This is Siobhan:
Magnets frontwoman, activist, and member of the Sea Dragon Glam-Fam.
We spoke to Siobhan recently to learn about why she loves it and how she does it.
“Be bold, magnetic, & not afraid to make mistakes.”
What inspired the formation of Magnets?
Magnets was born out of doing before believing. I had played in bands for years (Ali Barter, Sons of Rico), but had never had the confidence to go it alone. Looking back, I was always qualified, capable, but it was a definite ‘am I worthy’ question. I think we idolise musicians sometimes, but it makes the distance between watcher and part-taker seem more distant than it is. So Magnets was there to be magnetic, bold, and step out and make mistakes while learning.
What do you love most about performing?
Oh I miss this! My beautiful friend, Julia, calls me a show-pony. I’m usually wracked with insecurities (like all of us –right?), but the moment I’m on stage I’m a confident peacock. I absolutely love interacting with the audience, making them laugh, literally ‘performing’ for them. I read a lot by David Byrne, and his thoughts on making the stage a performance really stuck with me. Each to their own, but I don’t think I’ll ever be a person who stares at my shoes in jeans. I’m much more interested in making a new costume each time and doing my best to make you laugh between the long notes.
What’s one thing you’d like to change about the music industry?
THE FUTURE IS ACCESSIBLE. Quite honestly, this is all I’m obsessed with at present. 2017 was such a ridiculous dichotomous year. It seemed to all be going up, with unearthed support, signing to a publisher and Universal asking me to song-write. Then, I woke up deaf, lost my sense of balance, and learnt how excluded you become from the industry with any form of illness or disability. I’ve barely been able to perform or attend shows in 12 months, because it just isn’t made for me, or people like me. If I could change one thing, it would be to have the industry open their eyes and let people of all abilities into the scene. It shouldn’t just be for the young, rich and able.
You’ve been pretty vocal about your own challenges with accessibility in the music industry. What’s something you wished more people would understand or know about?
One thing I’ve been recently vocal about is how non-accessible lighting is for a lot of people. Anything from flash photography to strobes at music gigs can set me off and mean I have to leave (often nauseous and dizzy). It would be really nice for people to consider lighting access in their events. It’s not just about wheelchair accessibility (though so very needed), but so many more things. If we start to broaden what it means to provide access, we’ll see more and more people able to attend.
What do you love about Sea Dragon?
How shiny you are <3 You’re in almost all my press shots for a reason ;) Glitter for days!
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would that be?
Mistakes are part of learning, and if you don’t make them, you won’t grow. Not trying is accepting failure 100%, so why not accept the uncertainty of succeeding and give it a go? You can do it.
Support Musicians 4 Hearing
Siobhan has been doing some incredible work with her not-for-profit Musicians 4 Hearing, and we're stoked to support her efforts. Click here to see how you can help Siobhan bring hearing to the world's poor.