Sass Jordan wants to set things straight, once and for all.
Yes, clearly she is a woman. And yes, she is a rock singer. Therefore, she is, indeed, a female rock singer.
Now, get over it.
“I’ve been avoiding for years, you know, questions like ‘What’s it like to be a woman in rock?’ ” says the gritty vocalist, born in Birmingham, England, and raised in Montreal.
“Now I’ve finally decided it’s time to address this question because now I have enough experience to say what I think it’s like for a woman, although all I can say is what it’s like for me.”
Jordan, creating a stir with her just-released Impact/MCA album “Rats” and the potent single “High Road Easy,” has a prime example of what she encounters in, what she terms, “the testosterone-driven rock world.” During an interview with disc jockey Danny Bonaduce (of “Partridge Family” fame), she heard a familiar tune.
“He says, ‘I don’t mean to sound sexist, but if you’re a girl (in rock), you really have to convince me. You really have to sell me.’ And he said that I did, that I was one of the only female rock singers he found believable.”
Bonaduce is not alone. Jordan’s stock has risen rapidly since her debut album “Tell Somebody” won a 1988 Juno Award. Her second LP, “Racine,” garnered three Top-10 singles on Billboard’s album rock tracks chart in ’92, her “Trust In Me” duet with Joe Cocker was included in the Grammy-winning soundtrack from “The Bodyguard,” and the raucous “Rats” is certain to open some eyes and ears.
Jordan says she doesn’t know why people make a fuss about her being one of – if the only – female rock singers around, but she senses they know she’s genuine and not putting on an act to carve out her own niche.
“I think the music transcends that,” she says. “It doesn’t matter if I’m male, female or a Martian.”
She will admit, though, that she’s virtually in a class by herself.
“There’s just no other female doing this kind of a hybrid rock ‘n’ roll,” she says. “It’s such a mix of so many things – it’s got that funky-edged guitar as well as the old ’70s tones and Hendrix vibes. But it’s also pretty aggressive.”
Even the Grammy people acknowledged there are few women in rock by dropping the best rock female vocalist category this year. Jordan agrees with the decision but counters, “Who cares? They could drop the Grammy Awards altogether and it wouldn’t bother me.”
Her personal Grammy are “platinum records, because that really means you’ve done it,” she says. “First off, what I do, I’m not in it for a contest. I’m not in competition with Melissa Etheridge, and she’s not in competition with me. She does what does, and she’s great at it and no one else could do what she does. The same with me, and the same with Kurt Cobain and so on.”
Growing up, Jordan says, she had no female rock role models. She just loved rock, period.
“It never occurred to me, ‘I’m a woman, I can’t do this.’ All I remember is thinking ‘I love this music, I’m gonna do this.’ I never said, ‘I can’t.’ And now I’m doing it.”