by Marisa Torrieri Bloom
I met Michele Stork sometime in 2007, right after I began teaching guitar at New York City Guitar School. I don’t remember our first conversation, exactly, as we sat sprawled across the living room floor of our friend Gail’s Manhattan studio. But I remembered the sparkle in her eyes when she spoke about her band, Loki the Grump, and her musical influences — Rollins Band, Murphy’s Law, and other hardcore-music mainstays in DC and NYC.
As a bonafide DC girl with a love of Henry Rollins and Murphy’s Law, I felt a special connection with Michele, which continued onto our tours. Every hardcore, punk and/or gravelly-vocalled band led us to rush the stage together. She’s still the only friend of mine who knows the words to my super-fast punk song “Strawberry Shortcake” (and has written alternate versions).
Michele, who works in the music business by day, brings the same love of hardcore and punk — and righteous, unforgettable lyrics — into all of her musical projects, from her former band Loki the Grump to her latest project (A)llerdings!, with her friend Joe De Sapio and husband Dietmar.
We caught up with her earlier this week to discuss her plans for getting creative in the near future.
ROCKMOMMY: How would you describe your music style?
MICHELE STORK: I’m all over the place when I write songs, but I definitely love to play punk of some sort. My very first band was avant-Garde punk, my second was goth punk, then ones all over the spectrum. The band I‘m most known for in the GRGR world was a bit on the pop punk side. The current trio for this show – (A)llerdings! – is really raw. Our friend Joe is an awesome guitarist, but my husband and I have not picked up our instruments in quite a few years so we are not so awesome… but we do have a load of fun so the fact that we are less than spectacular doesn’t really concern me!
ROCKMOMMY: What kinds of songs will you be playing at your next show? What instruments will you be playing, and who will be with you onstage?
MICHELE STORK: We’re playing a short fast set — some originals, some covers. I’m attempting drums and vox, Dietmar, my husband, is attempting bass, iPad and vox, Joe is killing it on guitar and vox.
ROCKMOMMY: Who is the most inspirational live performer you’ve seen lately?
MICHELE STORK: If I have to pick only one of my recent concerts, I’d have to go with Bob Mould! He’s as phenomenal solo as he is with a full band. Brilliant songwriter and guitarist!
ROCKMOMMY: The GRGR reunion show celebrates women in music — has a lot changed in the past 15 years, since Girls Rock & Girls Rule was founded, and female rockers became more visible?
MICHELE: Women are definitely more prominent as leaders in rock, and in many other genres, now more than ever. It’s pretty awesome to see the transition. However, we still have a LONG way to go. I’m hopeful it will truly get to the place where it’s just a PERSON who rocks as opposed to having to distinguish between genders.
ROCKMOMMY: Being an independent artist isn’t always easy. You’ve gotta balance lots of stuff. What’s your best advice for making time to rock?
MICHELE: “Making time” is exactly what you have to do. You can’t wait until you have time, it’ll never happen. You have to make that appointment with yourself and/or with others — put it on your calendar as a priority meeting — and stick to it as best you can. Even if it’s just one hour per week.
Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.