Four-piece rock/pop/grunge band Deathstar Canteen celebrate their first year as a band next week.
Their line-up of Lisa Ward on vocals and guitar, Craig Birnie on bass, Sarah Thomson on guitar and vocals and Mary Dimitrov on drum and vocals, came together following an acoustic night last year.
Thomson and Dimitrov were plucked from Shetland band Comet Conspiracy, with the pair making the change from “really laid back acoustic stuff” to crunchy guitars, power chords and a double bass pedal. “I won’t be going to the gym, I’ll just be sitting at the drums all day,” jokes Dimitrov of her pedal purchase.
Co-frontwoman, Ward said she and Birnie wanted to play in a band together, and was keen to have other women in the group.
In their latest incarnation, all four bring their own musical influences to the band and Ward says they are urging Dimitrov to contribute her material to the songwriting process.
Both Ward, Birnie and Thomson are regular performers at the singers and songwriters’ nights, held monthly in Mareel and organised by Sheila Duncan.
As a result the band are equally at home with acoustic guitars as they are electric, although Ward says performing with Thomson has meant she can play more lead guitar, due to Thomson’s strength as a rhythm guitarist.
Birnie adds there’s also room for him to be creative in his bass playing and says Ward normally writes the lyrics to the music he composes.
And while there may not be a birthday cake to mark the milestone, the band have The Purple EP to their name – a set of live recordings cut in an afternoon by Stevie Hook at the Wobbygang Hut in Lerwick.
The four track record has been well received says Ward: “People have been really nice, we haven’t really pushed it but people have been really nice about it,” she says.
To read more from the band and catch up with the latest music news, don’t miss the new Music Matters feature in The Shetland Times, June 13th edition.