From Camp to Center Stage: ROCK ON!

By Danielle Levitin and Payton McHugh

Drop Dead Gorgeous are doing music on their own terms.

In the heart of New York City’s vibrant music scene, a three-member girl rock band has emerged, captivating audiences with their electrifying sound. The band, Drop Dead Gorgeous, are turning heads with their eccentric outfits that perfectly match their rebellious spirit. As their following grows, this trio is proving that they have what it takes to make a lasting mark on the music industry, and they’re doing it on their own terms. 

The story of how the members of Drop Dead Gorgeous came together is as unique as their sound.

“Me and Isabella met in elementary school and we wanted to be Twenty One Pilots. So I played the guitar and she played the drums,” Liv, the bassist, recalls.

It was at NYC Guitar School band camp when fate intervened and brought Violette, the guitarist, into the mix.

The serendipitous encounter proved to be the catalyst for their journey as Drop Dead Gorgeous. They  quickly recognized their shared passion that would drive them to new heights in the  New York rock scene, and beyond. 

Drop Dead Gorgeous has experienced a rollercoaster of emotions during their performances, encountering both the exhilaration of success and the harsh realities of the music industry. Their first performance at The Living Gallery was met with excitement.

“A lot of people came, but we brought our mic stand, and apparently there’s a rule that you’re not supposed to bring one because it’ll break. And some singer for a different band smashed our mic stand and it broke. Then they broke the other mic stands… then they smashed a TV, yeah,” Liv said.

Despite this setback, this only inspired the trio to continue performing. 

They are slated to perform at NYC’s Mercury Lounge on May 15th, followed by another show at the Living Gallery on May 19th. However, it was their past show at The Broadway that left a lasting impression

“The sound guy was so enthusiastic. He loved us. He definitely made it a show to remember,” Liv said.

Their exceptional performance and the vibrant atmosphere of the venue made it a cherished experience for the band. Through the ups and downs, Drop Dead Gorgeous continues to channel their passion and deliver electrifying performances that leave a lasting impact on their audiences.

Preparing for their shows, Drop Dead Gorgeous devotes several practice sessions per week to fine-tuning their set. Playing their songs over and over until they sound just right. While they feel a sense of satisfaction when they nail their performance, there are times when their practice sessions leave them feeling less enthusiastic, yearning to pack up and go home.

The band faces various obstacles and hardships, as Isabella explains their inclination to add a unique twist to their original music by covering songs they genuinely enjoy. Their diverse musical tastes range from Primus’ “Too Many Puppies” to Nelly Furtado’s “Maneater,” and even a Mom Jeans track.

Each band member has their own preferences, with Violette drawn to rap music, Liv to Taylor Swift, and Isabella finding solace in the Sound of Music soundtrack, particularly “I Have Confidence.” 

On top of musical challenges, logistical issues often arise when it comes to DIY shows, namely, the struggle of transporting a drum set.

“The whole time it’s just, ‘All right. Where is it? Do you have a car? Um, I do. I have to bring my drum set. Do I have to shove it somewhere weird? Are you going to shove it in your car? Am I going to carry it there?’” Violette said.

The band in rehearsal. Their next show is at Mercury Lounge on May 15th.

Despite the challenges, they remain determined to leave their mark in the music industry. Drop Dead Gorgeous approaches their songwriting process with a unique blend of creativity and collaboration.

“Our writing process is that they (Violette and Liv) make the funny little music, and then I’ll put in the drums. And then for my songs, I top line the words over it by humming and making sounds. And then I turn the sounds into words, and then I have lyrics,” Isabella said.

This intuitive approach allows Isabella to infuse her songs with a distinctive energy and rhythm. On the other hand, when it comes to Liv’s songs, the band took a collaborative approach from the early stages.

“We all just kind of looked in our notes app and we’re , ‘All right, what do you got? All right, we’ll put that sentence here. We’ll mesh it with this sentence here.’ And then we had a song,” Isabella said.

In addition to their unique songwriting process, Violette sheds light on the origins of their lyrics. Reflecting on their earlier works.

“All of our lyrics are like that because they were written in eighth grade and freshman year. That’s why. It’s because we were 14,” Violette said. The lyrics, shaped by their formative years, embody a raw and authentic quality that resonates with listeners. 

Drop Dead Gorgeous, while already making waves in the industry, still have aspirations of reaching greater heights.

“I think honestly, starting a band is hard. You just have to do it for long enough. If you do it for long enough, you make connections,” Isabella said.

Her insight highlights the need for dedication and persistence to engage in the music community.

Violette suggests that aspiring artists attend band camp during the summer as a way to avoid feeling isolated.

“Once you’re in a band, you should start playing shows. When we started playing shows, it encouraged us to actually practice as much as we could,” she said.

To them, live performances are an experience they wouldn’t give up for anything. They urge young artists to embrace opportunities, forge connections, and unleash their true musical potential on stage.