ABOUT THIS PODCAST: For this episode of the Native Hope Podcast, we have our guest host, Vikki Eagle, interview two indigenous female musicians, Becki Jones and Channing Concho. In alignment with Vikki’s long-term project, “Ancestors Rez Metal,” she leads the discussion on feminity within the metal scene. Vikki’s goal is to “deconstruct the image of Native Americans beyond buckskin, headdresses, and mascots, showcasing real-life Indians.” It has been her observation that the rez metal genre is a perfect representation of “Indigenous resiliency and sovereignty,” describing it further as an “act of self-determination on sovereign land.” Regardless of access to music lessons, funding, and record labels, many Indigenous bands rise together to express themselves and give shape to their sound.
Becki Jones, of the Navajo Nation, is from Window Rock, Arizona. By day she works professionally as a Sex Educator for Planned Parenthood, as it is a personal passion for her to be an active voice in purposeful spaces, lending her skills as an advocate and organizer. By night she is the lead vocalist and bass guitar player for the punk band Weedrat. In this interview, she shares her beginnings as a musician, as well provides further insight into important topics facing indigenous women, queer-identifying individuals, and “trans folks.” Using her “femme voice,” she “screams” rather than sings, providing awareness to political issues. She calls out “hetero-cis gendered males,” noting that the metal scene “lacked voices of women of color and people of color,” thus showing the need to “break down the binary of patriarchal society.”
Channing Concho, Laguna Pueblo and Hopi, is the drummer of the all-female trio Suspended. With family roots in music and rock in her blood, music for her is a lifestyle and the Do It Yourself (DIY) attitude is second-nature. She discusses how her band uses their lyrics to shed light colonization, as it is expected from mainstream society to “keep our mouths shut and be more religious.” Essentially, with metaphor they work to bring freedom to indigenous people and indigenous women, shunning away elements of tragedy and feeding feminine strength.