We are happy to premiere ‘Don’t Touch People’, the latest song to be taken off of BANGZZ’s upcoming EP, ‘Fresh Cut’.
BANGZZ is a feminist punk duo out of Baltimore, consisting of Erika Libero from Tokyo and Blair Coppage. Their debut tape, Fresh Cut, is packed with in your face bangers seething of femme rage and will be available on cassette and digital formats on January 25th, 2018 on Self Aware Records (PRE-ORDER HERE: https://bit.ly/2Agkj54)
Here’s what Erika had to say about the song:
“There is a quote I read from my diary on stage before Don't Touch People that I think really sums up my feelings. I usually start by telling the audience that I've figured out "What my problem is":
"Because of the way we were raised,
the way sex was explained to us,
the way people felt entitled to our bodies,
the way we were told hide ourselves and feel shame for our bodies,
that was also rape. You took my body long ago, and now I am taking it back"
I only have one space I occupy in this world - this sacred meat vessel of all my thoughts and feelings and yet I was raised in this world where everyone else was more entitled to my body than I was. Raised in a Christian household, I was taught my body belonged to god, my father and or my husband. I was taught my body is a gift for others when it was always uncompromisingly mine. It was never emphasized that my body belonged to me. Because of these ideas being fed to me by our culture I was unable to protect my body from people who felt entitled to it; the men who groped me in my childhood, out in public, at my job, the men who felt they deserved sexual satisfaction more than me, the way they demand my time by telling me things I already know and how I was taught to prioritize being agreeable to their will rather than steadfast in mine. Not owning my space was normalized in my everyday life.
It took me years to undo this learning and realize I should never have to negotiate the actual physical space I occupy in the world. I should not have to feel like I have to hide my body to be safe and I shouldn't have to remind people that they cannot touch my body without my permission.
Why isn't this obvious?
I always think of John Cena. I know nothing of his wrestling career but I've seen him in some movies where he is type-cast as a guy you don't want to mess with. No one would ever feel like they could go up to John Cena and casually lay their hand on his lower back and act like that is not an aggressive intrusion of personal space. John Cena would punch you out and people would agree you deserve it. On the other hand people do that to women all day and night and if they defend their space, people see them as bitchy or deviant for not allowing it. That is plain and simple sexism. Everyone, like John Cena, no matter their gender, is entitled to their space. I am entitled to my space, you are entitled to your space and invading anyone’s physical space without their permission is inherently aggressive, rude, and disrespectful. I demand a new standard: Don't touch people - Listen to People.
That's why I wrote this song - Don't touch People. I wrote it after the Access Hollywood tape of Donald Trump leaked saying he would grab women by the pussy. Years of abuse flashed before my eyes. I am trapped in a world where my body doesn't belong to me and somehow I have been taught that this is normal. Moreover, I have been given no tools to make it stop. I was taught silence. But now I am older and I know how to build tools of my own and will use them to demand space. My voice is a tool. My words are a tool. My story is a tool. My songs are a tool. And these tools can be shared.
Don't Touch People is my effort to push the world into the direction of respecting all bodies no matter their gender as the default. This is me being the person I needed growing up. This is me saying what I needed to hear all those years. This is what I lacked. I want to be the generation that passes on tools, not silence, so that others don't have to wait years to feel entitled to themselves and I am ready to be really fucking loud about it.”
January 4th at Slims Raleigh, NC
January 19th Backdoor Upstairs Greenville, NC
January 26th Durham, NC @ The Pinhook (Release show)
February 1st Grandmas House Greenville, SC
February 2nd Charlotte, NC @ The Milestone