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Nuts & Bolts Podcast - Female* Musicans & Their Gear, Ep. One: Jenny Hval
Luke Turner , March 29th, 2018 16:22

On the first episode of Nuts and Bolts, Jessica Sligter speaks to Jenny Hval

As we mentioned on last week's Quietus Hour, we're in the process of launching a whole bunch of new shows. This week we're highlighting Nuts & Bolts, a new regular programme dedicated to female* artists and their studio gear. In the first episode you can hear long-time Quietus favourite Jenny Hval - tune in above and subscribe to all our podcasts here. We spoke to our host, the musician and producer, Jessica Sligter about the programme.

Why did you decide to start Nuts & Bolts? Do you think an interest in gear is still perceived as an overwhelmingly male thing, or is that starting to change?

Jessica Sligter: In the past years I’ve worked actively towards gaining skills and knowledge about gear. The work of synthesiser pioneers such as Eliane Radigue and Else Marie Pade inspired me, as well as seeing my male peers create effective ways to survive in the music business by combining a performance based practice with a production/engineering part.

The alienation of women from the gear-realm is normal to us. Women are socialised into different instruments, and socialised into thinking they’re not good at tech things. The gap widens exponentially as musicians’ lives progress. As my knowledge and enthusiasm about the gear-realm grew, my interest in understanding how and why these circumstances still are so stark, also grew.

I wrote a piece for FETT magazine in Norway where I reflected on what it would be like to record in a studio that is not run by and made for men. Love you guys, but geez, it doesn’t make one feel very included or confident. Which is exactly what you want to be in a studio. For 600 euros a day, right?

In general I like to reflect on the socio-politics of my experiences, and I like to create things, and bring people together. I had the urge to talk with women about gear, instead of staying ‘the only gal in the gear-talk circle.’ Finally, I love podcasts, so that’s how the idea of Nuts And Bolts came to be.

Why do you think a podcast like Nuts & Bolts is important?

First off, it's important because it's fun. It's banter, it's good times. Also, the need is there, and that need is important to represent. To create structures and circumstances that facilitate women’s engagement with gear and gear-talk. Gear is crucial in music, not in the least because it’s tied into a lot of work-opportunities in music and music-related businesses. Women musicians also have to pay the rent.

JS: Today by the way, initiatives concerning women and gear are increasingly popping up. We need the initiative from gatekeepers and such to allow it all to mainstream, and have a good time all together! I'm into it!

Were you surprised nothing like it existed?

JS: I was not surprised that something exactly like this did not exist yet. We sometimes get fooled into thinking there is a higher diversity in the music business than there actually is, by way of looking at female and person of colour performers. But if we call performers the ‘software’ of the business, have a look at the diversity percentages in the ‘hardware’, or the infrastructure of the business. A quick tip: search for the women on Gearslutz’ youtube channel. Yup!

What are your aims for the podcast going forward? Who's coming up next?

JS: For now I will focus on making some awesome podcasts for this season. Three more episodes ahead, the next one with bass-player and poet Guro Skumsnes Moe. It will be a ‘heavy’ episode. Otherwise, Nuts And Bolts are hoping to move into video as well, and are looking for sponsors!