10 Shredding Female Drummers in Orange County and Long Beach CA!
By Candace Hansen
In no particular order, 10 female drummers that rule in Orange County and Long Beach.
Maria Morris (bWreck)
Instrumental rock drummer Maria Morris of bWreck started drumming in her 20’s and mixes up hard rock with mathy goodness. When she’s not playing in her band, she’s helping young girls decipher the drum kit at the Rock n Roll Camp for Girls in Orange County.
Melissa Koziel (Half Past Two)
What good is a list about Orange County and Long Beach without a 3rd Wave Ska band? Melissa Koziel & Half Past Two hold down the usual skankin’ verse and drivey chorus that OC put on the map in the mid nineties, but bring a much needed women’s narrative with songs like “Girl in a Band,” and “Mastering Karate.”
Lux Drummerette (Nekromantix, Solo)
If you’re a drummer and don’t know who Lux is you may or may not have been living under a rock for the last few years. Most recently, Lux was on the road with Nekromantix, but is known for her precision heavy metal chops via online videos. A woman who is serious about her craft, Lux can and will shred her way out of any metal song while wearing 5 inch heels.
Melissa “Redd“ Astran (Bellhaunts)
The Bellhaunts are a self proclaimed sentimental-indie-doom band from Santa Ana, CA who have become a local favorite for their catchy jams and Redd’s Krupa-meets-Animal style drumming.
Editor’s Note: Check out the recent Dapper Drummer feature we did with Redd Astran!
Bianca Lozano (Apostasis)
BB Grinders Apostasis are an LA based punk band with Long Beach based drummer Bianca Lozano, who moonlights in another punk band called Weekend Vegan. Be warned: listening to her drum might make your hand permanently form into a crust claw.
Jannea McClure (Bella Novela)
Long Beach based Bella Novela describe their music as “post-apocalyptic rock opera.” Jannea’s drumming is rhythmic and musical; somehow she keeps a steady dance groove without ever missing a 16th note. Be jealous.
Laura Jennings (Ask Alice)
Orange County native Laura Jennings brings powerful grunge riffs to LBC as 1/3 of the trio Ask Alice. When Jennings isn’t backing up Ask Alice, she’s working with youth at Queer Rock Camp So Cal.
Myra Gallarza – (Bad Cop Bad Cop)
Y2K era high school punx rejoice: finally a Fat Wreck style pop punk band with songs about more than brews, bros, shit luck, and pools. Bad Cop Bad Cop drummer Myra Gallarza kicks some serious ass; from solid double strokes on a single pedal to dynamic break downs, Gallarza shreds the gnar, and their name aint bad either.
Jessica Gonzeles (No Side & YAAWN)
A true DIY musician, Santa Ana/Fullerton resident Jessica Gonzales is a self taught drummer and bassist who is currently in the dark indie band No Side and angry weird-core band YAAWN (where she plays bass and sings lead, along with yours truly). Jessica is a creative and expressive drummer, definitely one of my faves in town NOT just because she’s my friend, but because she’s got a fresh sound and always comes correct with inventive rhythmic phrases.
Melissa Ayala (Die Grimm Die)
After the break up of old school OC Riot Grrrl/Indie band Slow, Melissa Ayala took a break from drums, but has reclaimed her place behind the throne in her new Santa Ana based project Die Grimm Die.
Viola Smith (Jazz drummer)
Considered to be one of the first female drummers in the business, 102 year old drumming legend and Costa Mesa transplant Viola Smith may not be an active drummer, but her legacy is impressive and historically important. When she’s not being interviewed by music history majors, she’s working at a fabric and yarn store in Orange County. True story.
Did I miss your favorite Orange County or Long Beach based female drummer? Let me know! The more the merrier <3