Name, where are you from?
Lauren Tate. We are Hands Off Gretel a 4-piece Noise-Pop/Alt Rock band based in and around the steel city of Sheffield.
Describe your style in three words?
Naughty, Bubblegum-Chomping, Girl-Rage
What's the best gig you've ever been to?
I remember when I was 13 going to see my idol P!nk. She rode out on a motorbike singing 'Highway To Hell' by AC/DC and I just remember that sensation when I saw her, she was the coolest woman in the world to me in that moment, I just sat there looking down at her in awe. I just knew someway somehow I was going to own the stage like she did and make girls like me feel how she made me feel. I came away so touched by that show, nobody has ever made me feel like that before! She taught me so much about feminism and self-love from such a young age, something that has always stuck with me when I'm performing and creating my art.
If you could be on the lineup with any two bands in history?
For me that'd have to be Alice In Chains early 90s era with Layne Stanley obviously with Pearl Jam supporting. They're both such influences to me especially as vocalists and performers. There's no better feeling than playing on a bill where everyone is giving 110% each night, there's so much energy in those sort of lineups. The way they sang with such emotion I just believed every word and I feel like a lot of music nowadays has lost that realness and fragility, that's what gets me so excited when I find current bands in the underground scene that have that energy that is yet to be discovered.
Which subcultures have influenced you?
I found the Riot Grrrl subculture founded in Olympia, Washington DC when I was 15 about 25 years too late. I collected mini fanzines I bought online and read many books about feminism and the punk scene. To be honest, until then I didn't really know much about feminism and from my town growing up I'd only ever heard that word in a negative context. I felt so drawn in with the honesty in the zines and the lyrics, with Bikini Kill being my fave band from the Riot Grrrl scene teaching me that women didn't have to be perfect like in pop culture, they could be angry and real and actually change something.
If you could spend an hour with anyone in history?
I'd love to meet Rob Zombie and tell him he absolutely needs to get me to act in one of his movies because I was just born for it duh! Then if he wasn't up for that, give me 10 years or so and I'll ask him to star in one of my movies because I'd love to direct one day and pretty anything I strive for I end up getting somehow.
Of all of the venues you've played which is your favourite?
I loved playing Nambucca at our album launch this year. We sold the place out and everyone just went wild, our London fans are the second craziest to our Glaswegians! Slaves did their album launch there too a few years back and I freaking love them boys so much, that's also on my bucket list to play a gig with them!
Your Greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Mine has to be Courtney Love. Regardless of any bad press, she's had over the years, nobody compares to her when it comes to brutal honestly and feminine rage. I was obsessed with Nirvana for a long time and then Sean our guitarist told me to check out Hole and since then Nirvana became my second favourite band. It was an instant hook like she just grabbed my ragged edges and gave me this 'F*CK IT' attitude. I would listen to her at secondary school all the time, earphones in, just fantasising that one day I'd have the guts to get up on stage and be a rockstar like that.
Sheffield band, Hands Off Gretel are a DIY alt-rock outfit fronted by Lauren Tate. Tipped by This Feeling and Northern Exposure, the four-piece crowd-funded their debut album 'I Want The World' in just 24 hours.
Hands Off Gretel will tour the UK in support of the album in June and July, as well as making appearances at including Camden Rocks and Rebellion Festival. Find out more at www.handsoffgretel.co.uk