“If you’re gonna touch me I’m gonna touch you... with my foot”.
Photo of Amyl & The Sniffers @ Meredith Music Festival (Credit: Joshua Braybrook)
Amy Taylor is known and loved as the commanding lead vocalist of Amyl & The Sniffers. In the Aussie punk rock band, Taylor doesn’t hide her Australian accent and instead accentuates it. She stands against the norms of punk singers and brings fresh firecracker energy to the genre.
But, opinions on Taylor’s work aren’t always positive. On a new episode of the Boldly Me podcast with Chloé Hayden (of Netflix’s Heartbreak High fame), Taylor talked about going from the Mullumbimby IGA (“I was like, ‘maybe one day I’ll own a Woolworths,’ whatever it was gonna be, it was gonna be big”), to Amyl & The Sniffers’ growth, sexual harassment, and the prejudices she faces.
Taylor told Hayden that people make rushed judgments about her voice and look – “A lot of them can be negative,” she said, feeling like people don’t see the nuance and complexity she holds.
“People think I’m one-dimensional,” Taylor added, “or they go like ‘Oh, cos of the way she looks and dresses, like, oh her arse cheeks are out, she must be a dumb-arse.’
"Or, you know, like, ‘Because of the way she speaks you must be uneducated’ – and look, I’m not crazy educated… but the main thing is I’m hungry to learn and I ask questions, and that’s what a smart person does… It’s like all these prejudices wrapped up in one, but I’m just existing and it can be complicated for people to understand that.
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She continued, “I get judged a lot in a lot of different ways,” and that leads to the Knifey singer wanting to “bitch” at insults. “People should show me more respect,” Taylor said, with Hayden noting that she receives messages from people who said they liked her better before success.
Taylor could relate and added, “It’s not like I'm Adani making mines, I’m just singing songs that are political and about going to the pub.”
Taylor isn’t always the powerhouse we see on stage – she revealed to Hayden, “I just cry and shake like a leaf... sulk... and that’s fine... not resist it too much... If I was just bold all the time, then that would be unnatural... I’m not ashamed to not be confident all the time.”
She continued, “I've gone through really dark phases where it’s like, impossible to leave the house, had anxiety attacks every week. And it’s like, that’s why I feel like this point in my life is so special as well because I feel like I’ve earned it. I know what it’s like to feel shit, and I feel good, and I’m going to enjoy that.”
Taylor later concluded that sometimes, violence can be necessary when she’s touched without her consent: “People grope me at shows, people treat me like I’m less,” she said, but “If you’re gonna touch me I’m gonna touch you... with my foot”.
You can listen to Taylor’s full interview on the Boldly Me podcast here.