Meet Dream Nails- feminist punk witches from London
Who hasn't dabbled in witchcraft, fantasized about making a youtube series about the best chips in the world (or fries for my American beavers), and dreamed of finding a squad who not only practices self-care but squad-care.
Meet Janey, Lucy, Mimi, and Anya. The fabulous ladies of Dream Nails.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Your new single Tourist is incredible. Can you tell us the inspiration behind the themes in the song?
Janey: It’s about reclaiming the power from creepy guys who come into your life when you’re feeling sad and really carve out a space for themselves as a supportive figure, but then very quickly abuse that power. Seems like too many men are attracted to vulnerable women. Lucy: I think the song’s power is in its raw energy; although the recipient of the song’s sentiments is SO depleting and toxic, the overall spirit is joyful and gets everyone dancing.
Your style pays serious Rrriot girl homage to Bikini Kill- can you tell us how you guys figured out and shaped your sound?
Janey: It’s not deliberate at all, in fact we’re trying to move away from the Bikini Kill likeness because we want to be heard as Dream Nails! I think it doesn’t help that I have a big voice in a similar way to Kathleen. The band is grounded in feminist direct action, and so we end up singing about feminist issues, but I think we have a lot more playful and comedic songs than Bikini Kill. Mimi: The riot grrrl movement was born out of serious issues like violence against women at shows, exclusion, rape, abortion rights etc. This band is not about re-living the riot grrrl days of the 90’s because unfortunately these issues are still alive and well, which is why we sing about them, which is why we have an angry sound. It's our duty as a feminist punk band to speak out. Anya: We love Bikini Kill but our sound is also influenced by loads of other bands too, from metal to disco, our music tastes are really broad. Lucy: As intersectional feminists, we’d be doing a disservice to the very real and specific struggles women and nonbinary people face in 2017 if we were constantly looking back to the riot grrrl movement. While we adore Bikini Kill and everything they did, our sound is not shaped just by aesthetic choices, but by the continuing, wide-reaching oppressions we see played out every day.
How does feminism play a role in your work? And how do you balance your activism with self-care to avoid burnout?
Janey: Burnout is really hard to navigate around, especially when we’re only doing the band part time and are juggling activism and jobs. The band is a beautiful vehicle for our feminism to ride in! In my opinion, the best way to avoid burnout is to establish clear boundaries and stick to them: that might mean going home straight after a show to rest properly, but it can also mean forcing yourself to make a healthy meal with your best friend. Mimi: Feminism is the thread that stitches together Dream Nails and everything we do. We work hard but also definitely love and value our rest. Lucy: It is really difficult, and it’s important to have support networks around you to ground you, whether this be mates, family, colleagues, whoever. I guess just admitting to yourself that you can’t do everything all the time and your sleep is just as important as going out and getting wrecked. Do what will serve you in the long run and eat lots of broccoli. Anya: We’re big advocates of squad care. What’s the point of looking after just yourself if your bandmates or your friends are exhausted? We talk about the different ways that caring can be a political act in our new zine that accompanies our EP ‘Dare to Care’.
How can our audience support you/anything you want to plug?
Janey: Watch our hilarious instagram @dreamnailsband stories from tour. Mimi: You can get our new EP and cool zines from our Bandcamp. Lucy: Watch our ‘Chipadvisor’ serious before bed tonight. We are chip connoisseurs and take it very seriously. Anya: Come to our Christmas show ‘Feministmas’ with our pals Big Joanie and Charmpit on 21 December at the Dalston Victoria in London!
All we want for Christmas is the intersectional feminist revolution.
Amen to that.