By Courtney Faulkner
CALGARY – MomBod is a punk infused trio, reminiscent of the feminist Riot Grrrl era suffused with grunge and psychedelic sound, and, as the band name implies, all three members are mothers.
“There’s a uniqueness to ourselves, yet we share something that’s the same,” says guitarist Mandy Fox. “We’re all mothers, and we all love music, and we all are determined to do that, and that’s another thing that brought us together.”
Fox, also a member of the Fox Eyes, a raw rock group that has been playing in Lethbridge for years, joined forces with experienced bassist Silvana Campus of the alt-rock duo betterhalf, with the encouragement of their drummer Amberlea Parker who wanted to make music with other women, specifically moms.
“I wanted something to look forward to every week, and to get music back into my life,” say Parker. “I’ve never really had a lot of mom friends, and just having two other badass moms to play with is the best thing I could ever ask for.”
While each musician comes from a diverse creative background, the shared experience of motherhood is something the three connect on.
“There’s this level of understanding that other people don’t necessarily have,” says Campus.
“We’re flexible with each other,” adds Parker.
“It’s nice to do something that’s not being a mom, being able to actually carry on other parts of your life. Those things don’t need to stop because you are now a parent,” says Campus. “I think it’s cool being able to balance out being a mom, with being a rad musician.”
The band has been together since the spring, forming in anticipation of FLIP Fest, a femme and gender-non-conforming music festival that took place in Lethbridge this August. After the festival the three were enjoying themselves so wanted to continue creating together, and are now playing Femme Wave. Their music is a strong collaborative process, each member taking turns writing the lyrics, singing, and co-writing songs together.
“At the moment we’re just writing songs, let’s try this thing and see how it feels. It’s fun to write by feel,” says Campus. “It’s cool to just explore a song.”
“We have our different ways of talking about our own personal lives at times too during practice,” says Fox. “You make better connections musically as a group if you’re making heart connections, and I think that’s one of the most important things of anything we do as individuals…we have the heart as a part of it, or it’s not real.”
With the band name, MomBod, comes a political conversation the bandmates didn’t really expect to initiate.
“People are using the idea of ‘mombod’ to shame moms that don’t fit into your stereotypical, have a baby and get back into your jeans,” says Parker.
“We want to take it back, make it something new, make it something better,” says Campus. “We’re going to create a new definition.”
As stated on their Facebook page, in response to an Urban Dictionary definition of MomBod, the band says, “We would like to challenge this notion of “Mom Bod” as outlined by Urban Dictionary to be redefined as any person who has given birth and who’s post-birth body is any shape or size. We, as rock moms, would like to celebrate these endless variations of the Mom Bod (stretch-marks and all) and would like to encourage every mom to love themselves and their bodies post child. In that notion, we take up a new meaning of MomBod as a means of empowering all moms everywhere.”
“It’s pretty cool how the politics have come up on their own,” says Fox. “I think for the most part we’re doing what we love, and we’re doing what we want to do, and it doesn’t matter if we’re moms or not, we’ll do it.”
MomBod play November 18 at the all ages venue McHugh House (Calgary) for Femme Wave.Femme Wave, McHugh House, MomBod, motherhood, Music