INTERVIEW: LAUREN ELIZA (DRAMASCREAM)

Hailing from Endicott, NY, DramaScream have been on my radar for several years now. I’ve always admired their ability to play the fringe of metal and rock, while keeping things interesting, energetic, heavy, and in-the-pocket, from start to finish. A big part of the band’s life-force is of course, vocalist, Lauren Eliza – a true inspiration on and off stage. Lauren’s uncanny ability to command the crowd, while maintaining incredible consistency and power with her vocals during DramaScream’s set has always captivated me and drawn me to this band. I’m so glad I finally got a chance to interview with Lauren and clear the air on some questions I’ve always had about all the components of DramaScream. Let’s get into it!

1. Talk about the beginnings of DramaScream. How did you guys get started?

Well, Steve and I have been working on these songs since 2014…it was the two of us writing and rewriting music for a while, then we asked some friends to play the songs and help us record in the studio. I’d say by September of 2017 we were officially a band. Greg and Justin were the missing pieces to the puzzle, and ever since we’ve had them our music has just evolved with each new song.

2. How did you come up with the name of the band?

So..we spent weeks writing names and voting…we even used a band name generator. Steve brought up it should have something to do with me being dramatic….(I mean honestly I swear I’m not that bad). So we liked drama….but we wanted another word so we added Scream, not just because I actually “Scream” but I have an obsession with Slasher films and all things horror so Scream just felt like it fit in. Honestly, sometimes we want to change it but …it’s who we are and it actually defines the band pretty well.

3. Since I’m completely unfamiliar, what is the scene in Endicott, NY like?

The scene in Endicott is small. Fortunately, we are minutes away from other towns/cities so it makes for a pretty unique music experience. There is a pretty big cover band scene. Each one of us started out in cover bands as teens and up until a few years ago still did it here and there, a few of us had original projects before DramaScream. There are also a ton of original bands from punk, metalcore, rock to blue grass and jazz. The downfall is there are not too many venues to play, and most of the time they book the more “family friendly” bands. Not to say we aren’t family friendly but …some venues think if you play rock music or scream that your fans are crazy “satanists” (we do have a song about Satan but who doesn’t). Fortunately enough places like us so it all works out. There is so much support and love from the fans here and we have been given some amazing opportunities.

4. Who are your biggest influences as a vocalist? (any genre, go with your gut)

My biggest influences:

Pat Benatar, Howard Jones, Chester Bennington, Lacey Sturm (Mosley) and Jewel.

5. Is DramaScream a collaborative project, or is the songwriting centered around one person’s ideas?

I would say it depends on the song. Sometimes Steve will go in and just write all the music parts and show the guys..if they like it we stay with that and I come in with the lyrics and melody. Other times they get together and have writing sessions, typically I do not come in until they have a rough cut of the music. Sometimes I’ll send them an idea for a chorus and they will go from there. We have tried different methods with each song/album and we are still trying to see what works best. Once we go into the studio though, we all listen and change stuff as it progresses. So I’d say more collaborative.

6. Talk about your experience filming the video for “$ham” and the reception the song has gotten since its release.

$ham was a really fun, but tiring video to shoot. I remember having to throw money for hours….and at one point it was stuck to us and we just ended up going with it. The video itself came out so great….Eric (Seventhside Productions) is incredible, I can tell him the feeling I want for something and he just gets it. I know that’s probably not a great way to explain it but…I seriously am amazed by him. The reception by fans is crazy..lots of people are excited and tell us it’s one of best songs….I really love it….but we have also had some people say they don’t like the screams or the screams are too much….which is fine our music is for people who like what we do….. that’s the point of art…so if you don’t like it move on. We couldn’t ask for better fans though, honestly they make us feel like we’ve “made it”. I’d say the song has done well but we have much further to go!

7. Talk about DramaScream’s future plans (recording, shows, etc.), as in anything you’re at liberty to discuss.

We are in the studio right now recording, and we will be shooting videos for those songs in the next few months. Right now we can’t announce too much..but we are excited about the future. We actually just set our new website up, so if you want to get the latest info we send everything to our “Camp Scream” fans first.

8. Most of our readers are from the Buffalo-Rochester area, so I’m curious about other smaller bands out your way you’re particularly fond of. Who should we be listening to from the Endicott area?

So, if you have not checked out Promises Unsaid, Second Suitor and Mobday make sure you show them some love..they are all different bands but are amazing at what they do.

9. Talk about some of your most memorable performances, both locally and on the road. What made these shows so special?

So one of the coolest moments from an out of town show was when I was hyping the audience for the headliner and I’m like “OKAY SO WHO ARE YOU HERE TO SEE” and they go “YOU”….now it probably was not everyone but the “YOU” was so loud …I was speechless…which never happens because I am an anxious talker, excited talker…I just don’t shut up. So that was cool. Not in a “we are bigger than the headliner way” but in a way that we aren’t home and people know who we are …which makes you feel like you might be mediocre at this thing.

Locally we actually played “THE STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL” which is a big event in the town next to us….we were surprised they asked us because…typically you’re more likely to hear “Sweet Home Alabama” or some older rock song than….well us. So we said of course and hoped for the best…the crowd was awesome the whole time, but the best moment was when I was jumping up and down trying to get a “mini mosh pit going” and it wasn’t just adults..every single kid under 12 was losing their minds. I mean throwing the horns up and head banging with me…there’s a picture of a 3 year old in her flowered dress….just going nuts…I’ve never had so many kids throwing down at a live show before….When we got done…one of our friends was like.. “dude you would’ve thought the wiggles were on that stage “..we died laughing.

10. What’s the best advice you can give someone who is joining or starting a band for the first time?

Never stop learning, you should always be evolving as an artist. Don’t listen to people who aren’t supportive, that doesn’t mean don’t listen to constructive criticism…it means don’t listen to people who say dumb stuff just to drag you down, and make you feel like you don’t deserve to be an artist…I quit music for 4 years because of someone like that and it’s my biggest regret to this day. Don’t give up, there are so many artists of all genres, ages and walks of life making music you are never too young or old to do it as long as you’re authentic. ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF…having good music is not enough…you need to be pushing your brand and your art every day ..it doesn’t matter if only one person listens each day…you’re one fan closer to reaching your goal..whatever that may be, this is a business it means you have to put in the work in order to succeed. Finally, you need to love what you are doing, it’s a tough business and if you don’t feel everything come to life inside you when you are on that stage…take a step back and think. Life is too short to waste time on things that don’t bring you satisfaction.

To grab a physical copy of our October ’22 issue where you can find this interview and more, click the image below!

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