• March Is Music Month: Getting to Know Dream Wife

    From exclusive interviews, live performances, special collections and more, we’re celebrating music all month long. We talked to the bands and artists playing our upcoming UO Live in Austin shows about their musical beginnings and the places they’re headed next. Click here to read more interviews.

    Made up of Alice Go, Rakel Mjöll, and Bella Podpadec, Dream Wife is a band that's equal parts ferocious and fun. To understand what that means, just listen to their song "FUU," where the lyrics range from "Gonna fuck you up, gonna cut you up, gonna fuck you up," to a spoken word version of the chorus of The Spice Girls' "Wannabe." (Yes, it's as fun as it sounds.) The band's debut EP, EP01, is slightly less guitar-heavy than the more recent "FUU," but still has the same spunk. No matter what, their blend of heavy guitars and infectious melodies has us waiting for their debut full-length album with bated breath. 

    Ahead of their US-debut in Austin, we spoke to the London-based band about their musical influences, what to expect at one of their live shows, and the necessity of pink cowboy boots.
    Photos by Rosaline Shahnavaz

    Hi guys! Tell us a little bit about yourselves – where do you live? How long have you been full-time musicians?
    In these pictures, we're in Rakel's flat in East London. She lives next to a pretty park too. We broke into a kids' paddling pool in the park. It doesn't open until the summer, was waterless and a park employee saw us and didn't care so we're safe! Alice and Bella live together in South London. We'd probably call ourselves part-time musicians cuz we do a lot of things outside of music but Dream Wife has become a priority recently so the gap of being part-time and full-time is getting closer. Also, London is a big and incredibly expensive city but full of fun things and people so you're always on the move.

    What did each of you grow up listening to? 
    Rakel: My parents' music collection, like Talking Heads, Björk, Dolly Parton, the Smiths, the Beatles, a bunch of Icelandic 80s bands too. And then, of course, the classic hits of the early '00s: Britney, Avril, Backstreet Boys, etc.

    Alice: I grew up on my dad's tape collection and a lot of stuff from the '70s. I've had a taste for glam n gritty rock n roll ever since. David Bowie has stuck with me from the start. Debbie Harry, Marc Bolan, and Joan Jett too.

    I think the sound of a wild electric guitar has always gotten me excited, particularly when I first heard the Ramones. I remember feeling like I just wanted more of that.

    Bella: When I was 10 or something my dad presented me with a Nirvana cd and a Sugarbabes CD and let me decide which I liked best. I was mostly into guitar music for a long time taking things like Talking Heads, Echo and the Bunnymen and Joy Division from my parents and things like Forward Russia and We Are Scientists from what was going on. Pop music didn't really come back 'round for me until I was a bit older. 

    How do you think those musicians influence your music today?
    Rakel: Musically Talking Heads and The Beatles [influence me] big time, especially in their song structures. Lyrically, Dolly Parton is my favorite and the stories she tells in her songs have inspired me to write that way, sincere yet strong. Grasping a moment.

    Alice: More recent guitar-heavy bands I'm into are The Cribs, CSS, or Sleigh Bells. They bridge the gap, I think, between my fascination with '70s bands and the sounds we have going on in Dream Wife. There is definitely a harking back to the classics going on with us, but our music is of the present moment. 

    Bella: There is still a lot of stuff in there that carries through. I think that choice I was presented with, that you can have both and be both, is still massively important. 

    For someone who’s never listened to your music before, how would you describe it?
    WILD! Deep bass lines, gritty guitars, poppy drums and empowering vocals - ya got a mix right there. The live shows are the best times! We have such a good time and feed off of each other's energy and the crowds. Sweaty moshpits and big smiles!

    Who are some of your inspirations currently?
    Rakel: Solange's new album took me by surprise and I couldn't look away. The visuals connected with stunning soft vocals with the strong message and bringing along amazing collaborators. She's really something, excited to see more from her.

    Alice + Bella: We played a show with Sleigh Bells last night (Feb 21st), and they are total heroes. It's really inspiring to be supporting one of your favorite bands, and they are super sweet too! Got up close and personal to Derek Miller's Jackson guitars, I have a picture of them on my bedroom wall so it was an inspiring moment to see the real deal, actual dream. We just don't understand how they can rock so hard and be so benevolent at the same time. 

    What’s changed for you guys as a band in the last year?
    Everything. Literally. A year ago we weren't sure how we were gonna release our first EP that we had recorded in Alice's family home or which step to take next. Then in the past year, we've gathered together an amazing team around us, both on the business side and creative side. We signed to a lovely label called Lucky Number. They've been very supportive and put us straight to work to write our debut album. We've been writing, recording and playing such fun shows around Europe and had the most amazing reception. It's been incredible looking back and seeing how much can happen and what you can physically accomplish in only a year. Now we're finishing our debut album that will see the light of day in the coming months. And we're excited to come to the US to play for the first time! 

    What are your 2017 hopes and dreams for the band? Any pipe dreams?
    It's been a wild ride so far so we're just excited to see what's up next! Bring it on.

    It’s Saturday night – what 3 songs do you put on to get in a good mood before going out?
    Rakel: Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" is our post-show party in the van song!
    Alice: I like to listen to a bit of Marilyn Manson really loud before heading anywhere. Bella: Madonna's "American Life." Madonna is queen.

    What are you looking forward to experiencing in Austin? Excited for your first time in the US?  
    Yeah, we've never been before. Never even played at a venue in the US before so this will all be new to us. We're really excited. Have heard excellent things about SXSW. Also very excited about the bats... we've been told there will be bats. We really wanna find pink cowboy boots and matching cowboy hats. That's the dream. 

    Any bands or musicians you’re looking forward to catching while there? 
    A band we played with in Liverpool the other day are heading over and they are incredible live. They're called Her’s. Also feeling very excited to see Doe.  

    Finally, what do you hope people take away from your Live in Austin performance? Let people know what to expect!
    Sweat, tears and love.

    To see more from Dream Wife, follow them on Instagram

    See Dream Wife this month at UO's Space 24 Twenty for UO Live in Austin. Click here for more schedules and information.