Who are you?
Why, we’re The Shondes, of course! We’re a queer/trans rock quartet mixing
classical, feminist punk, and jewish music with radical politics to make you
Where are from?
What do you do?
We make passionate and radical political music about our world and our lives in
order to struggle, create change, and to be a force of exuberance that can help
sustain our communities.
Why do you do what you do?
We are four individuals who come from really different musical/political
backgrounds but have all found ourselves in a similar moment where we
desperately need the joy that comes from writing and playing together, and feel
an incredible passion for social justice struggles. Bringing all that together
is the project of the Shondes and in that way it meets all of our needs at a
really deep, visceral level.
What are you working on?
So many things! We probably spend equal time conceptualizing new songs, writing
and practicing, as well as working all day and all night on booking and
promoting a nation-wide tour and finding creative ways to make ourselves
accessible to and connecting with people in different artistic and activist
Hopefully after this tour we will be in a position to record and release an
album. We have more than enough material and are incredibly excited about it!
Besides that, we will certainly continue to organize events that are inspiring,
politically challenging and fun. For example, this fall we are planning two
benefit events – one for the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and one for Jews Against
How do politics, both personal and global, affect what you do?
We make music about what we feel passionate about, whether that’s about issues
like the Israeli occupation of Palestine or our own experiences of misogyny.
The sound of our music reflects our passion for our politics and our lives-
it’s both intricate and raw, with intense dynamics of tension and release. We
make music that is integral and moving to our lives with the intention of
providing that experience for others, and that’s political- getting or staying
in touch with the feelings that come up around all the personal and political
struggles we go through.
Your name, The Shondes, is a Yiddish word, which in and of itself says something about who you are, but it’s also a word indicating rejection. Do you (can you) simultaneously embrace your heritage and embrace your rejection while rebelling against it?
It is deeply powerful to us to take a word that embodies this exact
contradiction for us and to use it with love, humor and conviction in our work
and our music. We talk about being Shondes because of the complicated
relationships we have to the places we come from and also because of our
commitment to putting out our politics and our passion into the world, even
when that’s not always the most popular or easiest thing to do.