Defying conventions and comparisons

Local women rockers Eufio upset the expectations of jaded listeners

Keri Carlson

Eufio sounds like a riot grrrl band. Like Bikini Kill, Huggy Bear and Bratmobile, Eufio’s music consists of a messy punk stomp that involves plenty of raised voices.

Normally, directly comparing a band to previous bands, discredits the artists’ work by denying creativity. But with the local three-piece, that’s not quite the case.

Eufio’s drummer, Angela Gerend, said, “People hear us and say, ‘Oh they sound like riot grrrl’ and that’s a negative comment.”

The band tries to take these comparisons the way Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna did in the early 1990s. Bassist Kim Kopischke (who attends the University) said Hanna, who used to be criticized for sounding like the girl punk group X-Ray Spex, defended Bikini Kill, claiming the band was not out to create a new genre. In Eufio’s case, the band sees it as vital to carry on the tradition of the riot grrrls.

Even in the Twin Cities, where there are as many bands as there are lakes, very few girl bands exist. Guitarist Jenny Hanson said, “Who are we supposed to look up to?”

The fact remains: Riot grrrl bands provide the only influence for women musicians not satisfied with the sweet and pretty notions of feminine music.

Riot grrrl gives women the freedom to scream.

On Eufio’s first full-length release, “Humoresque,” it uses this freedom to its full advantage. As the band sings “Don’t let your voice be heard,” Kopischke lets out a series of monstrous roars.

“Humoresque” proudly carries the riot grrrl torch. However, Eufio’s own political fierceness can’t be denied.

The song “40 Dollars” rallies against a major annoyance for female musicians: condescending music-store employees who assume women know nothing about equipment.

All three members agreed that one of the main difficulties women face when starting a band is getting “talked down

to.” Typically, women start bands later in life, and it can be intimidating to be around male musicians with more years of experience, they said.

“Girls think they have to know everything, be an expert,” Hanson said. “It’s why none of us had ever been in a band before. Girls think they have to be special Ö take music lessons for eight years.”

To combat these concepts, Eufio has held workshops on how to start a band. Its advice to aspiring girl musicians is to talk to other women in bands. “It’s a community” Hanson said.

But the most important piece of advice, one that Eufio puts into practice, is to simply get up and do it. “The more people see it,” Kopischke said, “The more it will happen.”