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MUSIC Queer musician Bitch on Pride, politics and musical hiatus
by Mackenzie Murtaugh

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L.A.-based queer musician Bitch is no stranger to thinking outside of the box. After years on hiatus, she came back with a political punch in early 2019 with her single "New Year," which is an upbeat anthem for women who reclaim their space and time from those in power.

Windy City Times caught up with Bitch just a month ahead of her headlining Arlington Heights show on Thursday, Aug. 1 at Hey Nonny.

Windy City Times: How did you celebrate Pride Month?

Bitch: Yeah, mainly [I did] a residency here in L.A. every Saturday night at the Hotel Cafe—and it's been very gay. L.A. is very fun. Our Pride was the first weekend in June, and there's a very fun event called Dyke Day L.A. where they take over a park and there are DJs and food, and it's very fun.

WCT: What's your favorite part about performing? Your shows can be very electrifying and kind of in-your- face with the audience.

B: You know, probably the fact that every audience is different. I really enjoy kind of rolling with that. The audience's energy and personalities are always different, and I enjoy interacting in that different way every night.

WCT: Does anyone ever get unruly at your shows? Maybe bachelorette parties?

B: I'm always on the lookout for the people. For some reason, they don't come to my shows, but really they definitely should.

WCT: Going back to Pride Month, this year's has been particularly polarizing, with proposed Straight Pride Parade, which may be held in August. How do you respond to all of this?

B: I mean, it's always Straight Pride. You need a parade, too? That's my reaction.

WCT: It's very much like... Isn't the Thanksgiving Day Parade kind of Straight Pride?

B: Yes! I didn't realize that it was an actual thing that was going to happen. It's similar to when the Black Lives Matter movement started and then people started saying "All Lives Matter." But there's a reason the Black Lives Matter movement is here; the list [of reasons] is endless. It seems like the same mentality.

WCT: So, after listening to some of your songs, there are some political, social and gender issues you try to discuss. What does have these issues in your song do for you in today's political climate?

B: It's a great time to be alive right now. I hadn't released new music in a few years, and after the Trump takeover, I just thought, "Man, I've got to start sharing again because this shit is bonkers!"

My latest single is called "Easy Target." I wanted to dedicate it to all the women who have been coming out and the Time's Up and Me Too movements and just how women, no matter what, are going to be extra critiqued and shamed when they take a stand. I wrote that song based on my own experiences, but it's been very meaningful to people who rise up and at the same time as being completely devastated by what's happening in our world. I'm also very inspired by what we're all doing by standing up and reacting to it.

WCT: Earlier you mentioned your break from music. Is there anything different from what you're doing that you did before your break?

B: I know there is because the work has definitely transformed. The songs and the sound is different, but I can't say what it is. I can't put my finger on it.

WCT: Do you feel like a different musician or performer?

B: I would say I have taken my time to be more specific and clear. I've created my live show to be more portable and accessible. In today's climate, we have to use every tool in our cauldron to be accessible but still fun.

WCT: How do you balance your work life, performing and your social life?

B: Most of my friends and acquaintances are other artists and creative people. It's pretty easy. I go and support my friends' shows and they come to mine. There's a lot of socializing that gets caught up in the creative process, so there's kind of a natural balance to it.

WCT: Do you catch up with old friends when you're back home?

B: Yeah. You know, my parents are divorced. So there's definitely a little bit of a rift there because I don't go back to the same house. As I get older, I'm definitely trying to stay in touch with those older friends from my past, but it can be a challenge.

WCT: So what's next with you? What's coming at us in the future?

B: I'm about to shoot the video for "Easy Target." I should be putting that out maybe August or September. I'm just going to keep releasing songs, and I really hope to make a video for every song I released this year. At some point, there will be an album.

Bitch will be performing at Hey Nonny, 10 S. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights, on Thursday, Aug. 1, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets can be found at .

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