Ask Alexx: Musical Influences

August - Alexx Calise - Photo by Anabel DFlux
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As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 21 – Fall 2022

Dear Alexx,

Which female rocker inspired you as a kid?

Andrew Beczo, Porter, TX

Dear Andrew,

You may be surprised to learn that I didn’t really listen to a lot of female-fronted rock bands as a kid. I guess that could be because they weren’t as prevalent or as mainstream as they are now, and a lot of the female artists you heard about back then tended more toward the pop genre.

It also wasn’t often that you came across a female musician who really rocked. I can think of Joan Jett, Ann and Nancy Wilson from Heart, Pat Benatar, and a few others, but they just weren’t really being pushed at the time.

Nevertheless, I did connect deeply with grunge and blues artists like Silverchair, Soundgarden, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Johnny Lang, and Stone Temple Pilots, so that’s kind of where I got my singing and guitar-playing chops. I was also really inspired by my dad, who is a great guitarist, bassist, and vocalist.

Now that more and more great female-fronted bands are coming out and becoming popular, I can name off quite a few I’m really enjoying, like Beth Hart, Dead Sara, Dorothy, Halestorm, etc.

It’s quite cool to see this shift in the music community as well. I almost never ran into other female guitarists when I was growing up, and now I see them all the time.

Maybe my answer to your question would have been different if I were a kid now. Maybe because I listened to mostly male artists, I developed the style I have. Who knows? Either way, I am just glad that kids coming up now have a lot more female musicians to draw inspiration from. Music should be played and enjoyed by absolutely everyone, no matter who you are.

-Alexx Calise

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Alexx Calise is an accomplished singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Perhaps best known for her hit song, “Cry,” which became a staple on the show “Dance Moms” and boasts millions of hits on YouTube, Calise’s raw emotion, heart-and soul-lyrics, and unmistakable vibrato have impacted thousands of young girls all over the world. Calise is currently working on new solo material and songs for licensing, and she recently released a new EP with another music project, Batfarm. In addition to her musical pursuits, she also works in public relations and marketing and owns her own party entertainment business. When not playing shows or writing music, she enjoys horror movies, exercising, or taking a well-deserved nap.