Zeena Koda: Life isn’t that serious, enjoy it

Zeena Koda

What was your first metal (or punk) experience? The band, concert or album that made your knees buckle, because you knew you were in love.

Zeena Koda: The area where I grew up wasn’t necessarily saturated with personalities who liked any form of rock music. In fact, I was probably one of the few to really latch on earlier and find like-minded musical friends. My first experience with listening to non-rap or r&b music was actually the Cranberries “Zombie”. It was so new and interesting to me to hear a woman’s voice put up against such heavy guitars. I fell in love with the sound and from there dove in and went all the way. 

I traded a lot of mixtapes in high school with the hot ass hardcore dudes on my bus. When I discovered hardcore, it really clicked with me. It’s street, it’s heavy – gangsta, no fucks given attitudes with respect for others who are loyal to you. Fuck yeah, that was me. I just knew I wanted to make that kind of music, it became an outlet for me in a way no other musical form had.

I can remember going to shows at this shitty venue called The Cove in Roselle Park, NJ when I was in high school and thinking this is where I need to be. The energy of heavy music, the I don’t give a fuck attitude was basically that piece of my DNA I hadn’t identified till then. It’s hard to pinpoint one instance that made me fall in love, but growing up in the music scene as both a fan and participant has been such a huge component to my identity. Once it gets into you, it becomes a drug.

Zeena Koda

First band you played in and the latest band you’ve played in?

ZK: At one time I actually wanted to be a Broadway star, believe it or not. I was involved in musical theater into college and was even a music therapy major at one point. How my life has taken many turns. The first band I was in was with this one dude making trip-hop. I kick myself in the ass for never holding on to some of those recordings. From there I was in a tech / profit metal band called Human Design for a bit. Until I joined Aphonia, which I was in for like 5/6 years. Loved that band, it was super sexy, emotional, heavy tunes. Currently in a band called Gazelle. We’re putting out an EP. I just love to keep myself inspired and creative. I love taking on weird projects too, keeps you on your toes.

Zeena Koda

Zeena Koda

What are some Jersey bands you love(d) that never got/get enough attention?

ZK: Great question. So so many. It’s incredible how many bands work SO hard and put in so much work that isn’t heard by everyone following popular music. A few bands that pop into my mind: Burnt By the Sun, The Postman Syndrome, God Forbid, Trophy Scars, The Sun The Moon The Stars. So many. I’ve been privileged to have known so many talented people.

Zeena Koda

Boxx Talk. What’s been your favorite episode to record so far?

We snuck into the SiriusXM studios to record an episode, that was fun. Everyone loves a “fuck the man” nod. :)

What’s next for Boxx Talk?
Working on moving the Litterboxx podcast to Dash Radio by this summer and building our content. It’s been such a journey for the last year and I don’t plan on stopping, I want BoxxTalk to be something for everyone. I want dudes to feel like there are some women out there who understand them at the core level too. Life isn’t that serious, enjoy it.

What albums/bands are you into right now?
A nice mix of my norm. The new Harms Way album “Rust” is phenomenal. Literally lift to it on the regular. Killing the new Title Fight album, Travis Scott and a lot of Kali Uchis. Sad Girls Por Vida.

Extreme Woman: Joanne Filipone

this is part of a photo series i’ve been working on since 2011. it is a collection of photographs of badass women involved in metal, hardcore and the borderline metal/punk/avant-garde worlds. these are the people who make up the music scene. these are my friends.

Joanne Filipone

Meet Joanne Filipone. She’s a show promoter, Slayer lyric memory bank, and all around awesome person.

What was your first metal or punk experience?
Joanne Filipone: Ooooof I have no idea!  I was a little kid hearing Blondie, The Clash.  Was totally obsessed with Adam & the Ants in 2nd grade. My sister took me to see the Cure in 7th grade. By 9th grade I was going to shows regularly so I can’t remember!  I got to see a lot of bands that don’t even play anymore. I saw Crash Worship probably at least a dozen times.  

How did you get into booking bands?
JF: I used to book friends bands and then someone asked me to take over booking at the indie venue Sin-é on the Lower East Side. From there I started working with the crew at Europa. Then I started booking independently all over NYC. Like 90% metal. 

Joanne Filipone

I think it is your fault that Mutant Supremacy and Attake became two of my favorite bands, back when I was writing about music. You booked them often. And it’s crazy to see the evolution of Winslow, Kurt, Robert and Sam’s writing and musicianship (even though Sam stopped playing music recently, the boy was a threat!). So, what I’m getting at here is, isn’t it awesome to see bands grow year after year? And, what bands disappeared that you wish were still doing their thing?
JF: Apparently it’s my fault Mutant Supremacy formed! Sam & Robert met at a Vital Remains show I booked in like ’07 I think.  They’ve had a bunch of line ups. They’re killing it now. It’s awesome. And it’s Curt with a C. Or Mutt Mutt. Or Curty. Ha. I do miss Atakke but Trenchgrinder is my favorite local band.  And honestly it’s hard to say who I miss seeing live because 99% of the time a band will reunite when you least expect it. Fingers crossed on Nausea haha.   

Joanne Filipone

How did Slaywhore form?
JF: Hahahaha. Welllllllll Alyson Barrett & I were out at a show I believe.  For some reason we started talking about Lez Zeppelin, AC/DShe, Mistallica, Queen Diamond etc.  I exclaimed, “We should do Slayer! And you’ll do the riffs on a keyboard!” We were laughing really hard. Our friend Lesley (now of Mortals and Belus) asked what was so funny and we said, “You’re on bass.” She said, “Okay.” Then our friends egged us on. Then we asked Caryn (Mortals) to play drums. The rest is history haha. It was just a funny thing we did. Like once a year. 

What was one of the coolest shows you played with Slaywhore?
JF: We always played with Mutant Supremacy and Attake. They’re all a blur honestly. We played at CB’s before they closed haha. 

Joanne Filipone

If you could put together a birthday show for yourself, with any bands, at any venue, who and where would you book it? It’s a fantasy, so you can even book dead people.
JF: Darkthrone, Bolt Thrower, Amebix, Slayer circa ’86 Black Sabbath circa ’70 at Parc Güell in Barcelona.