Lisa Prank (photos: Laura Cohen)

Growing up, I was like any other weirdo kid in the fact that I loved emo because I was very emotional, and I loved bright colors because Lisa Frank.

But there was never much space for me and my over-embellished cat sweaters in emo. I was meant to be the fangirl. I was immature for idolizing emotionally vulnerable men who sang about getting friendzoned. I was there at the front of the show, always singing along to every song, while drunk macho dudes stagedived into my chin and never took me seriously. To them, I was just a follower; a dumb girl.

This is why I love living now, during a time when the emo revival is a thing. Not because of the new, mainly male bands that are taking back that sound, but for the girls who are proving that being a fangirl is a lot more than crying at the front of the stage. We don't need a new Brand New or Conor Oberst — those people are still going strong, and I honestly couldn't take more of them. We need the girls who cried in their bedroom to Bright Eyes to come out and show us that being emotionally vulnerable has always been rightfully theirs.

It's also why I love Lisa Prank, the Seattle band that is signed to the Bay Area's Father/Daughter Records. I've loved her music for a couple years now. I've seen her live twice, and each time has been a little more magical. From the DIY space in my old college's cafe (RIP, Sugar Bowl) to the attic of a house of sloppy comedians (Bless the Sylvan Annex) and soon to Rickshaw Stop.

Robin Edwards has created a character out of everything she loved as a kid — her music is like finding your old middle school journal still covered in Lisa Frank and Blink-182 stickers, then you look inside and laugh, because sometimes you still feel like that angsty little kid. It's not naive to let that kid live on in the present day, it's empowering. Taking over what made you feel different and creating something fresh and vibrant out of it — That's Lisa Prank.

The Bay Bridged: The first time I listened to your album, Adult Teen,  there was a moment where I totally freaked out because I thought one of the songs was a cover of Blink-182. It felt so nostalgic and perfect in the sense that it felt like someone going back to their childhood and taking something that was important to them back then and revisiting it, and I think that is something that is very prominent, in not only your music but in the character that is Lisa Prank.

Robin Edwards: I feel like [Lisa Prank] is a more dramatic, exaggerated version of myself.

TBB: How did you come up with "Lisa Prank"?

RE: I liked the pun and it was my tag that I would write when I had a marker and there was an empty space on a wall for a while. So when I was thinking of a name for a solo project that just seemed like the obvious choice.

TBB: Pop-punk has a very negative connotation, especially now, but I feel like you take all the right aspects of pop-punk. The reasons pop-punk got popular in the first place. How do you feel about the negative connotations behind pop-punk?

RE: Well, I think there's a lot of sexism in pop-punk; in older pop-punk that I grew up with. I think that that lack of women and other alternative voices was originally what made me go away from that genre for a long time. Then I started re-listening to it again, I got kinda swept up in the emotions and catchiness of it. It's definitely a genre I have complicated feelings about.

TBB: It's very important to go back to it and make it your own, too.

RE: Have you read that article, the Jessica Hopper one, "Emo: Where the girls Aren't?"

TBB: Yes, I cried to that one.

RE: Totally, I remember reading that and having such a strong emotional reaction to it. When you grow up, the music you listen to, the only place women have is like a villain or they are put on a pedestal. I feel like it's really nice now that there's women singing about themselves in that genre of music that is so catchy and tugs at my heartstrings for whatever reason.

TBB: It's really easier to find it now, too, because of the internet. Back in the day, I found my music by MTV's TRL, so it's really inspiring what Jessica Hopper is doing and such a privilege to easily find music that I relate to by musicians a little more like me.

RE: I think it's a lot easier to discover alternative voices now than it was, like I didn't even have cable TV when I was growing up, so SPIN magazine and the radio where I discovered music. I remember learning about Le Tigre from SPIN magazine, and being really excited about that. Just reading a tiny little blurb and going to buy the CD at the record store.

TBB: I found out about the band Paramore through The Sims, and it was during the time I was getting really into emo and Fueled by Ramen. So to be able to find one band with a female lead was so important. A band I actually related to who was in the same overall scene.

RE: Representation, and like that 'Oh, I see someone that is a little bit more like me doing this thing' feeling is so exciting.

TBB: How does it feel to be friends with so many like-minded women and other creatives in Seattle?

RE: It's really wonderful. I mean it's so nice, especially if you are or once were a weird, awkward person to feel like you fit in somewhere finally. Definitely, for a while I felt like I had a strong creative community in Denver. A lot of people that I played music with there either moved away or sort of stopped playing music. So I feel like moving to Seattle and being surrounded by a lot of creative people who have the same ideals and excitement with creating stuff is just really exciting and really magical, and, I feel, a really magical bubble. I know that the whole world is not that way.

TBB: A lot of people spend their whole lives looking for something like that, and when you get the chance to find it and have it, hold on tight...never let go.

How do you feel about people who think being nostalgic is naive or immature?

RE: I think it definitely can be, but everyone can like whatever they want. I feel like everyone goes through some point where they nostalgic about the things they liked when they were like 12 and 13 because that age is so deeply burned into your psyche. It's fun to revisit those past versions of yourself and keeping connection with them.

The Photoshoot:

At the last show at Sylvan Annex, I got my friend Laura Cohen to do a little photoshoot with Robin Edwards after her show there. It was completely unplanned, amazing, and resulted some of the most beautiful photographs I've ever seen.

Lisa Prank by Laura Cohen

PWR BTTM, Bellows, Lisa Prank
Rickshaw Stop
November 9, 2016
8pm, $12-15

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