Author Sara Marcus, “Girls to the Front”, Tells it Like it Was

We just got our copy of Sara Marcus’s long-awaited book about Riot Grrrl history, Girls to the Front, and were dying to ask Sara some questions. She kindly responded quicker than we thought so we threw her answers up today. Thanks Sara.

Tom Tom Magazine: What are you reading right now?

Sara Marcus: Bits and pieces of Nick Flynn’s The Ticking Is the Bomb, which is about torture and becoming a dad and trying to be a decent human being. I started Eileen Myles’s new book, Inferno: A Poet’s Novel, which is wonderful. But mostly right now I am reading emails from my editor, email interview questions from a lot of people, transcribed Q&As that I have to cut down, and art reviews that I have to edit for my day job. I have almost no time to read for pleasure, alas.

What are you listening to right now?

Grass Widow, whom I saw last night and are totally incredible and exciting. Mountain Man, who are playing a book event I’m doing upstate on November 12. Frankie Rose & the Outs. Fleetwood Mac. The Mirah songs I have to learn for Saturday’s show. And commercial country music, whenever I get a chance to drive a car outside of the NYC metropolitan area. Kenny Chesney sings the most cheesebally, soulful, meaningful songs–last time I was in Maryland visiting my family, I heard a hit of his where the chorus contains these lines: “Next thing you know, your better half / of fifty years is there in bed / and you’re praying God takes you instead” and I’m just like, WOW. That’s so much to say in a song. Is the singer’s better half actually sick and dying? Or does he just love her so much that he is terrified of living a day without her? Who else sings songs that are say that much?

When did you get into riot grrrl?

When I was in high school in Maryland. I went to Riot Grrrl DC meetings in eleventh and twelfth grade, 1994 and 1995. I made a zine, and I started my first band with people I’d met through Riot Grrrl. We were called A.K.A. Harlot #1. I started out on bass in that band and gradually switched to drums.

Who knows more about riot grrrl then you?

Each participant in Riot Grrrl knows more about her particular experience of it than I possibly could.

Where do you see your book in 10 years from now?

I really hope that people are still reading it in ten years. Riot Grrrl was an incredibly significant cultural phenomenon and movement, and I wrote the book with the idea of assuring it the historical longevity that it deserves.

What is the sequel called?

Baby, You’re on Fire: Revolutionary DIY Feminist Conflagrations, 2005-2015. Somebody else is going to write it.

What is the last movie you watched?

I think it was I Am Love, which I didn’t adore as much as everybody had said I would. I’m really excited to see The Social Network, and I’m interested to see how Howl turned out. I leave on tour in five days, though, so I’m not sure I’ll have time to see any movies before I leave.

Sara Marcus’s Girls to the Front is not only a historical rockument of the revolutionary 90s counterculture Riot Grrrl movement, which birthed the DIY feminist punk scene, but also a rousing inspiration for a new generation of empowered rebel girls to strap on guitars and stick it to The Man. — Vanity Fair

See the website for the book and get your own copy here!

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