Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara Talks "Lemon Scent", Muse Tour, Next Album, and More
Mon, 25 Mar 2013 07:01:04
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"It really did go by fast," Dead Sara singer Emily Armstrong says of her band's recent run with Muse. "The first week felt like we were out for a month. Then, after a month, it felt like a week!"
Life has been moving exceptionally fast for Dead Sara. After breaking out with their immensely infectious debut and becoming one of the most sought-after live acts in rock 'n' roll, they're already on track to begin their second full-length album. Dead Sara has deservedly become unanimously celebrated. With Armstrong's towering vocals, incomparable melodies, thunderous rhythms, and slick riffs, they're one of the most important and inimitable bands out there. If anybody is keeping rock 'n' roll alive, it's Dead Sara.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Dead Sara singer Emily Armstrong talks the stories behind songs, the tour with Muse, the next album, and more.
What were the highlights of your recent tour with Muse?
When we were walking up on the stage the first few nights of the tour, we were like, "Oh my God, we're doing this!" The crowd was a huge room. We're not used to that. That was definitely a highlight of the first few days. Walking up on stage was the best part of the whole show [Laughs]. Getting up there in front of ten-thousand people, there's nothing to say but, "Wow!"
What's the story behind "Lemon Scent"?
It's got its own story. "Lemon Scent" was the last song to be added to the record. I literally had started off with "Lemon Scent". It didn't make any sense with the lyrics I was throwing in there. Then, I thought, "Oh, 'Lemon Scent', I used to be a cleaner in Los Angeles". I did house cleaning and stuff. Being a house cleaner in L.A. at my age, people are like, "You're lower class". In L.A., there are people who think there's a certain status quo you need to reach in order to live in L.A. Being from here, it really pisses me off that people think that way. My love-hate relationship with people that are not necessarily from here but come here thinking they've got to be a certain way snowballed from that point. You have to have the right car. It's not very fun. "Lemon Scent" has a lot of those elements of what people think of L.A. and what they think they have to be. Being born and raised and here, we're like, "That's not how it is". A friend of ours came up with the video concept. We just went for it, and it was awesome. It's our first conceptual video.
Los Angeles is one of the most diverse, open, and cool places in the world. People don't often get to see that.
Yeah, absolutely! I love it. There's no place like home. I get that more and more as I have the opportunity to travel to places and come back. You leave and come back, and then see things you've never seen before.
Where did "Whispers & Ashes" come from?
I love that song! I read an article online or in the paper. Forty years ago, a plane crashed in the Amazon, and there was one sole survivor. She was flying with her mother to see her father. It just so happened she was the only one who survived. It was incredible to me because, as I was reading, there was a mystery as to how she survived. There's no reason that she should've, especially having to find her way to civilization in the infested waters with a concussion and maggots spewing out of her cuts. It was incredible to me that she survived. Some loggers found her. I don't know what it was, but it really hit home for me. The story stuck in my head. When we went into rehearsal, we started jamming on that riff and we named it "Swamp". It felt really swampy, and it evoked that story. I literally started writing to it right then and there. She woke up. All she could do was whisper, and all she saw was ashes. It's such an incredible story of survival. It hit home with me, and it wrote itself after that.
Have you already begun writing the next record?
We have! Now, we're going to get in and start writing even more. It's all over the place at this point. It's going to be interesting to figure everything out over the next few months.
What's your favorite Dead Sara song?
See Emily Armstrong's favorite concerts here!