On the Road with Death Valley Girls

Photo Credit Michael Height

If there’s one thing that unites the vastly diverse group of people who thoroughly enjoy cannabis, it’s that we’re all a little—different. No matter what group we are part of, or don’t fit in to, we all bring something a little unique to the table. Death Valley Girls (DVG) is a band that brings originality in droves.

One way the band solidifies its uniqueness is their video for the song “Disaster is What We’re After” off their latest album Darkness Drains. The video mirrors the famous Andy Warhol burger video, except instead of Warhol in a suit eating a burger with ketchup, it’s the one and only godfather of punk rock himself, Iggy Pop. With their badass anarchy anthem blaring in the background, one watch and listen and you know the Death Valley Girls are something else.

Death Valley Girls core members are Larry Schemel on guitar and Bonnie Bloomgarden on vocals. Because they’re always on the road, the rest of the crew changes periodically. For Darkness Drains, the band featured bassist Alana Amram, drummer Laura Harris, and guest players like Shannon Lay, The Kid (Laura Kelsey) and more. Larry Schemel was kind enough to answer some questions for CULTURE about Death Valley Girls origin, sound, latest album and of course, cannabis.

 

How did the Death Valley Girls meet and form?

Me and Bonnie met through two little kids; they’re both our sister’s kids. The kids met and became friends, then they introduced us, we met and became friends and discovered we had a lot of the same interests in music and DVG was born!

Photo Credit Michael Height

Who influence’s DVG’s sound?

Influences are mainly a lot of ’60s and ’70s rock n’ roll, going back to Ronnie Spector and Little Eva to the late ’60s and ’70s sounds of The Stooges, Alice Cooper, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, New York Dolls, UFO, Black Sabbath, Bowie, MC5, Destroy All Monsters, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, Simply Saucer, The Cramps, Seeds, Blue Cheer, AC/DC, Lolipop Shoppe, ’60s garage, ’70s punk, Krautrock . . . the list goes on, we’re just old-fashioned guys!  Whenever we write songs there is always the specter of a few of these influences in the mix. Weird films and books too!

 

What’s different and exciting about Darkness Rains in comparison to Electric High and Glow in the Dark?

We’re definitely more focused and confident with our sound and vision for the band. We’re always a bit schizophrenic with our songwriting and we realized that was part of our sound and to not shy away from trying any weird ideas we have. We always try to keep it exciting!

Photo Credit Michael Height

“. . . Cannabis has helped us out in creative ways, among other drug experiences in our lives that have had a heavy influence on each of us!”

 

Has cannabis influenced DVG’s sound or scene at all?

Yes, cannabis has helped us out in creative ways, among other drug experiences in our lives that have had a heavy influence on each of us!

What’s your favorite song or album or artist to listen to when you consume cannabis?

Black Sabbath Vol. 4 is the correct answer!

 

Photo Credit Michael Height

Artist/Band Name: Death Valley Girls

Genre: Rock and Roll

Location: Los Angeles, California

Most Recent Album: Darkness Rains

Website: deathvalleygirls.bandcamp.com

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