Interview by Helena MȺrkos
Today we host a Q & A with she-dog. A German trio with obscure aesthetics and thought-provoking concept, emerging through the dark years of the pandemic. Lei Macolata (vocals/bass), Daisy Heroine (guitar/vocals), and Maximilian Meisenmann (drums) are she-dog from Cologne/Düsseldorf. Wilma, an English bulldog, is the fourth member of the band. Between garage and post punk, she-dog doesn’t want to commit to anything.
She-dog (referring to a female dog) is an archaic word for bitch. This offensive expression contrasts with the earlier characterization of the bitch as a friend and companion. What a bitch really is leaves room for interpretation. The word bitch is in itself alienated: exaggerated, traced back to its origin, repeated, petted, and yelled at; it’s not about clear-cut evaluations but instead a contradicting set of terms. Put simply, she-dog is unstable music by sensitive bitches.
Lea Torcelli and Lisa Heldmann write the music for she-dog while their stage characters perform it as Lei Macolata and Daisy Heroine. She-dog wants to be the opposite of genre music and unambiguous interpretation. This amateurish approach to music is important to them who are more used to working in the fields of art and film. They want to follow moods and indicate phases: the circulation of emotional worlds, brief impressions, and emotional overreactions.
A great read for wandering souls in a modern, messed up world.
T.O.P: Thanks, guys, for accepting my invitation. I want to ask you what the pandemic’s impact was on your performance and creativity?
Thanks for having us. That is hard to say. We were basically born in the pandemic as a band. So we are literally like these kids that grew up with masks, just as a band. Our very first gig was in 2020, one month before the first german lockdown. That’s why we can’t really answer how covid has changed our workflow. What influence that has on our music, the future will show.
T.O.P: We want to know more about your wild-punk outlook. Who are you and how did the connection between you occur?
When we started the band, most of us couldn’t play our instruments yet. It was just this pure feeling of wanting to play. During the process we learned from each other and grew together, like siblings. In the end we are simply friends who wanted to make music together. Since we originally come from different artistic disciplines we all bring various perspectives on music. We don’t even listen to the same music. In general what connected us was more the focus on direct feelings in music.
T.O.P: How do you feel the electronic music world is emerging in the post-covid era?
Post-Covid is still to come. But what has already been proven is that live music in a small wet sweaty club is an experience that cannot be imitated by digital formats in any era to come.
T.O.P: Is there anything you are trying to get across to your audience through your music and art?
Music speaks a language that is difficult to translate into pure words. That’s probably why we use this medium. It enables us the most to get across what we want to say. If anything, it’s more like a space that we want to open up, to allow overwhelming feelings and to deal with ourselves in a sick world.
T.O.P: How would you describe your creative process? What is your main drive?
For some songs the writing process starts at home, one person sends sketches or brings them for rehearsal. In any case, this is the place where ideas are brought together and something unpredictable always happens. Sometimes Lei is just singing made up words to a melody we like and then Max is asking “Did you just say: Deep in a mine?” and that is how the lyrics evolve in some cases. Some songs don’t even have real lyrics, they are just a repetition of words. Then it’s all about the pure feeling of music in that moment. On the other hand, there are also some lyrics that are really deep and meaningful for us, talking about traumatic experiences and political emotions.
Our music is also self-therapy. Anyway, as we are friends, it can also come to arguments in the rehearsal room. Sometimes we overreact, cry or scream. This happens from time to time even during rehearsal. We just let that flow into our music. We love each other very much and love means stress too.
T.O.P: What do you think are artists’ significant challenges nowadays?
To remain capable of acting in this terminally ill present. And the permanent pressure for self-sufficiency on questionable platforms on the internet, because not participating also means not being noticed. Musicians nowadays can’t avoid releasing their music on morally reprehensible platforms of large corporations that exploit small musicians. It’s sad that there is so little underground on the internet when it comes to art.
T.O.P: Any upcoming projects/collaborations to announce?
Yes!! We’re currently planning to publish a first small EP of 5 songs recorded by Lukas Korn and at least one single this year. More info will be available soon on our social media.
T.O.P: Which piece of music or album would you suggest as a soul modifier?
Comfort to Me by Amyl and The Sniffers!