“I’m gonna sing you a little song about what it was like growing up in West Virginia, looking like me.”
RunHideFight frontwoman Geeta Simons says that in a long disaffected drawl on the simmering intro to the Stooges-esque “What Are You Talking?,” and we can take it a couple ways. Certainly, she was an 80s punk rocker in the Mountain State, a person whose style and artistic / cultural inclinations stood out from her conservatively-attired and -minded peers. But no, that’s not the whole story; not by a longshot. Simons’ family is of Desi heritage, and she grew up in a region that is — to put it bluntly — kind of blindingly white. And not the most tolerant, either.
“As a first gen, Indian American woman; I was busting up all kinds of cultural/gender norms by not finishing a pre-med track, having a green Mohawk and tattoos, playing in punk bands at skate parks, openly dating before marriage,” Simons recalled in an interview earlier this year with The Key’s A.D. Amorosi. “I was so angry and I desperately wanted to be heard and seen by a world which resisted that.”
Music was her outlet, continuing through her move to Philadelphia and her immersion in its indie community during the 90s and early 00s, when she played with Khyber regulars Swisher, Los Angeles, and Rockula. She stepped back from the scene for about a decade when she had children, but returned last year with a vengeance to form RunHideFight, a project born out of Simons’ heartache at her mother’s passing, her frustration at Donald Trump’s election, and the generally frayed-nerve state of the world. Continue reading →