In compiling statistics about the much-discussed dearth of female voices on country radio, trios that include a female member -- like Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry and Gloriana -- tend not to be counted in the mix. But according to members of the latter band, they often face the same challenges as solo female acts.
Gloriana’s Rachel Reinert says that needs to change. Like many in the industry, the band’s lone female has strong opinions on some widely held (and arguably well-researched) radio policies regarding limiting the number of female voices on the air and not playing women artists back to back, as well as the even more controversial notion that women don’t want to hear other women on the radio.
“All these statistics I’m hearing just sound like excuses to me,” she says. “Now women are being compared to tomatoes, which I think is such bullshit, to tell you the truth, and not OK. We’re in 2015 … If you walk into any grocery store or bookstore, why are women’s magazines covered with the faces of women if women don’t want to see or hear from other women? That’s the dumbest thing that I’ve ever heard.
“I don’t know where those statistics come from, or how valuable they are, but … I think it’s ridiculous, and I hope that we can alter that and get some more balance,” she continues. “If you look at country music history, some of the greatest artists … have been women. Some of them have been the most powerful and successful.” She also calls the idea of limiting airplay for women “such a medieval way of thinking. In this day and age, hopefully … we can take a stand against that … Something’s got to change.”
The recent debate on this topic has spilled from the radio trades and conventions to social media thanks to artists like Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert, causing Gloriana’s Tom Gossin to compare it to the recent discussion surrounding Little Big Town’s occasionally misunderstood “Girl Crush.”
“I’m loving these debates that start on social media and how light is shed on this stuff,” he says. “It’s so great that these things are being brought to the forefront, and then the actual listening public gets to weigh in instead of just a few guys sitting around in suits deciding what should be on the radio.”
Whatever the debate du jour, Gloriana has enjoyed a successful relationship with radio during the last six years, something the trio obviously hopes will continue with the June 2 release of its third album, Three.
Gossin says making this album was “a lighter process for us” than it had been in the past. “We felt really free creatively and not so much like we were trying to prove anything anymore. [We were] just trying to make music that we love and that our fans would love, and I really feel we accomplished it. We feel like this is our best work yet.”
The band members either wrote or co-wrote nine of the 12 tracks on the album, which takes a decidedly uptempo direction. Explains Reinert, “When we started working on this album, the first thing we said was, ‘This has to be an uptempo album that we can play live,’ especially because we’re a touring band. That was the priority for us.”
Touring, in fact, has always been job one for the hard-working band. “We’ve been on the road for eight years straight,” says Gossin. Rather than trying to balance road life and real life, he says the band’s members all eventually realized that there is no distinction. “So we put together an album of songs that are going to be the 12 most fun songs to play live, because that’s our life,” he says. “I don’t think any of us would really know what to do if we weren’t playing shows somewhere. That’s all we’ve ever done. This is the only job I’ve had. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and [my brother] Mike [Gossin] and Rachel wouldn’t either. So life on the road is just life now. You do your best to maintain relationships and to try to still find time for yourself and be normal, but really, our normal is the road.”