We reached out to vocalist and front woman of Caged Existence, Steffanie Adele, to ask her about her experiences as a woman in the music industry. Melbourne based Caged Existence is a five piece hardcore band, who’ve just released their debut EP The Body Prison. The five tracks of The Body Prison take a heavy and confrontational look at society and humankind’s detrimental existence.
Steff shares that her love for music began after to being introduced to it by her cousin around the age of 12. From there, she started going to local shows and being more involved in the scene. It was Jake Zammit (a mainstay of the local scene that you can frequently find in a mosh pit, and heavily involved in Caged Existence, Belle Haven, Broken, and Imprisoned) who encouraged Steff to continue with music and take it more seriously, as well as close friends and family. While never having any intentions of ever being in a band, let alone a front woman, Steff says it was the encouragement she received from her friends to go for the exciting opportunities presented to her.
“I never thought that I was capable of being a front woman, but here we are!”
Seeing herself and Caged Existence’s bassist Angelyn as frequently the only female band members on a show line-up, it’s clear that the world of hardcore and heavy music is male-dominated. I asked Steff if she’d felt discouraged at all along her path to this point, whether due to the distinct imbalance of gender or for other reasons. Answering in the negative, Steff elaborated to say: “Yes there may be more men in the industry, but I in no way have ever felt discouraged by them.” She’s luckily never felt overlooked or dismissed because of her gender, feeling as though she’s consistently treated equally by her peers and the people she encounters and open minded about her future in music.
As well as never feeling discouraged, Steff shared that she’s consistently felt safe and welcomed at the shows she’s attended. Unlike what Booka Nile shared in our previous Women In Music article, Steff has never faced any harassment or threatening behaviour at heavy music gigs.
“The only one stopping you is you.”
When it comes to the future of the music industry and gender, Steff feels excited and optimistic for what is to come. She’s inspired by what she sees unfolding with the Melbourne local scene specifically, and recognises the increased involvement of women at these shows. For women who are wanting to get into the world of music, Steff’s advice is to just go for it! “Honestly, just do it! Whether it’s starting a band, getting involved at shows, or even just going to shows, the only one stopping you is you.”
Caged Existence are playing the sold out show with Antagonist A.D. next Friday. You can also stream The Body Prison now.