The current loud music scene may be awash in an ocean of testosterone, but Tootsie renders gender obsolete on their new self-titled debut disc, a gritty street-wise meld of heavy metal, hard knocks, and pop rocks.
And they're not riot grrrls, femme fatales, or Lilith Fair leftovers!
When singer / guitarist / songwriter Erika Lebel resolved to reach out and touch like-minded women, she turned to the Internet. Sifting through e-mail queries, soundbites, and various musician-wanted cyber-ads, Lebel found two kindred spirits that shared her love of "big shows, big hooks, and big flashy rock bands."
Drummer Hillary Koogler and bassist Beth Lahr enlisted after auditioning on a couple of Ozzy Osborne tunes and a few of Erika's old songs. Immediately Tootsie hit the road, logging in over 100 gigs during their first year of existence. The trio simultaneously commenced work on their debut collection under the guidance of producer / engineer Bill Solum, who was initially impressed when Erika casually picked up his 12-string Rickenbacker at his Maine studio and proceeded to peel off Led Zeppelin classics effortlessly. Though segments of Tootsie were recorded "in a bedroom," the album could have easily been waxed during a ballroom blitz. With a raucous veneer and a rebellious swagger Tootsie unleashes the energy of a live performance by a band on a sonic upswing.
"Our music is fun. It's straight ahead rock 'n' roll, and it has alot of hooks and grooves," emphasizes Beth Lahr. Noted for her head-banging hair-flipping antics on stage ("it helps me stay in the pocket" ) and Cheshire grin ("if you're gonna do it right, you can't be self-conscious, I trust my instincts."), she continues "we don't want to change what we're doing to fit a particular market. We just want an audience that's into what we're doing."
Tootsie's popularity has swelled thanks to relentless touring. Hillary says "we're very lucky to have found each other. The girls are like my sisters. All our Behind The Music stories have to do with weird stuff that's happened at our shows, such as men picking me up over their head like championship wrestlers and girls flashing us. I'm waiting for the guys to start flashing."
"I knew this band was going to clique right away" states Erika , who unabashedly admits her yen for hard-rock icons Metallica and Kiss. Ditto Beth who was raised on Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Guns 'n' Roses. Hillary credits Pantara's Vinny Paul, Slayer's Dave Lombardo, and Scott Rockenfield of QueensrÃ¿che as primary influences. "In a trio setting I never get cramped. Erika and Beth give me free reign to go crazy, though I do try to be tasteful....but who needs taste? This is rock 'n' roll!"
Check out the artist's website:
1. For Your Love
2. Can't Fool Me
4. Dizzy Love
5. We'll Be Strong
6. Don't Stop