Monday, August 6, 2007

The Donnas

I took this picture backstage when I was hanging out with The Donnas after interviewing them. I'd been a fan of the band since I first heard them on one of their early singles. Four 15 or 16 year old girls blasting out raw and catchy garage rock, what's not to love? As their career progressed and their taste in music changed, as they told me, "from listening to The Ramones all the time to listening to AC/DC and Judas Priest." The band definitely got more rock. Heavier guitars and production values, however, didn't completely change their music, they still had the same funny and simplistic songs about partying and boys. I found the transition or evolution of The Donnas pretty normal, although I know a lot of their earlier fans felt disillusioned by the direction they went. So when I was music editor for Tablet when they were touring in 2002, I lined up an interview with them at their October 26th show at Graceland. I ended up interviewing singer Brett Anderson (AKA Donna A, on the left in the photo) and drummer Torry Castellano (AKA Donna C, on the right in the photo) for quite a long time. They were hilarious,, telling me about their love of "That '70s Show" and a couple good growing up and tour stories. After the interview they offered me beer and food and we ended up hanging out for a while before they had to play. It was one of the most down to earth interviews I've ever done at a rock club, usually they are slotted with a very limited time frame and the band gives pat answers, so it was refreshing to hang out and talk with The Donnas, rather than have it seem very formal. The band put on a great show, it was the second time I had seen them (the first was at the Vegas Shakedown) and they were totally on that night.

Currently the band has parted ways with Atlantic and will be releasing their next album September 18th on their own new label, Purple Feather. It will be interesting to see how the band does going back to putting out their own music, but they've already signed a distribution deal with Redeye Distribution and are fairly popular, so I have to think they'll still do well. The new album with be called "Bitchin'" and ther are a few tracks up on their MySpace profile.

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