Women Who Inspire Women Series
Mia Priest | Vocalist
Nightmare A.D. | Cambodia
Those of you who have been reading our website for years hopefully will remember one of the best interviews we’ve ever done (probably the best one we’ve ever done in our lives)…it was with a dear sweet person named Mia Lee. Mia was born and raised in Singapore but has been living in Cambodia these past few years playing in bands like Nightmare AD and was also booking shows under the name Get in The Penh. The interview we did with her was enlightening because she shared, very candidly, her journey as a woman. Before you go any further with this, we urge you to read that interview: https://uniteasia.org/interview-identify-woman-proud-transwoman-mia-priest-speaks-us/
Today we wanted to celebrate her, celebrate her identity, celebrate who she is, celebrate her courage to live the way that she feels is right for her. There is nothing more punk rock than when someone stands up and says fuck you to societal “norms” that are dictated to us by tired old hats who can’t move on with the times.
We love you Mia.
Check out her Top 5 below.
Evelyn, My Mother
My mother Evelyn was the main pillar of support in my life. She was young at heart, always the life of the party and full of empathy and compassion.
In the late 90’s, she invested in and became one of the owners of the infamous Boom Boom Room in Singapore (a drag cabaret/comedy club) after being retrenched from her former job as a shipping clerk. She was well-loved by everyone who met her and a friend to several local celebrities such as Kumar (drag queen extraordinaire), Jazreel Low and Ann Kok.
She taught me a couple of important life lessons: to look at the world with an open mind and leave your prejudices behind. She had friends of all ethnicities, sexualities, and identities. Being Peranakan, she instilled the values of diversity and understanding in me at a young age, values of which I still carry with me and wear on my sleeve.
Evelyn passed away in 2003. She was and still is an inspiration to me.
Kayo Dot / Maudlin of the Well
Mia Matsumiya has always added amazing depth to the music of Kayo Dot and Maudlin of the Well. I’ve been a fan of both bands when I got into more experimental music from such labels as Robotic Empire/Hydra Head Records/Neurot Recordings. We were friends on Myspace back in the day and I’ve always seen her posts about her life and the weird/silly antics that she got up to that made me laugh.
From the IG account: https://www.instagram.com/perv_magnet/
Unfortunately for Mia, she got sexually harassed online constantly by creeps and perverts. In 2015, she created an Instagram account named “Perv_magnet” where she uploaded screenshots of threatening, misogynistic, racist and unsolicited sexual messages she received over the past ten years.
In my opinion, Mia was one of the women at the forefront of the #metoo movement in the extreme music scene who called out and publicly exposed the denigration and fetishization of women by men within the scene.
Derketa / Mythic / Novembers Doom / Penance
Mary and I comment on each other’s posts on Facebook but we haven’t done that in a while since I deactivated and eventually deleted my old FB account. She always struck me as an individual of strong character that takes no shit from others.
A solid bass/guitar player from Iron City (Pittsburgh), she’s older than me and is still kicking so much ass in her current bands Behind Enemy Lines and Mud City Manglers. I also admire her stance against animal cruelty and her personal belief in a vegan lifestyle although I am currently back on the meat wagon!
Laura Jane Grace
Laura has been a huge inspiration to me in terms of coming out and not being ashamed to be myself.
Having had mainstream success with her band Against Me!, Laura stood much to lose in terms of her musical career, not to mention her marriage with merchandise designer Hannah Hannoura and their daughter Evelyn. It took a lot to build up the courage to come out as a transgender woman to her loved ones and to present her true self in front of the public eye. I relate to her struggle as a musician who has come out publicly and is still facing prejudice and ostracization from people I’ve known in my life and judgment/discrimination from strangers.
It is a battle every single day for every single woman out there (cis or trans), including myself. Violence, verbal and emotional abuse against women has to stop.
I highly recommend her book (with Dan Ozzi): “Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout” that details her thoughts and what she went through before, during and after her transition.
The Pirate Queen
Ching Shih (Madame Ching) is the definition of badass. She was a Chinese pirate leader who commanded 300 ships and 30,000 to 40,000 pirates in East Asia during the Qing Dynasty (early 19th Century).
A former sex worker who married a notorious pirate named Cheng I, she rose to leadership status after Cheng I died in Vietnam and obtained her status by cultivating personal relationships and solidifying partnerships, ensuring that the pirate coalition (the Red Flag Fleet) formed by her husband stayed loyal to her command.
She fought ferocious battles with the Qing Government, the British Empire, and the Portuguese Empire. She died a free woman with children in 1844 and no other pirate has rivaled her notoriety and status to this day. She certainly wasn’t a bastion of morality, but she definitely wasn’t someone you’d fuck over and live to tell the tale.
Check out the previous articles on inspiring women in the series Women Who Inspire Women below (Click on the images to get to the articles):
Inspired by Revolver Mag’s own version, we wanted to showcase the amazing talent of female musicians involved in Asian hardcore, punk and metal scenes throughout this beautiful continent of ours. Get to know your scene, your community, the people that are making punk/hardcore/metal open to all people.