Volume 92, Issue 36

Friday, November 6, 1998

bigger than the post


Bif's hardcore identity stripped naked

Photo by Karen Moskowitz

By Clare Elias
Gazette Staff

"I'm just trying to be honest, regardless of what that entails. I don't believe in myth – I just want to instill something real," says the West-Coast, hardcore rockin' Bif Naked.

She's a diva who knows what she wants, plants her feet firmly on the ground and goes after it. She's not about labels or trying to be something she isn't – she's about firing out angst as hard and passionate as possible.

With the release of her latest CD, I Bificus, Bif establishes herself as a songstress whose sounds fill the Canadian female identity.

"Women Canadian bands are looked upon as a force to be reckoned with. There's so many great artists out there – I mean there's Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morisette. Canada is a vast playground for female talent," Bif explains.

Within this playing field is where Bif strikes a balance between her rough-edged, tattooed, cigarette smokin' style and her innocent flare. She proved her power this summer at Edgefest at Molson Park in Barrie as the only female artist to grace the stage.

"It felt excellent being the only female voice. I thought I gave a good representation of women, but you have to behave in an extremely polite manner. I mean, you can't be givin' girls a bad name, especially when people have these pre-conceived notions," states Bif, when asked about taking responsibility as a woman artist.

These conceptions about what a female artist should and shouldn't be only drives Bif further in blurring persona lines. She teeters between the solemn reverence of such songs as "Daddy's Getting Married" to the full-tilt rock of "Spaceman," all the while keeping afloat from being pinned down.

"People are always try to pigeon-hole you. They'll always compare you to someone or something else. It makes them feel better."

Bif has never rallied behind distinguishing one type of sound from another. She just keeps doing what she's been doing since she dropped out of college and opted for a musical career. "I just wanted to impress my parents, hell I'm just happy I can pay my rent," Bif jests.

By taking success in stride, Bif builds her status as a strong female presence, willing to meet any challenges within the music industry, especially those which involve labelling.

"I don't see why someone who looks one way should only play punk and metal. If the sound doesn't match the look, then it doesn't match. You shouldn't judge a book by its cover."

As cliche as it is, it's still true and it speaks the essence of Bif. Her hard core outside juxtaposes the vulnerability of her inside. This split is, according to Bif, natural for everyone. It only adds to the diversity of bands out there and increases the number of female icons.

"There are so many girls searching for role models right now and there are about 250 to choose from. There's no void in female identity," Bif says. "All anyone of us is looking for is just to be happy."

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998