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WATCH: Sleater-Kinney On The Value Of Community - "Olympia Was An Extremely Supportive Scene"

Sleater-Kinney is in focus this month as MoPOP continues its POP+ Punk celebration of women in all things punk: the sound, the fashion, the activism, and the culture. Take a look back at a 2000 oral history interview with Janet Weiss (drums), Corin Tucker (vocals/guitar), and Carrie Brownstein (vocals/guitar) of Sleater-Kinney as the band highlights the value of its Olympia, Wash. upbringing. 

Janet Weiss: "I think it's pretty impossible to start playing music if you don't have support. If you don't have people come to your shows and tell you you're good, even though you're probably not. Sort of emphasizing not the fact that you're playing things right or you're playing things wrong, but the fact that you're actually doing it."

Corin Tucker: "Definitely, Olympia was an extremely supportive scene to become a musician within. There were already other women starting bands and playing in bands, all-women bands. Bikini Kill and Bratmobile had already started when I moved there."

Carrie Brownstein: "I moved to Olympia to go to school at the Evergreen State College and women had just really created a space for themselves down there. Things were really accessible in a way so that you could spend your energy on creating and not spend your energy on trying to save up money for a demo, or save up money to record. Everything was really there for you."

Janet Weiss: "The scene where I started playing was in San Francisco. There was not a support system from clubs. There was no structure really for people to play music. Practicing was always difficult. It was expensive to get a space. So the people that actually wanted to do it were pretty motivated and kind of stuck together."

Corin Tucker: "It really makes a difference when you have people around you that encourage you, actively, to be in a band, or just think that it's normal that people just play shows. Like you start a band that day and you play a show that night, that's kind of how open Olympia is to new music. When I started playing in a band I was 18 and I had no idea what I was doing. Started writing songs and people asked me to play shows immediately. We got asked to play the International Pop Underground Convention and then right after that we got asked to put out a single. So I think that having people encouraging you to do things and taking you seriously right away makes a huge difference."


Throughout the month of August, with POP+ Punk we’re exploring and celebrating the contributions of women in all things punk: the sound, the fashion, activism, and the culture. First Tech is a proud supporting sponsor of MoPOP's POP+ programming.

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