Being in the music business has never been easy for girls and it can be even worse when they choose to play drums. This is my story. It all began when I was 10 years old and I tried to convince my mother to buy me a drum kit, but I had no luck, and this whim, as my mum would say, was because I felt a special feeling inside me the first time I hit my uncle’s drums when I was about 4 years old. It just sounded so addictive that I could only dream of kicking and hitting it all day long. When I was 14, after playing my invisible drum kit day after day, while I was watching music videos from artists like Aerosmith, Green Day and No Doubt, at last I got what I wished for so much, my mother bought me my first drum kit as a birthday present. Two weeks later, I had already played all the songs of the CD’s I owned such as Smash Mouth, Cranberries, Shakira.
My mother thought it was better if I took some lessons, so she put me in a small music school and there I met my 5 year drum teacher, Jose Mato. I started reading drum books and began to understand the technical part of the sound machine I first listened to when I was 4 years old. As time went by I saw so many girls coming and going out of class, most of them started playing as a hobby and just a few of them are still doing it now.
The music scene in Caracas-Venezuela, has particularly grown in the past few years maybe because of the political tension that we live on a daily basis. Nowadays, there are a lot of new underground bands coming out with an independent support, because it’s so difficult to be signed by a label. Young girls most of the time are interested in becoming singers or maybe guitar players, but only a few of them decide to be in charge of the beat, just because it’s not an easy job. The majority abandon the instrument when they start feeling the pressure and when they discover that it is essential to play every day in order to get better in what they do.
When I began, I started playing with some friends covers of Alanis Morissette and Shakira. Our first show was at my cousin’s birthday and afterwords I got a gig in a kids’ TV show as a temporary work for 2 weeks. Then I started playing with Overload, a cover band that did a few gigs in bars in Caracas like Auyama Café, Little Rock Café, Greenwich pub, Extra-inning, private parties, etc. After 4 years of doing covers I got involved with a funk-disco fusion band, Majarete Sound Machine. We played in clubs and in a few local festivals, such as Diablitos Parque Extremo and the tribute to the famous Venezuelan composer, Aldemaro Romero, founder of the Onda Nueva Style in Venezuela.
In 2007, I co-founded Elaine with Sherezade (vocals and guitars) and short time after Il Gimon (guitars and chorus) joined us, we played in local festivals like Diablitos Experience, Por el Medio de la Calle, performed in bars, as well as in other parts of Venezuela like Maracaibo state, and we were recognized as a revelation indie-punk band by many international bloggers from Germany, Colombia, Spain and Mexico. You can find our music in the blog The Pony Republic and our first record will be released for free very soon on this site.
Finally, in 2008 I joined Skin which is a renowned band that began 8 years ago. We have won the most important music festivals of our country such as Alma Mater and Nuevas Bandas. We have also played on local stages and festivals such as Diablitos Parque Extremo, Por el Medio de la Calle, Union Rock Show, and Miche Rock Festival in Barranquilla, Colombia. The first official album will be released very soon.
Venezuela, specifically Caracas, is a very special place. In the 50’s it was the most advanced city of Latin America in terms of architecture, lifestyle, and fashion. It has always been the cradle of great musicians in multiple styles and it has a very high level of creativity in many areas such as music and design, even in sports of all kind we have been recognized. We are a country that has so much to export to the world and so much to share with the next generation. Even in moments of critical stress, due to the political situation, the music has become an anthem of unity within the underground community. Each day more young people and parents are supporting local bands, something never seen before. I hope girls never quit the sticks when they fall in love for drums or any musical instrument they have chosen…. Music is life, we can change the world sharing music.
Thanks to Tom Tom Magazine for supporting girls and drumming around the World!