“Practice your ass off and be better than most, and be remembered as a talented artist who has something to prove or give to the world.” -Dead Sara
Emily Armstrong, lead singer of hard rock band Dead Sara, doesn’t mess around. The two lead females, Emily Armstrong and Siouxsie Medley, initially met growing up in Los Angeles. While developing a friendship based on jam sessions, the two listened to “lots of 60’s and 70’s music, punk and grunge,” which would influence their later sound. Both Stevie Nicks fans, a misheard lyric inspired their band name. “‘Dead Sara’ was a misheard lyric that Siouxsie and I heard, and was just kind of a funny thing. Every time we heard the song ‘Sara,’ we’d sing it really loud,” explains Emily. “It stuck with us and [we] decided to use it two, three years into being a band. Stevie Nicks was a huge influence for me in my teens.”
Their hit single “Weatherman” was released on their debut eponymous album, which they released on their own label, Pocket Kid Records. Later they signed to Epic Records, but that was short-lived due to complications and creative tensions which prompted them to take things into their own hands. “The industry started to really take a turn when we got into it. Huge corporations were merging, social media was becoming the new era, and it just didn’t seem like it had landed on its feet yet. There is no better way to get a feel for the ever-changing business and staying on top of it than doing it yourself.”
The intensity of the band has garnered fans including the likes of Courtney Love, who called Emily asking if she’d sing vocals for Hole’s record Nobody’s Daughter. “When I got that call from Courtney I thought it was a joke of course cause it just, well, really couldn’t be true. I listened to a lot of Hole in my teen years, especially Celebrity Skin. I was obsessed with that record! That was actually one of the records Sioux and I bonded on.”
This past March, Dead Sara (which also includes bandmates Sean Friday and Chris Null) released their sophomore album Pleasure to Meet You, on their own label via funding through PledgeMusic. “The record had been done for over a year once we got off the label and made a decision as to how we were going to release it. And that’s where Pledge came in. It was a great format to use to re-launch ourselves for all the missed time that we unfortunately had no control over.” Despite the extensive delay in the release, the album was received with critical acclaim to an enthusiastic fan base that’s sold out performances. “We played to a sold out Trees [music venue] in Dallas, TX for the first time and the crowd was singing everything back to us. I had to hold back from crying and get my shit together,” recalls Emily. “I had always dreamed of that, and there it was for the first time. Loud, rowdy fans singing every lyric. Truly unforgettable!”
As of now, the band is in the midst of writing their third album. Expect more tours and more rock ‘n’ roll. When witnessing Emily Armstrong and Siouxsie Medley’s chemistry and rock-and-roll sisterhood on stage, you know they’re in for the long haul.
Photography and interview by Indira Cesarine for The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue
Fashion Editor Indira Cesarine
Make-up by Roberto Morelli
Hair by Anthony Joseph Hernandez
This article originally appeared in The #GirlPower Issue of The Untitled Magazine (2015), pick up a print edition of the #GirlPower Issue today!