What's your jam?

by Undead Miss Red

#smashtag jamming against Ohio's Gang Green, fueled by tons of great music


Bout day is serious, and roller derby is as much a mental game as it is a physical challenge. With these two truths in mind, what do skaters listen to as they get ready to play? What is #smashtag hearing through her white wires while she walks around the Windy City Fieldhouse? Which tracks get Queefer Sutherland’s head where it needs to be to jump the apex in a tough jam?

For starters, both of these Outfit skaters have Ludacris on their playlists. Queefer stands by Sisquo’s “Thong Song” as a no-fail way to get pumped for a bout; #smashtag’s list goes in all directions from there. A few of her favorites include:

“Break Ya Neck” (Busta Rhymes)

“Bad Girls” (M.I.A.)

“Run the World” (Beyonce)

“All I Do is Win” (DJ Khaled, feat. T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg...)

“Welcome to the Jungle” (Guns & Roses)

And any derby playlist would be remiss not to include “Fat Bottomed Girls,” by Queen. #smashtag has that one. So do I. And I’m willing to bet Matza Ball Breaker and Sneer and Loathing have it, too, after a recent away bout sing-a-long. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

In keeping with high-energy camp and feel-good rock, The Champ keeps a playlist that goes well with her name.

“I like to listen to 70's and 80's sports movie jams,” says Champ, “So, specifically, The Rocky Soundtrack: ‘No Easy Way Out’ (Robert Tepper), ‘Eye of the Tiger’ (Survivor), ‘Rocky's Theme/Gonna Fly’ (Bill Conti). Then I switch to The Karate Kid soundtrack and a few songs from the Teen Wolf soundtrack.  The theme here is ‘the underdog is triumphant.’ And then I like to listen to Hulk Hogan's theme song, ‘Real American.’” Champ, this might be the greatest bout day playlist ever. Or anyday playlist.

Getting our heads in the game is serious. That's why we need Queen and The Cramps.

Pain Gwen loves her some Ke$ha before a bout -- that’s also on #smashtag’s big list -- and says, “I channel Ke$ha on game day” to “get pumped.” Anybody who has seen Pain Gwen on game day would agree that it’s working. Ivana Schoop also lists some fun pop songs -- Macklemore, as well as the obvious and awesome choice of Salt ‘N Pepa -- but then Schoopie’s playlist gets a little angrier, with Monster Magnet’s Powertrip album as her can’t-be-without choice for bout day.

And now we’re getting closer to what I need to hear, as well as a few other skaters. Maimy Winehouse needs Anthrax -- Among the Living, to be specific. Scream Printer looks to “The Mob Goes Wild,” by Clutch. And while I get the appeal of pop and hip-hop, my brain needs punk and metal, too. On my way to a bout, here in Chicago or on the road, I’m listening to “Thunder Kiss ‘65,” by White Zombie; “I Want It All,” by the Turbo ACs; “Rat Patrol,” by Naked Raygun; “Take ‘Em All,” by CockSparrer...and in case I start to forget how much fun roller derby really is, “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns,” by The Cramps is always close at hand.

Skaters -- both Outfit and elsewhere -- and any other athletes: What do YOU need to hear before you’re ready to go? Leave your favorite tracks or artists as a comment for this post. We want to know! And #smashtag might want to add it to her massive playlist....