London’s fiercely engaging band, Dream Nails, describe themselves as ‘100% DIY feminist punk witches’, resourceful and headstrong, as well as loving and supportive…The band’s dynamic and highly relevant new single, called ‘Tourist’, is lifted from debut EP ‘Dare To Care’, out on 27th October.
Hi Dream Nails! Please introduce yourselves:
Janey: I sing, scream and dance.
Anya: I play guitar and sing backing vocals.
Lucy: I drum as hard as I can.
Mimi: I play bass and sing and try to dance.
Tell us about your new single ‘Tourist’:
Janey: Tourist is a song about emotionally manipulative creeps who miraculously appear in your life when you’re having a really hard time, and they come onto you by feigning to be emotionally supportive – but really they’re just riding on a power trip.
Lucy: For ages one lyric didn’t click with me but now it’s my absolute favourite and a true pithy gem: “You want somewhere to stay? STAY AWAY FROM ME!” I think this sums up the song pretty well.
Anya: Tourist has for a long time been one of our favourite songs to play live, and fans have been asking for a recording of it for ages, so here it finally is!
You’ve supported some awesome bands recently – Bleached, Cherry Glazerr, Petrol Girls – how was that?
Janey: Fucking incredible. Those bands are all full of brilliantly feminist women and men who are made of solid gold. We’ve been so lucky to really get on with the bands that we play with on a personal level, as well as musically.
Anya: We’ve learned so much from Cherry Glazerr and Petrol Girls about being a touring band, they’ve been so good to us. We shared a tour van with both of them and it was a blast.
Lucy: Touring is incredibly gruelling as well as being mind-blowingly fun, I think we also learnt about how best to look after yourself and your gang in this weird environment that’s part school trip, part job.
Mimi: My first tour with Dream Nails was with Petrol Girls and I couldn’t have dreamed of a better group of people to be out with. They were amazing to watch every night and I learned a lot from them.
You describe yourselves as ‘Feminist Punk Witches’- can you explain to our readers what that means?
Janey: Witches are powerful women who subverted gender norms and believed in self-sufficiency, self-education and the power of coming together in community. That’s us!
Anya: A lot of the things we do together as a band outside of performing music can be seen as witchy, using cards and crystals, how we take care of each other.
Lucy: “Witch” has been used as a term applied to women who absolutely refuse to engage in societal expectations placed upon women. To me, Witches are resourceful and headstrong, as well as loving and supportive. These are qualities we hold very dear.
What was it like headlining the Sisterhood stage at Glastonbury?
Anya: It was UNREAL. We played dressed in school uniforms in a women-only secret club that was decorated like a massive girls toilet. I got so hyped that my pink wig fell off.
Lucy: At Glastonbury, everyone is effortlessly having the time of their lives, getting to partly soundtrack someone’s time there in such a precious and wild space was a band highlight for us all.
Janey: Such a brilliant experience, and it ended with a big party afterwards where almost everyone took their tops off. That’s what happens when you play to a venue where there are no men!
Your previous single ‘Deep Heat’ was about putting a hex on Donald Trump – do you think there are enough bands doing what you do and trying to make a difference?
Janey: In the DIY scene, yeah. People in DIY bands are playing highly political songs because they have a message to express – they’re not playing music for the glamour or to feed their egos. DIY punk shows are exhilarating community spaces and you leave them genuinely feeling powerful. Great examples of bands who do this well are Petrol Girls and Fight Rosa Fight!
Anya: I think there are more artists in other genres apart from rock that are making a difference at the moment, like artists involved in Grime4Corbyn. You don’t need to be in a rock band to make political music.
Lucy: A lot of bands are putting a lot of work into making politically engaged, forceful music. But I can see a creeping tendency for political music to become “trendy” in a “wow, rage is so hot right now” way, and I think we need to be vigilant to that kind of bullshit lip service.
Any other London bands you’d recommend?
Janey: Screaming Toenail. They’re also unashamedly political and punk, but also incredibly funky and you can’t stop dancing during their show. We really want to play more shows and tour with them.
Anya: We love them! We also really rate this new queer punk band based in South London, Militant Girlfriend. Check them out.
Lucy: Big Joanie and Skinny Girl Diet are two of my favourites, and they seem to be getting a lot of well deserved recognition lately.
Mimi: Check out Velvet Butch and Hussy.
What’s your EP ‘Dare To Care’ all about?
Janey: It’s about true self-care: building communities and resilience. The feminist concept of self-care has been hijacked by capitalism into a way to sell products, so we’re advocating true self-care through liberation and political action.
Anya: We’ve got song lyrics, recipes, articles about menstruation and the Pill, horoscopes and what punk means to us. We’ve got breathing exercises and we’ve got obscure pictures of corner shop remedies. It’s 44 pages of solid steel. If you pre-order via PledgeMusic you’ll be amongst the first to receive a copy!
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Anya: Now that the lead single ‘Tourist’ is released, we’re going to release ‘Dare to Care EP’ on 27 October and then release our first vinyl for a single about reproductive rights called ‘Vagina Police’ with Everything Sucks records in December. That’s so exciting. The vinyl is going to be bright red.
Lucy: We also have a lot of shows lined up and several videos in the pipeline. Stay tuned.
Any live dates coming up?
Janey: We’re playing a big EP launch party on the 27th October, then we’re over to Germany on the 3rd and 4th of November in Hamburg and Berlin respectively. After that we’ve got gigs here and there, but our most exciting one is a show we’re putting on called Feministmas, on the 21st December!
Anya: If you like us on Facebook that’s probably the easiest way to find out about gigs. And please come up and say hi after shows. We love to talk to everyone!
And finally, where can we find you online?
Anya: Follow us on Instagram, that’s the most fun. We are a bit unhinged on tour so you can sit back, relax, and watch us unravel.