30 December 2020
After their psych-o-delic album Darkness Rains, their third full length released two years ago, garage-rock hell cats DEATH VALLEY GIRLS returned from their Los Angeles graves for
the flabbergasting follow-up UNDER THE SPELL OF JOY. Sonically a different beast, from
the Death Valley universe where anything can happen.
(Re)discovering the powerful force of joy the longplayer sounds magical, but be aware the Girls are still SPELL-binding, you never know what they have up on their shiny sleeve. But that didn’t stop Turn Up The Volume to contact first lady Bonnie Bloomgarden for a 2020 chat. But as usual, we start with a piece of music. Let’s go to the disco…
New album UNDER THE SPELL OF JOY was a sonic surprise. How would
you describe the different sound and approach of the record?
“We wanted to expand on some of the ideas from the last album by experimenting
a bit more. We wanted to have tons of backup gang vocals, a kids chorus, sax and
keyboard on most songs. And we wanted it to be like sound improvised!”
Who’s eyes do we see on the album’s front cover?
The title track is a thing of beauty with that angelic choir and the positive
message. What or who motivated you for this song, Bonnie?
“Thanks so much! It flew into my head while walking in my favorite park! The rhythm of my steps just too form into that melody! I felt so lucky! I ran into a coffee shop and borrowed someone’s phone so I could leave the melody on my voicemail. I used to never take my phone on walks…”
How hard was it to hear that for a band-made-to-play-live concerts
were cancelled due to the coronavirus?
“It’s extremely hard for everyone in every job. The toughest part for us is trying to
figure out how and when we can help. We are really lucky we finished the record
before quarantine, and that it’s bringing some amount of joy to people.”
What did you feel the moment you heard
of the fall of Donald Trump?
Suppose you were the new and first lady in the White House,
what music would you play in the Oval Office?
“Iggy, Ronnie Spector, Black Sabbath, The Cramps, Dead Moon.”
You’re asked to rewrite and put new music to the National USA Anthem. No restrictions whatsoever. What would be the outcome, in sound and vision?
“No words, just guitar, bass and drums with the Bo Diddley beat!”
2020 was the year of covers. Which song would
you pick to turn it into a DVG vibe?
“‘Real World’ by Buzzocks.”
What was the best track and album you heard in 2020?
“‘Track: ‘Dreams Wash Away‘ song by Joe Wong.”
“‘Album: ‘Nite Creatures‘ by Joe Wong.”
Prick of the year and hero-ine of the year?
“Aww, that’s too hard. So many heros!”
Which song will you play on January 1st?
“‘Black Sabbath‘ by Black Sabbath
always rings in the new year.”
Name three things you really want
to see happen in 2021, Bonnie?
“No more Covid, Live music, Joy!”
Any new DEATH VALLEY GIRLS music in 2021?
“Yes! We hope to be releasing so much new music
in the new year!”
Thank you for this chat, Bonnie.
May the road rise with Death Valley Girls
Get under the spell of joy here…
DEATH VALLEY GIRLS: Facebook
(live pics DVG by Turn Up The Volume – Belgium 2019)