Q&A with Sam Mazza!

(Image via facebook.com/rebelheartspodcast/)

As an avid Paramore fan who follows various fan accounts, shares/retweets videos and art by fans, it finally came to my attention that Sam Mazza exists and she might be my new best friend. Being a HUGE Paramore fan and also a HUGE music lover, Sam decided to start a podcast called “Rebel Hearts” where she focuses on women in music. MY CUP OF TEA!

Sam describes this podcast saying, “I have taken on sexism, issues in the LGBTQA+ community, and pretty much everything in between, while also playing music by bands that are either lesser known, underground, or just really good. I wanted to create something I didn’t see yet, something that made people feel included while also educating the best I could, and showing off some great music I hope will maybe help someone discover their new favorite band.”

I reached out to Sam asking her about the inspiration behind this podcast, her love for music (and Paramore), and more!

First of all, tell me about how your love for music began and what inspired you to focus on women in music?

“I was involved in a project in early 2017 centered around feminism. As the project went on, I realized I knew nothing while my business partner steered the ship and I felt lost and frustrated. It lasted a few months, after that I decided to take what I learned from that project and apply it to something I loved and was confident about. I saw the movie “The Runaways” and went out and bought the book it was based on which was singer Cherie Currie’s memoir “Neon Angel” and just fell in love with the idea of women who weren’t afraid to be aggressive and go against what people thought women could do. I then saw the Kathleen Hanna documentary “The Punk Singer” on Netflix that really opened up a lot for me and the podcast was solidified after that.”

How your podcast began (inspirations, necessary steps, etc.)

“Well the name came from a line in the script for the movie “(500) Days of Summer” where director Marc Webb wrote “pretty girls with Rebel Hearts are in high demand” which I was getting tattooed a few years ago but didn’t have enough money and the guy who was going to do it made fun of it and was not respectful about doing it what so ever… lol. I liked doing it [the podcast] which is something I didn’t realize I would, and I just kind of figured it out as I went along. Women in this industry inspire me everyday and it makes me so proud to be a woman when I see bands like Bully, Punch (R.I.P.) or Gouge Away just up there with these killer aggressive vocals and taking names.”

The rise of the self-love movement and how you feel the music scene has impacted that

“Well first of all: can’t relate. Second, I think with certain albums and songs coming out about mental health, it’s opened up a conversation for people to either talk about their issues or seek help and in turn has helped them love themselves or at least like themselves a little bit more. Being honest with your audience helps them feel included and part of it, and I think that’s all anyone wants to feel.”

Your love of Paramore, why and how?

“Paramore was a band that fell into my lap while I was still devoted to Panic! At the Disco and at the time, other than Avril Lavigne, I personally didn’t see a girl up there on a stage just killing it. I know we’ve had plenty to look up to, but I was growing up in the early 2000’s and I was pretty sheltered from a lot of things, so seeing Hayley head banging and playing music in a band was kind of like how some people probably felt when they saw The Runaways or Blondie or No Doubt. I just felt ‘here is someone close to my age doing something I didn’t think girls could do. How do I get their entire discography?’

That was in 2006, I’m 25 now and I don’t think my love for them has lessened, but I definitely just see them more as people I can talk to or be friends with and I think that’s a new kind of love I have for them now. I used to love them in a way where they were people I would never meet or get to know and it felt empty, now after years of shows and meeting them, I feel less empty and the love feels real. That’s probably why they’ve been able to stay relevant for so long, and to me I respect the hell out of it.”

What’s your goal for the next 5 years for you, your podcast, music, etc.

“I have so many unrealistic goals that keep ending up being just over fictionalize anxiety dreams that all I want in the next 5 years is to still be doing something I enjoy and continue to educate myself and help others be exposed to wonderful things such as bands they’ve never heard of or information that might be helpful for them.”

Check out the official Rebel Hearts store to buy cool merch, here!

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