how it happened was I was on the tour the previous year and I had noticed there were no female musicians and I said “hey can we come back and host some girl bands maybe in the Girls Garage Tent and he said “great idea, maybe next year.” We just decided lets do it anyway. We drove into the gates and set up and we had a little punk-rock set up. We just thought a year seemed so far away when you’re a kid, you know, and we thought why not and he walked up and we kind of held our breath because we didn’t know if we were going to get kicked out or what not and he just looked around and said “alright Shira, so you’re on for the whole tour” and it was both kind of an invite and almost a challenge. It felt really good to be able to then come back the next year and we were invited back to do an official stage, which Kevin named the Shiragirl Stage and host all those bands including Paramore on their first ever tour.

That’s wild. I heard that and was like “she’s a badass.”

Aww thank you!

 So as a female in a predominantly male dominated scene, did you find that you had to prove yourself when you played your first Warped Tour? Do you find that you still have to prove yourself now?

Oh absolutely, one hundred percent. We definitely had to prove ourselves. In a male dominated space women definitely have to work twice as hard to get the respect a man gets and that’s just how it is, and when we first started out there were bets against us finishing the tour. We were not taken seriously. People would say “this area back here is only for the bands” and we would say “we are the band” you know? Even now there’s a lot more exposure and representation but it’s still not equal and I feel like there’s this misconception that we’re all equal now but if you look at the numbers it’s just not true.

Did they come to respect you more overtime or was there something that you did that made them respect you?

I think just working really hard absolutely, building relationships on the tour and also just kicking ass, playing our instruments well, rehearsing, taking our craft seriously, that’s important too, putting the hours in and being good at what we do.

 Makes perfect sense. I know you’ve been called the Punk-Rock Madonna, where did that name come from?

It’s so funny, actually this girl Rose who is in a band called Anti Hero who played our stage in Canada, she’s from Toronto, she first said that to me and it kind of just stuck with our team. I think that our manager put it into a press release or a bio that made its way to Billboard and then Billboard kind of coined it last year when they premiered our first single. After Billboard said it I thought “oh my gosh, it’s official,” and I love it. Madonna is a huge influence of mine so it’s a compliment.

Your EP Brooklyn Goes Hollywood showed the juxtaposition between Hollywood and New York where you’re from. Did the title come before the sound of the album or did the sound of the album influence the title? 

That’s a good question. I think it was a big theme because our whole band is from New York, at least my drummer and bassist, the three of us really co-wrote that record and we wanted to achieve this fusion of a sound that was like the dancy pop fun aspect meets this harder punk-rock sound. I actually wanted to write a song called Brooklyn Goes Hollywood, I’ve had that in my mind forever. As songwriters, you often think of the song title before you think of the song sometimes and so it never became a song but then when we were talking about the album name I just thought this is like, the perfect way to describe the duality of the record.

What was it like having Joan Jett play your stage?

That was a dream come true! So Joan was on the tour, she used to bike over to the side of our stage and watch the girl bands and she actually gave me a pep talk because about halfway through the tour half my band quit, first my drummer then my guitarist quit. I was super upset, we were hosting all these bands, and she knocked on my RV door, sat on the couch next to me, looked me in the eye and said “you’re doing a good thing and you have to keep going.” She said “girls like that make girls like us look bad and you’ve got to keep going” and I said “okay I’ve got to keep going because Joan Jett told me to.” The last day of that tour was when it had kind of been discussed that she would do a special appearance with her manager and it was Cleveland, Ohio and they said “Joan wants you to sing and she’s going to play guitar and do backup” and it was crazy. Right before we went on we were rehearsing on the side of the stage it felt like I was in the Runaways. It was really a dream and I was so honored, just recently they put a Warped Tour exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I got included and in it is our set list from that day and a photo of us performing with Joan Jett next to her bra and her setlist and my shirt so it’s really cool. What an honor. This was before Instagram and stuff so someone had captured a video of it on Youtube somewhere but I wish I had gotten more of my personal footage from it, from that moment, but nothing can replace that memory. Just looking out and seeing Kevin Lyman in the crowd.

I bet. Did you ever think you would get from where you started to playing on the same stage as Joan Jett singing one of her songs as the main vocalist?

It was an honor. We did actually open up for her band earlier that year and I just have to say it’s a great example of how Warped Tour has opened up so many doors for up and coming artist because if it weren’t for Warped Tour I never would have met her because she was playing the tour and we got introduced. So yeah, huge honor and definitely inspires me to keep going.

What has been your best or craziest memory?

Oh my gosh, there’s so many but one that comes to mind is that I got to perform Lori Meyers with NOFX and that was super cool. Any time you’re on the main stage the crowd is so big and the energy is amazing and I also got to perform with The Transplants and that was super cool. Anytime you get to do a special guest performance like that is amazing.

Last question. When they announced that Warped Tour was coming to an end I noticed a couple pop up tours start happening and they started traveling the country. Do you think there’s ever going to be anything on the Warped Tour scale again or do you think Warped Tour is kind of the “Mecca” of everything. 

Great question. Personally I think there’s only one Kevin Lyman and Warped Tour is one of a kind and I don’t think there will be another Warped Tour. I know Kevin hopes to see someone else pick up the torch and do what he did but you just can’t duplicate it. I do hope to see other tours, like Sad Summer tour and Disrupt and I would love to play any of those and be part of it but nothing is ever going to be like Warped Tour. The way that Kevin really brought together all these baby bands and big bands in one plane and made them feel like a family with the after parties and barbecues, his involvement in non-profit organizations, making sure the tour recycled, getting involved with charity organizations, such as FEND, you don’t see that a lot in the music industry. He’s a humanitarian and a lot of people in the music industry are more about profit or whatever it is, fame, and he’s really just a great person. While I hope there will be another Warped Tour, I think it really is one of a kind. That being said.  Kevin is advising me, I’m actually working on starting a tour of my own, kind of based on a similar mission we had with the Shiragirl Stage to promote women in music and platform for female artists. It’s going to be called Gritty in Pink and it’s going to start off as an event series, monthly in LA and eventually we’re hoping to build a whole tour off of that.

 I love that, I’m definitely coming back just for that!

Yay!

Keep up with Shiragirl on Twitter| Facebook | Instagram

Show some love to the graphic designer Sophia

Interview courtesy of Linette Wainwright | Twitter & Instagram  

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Knotfest Roadshow 2019

Slipknot |Volbeat | Gojira | Behemoth

Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Rajchart Instagram

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Interview w/ Jacqueline of Jacqueline City Apparel

Hello, I’m Jacqueline City, owner and creator of Jacqueline City Apparel. Jacqueline City Apparel is an online women’s boutique with unisex, plus sized and kids’ options. Our first unisex line “The Classic Collection” is currently live on our site. Our Spring women’s line “The Manic Pixie Collection” is live on Friday, March 1st on our site. The line is a feminine black, white and pink line which is inspired by “manic pixie dream girls.” Head to JacquelineCity.com and sign up for emails to become a citizen of Jacqueline City!

  1. At what age did you develop an interest in the fashion world?

From a very early age, I’ve been interested in fashion. My mother and grandmother love to tell stories about me as an infant, before I could even talk or walk, picking out my own outfits. In stores I would feel fabrics and pull down clothes into my coach. This eventually led me to picking out all my own outfits, make shopping my number one hobby and even try creating my own clothes. I taught myself to sew at age 6 or 7 and starting making fake magazines filled with my designs. It has been a long journey filled with ups and downs that led to Jacqueline City Apparel.

       2. What inspired you to start this brand?

Since I’ve always had fashion in my veins, Jacqueline City Apparel was truly destined to happen. I’ve always dreamed of pursuing art is some way, but I’ve switched my focus a few times between painting, music, writing, and fashion. Art has always been my life, but now my focus is completely on the fashion world. I’m disabled and had to have my dreams take the back seat to my health for quite some time now; however, I’m finally able to start pursuing my passions. Jacqueline City Apparel is perfect for me because I can take my time and work from home, so I can pursue my dreams, while still focusing on my health.

      3. All of your apparel is 100% vegan, and includes no use of animal products. Why is that important to you?

As a vegan, making Jacqueline City Apparel a completely vegan brand was very important to me. I’m very much an animal lover, so I do not buy any animal products or by-products. My brand is for everyone, including vegans!

      4. While looking through the sizes, I saw sizing I don’t see often, everything from baby clothes to 5XL. Is there anything that specifically inspired you to be all inclusive?

Jacqueline City Apparel’s “Classic Collection” is a unisex collection with adult sizing up to a 5X as well as kids and baby options. The mission behind The Classic Collection is to be inclusive of everyone. I think too much pressure is put on women in fashion and the media to be a certain size, a certain skin tone, a certain height, and more. There’s a very specific ideal, unattainable beauty standard in the world today that’s truly absurd. Everyone should feel beautiful. Everyone should feel represented in the media. Everyone should be able to shop where they want to. Here at Jacqueline City Apparel, all are welcome to be citizens of Jacqueline City no matter your age, size, race or gender.

        5. While reading a bit about you I learned you are proud to be a disabled girl boss, can you share a bit about what it’s like living with your disability?

My disability is called dysautonomia, which means I can not regulate any of my autonomic systems and anything that should be automatically happening in my body. It’s affected everything from my thyroid and my temperature to my digestion and my blood pressure. It’s made my life incredibly difficult the past few years with major symptoms like nausea, dizziness, vision problems, brain fog, migraines and fainting. I was bedridden for some time. I have come a long way to be functioning the way I am now. I hid it for awhile, but now I’m proud to be disabled because of how far I’ve come on this road.

  1. What is your best advice to those with disabilities who also have big goals set like you do?

My biggest advice is to not feel ashamed or like any less of a person. I really struggled with my disability and shut a lot of people out because I did not know how to cope with it. I had to put myself and my health first for a long time; you need to know that’s okay. It’s okay to need time for yourself, and it’s okay to not be on the same schedule as a healthy person. You should not compare yourself to anyone else. I had to learn to accept help from others and I still struggle with not feeling like a burden. Your disability may make your dreams harder to achieve, but it does not make them impossible. You may have to find a new way to go about achieving your dream, but never give up the fight.

        7. What is your favorite piece you have released so far, and what are you most excited to release for the Manic Pixie Collection that drops March 1st?

My favorite design from The Classic Collection is the pop art design currently available on t-shirts and hoodies! I think the cartoon is adorable. I’m most excited to release the Not A Concept Painted Denim Jacket because they are hand painted by me. I glued the  jewels and faux pearls on to each one. I put a lot of thought and love into these jackets so I hope they’re well received. I hope everyone enjoys both lines!

      8. Where do you see your brand in a year from now?

I hope to expand Jacqueline City Apparel with many more collections over the next 12 months. I hope to have pop up shops and events as well as runway shows. I also hope to design more of the pieces by hand as well. Stay tuned to see how Jacqueline City Apparel grows!

       9. Do you plan on getting Jacqueline City apparel in stores? If so, what is your dream store to be sold in?

I do not have any plans to be in stores or own my own store at this time, but perhaps in the future.

       10. How can we best keep up with all future releases?

Signing up for emails at JacquelineCity.com should keep you informed on all things Jacqueline City Apparel! We also have Facebook as well as Instagram . You can also stay in the know with my personals being Instagram and Twitter ! I love responding to everyone. I often re-post anyone wearing Jacqueline City Apparel!

  11. What do you have to say to your supporters?

I’m so thankful for the support I’ve received so far. I was bedridden just 3 years ago, so to be able to now own my own business is so amazing to me. I hope you continue supporting me, so I can expand Jacqueline City Apparel. Please stay tuned to what else the brand has in store!

Interview by Cristine Trimarco

All photos courtesy of Veronica Takes Photos (Veronica Zin) Instagram / Facebook

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Sworn In – Start End West Coast Tour

10/12/18 || Sworn InEndings | NOBLE band

Photography courtesy of Jamie Kaufman 

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I Set My Friends on Fire – You Can’t Spell Slaughter Without Laughter 10 Year Anniversary Tour 2018

I Set My Friends On Fire | Annisokay | The Funeral Portrait | Within Reach

Photography courtesy of Jamie Kaufman

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Greyhaven & Toothgrinder @ Whisky a Go Go

 

 Photography by Jamie Kaufman | 3/12/18 @ Whisky a Go Go

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The Get Free Tour – 1/24/18

 Photos courtesy of Lexi Rodriguez, who owns Hope Through Headphones

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 24 of January, Lawrence Kansas, Granada Theater