Out Artists on the Rise

Hip-hoppers to country crooners, this year’s up-and-comers are here, queer and ready to entertain

Sarah Greenwood of GSX

When Sarah Greenwood steps onstage, the audience pays attention. She holds her guitar with ferocious confidence, her wide-set stance and aggressive stage-presence mirroring the greatest of rock ‘n’ roll legends. In tight jeans and well-worn motorcycle boots, Greenwood holds her own in a genre of music dominated by men.

The Swiss-born Greenwood is the guitar-shredding front woman of the New York hard rock band, GSX, and she leads the band with tough, honest lyrics, sung with soulful grit. She describes the music of GSX as the “Pretenders, Joan Jett, early Hole, meets Soundgarden, AC/DC and Queens of the Stone Age.”

Greenwood started playing rock music in high school, moving from piano to electric guitar. From an early age she knew there was something different about her, and was grateful for musicians like Joan Jett and Culture Club, “I wasn’t in an environment where there were a lot of gay references. But a lot of the out artists I gravitated towards were gender benders,” remembers Greenwood. She believes that being an out musician has created opportunities for her because of the camaraderie she feels with other gay people in the music industry.

The band’s first full-length album Manifest received glowing reviews from the hard rock community. GSX has begun work on their sophomore album, and while she enjoys the recording process, Greenwood wants her gay and straight fans alike to know that it’s all about them. “The audience makes the performance, the energy we get from them…if it weren’t for the audience it wouldn’t be much of a show.”

Look for Sarah and GSX at myspace.com/GSX. –SH

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