Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Hellskiss.
Hi Heather, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I started taking piano lessons at a young age and that was my foundation with music. We had a piano at the house and I would play for family, the resident piano woman so to speak. I also took up the flute and was in the choir in grade school. Later on, as a pre-teen I received my first no-brand guitar from my grandmother as a Xmas present and started taking guitar lessons learning Guns ‘N’ Roses and Tom Petty songs. My teacher was a 60s hippie rock named Dave and I thought he was the coolest teaching me songs I wanted to play verses your typical nursery rhyme ditties. I am from the east coast and my roots are in New York City where I was submerged in the riot grrrl/queer punk scene in my 20s. I was in a couple of bands in my earlier years, but this movement really propelled me to find my voice and make me want to use music as a platform to shed light on issues surrounding feminism, gender, social and local politics. I started fronting my own bands and this became my identity and still is to this day. I am just a music lover at heart and enjoy listening, going to shows and playing music with others is the best release and very therapeutic to me.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Dealing with sexism and homophobia has always been challenging, especially in my younger years. It’s still very much a white man’s world. Women and queer people were and are still not seen as equals in the music industry and society in general. We have to fight unjust treatment and also just to be seen and protected, but it’s what has made me a strong independent person.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’ve written many songs over my life, have had different co-writers and performed them with different bands. I’ve been on small tours on the east and west coast, played in Europe and China. Some of my music has been in films, most notably The Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift.
Crowns on 45
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I’ve been lucky to collaborate and play with so many diverse and talented musicians and share the stage with so many awesome bands. I feel very fortunate to know a couple of musicians who I’ve worked with for many years. Aisha Bhagat was my songwriting partner for over a decade. We played in multiple bands together back east, out west and have a very unique and magical rapport. Watts Yoshizawa has played drums in all of my bands here in Los Angeles (including The Damed) and we are just musically in sync and have a beautiful chemistry and trust. The three of us have been in two projects together. Both of these humans are like family to me and it’s so wonderful to find others who you are so in sync with and can be creative with in an honest, open way with ease.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.thedamed.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedamedband
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedamedband/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/thedamedband
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzMgIkdGl9xbAqX_2KXKsUQ
- SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/thedamedband
- Other: tiktok.com/@thedamedband
All photos by Luis Giovani Hernandez