by Lisa VanDyke Brown
The Fabü umlaut is in the spotlight this month, because it’s metal time. Hoist your lighters aloft as we pay tribute to some of the heaviest women out there today. Let’s roll, rockers…
1. Joan Jett
Her monikers include The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, The Godmother of Punk, and the Original Riot Grrrl. Any questions?
From The Runaways at 15 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, Joan has paved the way for nearly everyone in hard rock. Thanks to her production work for bands from L7 to Bikini Kill, Joan nurtured a new generation of post-punk feminists, and her influence shows no signs of slowing.
I don’t care how straight you are, every chick wants to hook up with Joan Jett. I’d apologize to my husband, but he’s well aware of this truth (Joan, call me!).
Joan Quote: “I learned how to scream from Marc Bolan.”
2. Otep Shamaya
Being an out lesbian in metal hasn’t been easy for Otep Shamaya, but she’s no stranger to struggle. After a Los Angeles childhood rife with poverty and violence, Otep dedicated her life to helping humanity via art and activism.
While she’s moved mountains via her hard rock/artcore band, OTEP, Shamaya is far more than a singer. Her spoken word prowess has ranked her among among Russell Simmons’s Def Poetry Jam All Stars, and Revolver deems her one of music’s catalysts for social change.
Otep Quote: “A bone heals, a bruise fades, but art is forever.”
3. Diamond Rowe
While most of the other kids were bopping to Justin Timberlake, Diamond Rowe was learning Pantera, Metallica, and Nirvana riffs. Today, she’s guitarist for rising metal band Tetrarch, and the world is taking notice.
Afropunk calls her “the guitarist repping for black women in metal.” We call her all that and a slice of shred. This woman SLAYS, plain and simple. Put her on your radar now and watch her soar.
Diamond Quote: “The worst thing that you can do is put limitations on yourself because of who you are, because you’ll only grow to that point that you’ve mentally boxed yourself into.”
4. Liz Buckingham
The darkest metal wouldn’t be remotely as delicious without the mighty Liz Buckingham. A self-taught guitarist and songwriter, Liz is the answer for those who like their rock witchy, psychedelic, and fuzz-coated.
Notoriously private, Liz resides and works (when not touring with her band, doom legends Electric Wizard) in the English countryside, and gives zero fucks about what anyone thinks. She is a pillar of power within a traditionally male-dominated genre, and we’re beyond lucky to have her.
Liz Quote: “I will always be trying to write the heaviest riff.”
5. Samantha Maloney
She received her first drum kit at the age of five, and the rest is history. Since then, Samantha Maloney has played drums for names like Joan Jett, Shift, Hole, Mötley Crüe, Peaches, Eagles of Death Metal, and more.
After nearly two decades of raucous shows, Samantha still abides by the metal code, refusing to share even a single debaucherous tale from her road. The good news: she’s not opposed to a future autobiography.
Samantha Quote: “Either you’re talented or you’re not. Either you’ve got it or you don’t. Either you’re a great drummer or you’re a good drummer. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, you’re good or you’re not. What gender you are? Who cares?”
Lisa VanDyke Brown is a bad-ass beeotch and seasoned media pro. She's also the mother of twin preschoolers, so no time for long bios. Her heroes include Dorothy Parker, Phyllis Diller, and Grandma VanDyke. Fun fact: She's the most metal chick you'll ever meet.