Local Mom Finds “Wholeness” in a Rock Band
“This is my mid-life crisis band,” says Carla Weikel, lead singer and founder of Just a Girl, a tribute to Gwen Stefani’s No Doubt band. Weikel, 40, is a Stapleton resident and mother of two, ages 6 and 10. “My goal is to rediscover fun before my kids get older and I get too old to do this.”
Just a Girl emulates No Doubt, a rock-ska-pop band that was fronted in the 1990s and 2000s by flamboyant vocalist Gwen Stefani. “We play mostly the songs from their heyday, plus a few current songs,” says Weikel. “We try to match the sound of their instruments and I try to match Gwen’s tone and emotion.”
Weikel imitates the wild costumes worn by Stefani, a clothing designer. “I watch all of their shows on You Tube and I try to match her look, like half-shirts, wrist bands and heavy makeup. It’s impossible to buy anything like what she wears so I piece it together. She sometimes wore a bindi [a colored dot on the center of the forehead, worn by Hindu women], so I found one at Forever 21 and glued it on. I get the look pretty well if no one gets up close.”
No Doubt’s music is a fun challenge, she said. “It runs the gamut of styles so we’re not stuck with one style. The music is technical and the players like their parts. The hooks are great. This music stays fresh for me.”
Weikel was inspired to start the band while on her nightly walk in Stapleton in August 2017. “No Doubt came up on my iPod and I realized that while there were lots of tribute bands in Colorado, none of them were No Doubt tribute bands. When I found people who also wanted to do this, it solidified my vision.”
She found musicians for the band on Craigslist. “I got lucky right away and found good people, who referred me to more good people.”
Just a Girl came together in early 2018, and the band has played at venues including Herman’s Hideaway and the Soiled Dove Underground. The band’s next show will be at at the Oriental Theater Sept. 15.
Weikel started performing as a singer in high school musical theater and continued with community theater after college. She sang with bands in Denver, including her own band, from 2004 to 2015. “After I stopped performing, I felt I was losing a part of myself, my creative side. Things like work and kids can take priority over fun, and your time gets thin,” said Weikel, who works full time at a real estate investment company. “So I needed something to make me feel that wholeness again. This is very satisfying and fun.”
A basement room of Weikel’s house became the band rehearsal space once she sound-proofed it. “The kids sneak down to the basement to watch us. My daughter sings along with the songs. She still thinks I’m cool and I’m milking that because it won’t be long before she thinks I am not cool.”
Weikel attributes the band’s early success to its nostalgic appeal. “Just about everyone who was a teen or 20-something in the 1990s or 2000s can associate No Doubt’s songs with some part of their youth. I think that’s why we’ve resonated with people right off the bat. I loved No Doubt in the ‘90s. It reminds me of high school, going to the beach in my best friend’s Jetta.”
For more information and tickets for the Sept. 15 show at the Oriental, see www.justagirltribute.com.