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METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello all. Thank you all for taking the time to speak with us at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it. 

First, can everyone sound off and tell us what you do for We Start Wars, and who was your inspiration to pick up the instrument that you play? 

NITA STRAUSS: I’m Nita and I’m in charge of half of the guitars (and 90% of the bossing around) in We Start Wars. I started playing guitar at age 13, but didn’t get serious until I saw the movie Crossroads, with Steve Vai. From there I never stopped playing. 

ALICIA VIGIL: I’m Alicia and I play bass in the band! I have musical influences all over the board, but I do specifically remember watching Avenged Sevenfold’s video for 'Seize The Day' as a kid and seeing Synyster Gates playing the most beautiful solo on top of the coffin and thinking, “wow I gotta do that!” So, I actually started on guitar and then also took up bass a couple years after.
 
LINDSAY MARTIN: Lindsay- I play drums. It was a mix of John Bonham, Tommy Lee, and The Rev that got me saying, “I wanna play the fucking drums!” 

NICOLE PAPASTAVROU: My name is Nicole and I play guitar alongside Nita. My biggest inspiration was Dimebag.  

SEANA LISSE: I’m Seana, and I am the vocalist for We Start Wars. I’ve had many influences as to why I sing today, so it’s hard to specifically pick just one. However, I’m going to go with Amy Lee of Evanescence. She inspired me to step out of the shower, and actually do something about it. I loved to sing, so why not make it more than a hobby? Why not be in a band as well? And here I am. 

KATT SCARLETT: Korg, Kronos. Growing up in a musical family, I was singing from an early age. I played a baby grand around 6, and it felt like an extension of me and I have been playing ever since. I was inspired by Beethoven and Chopin. 

MPAP: What did each of you think when Nita was looking for someone to join her new band and contacted you? 

ALICIA: Nita has become kind of the female musician icon in the scene and everyone knows of her and admires her, so when we happened to cross paths (literally actually), I was super honored and excited! The more we talked too about what her vision was for the band, the more stoked I got, because of our taste in metal is very on par with our love for melody and guitar licks! 

LINDSAY: STOKED!!! I always wanted to be in a band with her…so when she contacted me asking about being a part of this project I was overjoyed and ecstatic. I told myself that I was going to get this gig, and I better bust my ass learning the material to let Nita and the other girls know I am the drummer they want/need!
 
NICOLE: I thought it was rad that she decided to do an original project and was stoked that she wanted to incorporate my style into it

SEANA: I was intrigued right from the start. It was when we all met up over dinner and Nita talked about her vision, goals, and what she was looking for in a vocalist, when I wanted in! Working alongside talented women who are not only monsters of their craft, but extremely professional, and totally down to earth…I immediately jumped on that! How could you not? 

KATT: Excited for the opportunity to be a part of an original line up again and do something I was proud of.  

MPAP: Nita, you already are a part of The Iron Maidens, Femme Fatale, Critical Hit, LA Kiss, and also play guitar for the legendary Alice Cooper? You are a very busy person?  

NITA: I’m busy, but I’m not that busy! I actually haven’t played with any of those other bands in years. Right now, all I’m doing is WSW, touring with Alice, and a cover band called the Starbreakers

MPAP: How do you find the time to figure out what you’re doing or what you want to do?  

NITA: I think if you really love something, whatever it is in life, you make the time for it. It’s just like prioritizing time for work, a relationship, gym or anything else. If it’s important, you will find the time. 

MPAP: The big question is, will you put WSW on the back burner if Alice calls you up and says a tour is coming up soon? Or is he not doing anything right now to where you have some time to play on your own? 

NITA: I’m out on tour with Alice as I write this. Like I said before, if something is important, you make it a priority. I have to go to my day job like most other musicians, but WSW is the band I’ve always wanted to be in, and I’d never put that on the back burner. 

MPAP: Katt you also play keyboards in Femme Fatale with Nita? How does it feel to be able to continue collaborating by her side in WSW?
 
KATT: Sometimes you get lucky and meet people in life and it’s effortless, that’s how I feel when I play and write with Nita. She is one of my closest friends and we have been in many projects together over the years. It’s inspiring, surrounding yourself with people that feel music the way you do. 

MPAP: What is something each of you is wanting to accomplish being a part of WSW? Are there boundaries to break, or new ideas to bring to the table that you couldn’t do before? 

NITA: I’ve spent a long time putting together an all-female lineup where not only are all the members cool and down to earth, and now extremely close friends, but can hold their own with anyone else at their respective instrument. I think professionalism and musicianship are two of the most important traits to have in the industry, and I’m so thankful to have this group of girls that can show the world they can exist in an all-female band. 

ALICIA: It feels good to play metal again and with a group of such talented ladies. I think we all have the same passion and drive for not only wanting to make it, but also make a change within our music community to show that women are nothing to be messed with and we will be making a mark for ourselves like never before! It’s about time everyone respects women as much as they do men.  

LINDSAY: Combining all of our influences and creating music people will relate and connect too. But I think the biggest thing is being an inspiration and a voice for other females…breaking any kind of stereotype that we have! 

NICOLE: The main thing I wanted to accomplish being a part of this band was to contribute elements of heavier progressive style riffs with the 8 string, something you don’t normally hear in melodic metal nowadays with catchy choruses.
  
SEANA: I would love to be able to use this newfound interest/attention over WSW, to help break the stigma that this industry has on women. I hope being in a band with nothing but women, shows that it can be a thing. Women don’t have to hate each other to move up the ladder. I want them to see that it is merely an image brainwashed into our minds. We can be talented, we can be beautiful, we can rock, and it’s ok to cheer each other on and just be happy for one another. We can work as a team, and make dreams.
  
KATT: As a woman, your born and told what role to fill, breaking that mold and having a strong all female band to inspire the next generation that want to rock, no matter what gender.
  
MPAP: New music came out April 24th, and you debuted the song, 'The Animal Inside'. What can everyone expect to hear if they haven't heard it yet? 

NITA: People can expect to hear lots of dynamics, catchy choruses, pretty singing, hard screaming, and of course many notes on the guitar! For the most part, we write about what we know…life, love, overcoming obstacles and never giving up. 

ALICIA: I heard our finalized version of our single and it’s HUGE! I’m really excited to put it out there. Maybe the girls already mentioned it, but I’m very proud that we took it upon ourselves to do everything. Nita took the reigns as producer and recorded all of us and we all had input on the writing for our songs in this band.
 
LINDSAY: A lot of talent, passion for what we do, and music that’ll make you say "HELL YEAH".

NICOLE: With the new song coming out, you can expect to hear a collection of thrashy and melodic riff’s, with hints of djent. No shortage of notes (or bpm’s), yet vocals and every instrument complement each other while being aggressive as a whole. I feel like I just described a wine, haha. 

SEANA: A whole lot of talent! Everyone in this band knows their craft, and I feel each member shines through in our songs.  

KATT: We write about love, loss and rising above whatever is trying to hold us down in life. 

MPAP: What do you want the listener to walk away with after hearing the music? 

NITA: I’d like the listener to walk away feeling inspired to do something in their own life, whether it’s to pick up an instrument themselves, try something new, or just make a positive change. 

ALICIA: I want them wanting more. 

LINDSAY: I want them to feel energized, pumped, and music that you’ll connect too. Lyrics, grooves, solos, and sounds that resonates and gets stuck in your head haha. Music that makes you keep wanting more and more! 

SEANA: I want them to be able to walk away knowing that they have a place to come back to. 

NICOLE: I want people to say "Fuck Yeah!" And then come to a show and head bang with us! 

KATT: That it resonates with people and they enjoy it! 

MPAP: Nita, were your first intentions to start an all-female band, or it didn’t matter at first when you started thinking about it? Or was it everyone that you saw fit to be a part of the band just ended up being female? 

NITA: My intentions were always to have an all-female band. I know so many phenomenal female musicians, and I kept thinking…Someone has to put a group together to showcase this kind of musicianship on the girl end of the spectrum. 

MPAP: Why do you think it took you over a year to audition musicians to get it just right? This must be something that isn’t just going to last a night? 
 
NITA: Yes, I took finding the musicians for this band extremely seriously. It was never meant to be a throwaway band. It doesn’t help that I’m gone a lot and not able to be there as often as I’d like to go through the audition and rehearsal process. 
 
MPAP: Did you already have in mind how you wanted WSW to sound with vocals and musically when things were all coming together? 
 
NITA: I did, and then it all went out the window when the band finally came together. Now it’s way better than I first imagined when I had the concept for this band! 
 
MPAP: Seana, What do you feel you bring to the table for WSW with your vocals and style? 
 
SEANA: Diversity. I can spice up parts of songs with an edgier sound or keep parts clean. I don’t like to stick with one vocal style, and I loved that they loved that. 
 
MPAP: WSW will make its live debut on May 25 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California. Will there be more live shows after that? Possibly a tour in the works? 
 
NITA: Absolutely, The Whiskey show is just the beginning. 
 
MPAP: How long have you been beating on the skins Lindsay? How did Nita end up hearing about you? 
 
LINDSAY: 13 years…Nita and I have known each other for a few years through a mutual friend. She called me and asked me if I would be interested in auditioning for her new project she was putting together. We had a lot of common music interests and I immediately said yes! I learned the material, had the audition, 10 minutes after the audition was over they asked me to join the band! 
 
MPAP: Alicia, you play bass and lead vocals in the melodic metal band Vigil Of Wars? You won’t be behind the mic this time in WSW? How will that feel just playing bass now? Was it hard to get used to at first? 
 
ALICIA: Not hard at all! I’ve always been a bass player, so VOW was actually my first opportunity to be in front of the mic. I love doing both and I can’t wait to play our first show next month at The Whiskey!  
 
MPAP: What is like playing alongside Nita creating this guitar duo Nicole? Are each of you able to feed off each other and take WSW to the next level? 
 
NICOLE: It has definitely been an exciting and challenging experience playing alongside Nita, but most importantly so much fun collaborating together and meshing our styles. Although we both come from metal backgrounds our styles are very different and I think that adds to the uniqueness of this band, and we’re already off to a great start in the writing process.  
 
MPAP: Are there any challenges being a new band just starting out?
 
NITA: Absolutely. The challenges never end. I’ve been in bands for 15 years and I still learn something new about being in a band at least once a week.  

ALICIA: Obviously, we have to pay for everything and literally do every step ourselves, but at the end of the day it feels way better knowing we accomplished all of this ourselves instead of getting help along the way. We will build up to that! 

LINDSAY: Showing and proving to the world we’re something real, here to stay, and have a message to share. 

KATT: Getting our schedules to align perfectly can be challenging. Lol. 

SEANA: As with most bands, I feel like we always have to prove ourselves. I feel we are consistently having to show that we deserve to be here. The music should speak for itself. Conquering said challenge would be to get people to see past the lipstick and see us for the rock band we are.  

NICOLE: I feel like as a new band you usually have all odds against you, as any new endeavor. But if you believe in something and are willing to put the work in, you may be surprised that things will work out in your favor. People in general will either love you or hate you. Either way, it’s important to keep putting forth your best work and energy and have fun doing it, because if not…why even do it? 

MPAP: What Stereotype do each of you hear a lot about because you’re a female in a band? Besides giving them the middle finger, what else do you say to them? 

NITA: Shattering stereotypes is what we do in WSW. Lindsay is one of the fastest double bass drummers I know. Nicole plays an 8-string guitar with a tighter right hand than most guitar players out there. Seana’s nickname is “5 Ft of Fury” and it’s very apt-that’s a Huge voice coming out of a tiny blonde. Katt is a Berkley trained pianist with an immense arsenal of metal runs and incredible technique. Alicia is only 21 and she’s not only a killer bassist but an extremely strong songwriter. We aren’t here to say anything to people about their stereotypes…we’re here to show them they’re wrong.
 
ALICIA: I think Katt said it best. Fuck anyone who judges us based off our body parts. Our music will do the talking.  

LINDSAY: "Oh you’re good for a girl", and not being taken seriously. I don’t usually say too much if I hear negative comments…I let the playing do the talking for me. 

KATT: I think our musicianship stands for itself…stereotypes were made to be shattered. 

SEANA: That a chick fronting a band, or a band full of women must automatically mean that we’re not good, and if we get acknowledged it’s only because we used our womanly-ness to get somewhere. No. Women can also reap the benefits of hard work.  

NICOLE: Unfortunately, we do still live in a world where sexism exists. The good news is that a woman are always rising up and empowering each other to be viewed as equals in many fields today. With that said, "Hello, yes I am a female that plays the guitar well. I am also capable of doing many other predominantly male activities well. Who cares?” 

MPAP: Before we bring this interview to a close, what do each of you want to say to the readers and your new We Start Wars fans out there? 

NITA: Thank you so much for checking out the band, and we look forward to seeing you out on the road! Please keep in touch with us on our site and social media pages:  
www.westartwars.com 
www.facebook.com/westartwars 
www.twitter.com/westartwarsband 
www.instagram.com/westartwars 

ALICIA: Thank you already supporting and there is much ahead for this band! 

LINDSAY: THANK YOU FANS for all the amount of love and support we’ve been receiving! I promise…you won’t be disappointed! I am very excited for everyone to see the band rockin out.  

SEANA: Thank you for listening/reading, and taking the time to incorporate WSW into your lives. We appreciate the love and support.  

NICOLE: I just want to thank everyone that’s shown us so much support already! And can’t wait to bring this beast on stage!  

KATT: Thanks! See you at our show! 

MPAP: On Behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, thank you all for being a part of this interview. We look forward to what We Start Wars does to finish out the year and beyond. 

NITA: Thank you for having us!