It is a pretty standard dream for young musicians to play at an outdoor venue to thousands of screaming fans, sadly 90% of those dreams never come true. Stef with an F from City of the Weak and her bandmates are one of the few lucky bands that can say they get to play to thousands of screaming fans more than once this summer. It is even more astounding is that this band has only been together for four years, and with the current lineup for two years, and they are playing huge shows such as Northern Invasion, and in July, Chicago Open Air.
I caught up with Stef with an F, lead songbird and Cody Evan Hoffman, bass slayer after their set at Northern Invasion in Somerset, WI on Sunday and picked their brains on dream tours, female fronted metal bands and more. Stef with an F created the band when she moved to Minneapolis and was bitten by the performing bug while in college. From there, the lineup changed, but Stef’s goal did not. Stef set out to create a band that spoke to fans, one that fans could relate to and to make amazing metal music, and folks, she has so far been succeeding. I asked Stef what it was like to be a female in the metal music world, where most bands are fronted by men, and if she was ever treated disrespectful or talked down to. “It’s a sausage-fest.” she laughed. “I mean, I live my life, I do what I want to do. I get up on that stage and am like, Listen! You are going to fucking listen and you are going to fucking like it!” She stated with a sparkle in her eyes. “There was one incident where a bar manager would not let me in to my own show! He eventually realized I was the singer, and the show went on as planned. The band played there the next year and he kept giving me free shots and apologizing!” Stef explained that overall they have an amazing fan base that continues to grow rapidly. She said the fans feel more like family, with how supportive and awesome they all are. Cody added that the fans make even the not-so-good days worth it.
I went on to ask them if they could tour with any band that was alive, who would it be. Stef yelled “Joan Jet” with absolutely no hesitation. “The first time I saw her live I was hooked. She is an amazing artist and performer.” Cody chimed in with “The Foo Fighters, of course.” I then asked what artist they would tour with if they could bring someone back from the dead, “Queen” Stef stated fiercely. “Our band has been compared to Queen before, in reference to our originality. That was a huge complement to us, and ever since then I personally feel a connection to that band”. Cody responded with “Layne Stanley-era Alice In Chains. Hell, even current Alice In Chains.” I think I should pull some strings and make that tour happen, don’t you think, dear readers?
The band isn’t currently touring, they are actually heading in to the studio the last week in May, and hopefully releasing their first single off the new album sometime in July. I could not get them to give me an album release date, that Stef is really good at being cryptic. City of the Weak will be at Chicago Open Air festival on Saturday July 16, 2016, along with heavy hitters like Korn, Disturbed and a dozen other must-see metal bands. I asked Stef if they knew their set time yet” I’m sure we are first that day, we are always first”, she laughed. I assured her that soon being the first band on the festival bill will be a thing of that past, and every hugely successful band has to pay their dues.
City of the Weak is a band to watch, folks. Mark my words, within a year I see them headlining a major tour, you wait and see. Stef and the guys leave a lasting impression on everyone that sees them play live. For example, I did my interview with Cody and Stef in the VIP lounge at Northern Invasion, there were about 100 people in the area at the time. The rest of the night, people were coming up to me asking who the people were that I was talking to before, “Ya know the skinny white haired girl and that baby faced guy with the hat,” as one lady described them. One women smacked her husband on the arm and yelled, “I told you so! I told you they were that first band we saw today! Gosh, she is amazing! They were really good! Weren’t they really good Mike?” Mike, the husband replied, “She’s (Stef) hot.” Mike the husband was rewarded with another smack on the arm. So, you don’t have to just take my word for it, listen to Mike and his wife, City of the Weak is really, really good. Please follow the provided links to get your fill of City of the Weak.