Strange Breed is an all queer, all-female garage rock band based out of Vancouver, BC. The eclectic 4-piece sound like an anthemic riot girl band with an unexpected modern rock twist! Strange Breed has been described as what a collaboration between Veruca Salt, Paramore and Hole would sound like. Strange Breed is set to release their debut studio album, “Permanence.” in September 2019 alongside a cross country tour spanning from Vancouver Island to Montreal, QC. They constantly have individuals of all different backgrounds reaching out and expressing how much they appreciate seeing queer representation inaccessible music, and hearing “good, catchy tunes with an actual message”. Strange Breed always takes a moment during each show to ensure that the acknowledgment is made of who’s land they have the privilege of playing music on, and ensures that people know what kind of environment they are entering when they come to a StrangeBreed show…
“Safe spaces, Inclusivity, Good times and Great music is what these babes are all about.”
Strange Breed’s latest single “Closer” features cascading guitars and high octane drums accompany a strong vocal and a structurally varied melody that lets the experienced rain down in the way that vintage punk-rock once did. All of this comes with a distinct sense of authenticity, as if this is what the band has to do, this is what they’ll be doing whether you’re listening or not. It’s a great sound, raw and real, with some refreshingly entertaining songwriting. The personal touch intrigues and “Closer” in particular make you want to listen in full. You can lose yourself in the fullness of the sound, think back to the mosh-pits of the nineties and earlier, or just revel in the originality as it stands today.
Listen to “Closer” here and read more with Strange Breed below!
Hey ladies! Welcome to BuzzMusic! Can you start by introducing yourself and describing what role you play within Strange Breed?
Nicolle Dupas - Lead vocals, Guitar - She/Her
Terra Chaplin - Lead Guitar - She/Her/They/Them
Megan Bell - Drums - She/Her
Ally Von Wallis - Bass - She/Her
What is the meaning of the lyrics in “Closer”? What do you hope your listeners take away from it?
"Closer" is a story about desire, but mostly it's a jumble of emotions. The desire to find love and to love yourself. The desire to reach your dreams. The desire to embrace your queerness, or otherness. The desire to love yourself. This video was a collaboration and an artistic community project of some beautiful and talented individuals that we feel completely embody the future of our community, and of our core values as a band.
We hope that what people take away from the experience of listening to "Closer" is power and self-confidence, and "feeling yourself" !!!
What can your listeners expect from your upcoming album “Permanence”?
It's an 8 songs album exploring social and political issues such as sexual assault, gender discrimination, LGBTQ+ issues, mental illness and more. We wanted this first album to be this way, because we are emerging as a band during a very divided political moment in history and we wanted to clearly comment on the core values we have as individuals and as a band. When we started, we were initially aiming to be a true Riot Grrrl Punk band, but our sound developed over time - so some of the content and sounds on this album are still very much a nod towards that culture of music we grew up listening to, and were influenced to.
We hope that when you listen to "Permanence." you can hear the development of dynamics and our approach to our "genre" as a band between the tunes we have previously released as digital singles, and the unreleased tracks on the album.
Strange Breed is all about promoting positive change through the messages in our music and in our general interactions with the world and online, and "Permanence." is the deepest and most pure exploration of those values and beliefs.
How do you decide what to write about in your songs?
I wouldn't say it's always decided ahead of time. As the primary songwriter, my personal process is usually that I do nothing and it comes to me. That sounds super douchey!!!! I've been writing music since I was about 10, so for almost 20 years. But it's only been in like the last 6 or 7 where I've struggled to sit down and just play and find a song. Nowadays, I usually am washing dishes, driving, showering - doing something mundane. Instead of singing popular songs that I enjoy in the shower, I sing made up melodies and lyrics until something catches my interest. Then, I do a shitty phone recording of it, and when I have time to sit down with my guitar and figure it out, i do. I usually only flesh out a verse or a chorus and then I bring it in to the band and we finish it together.
There's been a few times I've brought in fully formed songs ("Sharks" is one example, or our first track on the album "25"), but usually it's only a semi-formed thing.
The cool thing about working with a band to compose is that you get multiple perspectives on whatever the context of the song is. Sometimes, we're all very much feeling heated about a social topic of the day (ie #Metoo - we wrote The C-Word in one evening very quickly!!!). Sometimes we all just spew out random phrases until we mesh something together that sounds cool.
That said, we all have a no holds barred approach to writing. We don't censor ourselves on the content, even if we feel it might be controversial. We write about things that matter to us, but we try to do it in the most commercially accessible way possible. Not because we want to "Sell out" but because we want to make more space in the commercial industry for bands like us (all female, all queer, etc.) , and for songs about something real.
If people only have time to listen to one of your songs, which would you recommend, and why?
Hard question! I think we'd agree for the average person, "Closer" should be your go to. It's catchy, it's sexy, it's badass, the video is great, it gets stuck in your head, it's easy to relate to regardless of where you're at in life. But for people that enjoy something a little heavier, we'd recommend our unreleased track, "Witch Hunt". You'll see why!
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