The Bratmobile founding member, feminist writer and Ladyfest founder talks punk rock, cultural activism and more.
When Allison Wolfe was a student at the University of Oregon, she collaborated on a feminist zine called Girl Germs with fellow student Molly Neuman. Together they would become form Bratmobile, one of the most important alternative rock bands of the ’90s that helped create the American feminist rock scene known as riot grrrl. Drawing on ’60s pop, garage rock, surf and hardcore, Bratmobile’s punk rock sound is as bracing and political as it is funny and hopeful. Their first two albums, 1992’s self-titled release and 1993’s Pottymouth (the latter released on seminal Portland indie label Kill Rock Stars), were a one-two punch to the gut of macho rock, and contributed to the broader world of grunge and feminist punk to come. After her time in Bratmobile, Wolfe played in Partyline, Cold Cold Hearts and Sex Stains; worked as a culture writer and journalist; and founded Ladyfest, a community-based, not-for-profit, feminist music and arts festival.