The Canberra punk band, made up of four women are sick of the underrepresentation of women in the music industry. Taking on pseudonyms based on Australian politicians, Glitoris is made up of guitarists Keven 007 and Andrew, with Malcolm on bass and Tony on drums.
While Keven, Malcolm and Tony are clear caricatures of Rudd, Turnbull and Abbott, the source of Andrew’s name is less concise. “It’s a conflation of a few of them,” Andrew says.
“We’re from Canberra, so there’s a little bit of Andrew Barr in there but it’s not specific to any one particular Andrew. In some ways it’s sending them up and in some ways it’s affectionate.”
The group have landed on the national music scene following the release of their debut four-track EP ‘The Disgrace’, which Andrew says speaks to a growing social reaction against the incursion of popular conservatism. “People have had enough,” she says.
“People have had enough of right-wing politicians telling us who we can and can’t love, enough of authorities telling women what they should wear at work or how they should behave. Fuck off, we’ve had enough of it and we feel that so many other people have as well.
“That’s what we’re about and it’s a very strong message. It’s working for a couple of reasons: people are hooking onto the music but people are also buying into the political messages behind it, which are not exclusively coming from Glitoris. They’re coming from our fan base and a wider part of society that’s had enough of all this conservatism.”
Having a strong, political conscience, Glitoris have been called Australia’s version of Russian protest group Pussy Riot, and although they find it flattering, Andrew says the comparison is short-sighted and undermines the true nature of Glitoris. “A lot of people keep saying we’re Australia’s Pussy Riot, and it’s flattering to be aligned with them but at the same time they’re a protest, performance-art kind of collective and they’re not known for musicianship, songcraft or their performances.
“It’s more like guerrilla, ‘let’s rock up with an amplifier and start yelling at people’. We are very different to them but we obviously really respect them, what they’ve been through and what they’re trying to achieve.”
While Glitoris have already amassed a loyal contingent of followers (known as the Gliterati) which includes a wide berth of marginalised groups from the LGBTQI community, Andrew wants to make it clear Glitoris is not about hating straight men. “We don’t hate men,” she says.
“We adore men, we love men and we feel men have a role to play in this fight for equality too. If we’re going to have equality for women, trans people and people who don’t identify as men or women, then there is a role we all play in that.
“We are huge fans of men and we have such a huge contingent of straight, white male fans and so to say that they shouldn’t be at our gigs or not be part of our audience is ridiculous. That’s not what we’re saying and that has to be very clear.
“When our vinyl comes out we’ve got a manifesto on that which makes it very clear to anyone who’s misinterpreted us as a bunch of feminazis who want to exclude men. If you think you’re going to come to our shows and that we’re going to exclude men, that’s bullshit and that’s never going to happen. We’re not going to exclude anybody.”
Glitoris ShowsThu 24 Nov - The Bearded Lady (Brisbane)
Fri 2 Dec - Bar Open (Melbourne)
Sat 3 Dec - The Bearded Tit (Sydney)
Sat 10 Dec - ANU Bar (Canberra)
Sat 21 Jan - Thrashville (Belford)