Many music fans who have attended a punk show know what it’s like to get knocked down by a bunch of gruff, beefy dudes.
A Vermont band creates a different kind of punk performance environment.
PINK-802 is a self-proclaimed “super gay” Blink-182 cover band, blazing a trail for LGBTQ+ and female musicians in Vermont’s punk rock scene.
“We want everyone to feel welcome and be able to enjoy this kind of music, without feeling left out of the audience,” singer Alaina Hall told ArtsRiot ahead of PINK-802’s March 31 set.
The set culminated with Hall singing the agonizing pop-punk classic “All The Small Things,” while the crowd of all genres of music fans young and old joined in a chorus of “nah, nah , nah, nah, nah’s”, awkwardly moshing against each other in front of the stage.
“Punk is not a guy”
PINK-802 is the brainchild of Vermont drummer Jane Boxall, who came up with the idea for the band in 2009 when she met an all-female cover band from Mötley Crüe.
A decade later, Boxall is finally meeting the right musicians at the right time. She knew they had an important job ahead of them.
“I came to play a lot of punk music,” Boxall said. “It’s not always a bastion of feminism.”
Despite the success of some female-led punk bands (often labeled “riot grrrl”), including Bikini Kill, X-Ray Spex and The Linda Lindas, much of the punk industry has been given to straight cis dudes.
“All the time I’ve played drums in bands, I get a lot of, ‘Oh, are you the singer? How nice of you to carry your boyfriend’s drums,'” Boxall said. “People often think of punk as a guy festival. [But] it doesn’t, and it doesn’t have to.”
The alienation that comes with being a female drummer led Boxall to co-found PINK-802, as well as the Girls Rock Vermont summer music camp.
“Granted, when I was growing up playing drums, I didn’t see bands like PINK-802 playing in my little rural part of the world,” Boxall said.
Boxall said she aimed for PINK-802 to inspire more queer musicians to be confident and express themselves on stage. This sentiment was echoed by guitarist Corey Selover.
“I do not know [usually] never wear makeup, or, like, dress in pink. But I feel like when I get on stage I get a little louder and a little more myself,” Selover said, sporting winged eyeliner and a pink t-shirt.
“I can’t pull any punches on being super gay.”
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