credit: Martyna Wisniewska
Petrol Girls are a feminist post-hardcore punk band, originally formed in London, with members from Austria, Lithuania and the UK. Now based in Austria, and touring incessantly, the band are strong advocates of freedom of movement, anti capitalism and intersectional feminism.
They are rooted in a DIY music community that has always combined politics with punk rock; part of a counter culture that constantly challenges mainstream values like nationalism and the gender binary, and the oppressions that these ideals promote.
The band first formed in 2013 for a house show that singer Ren was putting on to celebrate International Women’s Day. This feminist context was essential for the band’s formation within a wider music community that at the time did very little to encourage women’s participation.
Petrol Girls are named after Pétroleuses, mythical women of the Paris commune who allegedly set fire to private property with Molotov cocktails made from milk bottles, and rejected traditional gender roles. The inspiration came from a talk on Women and Protest given by writer Laurie Penny, who loosely translated Pétroleuses to Petrol Girls.