Interviews

Q&A: Dream Nails

London’s DIY punk witches, Dream Nails, have released a new acoustic album today! To celebrate, the energetic and lively four-piece answered a few questions for us.

This is your first acoustic release, are you looking forward to people hearing a different side to Dream Nails?

Janey: Yes! We’re excited for all our vocal harmonies to be heard in their full glory.

Mimi: It’s really cool that this is a live album as well, you get to hear the audience and the interactive part of our shows that you would never know about from the recordings.

Lucy: Historically, the energy and quality of punk music has masked shitty or lazy musicianship. With this recording hopefully people will realise we ain’t about either.

Anya: It was so much more exposing than playing a regular show, we felt like every little thing could be heard. We really rose to the challenge though. Also we talk about the stories behind each song and you can also find out what our least favourite star sign is (it’s Gemini, don’t @ us).

You’ve chosen to release this LP in January to help people with the winter blues – do you have any other tips for making it through this time of year?

Janey: Vitamin D and a shot of apple cider vinegar every morning. Trust me.

Lucy: Get yourself moving and enjoy that free endorphine reward! If gyms aren’t your thing or are too pricey, you can take a class with a friend or do yoga vids in your bedroom. Your mind will be calmer.

Mimi: I’ve been taking care of dogs and it’s been very therapeutic. They also get you walking as well, which is different to the walking in a hurry to get somewhere and the exercise I’m used to.

Anya: Sun beds. Five minutes. Get cooked.

What made you want to record it live rather than in a studio?

Janey: Recording live is always a challenge, and we felt ready for it. Plus, recording it live captures all of our infamous chats and laughter in a way that would have felt forced in a studio. At the live show, we were able to just engage with the audience and perform the songs and forget that it was all being recorded.

Mimi: We also worked with someone from Omnii Collective who recorded, mixed and mastered this for us. They’re an amazing collective whose main objective is to make the studio and engineering more accessible to women and non-binary people.

Anya: We aren’t ready to do a studio album yet, that’s our aim for this year, so it is a delicious taster of things to come.

Lucy: Our fans know that our live shows are when things get serious. And by serious I mean incredibly fun. As a punk outfit, this can sometimes be lost in a studio, so a live album felt like a perfect stepping stone before we recreate our vibe for our debut album.

Photography by Poppy Marriott.

Do you have any plans to do an acoustic tour?

Janey: A lot of people are asking this, and although there’s nothing in the diary we want to make it happen!

Mimi: We definitely want to play more bookshops, they are more accessible and all ages friendly than most gig venues that serve alcohol etc.

Anya: There are actually so many fantastic indie bookshops in the UK but they’re a dying breed and we want to support them, so yes!

Lucy: Bookshops are such a hub for people to discover new ideas and each other, perfect for our mission as a band.

How was it, writing specifically for an acoustic release?

Janey: We didn’t write specifically for the release, but it’s an interesting question because a lot of our songs are written on an acoustic guitar. In general, the acoustic sound allows each of the instrumental parts and the lyrics to really shine through, and that’s such a luxury given how much of our music usually gets swallowed up by sound systems.

Mimi: It was also really interesting for us to hear how the songs translated in an acoustic setting, they’re still as exciting and fun to play as ever.

Anya: Exactly! It also made me laugh because some of our tunes sound sort of hillbilly this way. There are definitely blue grass moments in the acoustic version of Deep Heat.

Lucy: Yeah, it’s like, when did we become a country band?! I don’t have the answer but I dig it.

Where did the inspiration to write about Jillian Michaels come from?

Janey: Mimi and I are both huge advocates of Jillian’s fitness DVD “30 Day Shred”. She was the first person who made me feel strong, and to recognise how fast I can build strength, and that’s a radical thing for a woman to get other women to do when the exercise industry is so macho and shamey. Plus she’s buff.

Mimi: Before this song, Janey and I used to quote Jillian Michaels to each other all of the time, so it was bound to happen.
Anya: As always with our favourite songs, they start as a joke, and things escalate wildly…

Lucy: We are plotting a music video featuring an aerobics routine and if we are blessed, a cameo for her majesty herself. There has also been talk of having an aerobics class as a warm up act at our shows. You have been warned.

What’s your favourite song on the album?

Janey: Jillian! Haha.

Mimi: I think I have to say Chirpse Degree Burns, it is one of my favourite Dream Nails songs to play live.

Anya: Hard to pick, but for the crowd’s reaction, it is Chirpse Degree Burns. We also made a music video for it using just whatsapp messages.

Lucy: Sorry to be boring but it’s also CDB. However I do like Merkury because I messed up the ending and it just feels so real man.

Are there plans to record anything else acoustic in the future?

Janey: Nah, we’re focusing on a full-length, full-fat album with all the usual distortion!

Anya: Yeah, I want my pedal board back now!!

Do you have a full-length album in the works?

Janey: Yep.

Mimi: We are going to be dedicating a good chunk of 2019 to writing and recording our first full-length official release.

Anya: We’re so excited to show the world what’s cooking in our cauldron.

Lucy: We’re all charging our crystals as we speak to get the cosmos on our side. This album will own 2020.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019?

Janey: Touring in Switzerland in the first week of February, but also a big London show we’re playing on the 16th at The Vaults in London. Hometown shows really are the best.

Lucy: Getting out and about in new crevices of the UK we haven’t been to before. And sampling their finest fries.

Mimi: Playing the festivals in the summer time, there is one (which I’m not sure I’m allowed to say as it’s not 100% confirmed) but it’s been my life dream to go there, and I think it’s finally going to happen this year!

Anya: Buying the most powerful sleeping bag known to womankind for the festival circuit this year!

Photography by Ant Adam.

Click here to buy the new album ‘Take Up Space!’

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Featured image by Laura Palmer.

Q&A: Dream Nails
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