Ryan Adams & Abuse in Music

I suppose many people have been following the Ryan Adams stories in the news lately. Sexism, Misogyny, Manipulation, Abuse – does it exist in the Music Industry?

There is no reason to think that music would be any different to any other industry in this regard. We live in a patriarchal society – and therefore the culture that both men and women grow up in is sexist…

Women strive to get ahead in this environment but invariably are often abused, manipulated and face sexism on a daily basis.

Personally I am very lucky to be working with a band who embrace the feminine in everything they do. 7 men and 1 woman make up Kila and while the music may seem tribal and primal at times, when you listen you hear the female voice as much as you hear the male voice. All credit to Dee Armstrong and to Brian, Rónán, Colm , Rossa, James, Dave and Seanan for creating a musical environment in which that can happen.

I have always been a massive Ryan Adams fan. When I read some of the articles recently about how he treated his wife in particular, I am not sure I will ever listen to a Ryan Adams song again.

Misogyny exists in music , abuse exists in music, sexism exists in music and manipulation exists in music. But does that mean all male musicians are a part of this? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

But there is a minority out there that are enabled by their friends who do not speak up about the abuse they witness. They rationalise it and put it down to artistic temperament, or another statement I regularly hear – ‘he’s hurting and is so misunderstood..he means no harm…’

I am certain Mandy Moore when she married Ryan Adams thought she was marrying a misunderstood rock star. Yet he tried to break any musical creativity she may have had. These personalities exist in the music industry, and as an industry that has relatively less formal rules than more streamlined industries, we all need to speak up if we see this kind of abuse. It is a silent less visible form of abuse, but if it wasn’t enabled it is unlikely it would be able to exist.

Today is World Social Justice Day and the words of Martin Luther King resonated with me today:

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King

Kíla, Raidió na Life and why I love my job!

As most of you know, I have a show on Raidió na Life on a Monday night at 6 ..sometimes weekly sometimes fortnightly…as and when I can make it but it’s a regular thing…

The show is as Gaeilge, but the bands and musicians who come in don’t need to speak Irish…they just need to play and get into the craic of the Irish language and try a cúpla focail…

Raidió na Life were based on Merrion Square until last year…when they moved to Amiens Street…The Amiens street studios include Stiúidió na Life where bands can record, but it’s also now where Gardiner Music records the sessions for the radio show..its cool…

There were two bands who launched the sessions in this studio for my radio show properly…King Bones and Kíla…

Because I manage Kíla, I have recently been asked to write a few words from the band on the new studio. Something I will do with the input of the band…but what I can say is – is áit speisialta é Raidió na Life – it’s a special place!

But this article isn’t just about that, this article is about Ally, my sister in law. A woman who battled cancer for 4 and a half years, and a mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, daughter in law and sister in law..

Kíla, the best band in the universe, came in and recorded a session for my show on Raidió na Life on the 29th November 2018. It was a gorgeous session. It was a celebration of 30 years of Kíla . It was in the brand new Stiúidió na Life… I loved the show, I loved the music and I loved the banter…

As they started their last song and my bit was done, I saw my Mum was trying to ring me. Ally had died a few minutes previously.  My parents were about to leave to get on their way to the hospice where Ally and my brother were. Ally was a cool woman. She died during the last song of Kíla’s session. I waited awhile as the session wrapped up and then told the band she had died. They all hugged me.

When I say I love my job, this is why.