In the Blog
Frankie Whyte: Kicks Rock n’ Roll Ass!
Every Thursday I profile a new incredible woman, each from a different walk of life. Different professions, causes, backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, and anything/everything else!
So without further delay, let me introduce the rock n’ roll metal queen Frankie Whyte…
Frankie Whyte isn’t about to let preconceptions and stereotypes about women in music stop her from shredding an awesome guitar riff. As vocalist and lead guitarist of the hardcore rock n’ roll “power quartet” Frankie Whyte and The Dead Idols, she dominates the stage in a genre that rarely sees a lady front and centre. With descriptions like “Motley Crue and Joan Jett mashed up together” (Soundproof Magazine), Frankie is just the female to tell us why “the love” and “the struggle” make it all worth while.
What drives you to do what you do?
There’s never ONE reason. The love, the struggle, to get lost, to find where you belong, to make something different for yourself, to stand alone, to live life strong. Rock music, it gets you out of bed everyday, it’s why you put so much in even when you get so little back, it’s why you sweat. It’s a lifestyle, and those who love it, you can pick em’ out of the crowd (or find 18,000 of them at your nearest Cruefest). Maybe we’re all outlaws who get screwed by the real world status quo, but as luck would have it, we get each other in the end and I’m 100% stoked on that. It’s like Paul Stanley says, “It’s never too late to work nine to five”. I’m going to do this within any capacity I can until the day I die, because any other life, doesn’t fit me. It’s on about who I am as a person.
How does being a woman empower / challenge you?
Got an hour?! Ha! I think the obvious challenge is working in a male dominated industry. You have to bust down doors, and prove yourself to the boys club - yeah, I can play harder and louder and faster than all of you. Or, I can play just as well as you, and some of you, I can play even better. You have to have big attitude and at the same time be able to walk the walk. That being said, you better be able to deliver because if you’re all talk, they’ll destroy you. Fuck, if you’re all talk, I’ll destroy you!
What advice would you give to young women who want to follow in your footsteps?
When I was sixteen years old, I had a wicked opportunity to do a hang with Bruce Cockburn, one on one. After shooting the shit about Massey Hall, AC/DC and different types of guitars for about half an hour, we wrapped. He took the last of his drink and leaned forward to make sure I was looking him right in the eye. He said, “just don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do”, I nodded, he leaned back in his chair as though he’d just passed on the meaning of life. That night when I got into the car, I wrote that quote down on a piece of paper in my journal. Five years later, I still have that piece of paper tacked up where I can see it every day. He’s right, you know. Stay true to yourself, and don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do.
Name one person, place, or thing every young woman should know about?
Into rock or not, people need to check out Home Sweet Home. It’s charity out of Toronto, started by two rock n’ roll women, Vicky Pfeiffer and Liz Morellato. These ladies know how to do it up right, and work hard to combine a killer night with a killer cause. Home Sweet Home was inspired by Nikki Sixx’s “Running Wild Through The Night” organization; basically it’s a night of full fledged rock n’ roll with celebrity MC’s, door prizes, auctions and live music (last year they had Toronto’s Motley tribute, “Crued”). DJ Ashba (Sixx AM) made an appearance as well last year, which pretty much blew my mind. Good job on the guitar hero ladies, good job! Where does the cash go? 100% of proceeds raked in go to Covenant House to aid street youth. Keep an eye out for it next summer, don’t miss a great night.
What is the most important thing we can do in order to change the world?
The world is massive! Realistically, I think we can start small by just treating each other right as human beings. We’re all in this together.
Frankie Whyte and the Dead Idols are playing a charity show, “Rok For Food” at Rok Boutique in Toronto on Sat., Dec. 13th, 2008. To check out their music and other shows, you can find Frankie Whyte and The Dead Idols on their myspace or on their website.