Dead Sara

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Dead Sara
Dead Sara 2013.jpg
Dead Sara in 2013
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Hard rock, post-hardcore
Labels Pocket Kid Records
Epic Records
Members Emily Armstrong
Sean Friday
Siouxsie Medley
Chris Null

Dead Sara is a hard rock band from Los Angeles, consisting of Emily Armstrong (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Sean Friday (drums, backing vocals), Siouxsie Medley (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Chris Null (bass guitar, backing vocals) best known currently for their single "Weatherman" off their debut eponymous album Dead Sara (2012).[1]

Dead Sara received the "Best New Rock Group" award at the third annual "Vegas Rocks! Magazine Awards 2012” on August 26, 2012. They were also nominated for a Radio Contraband Rock Radio Award as "Indie Artist of the Year" 2012 [2] and were crowned the 98.7 FM 2012 Close to Home Artist of the Year by defeating No Doubt in the final round of fan voting.[3]

"Weatherman" topped Loudwire's "10 Best Rock Songs of 2012" list beating bands like Three Days Grace, Stone Sour and Deftones to the title.[4]


Formation and early years (2002–2005)[edit]

Emily Armstrong and Siouxsie Medley both began their foray into music as guitarists and singer-songwriters, Armstrong having first picked up a guitar at the age of 12,[5] while Medley, from the age of 9, initially practiced on the Fender Telecaster owned by her nanny (Magic Wand’s Dexy Valentine), until the age of 11, when two years’ worth of saved allowances provided the means by which Medley could purchase her own guitar, a Fender Squier.

Before Dead Sara, Armstrong was both a solo artist, focusing on folk music, as well as a member of several school bands that she formed.[5] However according to Armstrong, her primary crafts initially were songwriting and guitar, and she didn’t fully come into her own as a singer until around the age of 15,[5] when her voice was able to form a pure, steady, clear vibrato at various pitches, allowing her the ability to sing and sing-scream full voiced and on key without the use of Auto-Tune or other vocal filters.

Armstrong and Medley met through a mutual friend, Diva Gustafsson, in late 2002 (when Armstrong was 16 and Medley 15),[5] began writing songs together in 2003,[6] and in 2004 their song “Changes” became the duo’s first recorded collaboration. Their first live performance as a band was in March 2005 at The Mint nightclub in Los Angeles, with Armstrong handling bass guitar duties and their first drummer, Aaron Bellcastro (who also performed on the "Changes" recording), rounding out the then-trio. (They expanded to a four-piece band shortly thereafter.)

Having briefly gone by the name Epiphany, in mid-2005 they changed their name to Dead Sara as a reference to the Fleetwood Mac song “Sara” and its lyrics, which include the line “Said Sara”, sometimes heard as “Dead Sara”.[5] Both Armstrong and Medley have publicly cited Stevie Nicks, the singer-writer of the song Sara, as a primary influence.[7] Also around this time, Medley began styling her first name as "Siouxsie" as a nod to the Sioux Indians tribe and the Native American heritage of one of her great-grandparents, and not as a reference to the musical artist Siouxsie Sioux.

Getting noticed (2006–2010)[edit]

Their first tour, financed by early band benefactor Tal Kapelner, was in 2007, as the opening act for Endless Hallway, while their first EP, a six-track album entitled The Airport Sessions, was released in 2008 by Viscount Records.[8]

After numerous changes to the drummer and bass player positions, the band’s line-up finally coalesced in 2009 with Sean Friday on drums and Chris Null on bass, both of whom previously played with Sonny Moore (currently known as Skrillex).

In 2009 Armstrong was commissioned by Hole frontwoman Courtney Love to sing backing vocals on Love's album Nobody's Daughter,[9] which was released in 2010. And in 2011, when singer Grace Slick was asked by The Wall Street Journal which contemporary female singers she admires, Slick had only one response: Emily Armstrong.[10]

Success (2011–present)[edit]

Radio stations KYSR-FM (Julie Pilat, music director), KTBZ-FM, and WCCC (Mike Karolyi, music director) are credited with initially breaking Dead Sara on the radio.

WCCC's Karolyi was in California at Sunset Sessions where Staind was premiering their documentary.[11] He heard a band playing and skipped going to the event and checked them out instead. The band turned out to be Dead Sara. When he returned to Connecticut he played Dead Sara's single Weatherman, thus giving them greater exposure. In September 2011, the band went on tour with Bush. In February 2012, the band released "Weatherman" as the album's lead single.[12]

In April 2012, the band released their debut eponymous album through the label, Pocket Kid Records, produced by Noah Shain (Atreyu, Skrillex).[9] The album peaked at No. 16 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart. Soon after, "Weatherman" was used by Fiat in their "Fiat 500 Abarth Burning up the desert" advertisement.[13]

After performing spring dates with Chevelle and The Used,[14] the band spent the summer of 2012 touring as part of the Vans Warped Tour in the US.[15] During the 2012 Sunset Strip Music Festival, Emily Armstrong performed Soul Kitchen (song) with Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek of The Doors.[16] In early fall 2012, the band toured with The Offspring and Neon Trees.[17] In February 2013 the band began touring with Muse.[18]

"Lemon Scent", conceived and directed by Reg B., was the band's first storied music video, featuring members of the band fighting each other and audience members in a private boxing match. The video debuted on Rolling Stone's website on March 14, 2013. It was filmed at Serenity West Recording Studio in Los Angeles, CA. The extras making up the crowd, meaning the non-stunt performers, were fans who volunteered their time to film for the day after the band posted about the shoot on their official website and Twitter page.

The band is currently in the studio working on material for their upcoming second album due early to mid 2014.

Other appearances[edit]

Dead Sara made their debut television appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on June 7, 2012 performing their single "Weatherman" and "Sorry For It All".[19]

Dead Sara was first featured on FUSE NEWS on 3/20/13 in which Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters commented that "Dead Sara should be the next biggest rock band in the world."[20]

Dead Sara appeared on The Vampire Diaries on March 21, 2013, performing the songs "Ask The Angels" by Patti Smith and their own "Lemon Scent".[21] This was Dead Sara's first television or film performance and Emily and Siouxsie's second overall acting appearance together, their first being as characters in a 2007 short film by Tal Kapelner, "The G! True Tinseltown Tale: Dude Where's My Car?"[22]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2012, their song Weatherman was featured in the video game, Need For Speed: Most Wanted and was used by Fiat for the "Fiat 500 Abarth Burning up the Desert" advertisement.[23]

In 2013, their cover of Heart-Shaped Box from Nirvana, was used in the teaser trailer for the upcoming PlayStation 4 game Infamous: Second Son. In another trailer for Infamous: Second Son, Weatherman was also used. The Heart-Shaped Box cover itself was also featured in the game itself, both on the radio and during the game's credits.

Pocket Kid Records[edit]

Pocket Kid Records is the label that the band started themselves. In a 2012 interview with Broken Records Magazine, Emily said that operating from their own label allows them more freedom to sing about what they want. It is not only the full control that they love most, but also the fact that they get to learn the ins and outs of the industry.



Year Album details Peak chart
2008 The Airport Sessions (EP) -
2012 Dead Sara 16[24]

The Airport Sessions EP (2008)[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Sorry For It All"   4:38
2. "Baby Rock"   3:26
3. "Mother Teresa"   3:02
4. "Some Have It Bad"   3:07
5. "ChildHood Courtesy"   3:41
6. "This Changes Everything"   2:58

Dead Sara (2012)[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Whispers & Ashes"   3:51
2. "We Are What You Say"   3:04
3. "Weatherman"   4:21
4. "Dear Love"   4:17
5. "Monumental Holiday"   2:40
6. "I Said You Were Lucky"   3:55
7. "Face To Face"   4:30
8. "Test On My Patience"   3:10
9. "Timed Blues"   3:38
10. "Lemon Scent"   4:22
11. "Sorry For It All"   4:48


Year Song Peak chart positions Album

2011 "Sorry For It All" Dead Sara
2012 "Weatherman" 35 26
"We Are What You Say"
2013 "Lemon Scent"


External links[edit]