Dead Sara Talk Debut Album, Touring with Bush, and More
Mon, 26 Sep 2011 08:09:40
On their debut album, Dead Sara sound utterly and undeniably alive.
The Los Angeles quartet marries a guttural guitar groove to hypnotic vocal hooks. Songs like their first single "Weathermen" wield a raw vibrancy characteristic of classic L.A. bands with a newfound passion emanating from singer Emily Armstrong's impressive range. Dead Sara sound like Nirvana fronted by Stevie Nicks, and they're about to rip through rock 'n' roll….
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino, Dead Sara singer Emily Armstrong discusses the album, songwriting, hitting the road with Bush, and more.
Was it important for the album to have a live feel?
We wanted the album to be as raw as possible and capture a live sound. We wanted it to be primarily a rock record. Those were the two things that we envisioned as a whole. It did come together track by track as well. We try to keep it minimal so you can hear everything in its own element instead of organizing tracks layer by layer where things can easily get hidden. By keeping it minimal, it gives the music that space.
What's the story behind "Sorry for it All"?
That's an old one. It's something Siouxsie [Medley, guitar] and I probably wrote in 2007. It was on our EP, and then we did it as a band. Lyrically, it was what I was going through at the time. It was a bit of a hard time and I had to forgive, forget, and move on. I didn't know if I wanted it on the record. It's a song that means a lot to me, and it was already on the EP. We had to redefine the song almost. As time went by and we were finishing up the record, I thought it would be a great closing track. The producer actually had a lot to do with the tracklist. He walked us through it. It was a collaborative thing.
Can you delve into "Lemon Scent"?
We actually finished that song in the studio. It wasn't fully written before heading out to Sonic Ranch in Texas. It came together very well, but it was difficult at the same time because we hadn't rehearsed it. It has ups and downs more than any other track on the record. It's about L.A. and the stereotypical people. There's this idea that you're "lesser" if you don't have certain things, which is totally wrong. It's just a façade, and I was pissed off about that.
Is there anything else that fosters your lyrical storytelling?
Talking to other people makes you think in ways you otherwise may not have. I like hearing their experiences. I also enjoy watching biographies.
What sparks your writing process?
I constantly have lyrics in the back of my mind. Every day, I'm thinking of words. When we go into rehearsal, there's usually a riff from one of the band members. When someone else feels it, I'll start going and spitting out lyrics and melodies free-form.
Were you a Bush fan growing up? How cool is it to hit the road with them?
I was a teen when they first came out. I had posters and I bought the original cassette [Laughs]. I was a huge fan! It hasn't really hit me fully yet. I think it will mid-tour.
If your album were a movie, what would you compare it to?
I can give you genres! A little bit of biopic, action, and psychedelia, maybe a little bit of a love story in there as well.
Which artists shaped you?
As a teenager, I was all over the place trying to figure it out. There was of course Bush, Nirvana, and Third Eye Blind. I was listening to Led Zeppelin and getting into folk as well. I go back to a lot of the '60s and '70s stuff because it never gets old.
Have you heard Dead Sara yet?