From Female Drummer/Singers Karen Carpenter, Sheila E. & Meg White, now to Miss Randall who Drops her Rapturous “Pagan Burial”
There have been some awesome drummers who sing lead vocals in rock’s timeline going back to people like Levon Helm, Phil Collins, Don Henley and Dave Grohl, then more recently with Anderson Paak and Questlove. But our ladies have also whipped the skins while singing their hearts out from Karen Carpenter, Sheila E., and Meg White…and also, Miss Randall who is called “a rarity in rock and metal bands — to have a female ‘manning’ the kit.”
A solo artist now based out of Portland, Oregon, Miss Randall is releasing her first EP, focusing on blues Alternative Rock entitled “Desertations, Vol.1.” Additionally, a single/video “Pagan Burial,” which is being released at Thanksgiving, pays homage to Miss Randall’s mortality and her birthday this month. She enthuses, “There’s something freeing about connecting with my birthday. I love every second that I live in this life and the memories that I continue to make, but as I grow older, I become more accepting of the inevitable end. All there is will cease to exist, and that’s okay. I encourage everyone to feel the same in this song: Let it all burn!”
Indeed, the clock is inexorably ticking.
So, Miss Randall isn’t wasting it. She’s already an established songwriter, singer, and drummer driven by esoteric intuition and the uncomfortable themes of the human condition. Going deeper into her new single’s story, she says, “This tune goes into the traditional concept of pagan Norse burial which is pretty much burial by burning, bringing with key items from this life to keep company onto the next one — if there is such a thing. The only unfortunate thing is that mostly men were the ones having this ceremony, so I’m calling it equal for both — there were some epic warrior women out back in Viking and Slavic pagan times! Also here, I connect the song a bit with my own ancestry, as I’m 60% Northwest European, with a concentration in Northern Scotland, Northeast Ireland, and Scandinavia (Denmark). I like to imagine that my ancestors were doing this.”
The new LP is in the vein of the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) and classic metal, for which Miss Randall teamed up with Witch Mountain’s guitarist/engineer Rob Wrong; Mountain Meadows Massacre’s David Nelson as session guitarist/bassist; Las Cafeteras’ Chuwii Gonzalez as session keyboardist; and, Tobias Enhus as second engineer, and Glen Nicholls as mastering engineer.
— How did legendary drummer/singers inspire you?
— Singing drummers are definitely inspirational. I’m particularly inspired by Don Henley, Phil Collins, Karen Carpenter, Peter Criss, and Brann Dailor. Singing and drumming made sense since I was first a singer and then a drummer. I didn’t want to give up one or another, so I kept it going. I still do it here and there, but I have a different approach to both because I’ve come to realize that the songs have to be structured in a particular way in order to have one or the other not hurt when playing live. I won’t quit quite yet doing both, but a hybrid approach will have to do from now on — ideally having a sitting drummer that I just tap on the shoulder to play a few songs — or just sing or drum instead. As for me wearing high heels while playing drums in the song’s video, I wear them only for the visual aspect — they’re not comfortable at all!
— Tell us more about feeling like a “warrior woman” not only in this song, but in your career, dealing with the male patriarchy, especially in the music business.
— It’s hard to believe that in the year of almost 2024 we still have to talk about the male patriarchy, but it’s still a thing. As for the music business, I do see a lot of women like myself in the scene fighting back the traditional way a woman handles herself onstage and presented and “sexualized” in the media. Strong women like Tatiana of Jinjer, Courtney of Spiritbox, or my dear friend Nita Strauss are pretty inspiring to me these days. I do feel like we still have to prove ourselves three times harder than men to make ourselves heard, whether it’s reaching out to radio promoters, booking a show, or trying to get any kind of deal. Maybe one day we’ll be perceived as equal. In this song “Pagan Burial,” in particular, I wanted to clearly bring that Viking pagan warrior idea visualization, which in reality, wasn’t quite true. Being such was very male-driven back in the day, but there are vestiges of warrior women, particularly in the Balkans. And I also bring the imagery of the healing pagan “witch” here who is seeing through the stone walls how the battle is going to play out, and the drummer woman, who beats and dances to the drum to pump the heart with energy.
— What reasons do you have for being “thankful” at this time of the year?
— Thanksgiving is always close to my birthday — November 25 — so I always associate it with gratitude for the New Year. I’m very thankful for the experiences that I’ve had in the last 10 years in general. I’ve had a very special person next to me who has motivated me to be better, and without him, I would probably still be aimlessly trying to make it in LA with no purpose, no goal, and just for the status of it all. I’m done with that old me. I’m also grateful to the people around the world who, after so many years, have stuck around and have helped me put forth my own creative vision with their motivation, musicianship, coaching, or engineering help. They know who they are. And well, gotta thank my mom Pilar for her continuous love and support and my dad Patrick, wherever he is. as he was my first musical intro to music when I first heard him sing gloriously in front of a crowd.