Interview: Bulletproof Stockings- Chasidic Faith + Rock and Roll = Awesome

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What happens when you combine a bunch of incredible musicians and the Chasidic Faith? You get the power girl group Bulletproof Stockings. Currently working to record their first full length album,  we recently were able to speak with Dalia and Perl from Bulletproof Stockings get a feel for their music, their beliefs and the power of rock and roll for women.

 

FGN: For those folks at home who don’t know what the Chasidic faith is, can you give us a brief breakdown of what you believe? How does this belief influence your music.

Bulletproof Stockings: Chasidism is a philosophical branch within Judaism. The foundation is intellectual mastery of spirit over the material through study & deeply probing self-reflection for the purpose of self-betterment. The essential tenant is not the intention but the deed itself which takes precedence, and the framework is a service of joy in which the main objective is bringing Heaven down to Earth. This understanding is what shapes our experiences. It’s the vantage point our artistic expression stems from.

FGN: Per your Kickstarter page, you two mention that men of the Chasidic faith are instructed to not hear the singing voice of women outside of their immediate families. How has that impacted your music? How do your families respond to your music? What are your concerts like?

Bulletproof Stockings: If anything, our music is more true and impactful because it is not filtered through the lens of social constructs and gender affectations that are prevalent in most popular music made by women for a mixed audience. While making music, the audience we have in mind is a sisterhood, which inevitably keeps things real. The fact that men who hear it through other mediums are still touched by those results is incredibly reaffirming of the fact that those prescribed layers are utterly extraneous, just as suspected ;). Our families are thankfully some of our biggest fans. By providing a space for women to free up their inner selves, our concerts end up being for many somewhat of a spa for the soul. One of the reactions we often hear from our inspired concert goers is how their BPS musical interlude was transportative. There’s nothing quite like getting your dork on and rocking out in a room full of fellow women.

FGN: You have labeled your music ‘Chasidic Rock.” How do you describe this type of music to people who have never heard your music?

Bulletproof Stockings: Our music is really an amalgamation of many different influences including classical, classic rock, alternative rock, punk rock, blues, jazz, with Chasidic melodical undertones. Since Jews have had homes all over the globe, a lot of flavors shine through.

FGN: Do you have any restrictions as to when you can play and practice due to your faith? If so, how does this impact your concert schedule?

Bulletproof Stockings:We don’t play on our Sabbath (1 hour before sundown on Friday – 1hour after sundown on Saturday) as well as during certain Jewish holidays. All this means for us is that we work around those designated times. Couldn’t imagine doing it any other way at this point in our lives.

FGN: Who are the women in your band and which instruments do they play? What got the two of you started in music and why Chasidic Rock? What are your practices like?

Bulletproof Stockings: Elisheva Maister on cello, Perl Wolfe on piano & lead vocals, Dana Pestun on violin.& Dalia on drums & vocals. Elisheva, Perl and Dana were all classically trained from a young age, Dalia was self-taught. Our practices happen mostly in our living room and our time is split between fine tuning the music and rolling out all the inner clowns…

FGN: Where does the name “Bulletproof Stockings” come from?

Bulletproof Stockings:There’s an expression used to as a derogatory description of the thick, opaque stockings that some Chasidic women wear. When embracing this path, it was only fitting to own the joke in some way. When we met, it was clear to both of us that we had been brought together to make this thing happen and what else could we possibly name an all girl Chasidic Rock band that plays exclusively for women…!! We also liked it because it really brings home the idea of feminine strength, the juxtaposition illustrating both resilience and vulnerability. Having an all women’s concert space frees them up to run the gamut of being all of those things and more.

FGN: You are currently hosting a Kickstarter to earn money to record your first full length album. What have been the greatest challenges in composing your album?

Bulletproof Stockings:Thank G-d, starting with the songs that a highly inspired Perl had begun putting together on her own, we developed the material rather quickly. Our incredibly in common musical language made for rapid fire music making. Finding other female musicians who got what we were doing took a little time. But the main hurdle we’re facing at the moment is pooling financial resources. With a little help from fans & visionaries from all over, we’re hoping the kickstarter campaign will totally bridge that gap.

FGN: Where can our readers continue to follow your progress and projects?

Bulletproof Stockings: Most of our activity happens on Facebook & Twitter. And then, there’s always the press that seems to keep an eye on Chasidic All-Girl Rock bands… 😉

If you’d like to support Bulletproof Stockings Kickstarter, you may do so here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bulletproofstockings/bulletproof-stockingss-first-full-length-album

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