A love circle
West Linn High School junior Gillian McMahon says her all-girls rock band breaks stereotypes.
"Rock n' roll is a man's world, and for us to be making that music and playing in that world is a big deal," said McMahon, who sings lead vocals and plays the bass in the band, Love Circle. "We don't want being an all-girl band to be the only thing to make us special though; we want it to be our ability to play music."
Love Circle, comprised of McMahon, Sunset High School junior Morgan Page — who sings backup vocals and plays guitar and bass— and Mountainside High School sophomore Annistyn Randall — who plays drums — has blossomed over the last few months.
In February, the band released its first EP "Heartbreak" with five original songs including "Summer Days" and "Cast a Spell." The EP can be found on Spotify, iTunes and at the Hawthorne branch of Tender Loving Empire in Portland.
"It's crazy to think I can say, 'Listen to our music on iTunes,' but technology is growing and therefore so is music," McMahon said.
So far, Love Circle has performed in Portland and surrounding areas at venues like First Friday Milwaukie, the Clinton Street Theater and most recently at Arts and Technology High School during the districtwide art show May 18.
"At the district art show, it was pouring rain and no one was around. We started just jamming out. We didn't really care what we were playing and it was a lot of fun for all of us," McMahon said. "Eventually, the rain stopped and people started showing up, but that didn't stop us from acting like we were the only people there. We had a lot of sarcastic banter and it didn't feel like a show but it felt like we were just hanging out as friends."
McMahon met Randall through Lake Oswego's School of Rock — a music school designed to teach kids how to perform on stage — about a year ago. When the two switched over to Portland's School of Rock, they met Page.
"It's (School of Rock) encouraging kids to do music outside of choral or classical music (and) being able to perform at a real venue," McMahon said.
But Love Circle wasn't the first band McMahon was a part of. She met members of her first band at School of Rock but it didn't end up working out. Instead, the experience led to the band's decision to go with the name Love Circle.
McMahon had a crush on her former band's drummer but decided to ignore it.
"I realized he liked our guitarist and they started dating and I was like, 'Well, this is hard to be in a band with you two,'" she said.
Randall suggested the name Love Circle since that's why the band formed.
"It haunts me," McMahon said, adding that she never even dreamed of having a band, but rather a tight-knit group of friends. "I didn't find a band that really fit though until Love Circle. Those girls are my family and we're a team — no one person is better than another. Having a band though fulfilled my dream of that group of friends, because that's really what they are, they're my friends."
The trio has several upcoming shows in the Portland metro area.
At 6:30 p.m. June 7, the band will perform at Youth Music Project's A Night in the '90s evening in West Linn; 3 p.m. June 14, at a Friends of Noise block party in Portland and 6:30 p.m. June 15, at Portland's Rockwood Center.
"It's fun to play together and go to multiple different places," Randall said.
"It's special that we are all teenage girls and I think, not to toot our own horn, I think we are pretty decent at our instruments," Page added.
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