Indietracks preview: Dream Nails (the VH Interview)

Hi Dream Nails, how are you doing?

We’re doing great! Our ‘Hex the Patriarchy’ tour has begun, and we’ve almost sold out of our new tote bags. The best show so far has been in an underground punk club in Istanbul!

How has your 2018 been so far?
Janey: This year is a beautiful vegetable patch! We planted our seeds, we’ve put a lot of love into it, and we’re starting to reap the delightful benefits of our work!
Lucy: We were go go go for 2017, so this year has been about hunkering down and developing our sound and skills. We’ve also been working on our jokes and can say with certainty that a dream nails show is 40% bangers, 40% radical intersectional feminism and 20% stand up/slapstick.
Anya: So far we’ve hexed in places like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Norway and an anarchist squat in Oslo, plus we’ve just played at the Cambridge University Rainbow ball in front of a giant inflatable unicorn bouncy castle and a pizza buffet.
Mimi: 2018 has gone by so fast, but it feels like we keep moving forward and have played our best shows yet, and have had some really cool releases already. The “your body is not your own” zine is my personal fav.

What does the rest of the year have in store for you?
Janey: Touring, writing and an exciting music video releasing soon about Mercury Retrograde.
Lucy: We’re really looking forward to playing shows in places we’ve not been to! We have some Spanish shows lined up and are playing in the fjords of Norway. Also getting to parts of the UK we’re strangers to – like Blackpool, Belfast and Dundee.
Anya: Writing. We’ve released two EPs but we are now working on an album which is a very different kettle of fish. We’re doing an Ed Sheeran and writing a hundred songs in order to pick ten of the freshest most delectable bangers.
Mimi: We’ve been planning the rest of the year, and onto 2019 to make room for all this writing, we’re on the hunt for the perfect producer.

Dream Nails
You are playing Indietracks this weekend, what can we expect from your set?
Janey: Mayhem and joy.
Lucy: I hope it’s going to be the first time I genuinely need to play in sunglasses. So expect a cool looking mysterious drummer gal :-p
Anya: Us dragging you around fervently looking for the best chips in the festival, then making you film us on your phone (ours never have memory, data or battery) while we do a special edition of our YouTube series ‘Chip Advisor’.
Mimi: Myself and my recently recovered broken foot will be playing the set STANDING UP!

Who else would you recommend watching at Indietracks this year?
Janey: Colour Me Wednesday! Their new album is such a summer soundtrack!
Lucy: I love honeyblood. Powerful sound from only 2 banging femmes.
Anya: I can’t wait to see the Baby Seals!
Mimi: Go see someone you’ve never seen or maybe never heard of before. Festivals are the best for discovering new stuff.

Do bigger stages add pressure to your performance?
Janey: They add more space to dance and run around the stage, and invite people onto it!
Lucy: Never pressure, I don’t think we ever feel very pressured as we just come as we are and have so much fun we have no problems filling any space. Can’t wait to say HELLO WEMBLEY. The only thing about bigger stages is I get lonely at the back.
Anya: I like bigger stages but I find the massive echo hard to play with sometimes, you get such a mega slap-back off the back wall it’s like playing in treacle. Having said that, we like to run around while we play so we love the space! When we play on small stages I have hit both Janey and Lucy with my guitar headstock and let’s just say I was in seven shades of shit both times!!
Mimi: Can’t wait to walk around any stage tbh since I’ve been having to sit for our shows for the past two months, I don’t feel pressured, but maybe I should?? Can’t let yourself get too comfortable eh.

There will be people discovering female punk/Riot Grrrl music for the first time when they see you, what records would you recommend for continuing this musical education?
Lucy: I would suggest getting right back to basics. Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Wanda Jackson would be good places to start. Even the original punx were still twinkles in the sky when these badass babes were paving the way for them.
Anya: The Slits, Big Joanie, Poly Styrene, Sleater-Kinney.
Mimi: Watch “The Punk Singer” documentary
How would you describe your sound?
Janey: Raucous and relatable.
Anya: Too real to fail.
Lucy: So catchy it’ll be the audio screensaver of your brain for weeks and you won’t mind one bit.
Mimi: Punk reinvented through a feminist lense.

There is a theme of witchcraft in your song writing and press, what does this mean in 2018?
Janey: It means that the supreme power and sisterhood will transform this shitty world.
Anya: It means that women and nonbinary people know what is up. And that is the patriarchy will burn. A worldwide coven built on shared wisdom and solidarity, and nourished on joy and rage is ever growing.
Mimi: It means we have the power to take control of our lives.

There are a lot of non-male bands coming through at the moment, is the industry improving?
Janey: Boring maleness reproduces itself at an alarming rate, and it’s really popular. If festival line-ups are anything to go by, nothing’s really improving. Pale, male, stale, EW!
Lucy: We are wary of “the industry” and its propensity to capitalise on trends and hype. While non boy bands are great, I’m concerned it’s a fad not an irrevocable breakthrough.
Anya: Capitalism will always try to sell your own subculture back to you.
Mimi: If the industry improves at all it’ll be thanks to the hard work and resilience of non-male people that have to deal with their bullshit sexism.
What steps can we take to keep improving the industry?
Janey: Supporting the artists who aren’t pale, male and stale. Supporting feminist bands, people of colour and queer bands.
Lucy: Spend your money with these artists: go to their shows and buy their merch. Be part of and foster their community actively.
Anya: Also challenge racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism wherever you encounter it in your own life. Most of the time music reflects society, not the other way round.
Mimi: Be aware of what you’re supporting and call anyone out who’s being sexist or racist etc.

What’s next for Dream Nails, will there be more new music soon?
Lucy: oh hell yes. Album coming 2019.
Anya: Currently working on a new song, titled Existential Gnaw. It’s mostly screaming. We need to find a way to pronounce the title phrase without just sounding like we have developed thick Glaswegian accents.

Where can we buy some records or find out more?
Anya: www.dreamnails.bandcamp.com or sign up to our mailing list! We’re old school, we like to write our fans real letters via email and share news about exclusive merch and gig tickets that way too.
Mimi: Follow us on instagram @dreamnailsband