Highlighted Artist: Western Daughter

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For Boise’s Western Daughter, beauty is born from the dissonance. Meshing the worlds of frantic, aggressive riffs with provoking and near shoegaze complementing vocals, the northwestern punk outfit embraces a style unique to the ways of early Modest Mouse while adding their own twist. Recently the band spoke to us about their journey as a group and the personal identities of themselves and their music. You can read the interview below as well as watch smoke engulf the band in their video for the single, “My Room Is A Mess” below.

Current Single: “My Room Is A Mess

Members:

Cameron Brizzee – Guitar, Vocals
Taylor Robert Hawkins – Vocals
Zachary Sherwood – Drums
Jess Hope – Bass
Taylor Raymond – Guitar

 

How did you form?

Cameron’s band (King Brat) had just broken up because members moved out of state. He was looking to start a band that’s focus was more pop oriented, but with a lot of genre-bending. We’ve all been good friends for quite a while, and when he brought up the idea we were like, “Let’s do it.” We also first started practicing in an actual bomb shelter, so that’s neat.

What would you like to see your group accomplish within the next three years?

We don’t really want to think that far out at the moment. We’re focusing on writing a full length, doing some small tours, and having a good time for now. We’ll see where it takes us, though! We’re open to something happening label-wise, but not actively pursuing it. Each of us intend to continue making music throughout our lives, that’s for sure.

Talk to us about your writing process and environment, what are some of the factors and influences behind your instrumental and lyrical content?

Right now, we huddle into a sweaty or cold basement depending on the season. There’s really no in between. As far as factors and influences go, we all have almost entirely different tastes in music as individuals. We all are inspired by different artists, I should say. So when someone brings a new-song-skeleton to the table, we all start operating on it in different ways. There’s a lot of open-mindedness.

If you could collaborate with any artist or group, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Taylor H: I want to say Neutral Milk Hotel, but I also do not want to say them because if I’m collaborating with them then they will be sufficiently more bad. I’d like to observe them, I guess!

Jess: I’ve thought about this a few times and I can never whittle it down to just one artist or band. Therefore, my answer would be one of my best friends who doesn’t live in Boise anymore. Her and I played music together in a few bands over the past few years and I always had so much fun writing and practicing with her. She is so talented and I would love to be able to play with her again! Hopefully we will live in the same city soon.

Taylor R: Stephen Malkmus of Pavement / The Jicks. He has a way of writing such epic songs, but keeps them sounding like they were never meant to leave his bedroom. To me, the music he creates is always interesting and challenging,  but never takes itself too seriously. I love how he puts out albums with songs that all sound really different, but somehow work together as a whole. I also feel that the way he sings sounds like he’s playing a guitar, which rules. I’d like to learn more about his approach to writing music, for sure.

Cameron: My first reaction is to say Isaac Brock, because he’s a favorite artist of mine, but I think it would actually be David Byrne. He has a really unique approach to making music that I admire, as well as a spotless record of making interesting, compelling art (both on his own and when collaborating with others).

Zach: Lou Reed would be an incredible talent to learn from and work with. I  enjoy how he would take a song with a 2-3 chord progression and explore how far aesthetically and musically he could take it. A few famous examples could be ‘heroin’ or ‘waiting for my man’. It sounds simple and very straight-forward but anyone who’s tried to cover a Velvet Underground song will know how difficult it is to make their simple songs sound full and feel complete.
Tell us about your day-to-day lives, discuss the role of music either as a full time job or the time it shares with your other obligations in life.

This question is kind of a doozy. We’re all extremely busy people. We all work full-time day jobs to pay the bills. All of us except for Jess play in multiple bands, Jess is in college, Cameron actually works for an orchestra full time, (so technically music is his full time job), Taylor does filmmaking on the side, etc. But, we work together every chance we get to reach our end-goals, which we are sure to never make too lofty, that way we are consistently reaching them and driving this thing forward.

Technology has helped out with our schedules, to be honest. Using group chats is such a nice way to keep track of each other and to help us organize our band. Another saving grace is using our cellphones to record new ideas and save them from being forgotten, then we can simply hold it up to a microphone and show each other what we had written in the last few days.

What has been the highlight of your musical journey so far?

Actually going to the studio and recording the album, followed by releasing it through the correct channels to get it out into the world. The amount of support we’ve received from friends, family, and people across the sea has been astounding. People seem to be very receptive, and we couldn’t be more grateful. Thanks ya’ll!

Describe your gear

Oh, you know… A few drums, a couple guitars, a microphone or two, some pedals, and usually some beer.


Tell us, what artists/bands you’re listening to at this moment in time?

Of course Bowie right now (Diamond Dogs is perfect), Pinegrove, Feels by Animal Collective, Zach really loves throwing on some Rod Stewart at parties, Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos, Songs: Ohia, basically everything on Exploding in Sound Records, Ought, Porches, Alex G, Vashti Bunyan, Sibylle Baier, Spirit of the Beehive, Yuck, The Babies, Built to Spill, and Lvl Up, just to name a few.

Everyone listens to different styles of music. It’s pretty great though, because we are all constantly searching for new albums that we can fall in love with… and this way we are exposed to a lot of new material.

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