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she rolls, and she
loves her family
It’s a guess, but it’s quite likely that most people in punk bands don’t admiringly quote their mother about a dozen times in an hour-long conversation. But Thérèse Lanz (BA’03) is not a typical “punk.” She does, however, have one negative thing to say about her mom: “She thinks the BeeGees are better than the Beatles, and I just can’t accept that.”
Music has long been an important part of Lanz’s life; some of her earliest memories are of sitting on top of her dad’s classical guitar case, watching him play, and knowing that she wanted to do something similar one day. She first hit the stage with a band when she was 14 and was “crippled with fear and anxiety … for about 30 seconds.” What followed was the realization that “performing is such an intoxicating, addictive high” that Lanz says she was hooked immediately.
Now heading the punk band Kilborne as lead singer and guitarist, music comes first. The band, which Lanz started with sister Francesca (BA’01), owes its name to Jean Kilborne, the renowned media studies professor Lanz was exposed to and grew to admire while earning her degree. Kilborne had articulated through her books and films so many of the values and ideals that were swimming around loosely in Lanz’s head.
“So many of my ideals are also flush with those of the punk world. Plus, I was attracted to the energy of punk music,” admits Lanz. That said, she also acknowledges that “ideals don’t pay the bills” and has found ways to build a business with her sister that falls in line with those values.
The duo help small businesses getting started—they write marketing and business plans, and build websites as well. They also provide research support and data conversion to clients such as the Calgary Board of Education. “Considering we’re just two kids working out of a house, we have some pretty impressive clients.” It’s a house in the suburbs they own themselves, and she credits her mom with planting the entrepreneurial seed that led to the shared business venture.
The suburbs, an entrepreneurial spirit, a successful home-based business—again,
not exactly the definition of punk most people hold.