I met Hanna Maddera in autumn of 2012, her and I had both begun our freshman year here in Durango. Our first conversation occurred on the second day we had moved into the dorms, on some kid’s bed who had every generic college dorm room decoration hanging on the wall- a poster of Bob Marley hitting a blunt, the famous Led Zeppelin logo, a Broncos flag, etc. Our first conversation was about her adorable little black Betty Page bangs, which I confessed I always wanted but didn’t have the guts. The next was that she was next door neighbors with school shooter Eric Harris as a child, and she’d let me borrow her book on Columbine. Weird mutual interests like that bond folks.
As we became good friends, her effortless-delicate-artsy-girlish-yet-edgy charm had me paranoid she could swoop my then boyfriend at a moments notice, but mainly I just wanted to take her home to my parents. Hank’s the type of chick your mama wants you to spend time with- intelligent, creative, thoughtful. Just a peach.
Much of our friendship has to do with music. We bonded quickly over our mutual love-hate feelings towards Morrissey, our middle school emo obsession with My Chemical Romance (we are veterans of extreme amounts of eyeliner), and we high fived maybe 30 times when we first expressed our mutual love for South African rap group Die Antwoord.
One Saturday morning in 2013 we saw online that Modest Mouse was playing a show in California the following night. Within an hour we hit the road, driving 23 hours straight through the night to catch the show. That day I got so messed up on cheap shitty whiskey Hanna had to follow me into the bathroom stalls to help me take off and on my pants to pee. A few months later, on a surprisingly warm day in November, we dropped acid and went on a hike. We sat along the edge of a cliff- a terrifying thought in hindsight to a sober individual-and screamed the final lyrics of the “This Is the End” by the Doors.
“I want to kill you. Mother! I want to fuck you.”
I got so messed up on dose that Hanna had to follow me behind concealing trees and bushes and help me take off and on my pants to pee…again. Hanna’s a good friend. She’s also my colleague, coworker, and fellow member of anarcho-feminst girl gang, The Black Out Gurlz.
The original members of the B.O.G. club. You’ve never seen intersectional feminism lookin’ so posh.
Hanna takes care of my pet rats when I’m out of town and together we work on fundraising projects together for Feminist Voice, like making female anatomy pussy cookies and pins that say phrases such as “All I want for Christmas is the abolition of imperialist white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy” or “Fuck macho bull shit forever”. We both have a show on KDUR radio, and have every intention of getting matching tattoos that read “Salad Days”.
“My salad days, When I was green in judgment: cold in blood, To say as I said then!” -William Shakespeare
“Always feeling tired, smiling when required, write another year off and kindly resign, salad days are gone.” -Mac Demarco
“Think of salad days, they were folly and fun, they were good, they were young” -Young Marble Giants
I interviewed Hanna on five songs that really changed her world, or simply remain her favorites, although I could have probably guessed.
DABZ: Hanita, Hank, Han: Give me five songs that really blew your mind when you first heard them, that had a serious impact on you.
HANK: Okay, well…Oh jeez. I’d start with “Asleep” by The Smiths. I read The Perks Of Being A Wall Flower early in my high school years, and I saw a lot of myself in the main character, Charlie. I liked him, he was shy and quiet, but also had a lot to say, but only at the right moments. He luckily got swooped up by these eccentric, fun friends and it was a story of him going through high school with lots of built up messed up feelings. I related to that. There is a part in the book where Charlie’s older sister gives him a mix tape that a previous boyfriend had given to her. The first song on the tape is “Asleep”, and he listens to it over and over. He talks about thinking the song is the most beautiful thing he has ever heard. I remember putting the book down, immediately going to my computer, and illegally downloading it. I laid down in bed and listened to it on repeat the way Charlie had in the book, and just let it all sink in. Morrissey’s voice is so sweet and sad, I connected with it a lot. Ever since I’ve really, really liked the Smiths.
DABZ: I knew for sure that song was going to be one on your list, we’ve had this conversation before. I remember doing the exact same thing on the computer when I read that book. But I didn’t illegally download it- I bought it on iTunes like a law abiding, dignified citizen. I’m telling your parents.
HANK: (laughs) Oh no! Not my Dad!
DABZ: Okay I won’t, but your confession will be getting published on a public forum. Maybe don’t leave home for a bit, there might be a rampage on campus. Consequences, Hank. Anyways, next song.
HANK: It’s called “Maria, Maria” by Santana. Alright, so I really hate this song. A lot. But it’s so nostalgic, ’cause my father and I were in this Daddy-Daughter bonding group when I was a little poquita, and we used to go to these meetings with girls and father’s from all around the area. We spent lot of time driving to these meetings in my dad’s beat up old white jeep. The radio would always go out in the mountain passes- so we’d have to switch and listen to the only CD he had in his car, some sorta “Best of Santana” album. I have this specific memory of my dad serenading the words to me- saying “This is our song whether you like it or not”. I’d bury my head in hands and say “No! Stop! I don’t wanna hear it!” but it did grow on me, and always reminds me of times we spent together.
DABZ: That’s really, really adorable. I feel like our dads would like each other. They should get a beer. Didn’t we figure out that since we are born 3 days apart, and 9 months after October, we were totally our dad’s birthday sex?
HANK: Yup, late June babies mean early October sex. (laughs) That’s so funny. And disgusting.
DABZ: Next song, little dudette.
HANK: The third I’ll do “Brothers On a Hotel Bed” by Death Cab For Cutie. I love to tell this story. I had a crush on a boy in high school- and it was the first time anyone liked me back. We had a class together and the first day we had to get up in front of everyone, say our name and a little bit about ourselves. One question was “What’s your favorite song at the moment?” I went up and said my name and that that was my favorite song, and everyone in class started laughing. It was traumatizing and embarrassing- I’m terrified of public speaking. Maybe they were thinking of incest or something like that because of the title and that’s what made them laugh. Anyways, later I started dating that boy, and he ended up giving me a mix cd- and that was the first song. It was just really sweet to realize that some people actually do listen, and aren’t against you. It’s the first time it was apparent someone was actually listening to me, and reflected and reacted to the things I said.
DABZ: Was that Sean?
HANK: (laughs) Yep. My first love.
DABZ: Oh, brother. Those teenage loves, they just don’t last. Gimme your fourth song brotato chip.
HANK: “Not In Love” by Crystal Castles featuring Robert Smith. This one is simply a power song for me. When i went through my first breakup i listened to this all the time, driving in my car during the winter. I’d roll the windows down, crank up the heat, and listen to it so loud, just blast it and sing it like crazy. I got to see Crystal Castles two different times in Denver. The second time i went with a group of friends. You were there, Dana.
DABZ: I know, Hank.
HANK: I was actually with both my current boyfriend and my ex boyfriend- he had met us there. There was some jealousy issues going on, but I remember not caring about anyone else at all accept for myself and (lead singer) Alice Glass.
DABZ: Do you ever get told you kinda look like her?
HANK: Yes (laughs) Quin told me the other night! And I was just like No, you’re just trying to be nice.
DABZ: I’ll have to post a pic for reference for readers.
Alice Glass, former lead vocalist of Crystal Castles
Hanna Maddera, boss ass bitch of the Black Out Gurlz
HANK: I just remember jumping up and down at the show and using people’s shoulders in front of me to lunge myself in the air, and screaming the lyrics in people’s ears, which I guess was really inconsiderate. But, i didn’t care. I was having the time of my life.
DABZ: That was a good show. I remember it was weird that people were moshing really hard even though I figured that wouldn’t occur ’cause a great deal of their music is pretty ambient. Also it was an all ages show, lots of little kids. Whatever though, the venue was cool and grungy.
HANK: My fifth and last song is “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” by Radiohead. This song is so good. Radiohead is so good. So good, so so good. I didn’t realize it until I started dating my current boyfriend, Nate, who pressured me into downloading all their albums.
DABZ: That’s a lot of music. Their discography is pretty frictkin’ fat.
HANK: A lot of gigabytes, my friend. There was one night back in the dorms Nate and I talked a bunch about difficult things from his past, and he was describing how Radiohead had shaped him as a person and got him through pain earlier his life. I just remember listening to this song with him and watching him sing along and just how powerful it all was. Later, our whole friend group got very obsessed with the song. We’d all get real drunk and dance around and sing it at the top of our lungs and just groove around. So much fun. To me, that song is really a benchmark of being in my early twenties, and finding a great group of friends that I love and appreciate, and never forget.
DABZ: Oh, my heart. I remember I bought that Nirvana puzzle that you helped me work on, and when we finally put the final pieces together we spun that record in your living room to be ironic assholes.
HANK: I know! (laughs) I remember that. It’s really hard to pick out just five songs, because there is so much different music I associate with situations that I was in when I first heard it, or people it reminds me of, or the feelings that emerge when I listen to it. To put it plain, music is a cool thing, it can be so personal. The combining features of these five songs is the way they evoke emotion and nostalgia in me. Lots of memories.
DABZ: It’s marvelous the way you can almost put a timeline to your life events by the music you were listening to at the time or the meanings certain songs have to something specific in your world.