Scowl Vocalist Rails Against ‘Industry Plant’ Accusations
It's been a rapid ascent for Scowl in the hardcore scene, but singer Kat Moss has hit out at accusations of being an "industry plant," stating that the success they've achieved has been well earned and questioning why it tends to be female-led acts that are often accused of being aided by the industry and rarely is it male-led bands.
Moss shared a lengthy missive online, expressing her thoughts on those questioning her group's success. This comes as the band recently participated in Taco Bell's Feed the Beat Unofficial Halftime Show while promoting the Women's World Cup. They've also played alongside Limp Bizkit, System of a Down, Korn, Turnstile and Deftones and were on board Coachella's 2023 lineup.
The five-piece band dropped a pair of EPs in 2019, issued their full-length debut album How Flowers Grow in 2021 and most recently issued their Psychic Dance Routine EP earlier this year. These are all great milestones for a band in a relatively short period of time, but Moss says that she's heard the "industry plant" rumblings, and offers her response in her new posting. She writes, as follows:
I am sick of hearing the phrase 'industry plant' every single time Scowl experiences success.
Our friends bands - bands commonly full of men, will sign brand deals, have a song in a commercial, get a co-sign from massively successful musicians, etc. ... yet I never read whisperings of whether or not they deserve those successes, whether or not they are valid enough, GOOD enough, or worked hard enough to be deserving of that success. Is our success never valid enough for you? Why is this competition created between us and our community, specifically femme-bodied individuals? A competition I never participated in, a patriarchal competition I challenge by questioning my thoughts, actions and insecurities every single day. The message I receive is that I am not granted independent success as a woman. Am I never grateful enough? Hard working enough? Confident enough?
I'm grateful to be a part of a community we have ALWAYS contributed to lifting. By the way, it isn't that hard to do ... if you believe in yourself and your friends you've done half the work! If you believe in your scene walk through that door, buy that t-shirt, and maybe even gather up the confidence to make a new friend or dance along to your favorite song you are CONTRIBUTING to something bigger than yourself.
Starting a band was the best decision I ever made. It saved my life in many ways and it helped me find confidence in myself that I never believed that I formerly had. I am happily part of a scene filled with beautiful, intelligent, unique and inspiring people. A scene that could have never blossomed without every single individual.
Is it so hard to believe that a woman-led band can be a hardworking and organic success? Is it so challenging to grasp a woman's success that you have to create a fantasy that the music industry had a hand in it? An extremely male dominated music industry by the way....
That being said:
My life and bandmate's lives would be SO MUCH EASIER if we had industry backing! I garnered the little confidence I had not without the emotional support of my friends and my scene in May 2019 to play Scowl's first show. My life has changed so much since that day, but it would've never been possible without my friends in the Bay Arean / Santa Cruz hardcore scene. The women/femme/trans individuals who I've embraced all around the world that have always had my back and saw me for my genuine self. Those individuals will always come first to me.
Scowl has worked tirelessly to be in the position we are in. We have practiced late into the night, day after day. We have relentlessly toured. Last year I had bronchitis for months on tour, I've blown my voice out a handful of times, we have experienced exhaustive physical injury, blah, blah and only dropped ONE SHOW due to those circumstances the past two years. Not even counting the depression, anxiety, grief and other general human sufferings experiences thousand of miles away from home. Slept on countless floors, gone hungry for a little too long, been in the negatives on my bank statements, etc. Is that punk enough for you? We do this because we LOVE IT. Because it makes us happier than anything else. I have the privilege to play music for a living! Of course, I'm gonna chase my dreams!
The most valuable lesson I learned from hardcore is that if you have something to say, scream it into a microphone.
I would be nowhere without the countless BIPOC/trans/female gender nonconforming individuals that I've shared the stage with and have had meaningful conversations & relationships with. I'm so grateful to music for giving me the opportunity to form those connections. You have all collectively inspired me to never ever give up! Whether we talk all the time or have had a short swift encounter, you know who you are and I LOVE YOU!
You remind me that I'm never alone!
The singer also added several comments that accompany the post, stating, “I’m so sorry if I’m alienating some of you, your whole fucking culture alienates me! I know I am not alone on a long list of people who have never felt good enough. I’ve chose silence many times. I choose to sing, scream, and dance my pain into the night. I choose art over violence."
Scowl will continue building their following later this month when they kick off a European tour on Aug. 13 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. A lengthy North American tour will follow in September, October and early November. See all of their dates and get ticketing info here. You can also hear their song "Opening Night" in.a new Taco Bell commercial for the Grilled Cheese Dipping Taco, as seen below.