When Infectious Magazine asked me to write a guest blog about being a lesbian drummer on tour, I realized I was a lesbian drummer on tour. I never really thought about my identity in such clear-cut terms, I just kind of…existed.
I am Liliana, sometimes Lil or, my personal favorite, Lilisagna. I play drums with too many bands (City In Light, PFL, Hop On Hold Tight) and still decided to join my musical friend, Diana DeMuth, on tour. During shows, my extreme extroversion translates to perpetual pigeon dancing and word-heaving everywhere. Paired with my gender, my whole stage existence tends to draw more attention than your average dude drummer.
Now, I recognize this as a form of sexism, but I also kind of dig it. I love proving myself to those skeptics in the audience just by having a great time on the kit. I get a lot of, “It’s awesome that you’re a girl drummer” and you know what? It is! But for me it’s less because I’m a woman and more because I fucking love drumming and found a way to make it a huge part of my life. It’s an added bonus that the pairing of my energy and gender excites and sometime even inspires those I perform for.
Sure, I’ve kissed and dated some guys, but I fall in love with women. I first really recognized this my sophomore year of High School. I fell slowly and timidly, but, of course, she was my best friend and very straight. Classic, I know. I’m proud to say I’ve come a long way from those silent crushing days and am now extremely proud of the fact that I swoon over women.
However, I sometimes avoid mentioning my sexuality on tour in fear of losing potential fans or making people uncomfortable. As someone who came out more than seven years ago, it’s frustrating to feel like I’m closeting myself for the sake of promotion. At times like these, I try to put things in perspective. Coming out is an ongoing process. Feeling guilt and frustration over not coming out to everyone I meet only perpetuates how difficult the whole experience can be. Still, I’m motivating myself with little reminders, such as: if I come out right now, maybe she’ll buy me a drink rather than her sweet, but very male friend. (Side-note: positive reinforcement really helps in this process, so if you come to a show and are a lovely young woman, feel free to hit on me shamelessly.)
I would love to wrap this up in a way that makes me the perfect role model for all aspiring lesbian drummers out there, but as I look back at my writing, I see it more as a guide to being Liliana. My final advice in becoming the perfect Liliana or musician or lesbian is this: don’t try to be the perfect anything. Get out there, find out what works best for you, and do it.
Hailing from San Carlos, California, Liliana Urbain is truly a jack-of-all-trades (or genres) drummer. Already a member of San Mateo rockers City In Light and pop-rock outfit PFL, she is also currently touring with fast-rising folk artist Diana DeMuth, who released her debut full-length album Albuquerque on Tuesday.
Check out the video for the title track “Albuquerque” below and if you dig it as much as we do, you can stream the album and purchase a CD here.