In a sea of dreamers lays Dead Sara, a rock band with a modern shell and a brash, 70´s center. Many women can sing like Britney, scratch that. Many women can stand on a stage and mouth the words some hired songwriter wrote for her. That´s where Dead Sara differs. While the lot of women in music are parading Barbie fixtures, Dead Sara, fronted by the in your face Emily Armstrong is above that by a mile. Emily, along with guitarist Siouxsie Medley, bassist Chris Null and Sean Friday on drums, their debut “Dead Sara” is bound to stick out like a sore thumb among the current music scene.
Dead Sara’s self-titled starts off with “Whispers & Ashes.” One note from Emily and you´re hooked for the rest of the record. The way she delivers the trio, “so once again” will make the hair on the back audiences necks give a standing ovation. If you´re not left wanting more by that, then the leather and lace pair will get you. “Weatherman” showcases a lion then goes into “Dear Love,” the lamb. “Dead Sara” will take you on a ride, that´s a promise. Think of this album as the sound child of Joplin and Iggy Pop; retro, badass, rock. Before “Dead Sara” hits the masses this summer, Dead Sara is hitting stages in LA and also took some time to give us some insight to their world. Keep on reading to find out what leading lady, Emily Armstrong had to say about fonts, favorites and Fleetwood Mac.
Kendra Beltran: Is there one song or album that got you hooked on music and writing?
Emily Armstrong: Stevie Nicks´ Landslide. Then later the Rumours album by Fleetwood Mac.
Kendra: How did you and Siouxsie meet? Was it at a show, school, coffee shop?
Emily: No, we actually kinda knew each other when we were like 7 when we went to schools next to each other here in LA. But I didn’t officially meet till we were like 16 through a mutual friend…and then we started a band like a year later.
Kendra: When it comes down to it, you all have a lot of different genres you look to. Does each member have this wide array of likes, or does each person bring a specific style to the game?
Emily: We all have a lot of bands and music in common – but apart from that we do have our own kinds of music that we are individually fond of more than the others in the band…
Kendra: When did you realize your voice was capable of being more than a pretty one?
Emily: When I started playing with Sioux, I wasn’t able to hear myself so I started screaming in order to hear what the hell I was doing. I was doing a lot of folk stuff for a couple years before starting a band with her. We were like “that sounds rad,” so I developed how to keep the screaming and singing in.
Kendra: All your vocals and genre influences can be heard on the upcoming album, self-titled Dead Sara. If you had to sum the record up in five words, how would you?
Emily: Raw rock with emotional tendency?
Kendra: Artists are usually asked about the origin of their bands name, but I was in yearbook…so fonts stick out to me. Who came up with the way Dead Sara would be written?
Emily: We hired a guy named Frank Maddocks to do it. He’s worked on other records and liked his work. So he had quite a few fonts to choose from along with photos, etc. We all thought it was the best font that went along with the vibe of the artwork really.
Kendra: Sticking with yearbook for a minute, what would each member be voted “most likely” if there were a Dead Sara yearbook?
Emily: That´s a tough one…I’m gonna bend the rules on this one a bit. Siouxsie would most likely, “turn it up to 11”. Sean would most likely make you laugh – class clown for sure! Chris would most likely take on the responsibility at hand and I would most likely not have an answer for myself on this one…
Kendra: Being a female in the music industry is hard; you don´t have to be told that. But why do you think after all these years, women are still seen in most eyes as just eye candy with a mic?
Emily: It really depends who you are or who you want to be. I mean, there have been many girl rock bands or singers that have taken more shit for this generation to really complain. There are the other type of girl singers that feed off being eye candy and careers built off that – and they seem to really like it that way. So it really depends…
Kendra: You´re way more than a beautiful woman. One listen and I knew you were a force not to be taken lightly. So with that, you all have been playing small venues around the LA area, how does your huge sound translate in these intimate settings?
Emily: Thank you. We like to play the small venues around town turning everything up and playing really hard and loud. The last two shows we had noise complaints…that´s just a bonus.
Kendra: You got a show coming up at the Bootleg in Silverlake on June 23rd. But what´s up with the rest of Dead Sara´s 2011?
Emily: Playing more on the east side for sure. Plus we have our record coming later this year near fall so we are preparing for that. We are hoping and working to get on to a good tour around that time as well.
Kendra: One more before I let you go of my text grasp…If I asked you to make me a mixtape of the Top 5 songs that would leave you dead if they were ever taken from your i-Pod, what 5 would you send me?