New York, NY

GUS :  “ If I were to put myself in a nutshell, the two things that have always been part of my life are dogs and drumming. My parents were like: “Alright, you want to play drums, you have to come up with half the money for a drum set and then we’ll kick in the other half but we need to know that you're serious about it before we help you invest in it”. And I’m not really that big of a fan of kids so I started walking all the neighborhood dogs when I was ten years old to pay for my drum kit. So dogs and drums have always been these two important pieces of my life. I’m lucky because I would do these things for free, but I actually get to do them as a job!


Rock is where my heart is for sure. I had my first professional gig when I was just about to turn sixteen. I couldn’t even get into the venue without my mom coming. I remember putting equipment on the stage and the sound guy saying “ Where’s the drummer?” and I was like “ I’m the drummer.”


At this point, I've been a professional musician for twenty years. What do I do with the fact that the two bands that I am most recognized for, The Lunachicks and Lez Zeppelin, are all female bands, like, do I just ignore the fact that I have this whole history? Going forward, does anybody that wants to be in a band with me have to be okay with it becoming a political statement because I’m a group member? How far do I take that? Music is such an intimate thing, it's very much like a relationship, you have to respect and understand those who are playing with if you want anything good to come out of the situation. Do I have to come out and then have them say, no thanks, we don’t want to get involved with that scene, or what?


I say this to my clients, when we’re talking about dogs, that the older you get the more set in your ways you get, it's totally true, people have been doing the same thing the same way for so long and they are so against any sort of change because it's not comfortable. But I’m sorry, that is not really a valid excuse anymore when there are people who are suffering every day because their identities are being erased.


What I’m seeing is that we as people are so much further ahead of our language and our language needs to catch up to who we are. When you don’t go by sir or ma'am, when both of them are wrong, there isn’t any other greeting at this point.


So how do we change that? ”