Dead Sara is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, consisting of Emily Armstrong (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Sean Friday (drums, backing vocals), Siouxsie Medley (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Chris Null (bass guitar, backing vocals) currently best known for their single "Weatherman" from their debut eponymous album Dead Sara (2012).
Dead Sara received the "Best New Rock Group" award at the third annual "Vegas Rocks! Magazine Awards 2012” on August 26, 2012. They were also nominated for a Radio Contraband Rock Radio Award as "Indie Artist of the Year" 2012 and were voted the 98.7 FM 2012 Close to Home Artist of the Year, defeating No Doubt in the final round.
"Weatherman" topped Loudwire's "10 Best Rock Songs of 2012" list, beating several major bands including Three Days Grace, Stone Sour and Deftones. And both Emily and Siouxsie were nominated as top ten finalists in the vocalist and guitarist categories respectively in Loudwire's 2012 top vocalist and top guitarist awards. Additionally Emily was nominated as one of six nominees for the 2012 rock Goddess of the year award.
Most recently in February of 2015, Dead Sara's cover of Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" recorded for PlayStation 4's "Infamous: Second Son" video game won the award for "Best Song, Original or Adapted" at the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers (NAVGTR) 14th annual awards program.
Pocket Kid Records released Dead Sara's second album, Pleasure To Meet You, on March 31, 2015."Music Video: Dead Sara "Weatherman"". The Round Table Online. 2012-06-02. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "Dead Sara Wins “Best New Rock Group” – Vegas Rocks Magazine Awards". Pocketkidrecords.com. Retrieved 2015-03-11.  "10 Best Rock Songs of 2012". Loudwire. 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "Vocalist of the Year – 2012 Loudwire Music Awards". Loudwire. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "Guitarist of the Year – 2012 Loudwire Music Awards". Loudwire. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "Rock Goddess of the Year – 2012 Loudwire Music Awards". Loudwire. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "Winners | National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Corporation". Navgtr.org. 2015-02-16. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
ContentsHistory1.1 Formation and early years (2002–2005)1.2 Getting noticed (2006–2010)1.3 Success (2011–2013)1.4 Label Issues and "Pleasure To Meet You" (2014–present)
Formation and early years (2002–2005)
Emily Armstrong and Siouxsie Medley both began their foray into music as guitarists and singer-songwriters. Armstrong first picked up a guitar at the age of 12, while Medley began practising from age 9 on a Fender Telecaster owned by her nanny (Magic Wand’s Dexy Valentine), before two years’ worth of saved allowances provided the means by which Medley could purchase her own guitar, a Fender Squier, at age 11.
Before Dead Sara, Armstrong was both a solo artist with a focus on folk music, as well as a member of several school bands that she formed. However, according to Armstrong she was at first primarily a song-writer and guitarist, and she did not fully come into her own as a singer until around the age of 15. At this point her voice was able to form a clear and steady vibrato at various pitches, giving her a naturally powerful and in-key voice even when sing-screaming.
Armstrong and Medley met through a mutual friend, Diva Gustafsson, in late 2002 at ages 16 and 15 respectively. The pair began writing songs together in 2003, and in 2004 their song “Changes” became the duo’s first recorded collaboration. Their first live performance as a band was in March 2005 at The Mint nightclub in Los Angeles, with Armstrong playing bass guitar and their first drummer, Aaron Bellcastro (who also performed on the "Changes" recording), rounding out the then-trio. The group expanded to a four-piece shortly thereafter.
Having briefly gone by the name Epiphany, in mid-2005 they changed their name to Dead Sara as a reference to the Fleetwood Mac song “Sara” and its lyrics, which include the line “Said Sara”, sometimes heard as “Dead Sara”. Both Armstrong and Medley have publicly cited Stevie Nicks, the singer-writer of the song "Sara", as a primary influence. Around this time Medley began styling her first name as "Siouxsie", as a nod to the Sioux Indians tribe and the Native American heritage of one of her great-grandparents (rather than a reference to the musical artist Siouxsie Sioux).
Getting noticed (2006–2010)
In 2007 Dead Sara began their first tour as the opening act for Endless Hallway, financed by early band benefactor Tal Kapelner. Shortly after, their first EP, a six-track album entitled The Airport Sessions, was released in 2008 by Viscount Records.
After numerous changes to the drummer and bass player positions, the band’s line-up finally coalesced in 2009 with Sean Friday on drums and Chris Null on bass, both of whom previously played with Sonny Moore (currently known as Skrillex).
In 2009 Armstrong was commissioned by Hole frontwoman Courtney Love to sing backing vocals on Love's 2010 album Nobody's Daughter,. In 2011, when singer Grace Slick was asked by The Wall Street Journal which contemporary female singers she admires, Slick named Emily Armstrong.
Radio stations KYSR-FM (Julie Pilat, music director), KTBZ-FM, and WCCC (Mike Karolyi, music director) are credited with initially breaking Dead Sara on the radio. WCCC's Karolyi was in California at Sunset Sessions where Staind was premiering their documentary. However, overhearing Dead Sara, he skipped the event and checked them out instead. When he returned to Connecticut he played the band's single Weatherman, giving the group greater exposure. In fact "Weatherman" which had not been released anywhere else yet, came in #2 on WCCC's Top 69 for the year 2011. In September 2011, the band went on tour with Bush, and in February 2012 the band released "Weatherman" as the lead single for their upcoming début album.
In April 2012, the band released their debut eponymous album through the label, Pocket Kid Records, produced by Noah Shain (Atreyu, Skrillex). The album peaked at No. 16 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart. Soon after, "Weatherman" was used by Fiat in their "Fiat 500 Abarth Burning up the desert" advertisement.
After performing spring dates with Chevelle and The Used, the band spent the summer of 2012 touring as part of the Vans Warped Tour in the US. During the 2012 Sunset Strip Music Festival, Emily Armstrong performed Soul Kitchen (song) with Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek of The Doors. In early fall 2012, the band toured with The Offspring and Neon Trees, and in February 2013 the band began touring with Muse.
"Lemon Scent", conceived and directed by Reg B., was the band's first storied music video, featuring members of the band fighting each other and audience members in a private boxing match. The video debuted on Rolling Stone's website on March 14, 2013. It was filmed at Serenity West Recording Studio in Los Angeles, California. The extras making up the crowd were fans who volunteered their time to film for the day after the band posted about the shoot on their official website and Facebook page.
Label Issues and "Pleasure To Meet You" (2014–present)
The band is currently on a short headlining tour concurrent with the release of their second album "Pleasure To Meet You" which was released on March 31, 2015.
The band went into the studio at the beginning of 2014 to work on their second album once again with producer Noah Shain. Despite finishing the record in 2014, the record did not see the light of day until early 2015 due to alleged issues with Epic Records. The band and the label parted ways sometime in mid-2014.
On December 19, 2014, Dead Sara announced that they would be releasing their second album "Pleasure To Meet You" in March 2015, on their own "Pocket Kid Records" label. The band also announced they would be using PledgeMusic for those who wanted to pre-order the album. One track, "Suicidal", was given as a free download to all those who pre-ordered the album or bought any of the various memorabilia and other merchandise from the PledgeMusic campaign.Green, Trina N. (2011-06-22). "Exclusive Interview: Dead Sara". The Owl Mag. Retrieved 2015-03-11.  "Interview: Siouxsie Medley and Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara". SSG Music. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "The Airport Sessions: Dead Sara: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2015-03-11. Baltin, Steve (2012-03-28). "Dead Sara Gears Up for Breakout Year". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-03-11. Myers, Marc (2011-04-29). "An Interview With Grace Slick - WSJ". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "Dead Sara, Manager Talk About the Keys to Their Indie Success". Billboard. 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "Two Dead Sara Songs Place on WCCC’s Top 69 Songs of 2011". Pocketkidrecords.com. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "Connecting to the iTunes Store". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-03-11.  Baltin, Steve (2012-03-28). "Dead Sara Gears Up for Breakout Year". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "The Doors Light Up Sunset With Linda Perry, Dead Sara + More". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2015-03-11.  "Dead Sara To Tour with Muse". Pocketkidrecords.com. 2012-10-08. Retrieved 2015-03-11. http://www.videostatic.com/watch-it/2013/03/19/dead-sara-lemon-scent-reg-b-dir http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/dead-sara-duke-it-out-in-lemon-scent-premiere-20130314 https://www.facebook.com/deadsara/posts/607857229230054
Dead Sara made their debut television appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on June 7, 2012 performing their single "Weatherman" and "Sorry For It All".
Dead Sara was first featured on FUSE NEWS on 3/20/13 in which Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters commented that "Dead Sara should be the next biggest rock band in the world."
Dead Sara appeared on The Vampire Diaries on March 21, 2013, performing the songs "Ask The Angels" by Patti Smith and their own "Lemon Scent". This was Dead Sara's first television or film performance and Emily and Siouxsie's second overall acting appearance together, their first being as characters in a 2007 short film by Tal Kapelner, The G! True Tinseltown Tale: Dude Where's My Car?
Dead Sara performed "Something Good" and "Mona Lisa" from the newly released second album, "Pleasure To Meet You" on Late Night with Seth Meyers on April 1, 2015.Jimmy Kimmel Live!: June 7, 2012 Episode. ABC Studios "2 Days in the Life of L.A. Rockers Dead Sara - Fuse". Fuse.tv. Retrieved 2015-03-11. "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-03-11. ""The G! True Tinseltown Tale: Dude, Where's My Car?"". YouTube. 2006-10-25. Retrieved 2015-03-11. Late Night with Seth Meyers Season:2 Episode:43 http://www.vanyaland.com/2015/04/03/life-like-watch-dead-sara-perform-something-good-on-late-night-with-seth-meyers/
In popular culture
In 2012, their song Weatherman was featured in the video game, Need For Speed: Most Wanted and was used by Fiat for the "Fiat 500 Abarth Burning up the Desert" advertisement.
In 2013, their cover of Heart-Shaped Box from Nirvana, was used in the teaser trailer for the upcoming PlayStation 4 game Infamous: Second Son. In another trailer for Infamous: Second Son, Weatherman was also used. The Heart-Shaped Box cover itself was also featured in the game itself, both on the radio and during the game's credits, and won the award for "Best Song, Original or Adapted" at the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers (NAVGTR) 14th annual awards program (February, 2015).Cite error: The named reference youtube1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference navgtr1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Pocket Kid Records
Pocket Kid Records is the label that the band started themselves. Pocket Kid Records was created as a wholly owned subsidiary, on February 4, 2010 by Interact-TV, Inc., a Public Company (OTC Pinks: ITVI). Interact-TV Inc. had acquired Viscount Records, Inc. from the Medley family. As a result had become beneficially owned by band members Emily Armstrong and Siouxsie Medley, who along with the band, named it Pocket Kid Records. It is managed by its president, Robert Bryan, and the Interact-TV Inc. board of directors (Robert Bryan, Steve Medley, and John E. McConnaughy Jr.)http://www.otcmarkets.com/stock/ITVI/profile https://musicnewsandstuff.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/interview-with-robert-bryan-president-of-pocket-kid-records/