Dream Wife, the trio hailing part from Iceland, part from Brighton and now in London, are the rock queens of 2017. Ahead of their new EP release this Friday and their upcoming UK tour, we met with the trio to find out more about rock’s most promising collective.
Notion: Tell us a little bit about how you all met. How was the name Dream Wife created?
Dream Wife: We met at art school in Brighton when we were all studying different forms of visual art. To us, the name Dream Wife was a fun wordplay. It’s a name that people tend to remember, some sort of shock value. It’s a commentary on the objectification of women. The stereotype American dream package; having the dream house, the dream car and the dream wife. But women aren’t objects. Women have so many different sides and don’t just fit one mould. A pretty ridiculous trope. We were enjoying playing around with it.
Notion: You’re based in London, has London influenced your music and creative process?
DW: We are surrounded by a completely inspiring creative scene in London right now. Some of our Brighton friends moved to London after graduation and the groups expanded. Ione Gamble’s Polyester Zine introduced us to wonderful people and creatives. Musically there’s a really special vibe happening in the city. Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else at the moment.
Notion: Did you ever picture that you would become the band you are now?
DW: When we first formed this band it was a very loose thing, it could take any form, and that felt really liberating to us all at the time. To this date, we still try to keep this open attitude to what this band is. However, we are definitely a fully functional rock band at this point, while still regarding aesthetic decisions as an equally important part of this process. We have a great team of people who are helping us because they love the music and believe in this project. It’s not just us three anymore, which is exciting knowing you’re all in this together.
(From top to bottom) Alice wears shirt Self Made. Rakel wears Jacket Blitz London, Top Self Made. Bella wears Top Self Made, Jacket Stylist’s own.
Notion: When writing your music do you narrate your own experiences?
DW: We write in different ways, sometimes we jam something through in the practice room, or other times one of us will bring an idea to the table. Either way, once the song is put into the realm of the Wives, the song always takes its own form. There is a chemistry between us and what we all bring musically. With this collision of energies, our own experiences will always work their way into our songs one way or another.
Notion: Are there any historic or cultural references that have helped influence the punk, angsty elements of your sound? How would you describe your sound?
DW: It’s rock n roll with an occasional soft spot. We do have a retro quality about our sound, all of us are very informed and influenced by the 70s, Bowie, glam rock, punk, Blondie. A lot of what our parents were listening to when they were little angsty teens.
Notion: It was really interesting speaking to you on set about the concept of a ‘Girl Band’, and how you didn’t understand the need for the term, can you talk a little more about that?
DW: It’s an interesting topic and female bands at the moment seem quite split on what stance to take. There is a fair amount to be said for bands choosing to reclaim the term and wear it as a badge of honour but at the same time, ‘Girl Band’ is so hugely linked to (often) more manufactured singing groups operating in a hugely commercial pop market and probably having minimal involvement in songwriting. These implications can feel reductive and be limiting to a group like ours; we are three friends, three musicians, writing and performing music together, having had no initial agenda to form an all-girl group, it just happened that way. We want to be taken as seriously as our male peers and not reduced to our gender.
Notion: How would you describe the dynamic between the 3 of you in the band?
DW: We are three fire symbols. Power trio.
Notion: When we last spoke you were off to perform at Secret Garden Party – how did it go for you?
DW: We had a great time! The stage we were playing on was made out of loads of winding branches; it felt like we were deep in the forest!
Notion: What would say has been your best live show to date?
DW: Last Halloween we put on a Graveyard Party at Moth Club, with support from of our favourite acts; Emily Franklin, Garden Centre and Nova Twins. People really got into the graveyard theme, and some brought cardboard gravestones along and held up makeshift crucifixes when we played ‘F.U.U.’ It felt like the perfect spooky celebration with all of our friends, everyone got totally sweaty, crowd surfing and we just had the best time. That will be a hard show to top.
Notion: On that note, you start touring the UK in October. What is the status of the new album? Can you tell us more about what to expect?
DW: It’s our debut album and is sounding like the rock n roll party of our dreams…We just can’t wait to show everyone.
Notion: Lastly, what can we expect from Dream Wife for the rest of 2017?
DW: We’re in the midst of finishing this debut album. It’s pretty exciting and busy. We are touring the UK in October, so we are all majorly looking forward to taking the all these songs we’ve been working on and taking them on the road. Let them live. It’s all about the live shows.
Header image credits from left to right: Alice wears top & trousers Xiao Li, top & earrings Vivienne Westwood. Bella wears dress & belt Blitz London, top, bag & shoes Vivienne Westwood. Rakel wears top Blitz London, jacket Zyanya Keizer, trousers stylist’s own.
Dream Wife’s EP, Fire is out Friday 29th on Lucky Number