Q and A with Daddy Issues
By Brian Tucker
Greensboro’s Daddy Issues played this weekend as part of the two day Phuzz Phest Weekender show at Bourgie Nights that features a bunch of acts. Formed just over a year ago, they’re having a blast playing music that’s a mix of garage pop and surf rock with casual spooky ambiance (“Sex on the Beach”) and songs with strong hooks like the infectious “So Hard” that should be song of the summer for both its catchiness and positivity.
The band – Lindsey Sprague (lead guitar), Lo Davy (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Madeline Putney (bass) and Hannah Hawkins (drums), released the Double Loser EP on cassette (and digitally). It sold out quickly on Negative Fun Records (Gravity has a few copies left for sale) and has attracted plenty of attention from the music press.
A distant relative to The Go Go’s and The Breeders, they’re making surf rock with an edge, and stands alongside a band like Seattle’s La Luz. They can level Ramones sarcasm with a song like “Let’s Go to the Mall” but still go wonderfully dark on “Lethal Dose.”
The band answers a few questions about their success, pros and cons of being discussed as an “all-girl” band, growing as musicians, and keeping secrets about “So Hard.”
Are you all taken aback by the quick success of the band, the flush of attention?
Lindsey: Honestly, yeah, we’re kind of surprised and excited that people ask us to play shows and put our songs on compilations and interview us and things like that.
Lo: It’s exciting that people are interested.
Lindsey: When we started playing together, our only goal was to hang out with each other. Our second goal was to play a show. That’s it. It’s only been recently that we’ve started to revise our band goals. Our new goal is to put out a split 7” with Motley Crue.
Lo: Or the Boss, or Pharell. Beyonce, too.
Maddie: I wonder if Beyonce has never done a split before because she doesn’t want to, or maybe it’s just because no one’s ever asked. She might feel totally left out.
The cassette sold out quickly.
Lindsey: Well actually, our parents just bought them all so now all of our relatives will only get Daddy Issues cassettes for holidays and birthdays for the next fifteen years. Sorry, guys.
Is the band is filling a void perhaps, and I don’t mean in terms of gender, but musically.
Lo: No, everything is nothingness.
Maddie: There is only void.
I don’t think it necessary to describe a band as all-girl. Do you feel it’s important?
Hannah: No, I do not.
Lo: I’m just bored of answering this question.
Lindsey: So we all have different opinions on this one. For me, it’s actually really important to stress that we self-identify as an all girl band. It has a lot to do with being intentionally visible as women as a form of empowerment. Until recently, I thought the term was kind of isolating or worried that self-identifying as an all-girl band turned our gender identity into some form of novelty, but after thinking about it, I realized that’s completely false, and actually just an internalization of a lot of the stereotypical, negative (things) people say about girl bands.
There will never be and never has been a stereotypical girl band. And obviously women aren’t a novelty; we’re half of the total human population. I look at it as another form of making ourselves more visible to people who might be looking for what we’re doing. Like, if I see a show flier and it says something like “girl band” or “feminist” or “riot grrrl,” I’m immediately more inclined to go because I want to see more women making music.
So as a band, I think it’s important that we make ourselves visible to people who also want to see more women doing music. Eventually, I don’t think we’ll need the label because women in bands will be so prevalent and visible that the term will be totally redundant, just like “all-boy band” or “male vocalist” is redundant and assumed now.
Maddie: Yes, I agree with Lindsey, in the same way that it’s also important for me to be represented as a trans-person.
How much have you grown in the last year?
Lo: I can play guitar.
Lindsey: Lo just started playing guitar last summer. In case you didn’t know, she’s way talented.
Hannah: I can play the drums, sort of, and I don’t cry as much as I used to.
Lindsey: I don’t have bangs anymore. Growing them out was a monumental struggle so it’s worth mentioning.
Lo: We get laid more.
Lindsey: We’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with each other musically over the past year and a half. When we started, I didn’t know how to do a guitar solo. After a few practices where Lo would be like, “Okay, Lindsey, you should shred here,” and she had perfect confidence in my shredding ability, I felt comfortable enough to just mess around with horrible solo attempts while everyone played the same chords and the same beat over and over again until I found something. The fact that we’re really patient and encouraging and open with each other has helped us grow a lot musically.
Maddie: Also, I have boobs now. And I play bass better.
Recording the EP, was it done in live takes or to reflect an old school sound?
Lindsey: We only had one day to record the EP because we wanted to work in a real studio but we’re all basically broke and only had enough money for one day. So, out of necessity, all of the songs are live takes with vocals and some guitar parts overdubbed.
I think the fact that it’s mostly recorded live kind of gives it a slightly old school feeling, even if the production is clean and beautiful, thanks to Kris Hilbert at Legitimate Business, because we’re not all isolated in booths playing separately. We were standing in a circle playing together, which is how most of the recordings I love were made. Live, in a room together, with one or two mics.
Will other songs like “Babehammer” wind up on a new album?
Lo: Yes! We just booked more recording time with Kris at Legit Biz and we’re really excited to get back into the studio and record our full length.
Lindsey: “Babehammer” will be on it. Also our new song, entitled “Choad Dude.”
Was writing “So Hard” meant to be tongue-in-cheek or positive about a relationship between two people?
Lindsey: “So Hard” is a true story.
Lo: We won’t give you too many details but they are positive and tongue-in-cheek because we feel like that’s what a healthy sexual relationship is all about.
Double Loser EP full playlist:
Fuck Marry Kill full playlist: