Teri Gender Bender’s Conversation with Bianca - the Interview
Every single day Teri Gender Bender feels grateful as she travels the globe with her bands – new romantic alternative rock collective Bosnian Rainbows & the garage punk, Le Butcherettes – putting on passionate, breathtaking performances, bringing joy to thousands of people. Personally, she’s one of my all-time favourite people (she’s such a big hearted, genuine soul) and music makers (her lyrics are poetry, full of power, bravado, beauty, and grace) and every time we get a chance to catch up and chat it inspires me and makes my heart happy.
I know that you identify as a feminist Teri. What are your thoughts on feminism and femininity?
TERI GENDER BENDER: I’ve always identified myself as a feminist because to me this word is linked to a powerful movement that has changed not only culture but even the core of economy. I’m reading a book called Freakonomics and it speaks about the hidden running ways that change the economy on a daily bases. Example: Jane Roe vs. Wade case has helped improved security in the late 90s, lowering criminal rates. My thoughts on feminism, it has helped tremendously, however there are fanatics in every “ism” group and fanatics is a nice way to call someone a poseur. Fanatics generally don’t understand the essence of a movement and focus only on literal translations… resulting in a neo movement that alienates young women.
Teresa Suárez, better known by her stage name “Teri Gender-Bender,” is fast becoming the Latina leading lady of the music genre “garage punk,” even once called the “Latina Björk.”
A performer of many facets, Suárez is best known as front woman to the explosive Guadalajara garage band Le Butcherettes. Notorious for her performances that include fake blood, flour, a pig’s head, and whole lot of red lipstick, Suárez is now the featured singer in the recently formed band, Bosnian Rainbows. And it’s her powerful voice that steals the show.
Suárez has left Le Butcherettes on hold for a bit and said the new band is a sort of new evolution for her. It’s been a good ride for Le Butcherettes though; their quick recognition led them to win both “Best New Artist” and “Best Punk Record” in the Indie-O Awards in 2009.
“Sí discriminan a las chicas en el rock”, Teri Gender Bender de Bosnian Rainbows
Tal vez recuerdes a Teri Gender Bender como esa granada de mano que hacía las voces en Le Butcherettes. Es 2013 y esta talentosa, explosiva y sexy mujer está al frente de Bosnian Rainbows, una especie de supergrupo que también incluye a Omar Rodríguez (ex At The Drive-In y The Mars Volta), Deantoni Parks (The Mars Volta) y Nicci Casper (Kudu).
Su música es como el resultado de una sesión de sexo entre Pink Floyd, Pixies y Sonic Youth, pero llevados a 2013, con todo el riesgo y adrenalina que ya le hace buena falta al rock (cualquiera que sea su encarnación).
Bosnian Rainbows lanzaron su primer álbum, con canciones 100% en inglés, el 25 de junio. Olvídate de ese rock facilón que hasta a tus papás les gusta, aquí sí hay intensidad violenta.
Para comprender un poco de qué trata Bosnian Rainbows, platicamos con Teri Gender Bender y le sacamos algunas verdades.
Ahora es posible hacer un disco entero en una Mac, ¿por qué decidieron grabar Bosnian Rainbows de una manera mucho más tradicional?
Teri Gender Bender heads out on tour with Bosnian Rainbows starting July 10th in Atlanta
Bosnian Rainbows tour starts up again on July 10th in Atlanta. Just announced are new shows in September in Canada and the Pacific NW including Rifflandia Festival & Riot Fest in Denver will still more dates coming..
To understand why Bosnian Rainbows' music stands out, you have to go back to 2007 in Guadalajara, Mexico. A singer named Teresa Suarez has taken the stage name Teri Gender Bender — adopted as a feminist statement while at the head of a band called Le Butcherettes .
With a snarl that could send Billy Idol off whimpering into a corner, she’s a mesmerizing and at times terrifying performer. Her style is part Iggy Pop and part Mick Jagger, with a Mexican punk soul. “Frightening and glorious” is how one audience member described her to me. There is no woman quite like her in Latin music, but she says that early on, that seemed to work against her.
During one particularly rough gig in Guadalajara, the power went out, but the band played on. It was a good thing it did, because somewhere in the audience was a Grammy-winning producer and musician named Omar Rodriguez Lopez. He was mesmerized: She was exactly what he was looking for in a collaborator for his new project.
In her performances with the band Bosnian Rainbows, vocalist Teresa Suarez aka Teri Gender Bender has the appearance of a caged animal. She stomps about the stage, pumping her arms and flicking her gaze across the audience; at other times, she stands stock still, her eyes glazing over and her hands curling into fists as she unleashes a deep wail. Crowds hang on to her every move because they don’t know what she’ll do next.
Gender Bender’s unpredictable nature extends into her conversational style, too, as was discovered in this interview. Sometimes she speaks in a rapid-fire voice about family, feminist theory and the duties of fronting a band before doubling back on her declarations to add depth and clarity to her epigrammatic statements. At other times, the silence as she ruminates on a question is so thick you can practically hear the singer furrow her brow and bite her lip.
Austinist Interview with Teri Gender Bender & Omar Rodriguez Lopez of Bosnian Rainbows
The mythology of At the Drive-In is wrapped up in bodies. The work of performance, the spontaneity of movement, the ferocious activity of channeling emotion into sound: their frenetic creativity brought these ideas to life and is now best preserved in clips that show off Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s howl and Omar Rodríguez-López’s throwing off guitar in favor of tambourine. In addition to the video archive, this corporeal energy is ever evolving through the projects the group spawned, generating a timeline littered with friendships and failures most recently embraced by Bosnian Rainbows — the result of what happens when one protagonist of the above mythology meets a woman with an even greater passion for moving intensely.
Rodríguez-López first saw Teresa Suarez (who performs as Teri Gender Bender) at a venue in Guadalajara where her band, Le Butcherettes, took the stage even as a power outage had convinced other artists to cancel the show. Now, having produced and toured two albums as Le Butcherettes, they’ve reformed and come together with Nicci Kasper (Kudu, KRS-ONE), Deantoni Parks (John Cale, The Mars Volta) to define a new and all-encompassing aesthetic as Bosnian Rainbows.
SEE ALL BOSNIAN RAINBOWS SHOW DETAILS HERE BOSNIAN RAINBOWS2013 May 25, 2013 - El Paso, TX @ Neon Desert Music Festival May 28, 2013 - Dallas, TX @ Trees w/ Zorch May 29, 2013 - Austin, TX @ Red 7 w/ Zorch May 30, 2013 - Houston, TX @ HOB - Bronze Peacock w/ Zorch June 21, 2013 - Schiphorst, DE @ Avantgarde Festival June 24, 2013 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah June 25, 2013 - Los Angeles, CA @ First Unitarian Church June 26, 2013 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory June 27, 2013 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall July 01, 2013 - Bogota, Columbia @ Rock Al Parque Festival July 10, 2013 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West July 12, 2013 - Washington DC @ U Street Music Hall July 13, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts July 14, 2013 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom July 16, 2013 - Hamden, CT @ The Spaceland Ballroom July 18, 2013 - Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair July 19, 2013 - Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell’s July 20, 2013 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar July 21, 2013 - Columbus, OH @ The Basement July 23, 2013 - Cincinnati, OH @ Taft Theatre July 24, 2013 - Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge Aug 02, 2013 - Cork, Ireland @ Indiependent Festival Aug 16, 2013 - Groningen, Holland @ Noorderzon Festival Aug 17, 2013 - Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop Festival Aug 31, 2013 - Copenhagen, DE @ Vega w/ Tomahawk Sept 01, 2013 - Oslo, Norway @Rockefeller Music Hall w/ Tomahawk Sept 02,2013 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Debaser Media w/ Tomahawk Sept 04, 2013 - Helsinki, Finland @ Circus w/ Tomahawk Sept 06, 2013 - Berlin, Germany @ Berlin Festival Oct 26, 2013 - Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Festival
CLASH Magazine Live Review of Bosnian Rainbows in London, UK
The word “supergroup” can be a tricky term. It’s one of those words that has a habit of raising expectations, and that’s not always a good thing. Bosnian Rainbows are certainly an act who fit firmly into the supergroup category, made up of former The Mars Volta members Omar Rodríguez-López and Deantoni Parks, plus Le Butcherettes vocalist Teri Gender Bender, and Nicci Kasper on keys.
Considering this musical prog-punk pedigree, it’s no wonder how hard it is to get close to the stage of London’s 100 Club for the band’s headline set. This intimate venue has built its reputation on being the place where numerous punk legends, such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Adicts, have cut their teeth.
This proves to be a fitting lineage for tonight’s show. The low ceiling and tightly packed crowd give proceedings a sweaty house party feel. And as Bosnian Rainbows take the stage, cheers are hushed into near silence and the band launches straight into the sinister synths of ‘Eli’, the opening track from their forthcoming self-titled album.
The fact that the band have been constantly on tour since their inception in 2012 shines through as the four-piece instantly come together like a tightly honed machine. Rodríguez-López’s virtuoso guitar work fits seamlessly with the pounding beats and rhythmic synths of Parks and Kasper.
It’s clear, however, that the stage belongs to leading lady Teri Gender Bender. Having a name reminiscent of ’70s punk icons like Poly Styrene is no accident. Her stage presence is drenched in gloriously exhibitionist spirit as she dominates the stage like a cross between Alice Glass and Patti Smith.
Teri Gender Bender announces two signings in Mexico in April for the Second pressing of her book The Missing Carcass
Teresa Suarez aka Teri Gender Bender the band leader and lyricist of Le Butcherettes and singer and lyricist of Bosnian Rainbows is also a published Poet. She will be going to Mexico in late April to celebrate the second pressing of her book of poems entitled “The Missing Carcass” with two Porrua Book signings - details below.
April 26th @ Porrua (Mariano Otero) Guadalajara at 6:00pm. April 27th @ Porrua (Bosque de Chapultepec) Mexico City at 4:00pm.
I was a little nervous to interview Le Butcherettes frontwoman Teri Gender Bender (real name Teresa Suarez) last October at her Rodriguez-Lopez Productions record label, which Omar Rodriguez-Lopez runs with Cathy Pellow of Sargent House run out of a house in the hills of Echo Park. Her stage presence is intense, so I was expecting her to scream at me for asking stupid questions; or not answer them at all. Instead, we vibed off deep discussions on feminism, philosophy and the healing aspects of nature.
“We were stuck behind this cement truck that wouldn’t move,” Teri’s first words were to me before going in for a big bear hug. “I thought, ‘Oh my God. She’s gonna think I’m a diva.’”
The Le Butcherettes creator-slash-singer-slash-songwriter is anything but a diva. She bummed a ride off a friend, who was letting her couch surf in Downtown, to tell me her story. She doesn’t drive and just got out of a seven-year relationship with her very first boyfriend, who just so happens to live down the street from where we were (“I have to be free…know myself…know different things,” she said of the breakup.) She hates social situations and feels most comfortable in nature. Hiking through Elysian Park is her current past time (and mine).
“I like to lay in the grass and just breathe. It’s so humbling. I feel like I’m becoming a hermit. I’ve just been staying away from people. I’ve become so anti-social. I’m dealing with myself for once,” Teri, who doesn’t drink or smoke, said. “I feel like you’re my therapist.”
Teri Gender Bender heads out on Tour in Bosnian Rainbows starting Feb 15th In Atlanta
Bosnian Rainbows will play their first East Coast shows starting on February 15th in Atlanta - joining them on all dates will be Marriages - you all need to see it to believe it, this combination will blow your minds.
Check out the first new album track “Torn Maps” by Bosnian Rainbows HERE
Check out a new Marriages song acoustic version Glassroom Session HERE
BOSNIAN RAINBOWS & MARRIAGES 2013 Feb 15, 2013 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West Feb 16, 2013 - Asheville, NC @ Asheville Music Hall Feb 17, 2013 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar Feb 18, 2013 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church Feb 19, 2013 - New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom Feb 20, 2013 - Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall Feb 22, 2013 - Montréal, QC @ Cabaret du Mile-end Feb 23, 2013 - Toronto, ON @ The Mod Club (Early Show) Feb 24, 2013 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew’s Hall Feb 25, 2013 - Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop Feb 26, 2013 - Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge Feb 27, 2013 - Madison, WI @ Majestic Theater Feb 28, 2013 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe
Alarm Magazine: Queens of Rock Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes & Bosnian Rainbows
Born and raised in Denver by Mexican and Spanish parents, Teresa Suaréz (known professionally as Teri Gender Bender) has, like many, a bi-cultural identity. Her garage-punk band Le Butcherettes — which began in Guadalajara, Mexico — is a product of that identity, particularly the differences in gender expectations that she has witnessed between the North American neighbors.
Though Suaréz has toned down her stage show from the days of using bloody aprons and severed pig heads (she’s vegetarian, actually) as anti-sexism symbols, it still brims with the fuck-you defiance of a bad-ass feminist rocker. She’s aware that her sex and gender have brought “superficial pros and moralistically damaging cons,” as she puts it, but she’ll use any means necessary to elbow her way into the rock-and-roll boys’ club.
“I am not bothered that my legs have somewhat helped me get shows in Mexico,” Suaréz says. “I would like to think that my hard work at music, composing, [and] being a better person has affected my career. Funny enough, I know more men who try harder at using their sex appeal than women. Ricky Martin, anyone?”
Suaréz’s parents originally fled Mexico after surviving a pair of kidnapping attempts. When her father later passed away in the States due to a heart attack, her family moved back to Mexico, where she formed Le Butcherettes as a reaction to the culture gap. The band has since relocated to Los Angeles and gone through lineup transformations, including the addition of Omar Rodriguez Lopez on bass, but it retains the impassioned attitudes that Suaréz, still only 23, formed in her youth.
“There are so many flaws ingrained in our culture,” Suaréz says. “I was unhappy with Mexican politics and old customs that would insult my intelligence…so getting a shocking response from the people at the venues was what I was subconsciously looking for, even though I was against it. Nowadays I just like to look people straight into their eyes — and get an honest response.”
Teri Gender Bender is also in the new band Bosnian Rainbows with Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Deantoni Parks and Nicci Kasper.