Candy Hearts on a Safer Scene


We recently got to chat with Mariel Loveland of pop-punk band Candy Hearts. The band’s popularity is rooted in their smart and intimate songwriting. Mariel and crew will be performing at Treehouse Fest on October 15th 2016. You can keep up with them their Facebook page. We’d like to thank Mariel for taking the time to talk to us and contributing to a safer scene!

Thanks so much for doing this interview! How are you doing?

I’m doing fine!

What’s going on with Candy Hearts at the moment? Is there anything you’re especially looking forward to?

We’re currently recording an album. It’s taking a frustratingly long time, but we’re in the last bits of it now! I’m really looking forward to just having this finished with so we can get back on the road.

You have been playing a lot of intimate shows and solo performances. How does that feel in comparison to full band shows? How do you feel it changes the relationship with your audience?

I think’s really terrifying to be honest! I’m offered these opportunities, so I take them because I have a hard time turning down something if I’m able to do it, but it’s definitely more emotionally taxing for me. It’s scarier to be up their on my own, it’s lonelier travelling that way.

Generally, it’s just not as fun to be up there alone and travelling alone, but I do really love how I can play a whole bunch of songs we rarely play as a band because they’re so intimate. I think I really need to figure out how to get the best of both those things and mix them into one show!

As a major focus of Safer Scene’s is to raise awareness about discrimination in the music scene, have you experienced or witnessed sexism while touring?

Absolutely. I can count the number of tours I’ve been on where there hasn’t been an issue with the fact that I’m a girl on one hand – one hand if I was also missing some fingers. Something always happens whether it’s as small as a nasty, underhanded comment or as big as being groped. And I usually just roll my eyes and get on with it. But sometimes stuff, you can’t shake it.

It affects you to always feel like the odd one out, and I think pop punk is a specifically vicious place for women – though some bands are really making an effort to have 0 tolerance for that kind of stuff. But at the same time, a lot of the problems are ones women bear on their own.

They don’t tell other people – people who’d probably remedy it – because causing controversy when you’re an opening band on a tour is pretty much the last thing anyone wants to do. What are you going to do? Go up to a bunch of dudes and tell them their bro just tried to grab your butt? Yeah, probably not. It’s really tough.

Warped Tour has had its issues with discrimination and inclusivity recently. As a musician that’s performed at Warped, what did you learn from the experience about building community?

I don’t really want to talk about this one, but it’s not really the fault of the people who run the tour. It’s the fault of entitlement people feel when they get some sort of musical popularity, and our patriarchal culture that refuses to hold anyone accountable, I feel.

Do you think there is anything in particular that can help create a safer and more inclusive music scene?

I wish I had an answer, and I’ve wracked my brain at ways to make it better, but I just don’t know what would help. I think in situations where girls speak up, they’re not believed. It’s always like, why didn’t you call the police, why did you do this, yeah but you flirted with him, so… Like Jesus, just because you didn’t call the police because you want everything to go away and you don’t want to read about it in the news or whatever doesn’t mean you are welcoming assault.

Even in the world in general – outside of the music scene – people want to always believe a young, white male is good. It’s never, oh maybe he’s actually a violent criminal. It’s he’s a young man who let his emotions get the best of him in a moment of weakness. That girl was crayyyyyzeeee. That girl wanted it.

Look at what happened to Brock Turner. His victim did everything you are supposed to do when you get assaulted. She was unconscious for Christ’s sake and he spent less time in jail then someone who graffiti’d a couple walls, which is totally harmless (albeit annoying for property owners, but who cares?). And you’ve got to figure our scene is made up of almost entirely white males (at least the bands people look up to) who society has rarely asked to hold accountable for the crappy things they do. It’s just a lose-lose. Women lose when they say something and lose when they don’t because they have to live with the emotional pain of not feeling safe and feeling isolated from their peers. It’s frankly, a crock of shit.

Are there any particular bands, musicians, and/or organizations you believe are making an effort to help the cause?

I do think there are a lot of bands trying to help change things. Modern Baseball created a hotline that people can anonymously text if they feel unsafe. That’s a beautiful thing because then the girl does NOT have to live with the fear of everyone blaming her for tattling on a dude who did something that made her feel uncomfortable.

Or vice versa, a guy can feel safe and free of judgement reporting any sexual or physical harassment he suffered at the hand of a girl at a show (it’s rarer but it does happen).

What advice would you give to women who want to become a musician or start a band?

Grow a thick skin because you’re going to need it. And then when you think you’ve grown thick enough skin, grow it 10x thicker because people will consistently surprise you with how crappy they are to each other.

Are there any female alternative/rock artists you look up to in particular, and why?

I respect and am inspired by so many girls in our scene. I really respect Tay from We Are the In Crowd, Jenna from Tonight Alive, Lynn from PVRIS, Bethany from Best Coast and Hayley from Paramore. These girls don’t take garbage from anyone.

They live out their dream and, though I know sometimes we all get down about it, they do a really good job at not letting misogyny and nasty comments in the alt/punk scene get to them. They’re really strong ladies and I definitely wish I had more of their chutzpah.


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Author: Kat Hamilton

I am a Cali born turned east coast punk princess. Writer, rocker and dog person. I identify as a "Pumpkin Spice Lesbian". If I could, all of my days would be foggy and my streets would be cobblestone. I love scary movies and penguins. Check out my band, Manic Pixi everywhere that music exists.


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