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A Conversation with Beccy of Rose Rage | Riot Grrrl Punk from Berlin, Germany

Rebecca (Beccy) is the lead singer of Riot Grrrl punk band Rose Rage from Berlin, Germany. Rose Rage formed in 2019, and currently includes Beccy, as the vocalist and guitarist, and Pablo, a drummer from Chile. 


The DIY rock scene in Berlin is smaller than Los Angeles, according to Beccy, since most popular music in Germany consists of electronic music.


“I think if you type in, like, DJ Berlin, Google might crash,” Beccy said. “There's so many people playing electronic music or being DJs.”


In Berlin, venues are common, though Beccy prefers to perform in DIY punk houses.


“it's a bit like here [Los Angeles], where you have like bigger commercial venues, then you have DIY venues, which are usually ex-squats, and those are usually the places that I love playing because I feel the vibe there is really good. It's very non-pretentious, and is mostly also inclusive,” Beccy said. “There are some collectives that take care of inclusion, and love working with people who are not cis male. They're more inclusive in that sense. I mean, it's definitely a smaller scene, but we have a lot of venues… The squats, they become less and less, but the ones that are still around host shows and it's always the best vibe there.”


Image from @rose_rage_ on Instagram


Rose Rage mainly performs in Berlin, though Beccy once organized a small DIY Europe tour. 


“We played in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and France,” Beccy said. “We played actually in a squat in France, which was huge. That squat gig was, at the time, probably our biggest gig. There were like, I don't know, 300 to 400 people there.”


Beccy was heavily influenced by Riot Grrrl and grunge music early on, and was inspired by these bands to create her own music. 


“Big influences on me were definitely like, Sonic Youth — I love them. I used to love grunge when growing up, I love L7, I love Nirvana, I love Hole. I love Bikini Kill, of course. I think one of my favorite Riot Grrrl bands is probably Bratmobile.”


Beccy continued, “Seeing Riot Grrrl bands, or finding out about that genre and scene, is kind of what made me pick up an instrument, because it empowered me, and I wanted to give that empowerment back to other people who are not cis male, you know?”


The music scene has always been heavily overpowered by cis-white-male musicians, and many femme artists continuously run in to issues with sexism when performing shows. Unfortunately, Beccy has experienced more than her fair share of sexist comments or microaggressions at shows, but she doesn’t let this stop her.


“I remember once at a show, this guy comes up to me after the show and he's like, ‘Hey, watch your breasts, they're going to fall out of your dress.’ Usually I'm not so easily perplexed. Usually I always have something say, but that really caught me off guard because it was my own show, and like, who's going to say something like that to you?” Beccy shared. 


“Another show we played with these dudes, and back then I was playing with a female bassist. It was actually nice of the guys that they let us use their amps… but the guys in the band were really condescending to us. Like, the guitarist was really condescending to me when he explained to me how to use the amp, and the bassist was really condescending to my bassist when explaining to her how to use the amp. 


Just things like that. It definitely is forms of sexism, But, you know, I tried to just not think about it too much in that moment, because that could totally kill the vibe.”


Image from @rose_rage_ on Instagram


When writing music for Rose Rage, Beccy mainly writes in English, as she finds it easier since she grew up listening to English music. Beccy tends to pick a topic to write about, and builds a song around that topic.


“Some topics I’ve written about are, for example, rock creeps. Then, a very current topic, since yesterday was Valentine's Day, I wrote a song about dating myself. I feel like I've not been very lucky with relationships. I mean, I had maybe one good relationship in my life. I don't like this idea that we, as humans, are always being told that if we're alone, we're just one half of a person. We're still missing our second half or whatsoever. I think that we should celebrate friendship more, and we should celebrate ourselves. I believe in self-love. So, I wrote a song about dating myself,” Beccy said. “Then ‘Zombie Nation’ is just a song about the general issues I see, or a bit like the anxieties I feel when it comes to being a human in this world. There's the song, ‘Song 666,’ which actually is about a toxic relationship. I like to keep it very classic Riot Grrrl topics. Kind of, like, political, and definitely feminist issues are issues that I like to write about.”


When asked about favorite shows she has played, Beccy mentioned Fight Like a Grrrl Booking, a booking agency from Leipzig, Germany run by Beccy’s friend, Tarcy. Fight Like a Grrrl focuses on inclusion, booking femme and queer artists from all over Europe as opposed to the common cis-white-male bands.


Through Tarcy’s shows, Beccy has found a lot of her favorite local bands, including A Mess, a band from Denmark, as well as Heroine Whores, Tarcy’s band, which Beccy compares to Hole.


Another favorite band of Beccy’s that Rose Rage has played with is Pabst (meaning “priest” in German), also from Berlin.


Beccy was born in Western Germany, near Cologne and Dusseldorf. At 19, she moved to New Zealand for a year, then studied in Southern Germany, though, much like the U.S., the South is rather conservative, so Beccy didn’t stay there long. 


“I really felt like a misfit there,” Beccy said.


After this, Beccy studied in Cologne, then moved around Europe, including Sweden. Then, Beccy lived in Barcelona for a few years, which she found to be a rather sexist city. 


“It's [sexism] really severe there. Like, I think as a person who is not read as a male, going out on the street, so many men feel entitled to make comments about your body to kind of over-sexualize you,” Beccy said. “To constantly call you things, being like, ‘Hey pretty! Hey pretty lady!’ And it's like, what's the point of this? I think living there, I got really angry. It made me become really angry, and more feminist, which is good.”


After Barcelona, Beccy landed in Berlin, and has been there for 12 years.


Having lived in Germany for most of her life, Beccy has seen the right wing taking over in her country. 


“There are always neo-Nazis, like burning houses and so on,” Beccy said. “This is something that happens every couple of years, you read it in the news. It happens everywhere in Germany.”


For her day job, Beccy is a German teacher for different companies (along with being a copywriter and writer). Through teaching, Beccy has talked to her students about their experiences with racism as a foreign person in Germany.


“I’ve heard really disgusting, nasty stories,” Beccy said. “And I myself have also witnessed racism on the street or on public transport. I would also always step up for the people who are victims of racism, but what makes me really sad then is that often, it's just me.”


Beccy continued, “I think in Germany we have a lot of this mentality of looking away. It's like, if something happens, ‘I don't want to be bothered with this, I look away.’ I feel that's that's different in other countries, but it's something that I actually really mind about Germany.”


Image from @rose_rage_ on Instagram


Currently, Germany has a right wing party known as “Alternative für Deutschland,” or “Alternative for Germany,” making decisions in Parliament.


“They arose in the last 8 to 10 years I think, and in the beginning, they were voted into our parliament with a minimum of 5%. You need to have a 5% minimum to get voted into the Parliament to be able to take decisions. And what's really scary is that these days, they're at 20%. So, one fifth of the population is willing to go right wing. We have a left wing party called The Left Party, and I was really shocked when like four years ago, The Left Party had, I think, one percentage less than the right wing party. The Left Party gets less and less votes every four years, and this party [Alternative for Germany] gets more and more, and that's something that's really scary to me, that officially, we have more racists than left people in Germany.”


Currently, many left-leaning German people are protesting their government’s support for Israel, as Germany produces guns, ammunition, tanks, and other weapons that get sent over to Israel. 


“I think in Germany, it's connected with a kind of reparational guilt as well, due to the Holocaust and the atrocities that went on during the Holocaust. I think you can tell that it's this reparational guilt that turns into an anti-Muslim kind of mindset, where it's like, we need to be, like, super against antisemitism. And that leads people to be like, ‘Yeah, but we don't need to protect Arabs or Turkish people,’” Beccy said. “We have very big Arab and Turkish communities in Germany, and I feel since the 6th of October, it's probably really, really tough to have an Arab background or a Turkish background in Germany.”


“Since 2020, there have been so many people living on the streets. It’s horrible that our governments do not care; they obviously do not care. Both countries [Germany and the U.S.] are really big on funding wars, but helping its own people seems to be impossible, or like it's just not on their agenda,” Beccy said. “It's like, we need working class consciousness. And I feel this is an issue we have these days that a lot of people don't have that consciousness anymore. I read Marx and Engels when I was a teenager, and I feel it really did something to me. It really shaped how I saw the world, and I think we, as the working class, should have solidarity with each other, because only then we can change something.”


Beccy continued, “I feel these days, the society is very split. It's divided by media and government because they're realizing that we are too many, and that if we kind of get together, we can actually dismantle the system and change it. I feel this is why we're distracted and kind of divided, and kind of up against each other. Like, this is happening everywhere.”


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Beccy is currently songwriting for Rose Rage’s first full album release, and hopes to start recording by May or June. All of Rose Rage’s current singles and EPs are available on Bandcamp, with a couple releases on Spotify and Apple Music.


“I do definitely prefer Bandcamp, and I prefer it because I find it fairer on the musician side. I think Bandcamp seems to care more about bands,” Beccy said. “I really dislike Spotify. I only have two songs on Spotify and I don't have an account, because I definitely do not want to support Spotify. I love Bandcamp, not just for me as a musician to upload music, but also to discover bands.”


Rose Rage is currently booked to play two shows while Beccy is in L.A. This coming Friday, February 23, Rose Rage will be playing a JUNK! show at Non Plus Ultra. Tickets available here: https://nonplusultra.ticketleap.com/glossy--wizard-puffs--sugarhead/?fbclid=PAAabGrazw692UFOniKJFsKeA1empqA2AT4xEAeftZG6pB_JtcRfTo4qJ7H4o_aem_AeST0HW_E7xtS_BSUDMeMPK_WKawOBl8VejwSSD6--ihjHsjMVB7CgAHICaIbwEThC0 


Rose Rage will also be performing a Clear Vision Collective show on March 6 at Art Bar LA.


As a final message to share with readers, Beccy said:


“One thing that's important to me is to empower other women and other queer people and non-binary people, everyone that is basically not a cis male, to pick up an instrument and start playing music. It doesn't matter what it sounds like, it doesn't matter what it looks like, if you feel it, people will feel it.”


Watch or listen to the full interview with Beccy below!



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