Lady Disaster was born mid 2008, after vocalist Sam Vitez stumbled upon an Immaculati show at Hollywood’s Key Club. The vocalist liked the band so much that she asked if she could sing with them. Members Noah Ramsey-Smith, Jim Hall and Andrew Cava agreed that the timing was right for a new project, as Immaculati’s drummer would soon be leaving for graduate school. The dance rock group booked their first show just three weeks after forming.
After The Derby’s “Battle for Los Angeles,” contest last October, the band decided to take a break from playing live to give themselves time to find their sound. Eight months later, Lady Disaster has reemerged, ready to finally release their debut record with a new lineup.
Sam and bassist Noah explained that the former quintet has now become a duo after the two musicians realized their ideas were pretty much on the same page.
“Out of the original five members, Sam and I’s sensibilities on music, career, and lifestyle were most compatible, so that’s who ended up being on the record,” says Noah, whom Sam calls her “musical soul mate.” The downsizing didn’t seem to be at all out of bad blood, as former guitarist Jim was in attendance at their debut show at Hollywood’s Temporary Spaces on July 25.
In addition to the line-up, Lady Disaster’s sound has also seen a major overhaul in the past few months. Most instruments have been replaced by computers and keyboards, for a more electronic-heavy sound.
Whereas last fall the goal had been, as former guitarist Andrew Cava put it, to bring the “fun of a dance party to a rock show,” new tracks like “Inside Plan” and “Love or Fade” bring the raucous energy of rock’n’roll into the dance club.
At least in my concert-going experience, adding digitally produced sound to a live set up can be a risky move for a band, as stage presence seems to get compromised for the sake of experimentation. This is not at all the case with Lady Disaster. The band was so pumped at the debut show that they were practically bouncing off the walls of Temporary Spaces.
Their debut record, which is set for release September 1st, was recorded and produced almost solely by Lady Disaster in their home studio, with the exception of the tracking on “Parallel Time,” which was done by producer Scott Friedman. In writing this record, Sam and Noah found that the electronic genre gave them more freedom to easily reproduce the sounds in their heads.
“It’s a different kind of creativity than writing for a rock band,” says Noah. “I’d compare it to painting. With a rock line-up your palette is limited to three colors-guitar, bass, and drums. Even with crazy effects and innovative orchestration, it’s still guitar, bass and drums. Our color palette is only limited by our imagination-if we can hear it in our head, we can make it happen.”
Sam agreed that electronic songwriting allows easier translation for her musical ideas, and she couldn’t be happier with the result. “We live by ‘anything is possible’ in life and music,” she said. “And this way, we have the power to truly create our intentions and then some. This is a sound I have wanted to create all my life. Throughout all the different bands and projects I’ve been involved in, this is the sound that sparks me off, gets me jumping and gets my heart pumping.”
Lady Disaster’s confidence in their new tracks manifests in one hell of a live show. Noah exclaimed, “we love [these songs], so when we get up there it’s just fun,” but insisted that there’s still much room for improvement. “I won’t be completely satisfied until we have a huge stage show with dancers, painters, explosions and lots of lasers.”
The album will be available on iTunes and Amazon.com, but you’ll have to attend a show if you want a hard copy. Those in the Los Angeles area can also expect a record release party around the middle of September. After that Lady Disaster are looking forward to “gigging a shed load,” with hopes of “spreading the dance party” globally in places like Europe and Japan.
For anyone looking to go out and have a good time, it’s worth keeping an eye out for a Lady Disaster show in your area. As Sam explained, “my personal aim is to make people forget their days and worries, and have a wicked arse, sweaty fun night.”