MUSIC FEATURE: Five Minutes With…Dream Nails
Photo Credit: Marieke Macklon
Self-described as “the London, queer, feminist punk witches of your dreams or nightmares (or possibly both),” Dream Nails have been making exciting waves with the release of their self-titled debut album. We caught up with drummer/backing vocalist Lucy Katz surrounding the release to find out about the band’s formation, influences, what they aim to achieve and more.
Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and your band.
We are the London, queer, feminist punk witches of your dreams or nightmares (or possibly both). We are here to serve you catchy punk bangers of the highest order and gleefully accept your local chip shop recommendations.
How did the band form and how long have you been together?
Janey and Anya met in a feminist direct-action group and started the band in 2015. Mimi and I joined as a result of serendipitous social media and GumTree interactions in 2016 and 2017 respectively. So I would say Dream Nails™ has existed for almost 5 years now.
Can you remember the first time you realised you wanted to make music?
Hmm, well for me personally (Lucy, la drummer) the idea had always been in the back of my mind, and despite a setback post-grade 4 violin, the idea of being in a band – a tight knit, loud little gang – was something I secretly started desiring as a young teenager. I never had the confidence or the skills, or was exposed to the role models to make me think it was possible though. After uni, I bought a second hand kit for £90 and taught myself to play via YouTube. My awareness and commitment to feminist and political ideas was growing too, so I let this fire up my confidence to reach out and find the band I always dreamed of :)
Who and what are the band’s main influences?
We are constantly finding inspirations and influences – musical and otherwise. We have obviously been inspired by the Riot Grrrl bands of the 90’s – they are our punk foremothers, although we acknowledge that their lack of intersectionality was deeply problematic. We are influenced by the world we live in, how fucked-up it is in a myriad of ways. We are inspired by punk music from all eras – its radical potential as a medium and a way of bringing people together in a cathartic form of expression that is as vital in these times as ever. We are influenced by the music of our peers – Big Joanie and Petrol Girls being two examples – and we are influenced by our experiences negotiating this violent world as women (including queer women) while trying to enjoy our lives and not get too crushed by things.
What do you aim to achieve as a band?
Aside from total world domination and the taking of a metaphorical (and literal?) sledgehammer to the white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy, you mean? We want to continue to write songs full of rage and joy – both the silly and the serious kind (see tunes Text Me Back and Payback respectively for more info). We want to create shows where our fans can feel safe, seen, and completely at ease in expressing themselves and having the nights of their lives. We want to continue to make timeless punk albums you will play to your great-grandchildren while you struggle to explain what a vinyl was.
For those who are yet to see you live, what can they expect from a Dream Nails show?
See above :) Our shows are genuinely raucous; part banging punk show, part stand up comedy routine, part exercise class. Wear clothes you can move and squat in ;-). It’s important to say that our gigs are for everyone, all genders and male allies alike are welcome and will have a great time. However, what is essential to our ideology as a band is that we prioritise the experience of women and non-binary people at our shows, and encourage them to take up space they are usually denied as a radical act of liberation. Having shows in spaces that are as safe and accessible as possible is vital to us too. It is in these spaces that the fun flows most freely and unselfconsciously.
Dream Nails’ self-titled debut album is out now via Alcopop! Records, available to purchase HERE.