Spotlight Band: Dead Sara
Singer Emily Armstrong and guitarist Siouxsie Medley, the anchors of the band Dead Sara, have been making music together since they were teenagers. When they decided to branch out a little more they solidified their band line up with Chris Null on bass and Sean Friday on drums.
With their debut album due out this summer the band traverses with ease from genre to genre producing melodic gems that flow right into in fierce, tear your head off, metal induced rockers all with a gritty, primal edge that leaves your ears wondering what could possibly come next.
We recently caught up with Armstrong and Medley to talk about the band, their upcoming album and the magical chemistry they’ve seemed to harness.
Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette
Your debut self-titled album really runs the gamut when it comes to musical styles. You hear influences from everything from classic rock to metal to blues – do you think that diversity really defines the band and how important was it to you to showcase it on this release?
Emily: We just went with what we were feeling at the time – but then again we wrote a bunch more than what made it on the record. We definitely looked at what we had and what would work the best together as our first record.
Emily and Siouxsie – you’ve known each other since teenagers. How does that relationship play into the songwriting for the band?
Siouxsie: It’s effortless. I know whatever riff I come up with Emily will do something amazing over it. It’s magical when you have that connection musically with someone. And knowing each other for so long seems to make things easier.
How did the rest of the band fall into place and how hard was it to go from writing as a duo to being a full band?
Emily: It felt natural and felt like a good change. We have had a bunch of drummers and bass players before but Chris and Sean are more than that, they are good friends. We have known awhile and they are super dedicated. So from that, it just came together effortlessly and organic. We are very fortunate to have this lineup and work well together.
For people that may be hearing about you for the first time, or listening to your music for the first time, what do you want them to know about you as a band?
Siouxsie: I would want them to know that we are music fans ourselves and hope that they like what we are creating.
Let’s talk about the first single “We Are What You Say” because it’s a pretty personal song – can you tell us the story behind it and how it came together?
Emily: Sure. Its an interesting thing to me, I’ve heard artists talk about songs they’ve written about “the music industry” and really thought that I would never write about it thinking it was really cliche. But when Sioux started with that beginning melodic riff then the rest of the band followed somehow got me to start singing about what we experienced – like therapy. It really had an impact on me and I now respect the artists that wrote about it! I understand more having been through that in someway or another.
You’re quoted as saying that you wanted your sound to be “really raw and primal, even a bit unsettling”- do you feel that you accomplished that throughout with this release?
Siouxsie: Yes definitely. While recording we were trying many raw and organic tones and sounds as that’s really who we are live. Our live show is very dynamic and raw and we wanted to convey that on the record.
One of my favorite tracks is “Dear Love” – a power ballad of sorts. Can you tell me about that song and how you would describe it?
Emily: Its about your first time in love but growing up and apart. Being very young and naive but realizing later when we’re older that it really was something special and not being able to move on so easily. Also being promised that we will all eventually find somebody right for all of us then realizing that I might have missed my chance.
I always have to ask female fronted rock bands what they feel are the advantages and/or disadvantages are to being a female fronted band in today’s day and age?
Siouxsie: I don’t view it as advantages or disadvantages. Music is music so it really depends on what you are trying to communicate and if others feel it’s real to them. I guess being female, there are not many female fronted bands so we inevitably stand out. That could be an advantage or disadvantage depending on how you look at it.
Is there a song on the album that you can point to that you feel best encompasses your sound?
In reading some of the feedback from fans on your Facebook page, it seems that the place where you shine most is live on stage – do you feel that’s your strongest asset? Your live show?
Siouxsie: I think our live show is a definite strong asset. Playing in front of people is a passion for the whole band. We all are in a totally different world when we play live.
I’m sure you get asked this all the time but I didn’t see the answer anywhere – who is Sara and what is the story behind the band’s name?
Emily: We get asked all the time, but you’re right, It isn’t up anywhere. Its from the Fleetwood Mac song “Sara”, where in it she says, “said Sara”. Siouxsie and I always liked it as “dead Sara”. So we decided later down the line to use it as a band name…plus it was the only name both of us could agree on!
What do you hope people take away from listening to your debut release?
Emily: Something real.
Any parting messages to music fans out there?
Siouxsie :Come see us play and hangout!