Paula’s adolescence was spent as a casual observer in the Melbourne punk scene of the late 70’s and early 80’s. After a myriad of garage bands, the first serious musical interlude was not until the late 80’s with the formation of Velvet Hammer.
Founded in1989, Velvet Hammer was a raucous punk/metal crossover band from Melbourne, featuring Paula on vocals and guitar. A fiercely DIY ethos predominated in the local scene and Paula’s throaty vocals wasn’t typical of female vocalists at that time.
Velvet Hammer toured extensively, along the east coast of Australia throughout the 1990’s and participated in numerous festivals with many local and interstate punk/metal bands. VH also produced numerous video clips which were aired by RAGE, a music show on ABC television.
Much was written about Paula’s confrontational approach, with slogans from Hot Metal magazine labelling her as “Australia’s most brutal female vocal.” It also saw her strongly aligned to and unofficially labelled champion of the Riot Grrrl/ Grot Grrrl movement in Melbourne and interstate, advocating a woman’s right to be represented in the male dominated Hardcore culture. In doing this forging a legacy for women’s inclusion in this cross over movement of the mid 90’s.
Damnzal was a Melbourne band that Paula formed in 2003. With a hard driving metal/ punk feel, their live shows were atypical in that they were sexually non-confrontational. Damnzal received plenty of attention at the Bloodstock Festival in the UK and in prominent European magazine “Metal Maidens.' This notoriety led to the band supporting Pungent Stench in March 2005. During 2007 the band linked up with international distribution and were signed to Dead Famous/ Astral Records, but disbanded shortly before embarking on a tour of Canada and Europe with Kittie in 2008.
After a musical hiatus of 2 years Paula was lured back into the scene, forming the very shortlived band, Deathbird with notable local punkster grrrl Flea (Yvette Pusser). Deathbird did a handful of gigs around Melbourne and one interstate gig at the Red Rattler, Sydney. Deathbird quickly became a favourite of the Melbourne and Sydney gay and lesbian scene, before disbanding around 2010.