MusicMusic Features

Cicatrice Plays Industrial-Strength Trans Activism 

Anastasia Weiss delivers a message with hardcore solo project

A young woman, musician Cicatrice, sits on railroad tracks in the dark holding a red electric guitar
Cicatrice (Photo by Camille Weiss)

As a heavy snake-charmer guitar riff coils through a dense cloud of industrial noise, Anastasia Weiss’ distorted vocals deliver a manifesto that unfurls like a tattered, bloodstained banner.

“If you have scars/ Wear them in the light/ If you have fire/ Light up the fucking night/ Remember who we’ve lost/ We will stand in the flames/ And they will call us by our names…”

“Trap Laws,” which dropped in May, is Weiss’ newest single as hardcore industrial solo project Cicatrice, a word she chose due to its translation in multiple languages: scar. Weiss says she developed the tune’s melodic monster riff because it imparts a sense of physical dread with its dissonant, harmonic minor sound.

“It gives you chills,” Weiss says.

With a title that is a slur for trans women as well as an acronym for targeted restrictions on abortion providers, the song deliberately draws a connection between the attack on reproductive rights and the astroturfed anti-trans movement.

Weiss is 27, and two years into her official transition as a woman. Growing up in Gastonia, she grew fascinated with production at an early age, setting up beats on her computer. She credits her guitar-playing father with supporting her interest in music.

“I learned everything that I knew about guitar from my dad,” she says.

After attending Appalachian State University, Weiss earned a degree in English in 2019. Her love of language is evident in her self-titled four-song EP that she released in March, particularly the song “Cisholm Syndrome,” which takes conservative trans people who try to appease the anti-trans community to task.

“I’m afraid of everybody, not knowing who they are within/ And the mask I’m wearing is cutting right through my skin… ”

“[They’ve] sold [themselves] out for validation from people that don’t give a shit about them,” Weiss says.

With a solo show coming up at The Milestone Club on Aug. 7, Weiss hopes her audience will have a good time and get a little rowdy. “I don’t want to be a boring musician preaching at people,” she says.

At the same time, she does intend to deliver a message.

“I want to give a perspective that maybe not a lot of people know about,” she says. “I stand by what I say.”

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