INTERVIEW: Tampon Rock

1.)   A hearty greeting from Vents Magazine! Before we get things underway, how has the Tampon Rock podcast crew been doing during these odd and unsettling times?

Sarah – Doing alright! All I do is take baths and go for walks, multiple times a day. 

Sophie – I’m doing well, all things considered! My friends and family are healthy and safe, so I can’t complain.

Alysia- I’m keeping sane by distracting myself with thinking I’m a chef! 

2.)   I LOVE the title of your podcast as it instantly demands attention…LOL! Can you do a deep dive for Vents readers and explain the premise behind the title and what the concept behind Tampon Rock is?

Sarah – Tampon Rock was actually a term used back in the day as a somewhat derogatory slur towards rock music made my women. Most recently, it’s been used in reference to Tegan and Sara’s music from a few albums back. We are reclaiming it and loving it – menstruation should be destigmatized and women should create art, and tell stories! 

3.)   Tampon Rock tackles some big issues such as diversity, inclusion and LGBTQ, but does so with a deft and humorous brushstroke. Why was it important for you to add dashes of genuine humor to the podcast?

Sophie – It was important for us to tell a story that was joyful, funny and represents a well-rounded depiction of the human experience.

Alysia – As a Black, queer, woman, I felt like there wasn’t really a lot of representation for people who look like me; I felt like a lot of our stories were rooted in trauma, so it was important for me to break that and explore a story that’s not sad or heartbreaking! 

Sarah – I also feel like humor is something that really bonds the three of us together. I couldn’t see us collaborating and not infusing humor into the story.

4.)   What can listeners expect from Tampon Rock going forward after its two episode premiere on December 3?

Sophie – More laughs, more ridiculous narrator’s songs, more Gina!

Alysia – You’ll see the troubles of a friendship, troubles with dating, and more songs!

5.)   Music is another character in Tampon Rock. Can you talk a little bit about what your music selection process was like for the show, even if the music may be mentioned at times only in passing?

Alysia – Sophie and I were the music supervisors on this podcast, meaning we picked songs that we felt were able to move the story along. Sarah was the composer so every narrator song, transition song, and band song was composed and made by the incredible Sarah Aument! 

Sarah – When we were working on the narrators’ songs, the three of us would chat for a while and toss around ideas for the style/instrumentation. Then we would sit on Zoom while I composed in Ableton *laughs*! I’d track something and they’d give me real time feedback. At some point, we’d write the lyrics, go record them, then send audio files to each other, all while still on the same Zoom call. 

6.)   How long has Tampon Rock been gestating from a brilliant idea on paper to its final form of the upcoming podcast?

Sophie – We’ve been developing the podcast since summer 2019. We recorded the pilot back in January 2020, but the rest of the season was written and recorded during quarantine.

7.)   Podcasts have really rewritten a lot of entertainment and educational rules, and some have even gone on to their own adaptations in film, documentaries and television. Could you foresee a day when Tampon Rock might get the big screen treatment? Would you want it to?

Sarah – 100,000%. Tampon Rock needs to live on, grow, and reach different audiences. 

Sophie – Yes and yes! When we were writing it, we could see it so clearly that, to me, it wouldn’t be a big leap to adapt it for the screen.

Alysia – I think we’ve been envisioning a TV show, so that’s what I’m manifesting!

8.)   Are there certain types of freedoms you have with the podcast format for Tampon Rock that you might not have with other platforms of presentation?

Sarah – I think leaning into the podcast format, being only audio, helped push us towards a lot of the creative decisions we made. Deciding to add the narrators and even having them joke about the platform, saying things like, “They’re walking and they’re talking but you can’t see them,” was really a product of the medium. 

9.)   What are you most proud of with Tampon Rock?

Sophie – I’m most proud that we’re getting to tell stories written by, and starring diverse voices that don’t always get a platform.

Alysia – Yes! Exactly what Sophie said.

Sarah – All of the above!

10.) How autobiographical is Tampon Rock

Sarah – I’d say it’s loosely autobiographical. We have witnessed or part-taken in our fair share of things that go on in the show, but definitely not all. 

Sophie – I think there are lots of things in the show that one of us has experienced, or heard about second-hand, but the characters and story aren’t completely autobiographical.

Alysia – They say write what you know, and I think we kind of did that for Tampon Rock.

11.)  Final (SILLY) Question: What is the one item that is always in your refrigerator? 

Sarah – Hot sauce. Many forms of hot sauce. I don’t discriminate.

Sophie – Homemade strawberry jam (a yearly Christmas gift – I don’t make it!)

Alysia – Kale that’s been in there too long.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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