RVA’s all female band Fetish Gear aims to empower LGBTQ individuals and POC with hardcore sound
Although they’ve only been together since March, the RVA all-female band Fetish Gear is carving out a niche for themselves in the music scene with their take on hardcore metal.
Emory (guitar), Kestrel(vocalist), Rachel Ludwig(bass), and Zoey Brosinski (drums) make up the band, and they recently released a chilling, but epic, unapologetic demo, “Haunted Mansion” in May.
When Emory and Ludwig met working at a local pizza restaurant, they soon realized their shared love for heavy music and brought the idea of Fetish Gear to life.
The band played their first gig at Strange Matter for Elbow Room’s First Time’s the Charm event in June. Elbow Room is a local collective that hosts regular events around the city focusing on the voices of women, people of color, queer, and non-cisgender individuals.
“When I came up with the name it was just a phrase that clicked with me,” Emory said. “Being a transgender women and Kestrel being a person of color we’re constantly fetishized by society. There’s a genre of porn for our identities but not mainstream respect.”
Although the band name invokes curiosity, Fetish Gear was never formed around the context of sexualizing themselves or others. These four are incredibly passionate about using their sexuality to create a powerful message.
“My sexuality influences my music because I have been victimized a lot so I sort of use that anger and the aggression I feel to put into music,” Kestrel. “It’s residual. And I sometimes can’t find a healthy way to work it out, and this is a healthy way to do that. Expressing myself blatantly and clearly, the message is right there, there’s no line to read between.”
There is no sense of gimmick watching Fetish Gear perform. When listening to their gritty, heavy sound, their anger shines through as inspiration and passion.
“People assume our band is all about being freaky but realistically it’s about being open with who you are,” said Emory. “I let a person judge me on who they think I am but they’re not right a lot of the time.”
Since booking their first gig, Fetish Gear has been playing house shows, keeping their locations exclusive to provide a safe space for their audience.
“I think it means a lot that we exist,” said Ludwig. “People are going out to shows that they don’t normally go to because they don’t see themselves being represented, now they do.”
Photo credit: Courage & Co Photography
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