Deanna Kania (p.s.you’redead)
Fans of ear-piercing, high-pitched dissonance mixed with more core-oriented riffs will LOVE p.s.you’redead! They’re basically the Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza, or even the Chariot of Buffalo, NY, and if you’re unfamiliar with even those household names, you’ll want to at least do some research into this very intense niche of heavy, aggressive music before writing it off.
Helping lead p.s.you’redead’s charge is none other than Deanna Kania who has been slinging bass and vocals for and promoting this intense, unique act for a few years now. She’s also a well-known figure in this corner of our local music community as it stands, so getting to interview her about not only p.s.you’redead, but life in general was a real treat for me. Here’s what she had to say about the future of p.s.you’redead, the happenings in her own world, and more!
1. Talk about the beginnings of p.s.you’redead. How did you guys get started?
PSYD started actually in 2020 right before the pandemic. Lily, who does guitar and vocals, wanted to start a band that was unconventional and chaotic, so she recruited a bunch of her friends to start it in 2019. Sadly that iteration didn’t come to light. She ended up asking our friend Duane LaValley to play drums, which he’d never played in a band before. She had her then girlfriend Jasmine play synth, and actually asked me last (laughs). We both knew each other through the local music scene, and her old band Pity Sweater played with my old band Depleted a couple times. This was after the release of the Demo and right before our split with Mikau from Virginia, so I wanna say late 2020. I was a fan of PSYD before she actually asked me, and we bonded over our love of bands like The Locust, ETID, The Chariot, The Number 12 Looks Like You, The Callous Daoboys, HeavyHeavyLowLow and a lot of underground grindcore bands. We have a lot of similar tastes, and when we finally jammed together, it was so natural. We actually played our first two shows in New Brunswick, NJ, and jokingly have been called the best Buffalo based New Jersey band by a lot of our NJ friends haha. Since then we’ve played a ton of shows with a lot of bands we’ve looked up to, went on two tours, and put out an LP called Sugar Rot thru Paper Wings Records(Love you D!) and Chillwavve Records. Not bad for only playing live shows for little over a year.
2. How did you come up with the name of the band?
Lily actually came up with it. Though I would like to tell you the band name has some deeper meaning, it just sounded cool, so we kinda just used it. A lot of our friends joke that it stands for Pity Sweater you’redead, which is her old band.
3. Where do you guys fit in best locally? Bands that blur the genre lines like you guys do rarely have the same story. Do you have similar or different luck when it comes to metal, hardcore, and punk crowds?
Honestly we have so many different genres going on that we could really fit anywhere. We’ve played with mathcore, metalcore, deathcore, pop punk, hardcore, indie, punk, and a ton of other genres. I wanna play with Inertia cause we both have similar elements and I love them, but it hasn’t been in the cards yet. I’d say we fit best in the punk and metalcore scene but those crowds look totally different. Punk is more about moshing and moving, while metalcore is more about hardcore dancing and crowd killing. Honestly if you have a good time watching us, that’s all that really matters.
4. Who are your biggest influences as a vocalist? (any genre, go with your gut)
As a vocalist, I draw a lot of influence from Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation, John Gallagher of Dying Fetus, Justin Pearson of The Locust, Greg Puciato of TDEP, John Zorn of Naked City, and a bunch of others. I listen to a lot of different genres from Jazz and Polka, to Death Metal and Hardcore. If I hear someone I like, I try to emulate them, but with my own personal twist.
5. Is p.s.you’redead a collaborative project, or is the songwriting centered around one person’s ideas?
Actually Lily had the core of the entire first album mapped out before I joined. When I joined she told me she wanted me to write my bass parts cause she didn’t really have experience in it. We’ve found we have a natural chemistry in that we each know how to complement each other’s playing and the album turned out amazing. I’m actually excited for our new material cause it’s a mix of both our riff ideas, with Lily and I bringing in both our different musical backgrounds.
6. Call out your most successful content online, whether it’s a video, audio recording, etc.
We did have our set recorded by Hate5Six in Philly at the PhilMOCA which has received positive feedback, with people calling us “The Female Botch” and comparing us to Rolo Tomassi, Number 12, and more. We also just put out an LP called Sugar Rot thru Paper Wings Records and Chillwavve Records that has gained a lot of positive feedback. Quite a lot of people dig our song “Baby’s First Pyramid Scheme” off our Split with Virginia band Mikau. It’s one of our most played songs on streaming platforms, and one of my favorite to play!
7. Talk about p.s.you’redead’s future plans (recording, shows, etc.), as in anything you’re at liberty to discuss.
Right now we’ve been relatively quiet after getting off our tour with Dr. Acula, but that’s cause we’re focusing on writing for a split, as well as our new full length, both which we hope to have out by the end of next year. We’re probably gonna do a few weekend runs for the rest of the year and hopefully a full West Coast run next year. Also, we might have a holiday show planned for December but we can’t really talk about that.
8. Talk about your past projects and any other current ones we might not be aware of. Give us the “History of Deanna” in the scene. (I’m cleverly avoiding the use of dead names here.)
I’ve been in the scene for over a decade at this point. I originally played bass and did vocals in a metal band called Shattered, and our first show in the scene was actually with your old band Aspired Infliction(huge fan, RIP) and Mobile Deathcamp. From there we changed our name to Denying the Martyr and played a few more times before disbanding. I went on to join a local djent band called Constructing the Titan with Chris Schunk of Grizzly Run, which y’all should check out. After that I played bass and vocals, then switched to guitar and vocals, in the local hardcore band Depleted, which broke up mid 2021. I did play in the second reiteration of local band Disrepair, as well as an extreme metal band called D.A, but the pandemic kinda broke those bands up, tho I still do keep in contact with everyone.
9. Talk about some of your most memorable performances, both locally and on the road. What made these shows so special?
Honestly there are a ton! One that sticks out locally would probably be one of our first hometown shows we played last August at a DIY spot called The Wastelands, which was just a big abandoned golf course in Buffalo. Watching people push each other around in a shopping cart and then starting a fire in the middle of the area at 11 at night was quite something. Another that sticks out recently is when we were asked to open for HeavyHeavyLowLow in Pittsburgh by the band themselves. We LOVE that band and it was so surreal to be asked to play one of the few dates they’ve played on the east coast in years. Lastly, every time we play in New Jersey is memorable and crazy. Especially our last show there. It was 90 degrees in May and we were playing in a packed basement. It was so hot down there but there were like 40 to 50 people packed into this tiny basement to see us. I remember that show cause I ran into a pole face first during our set cause I tend to mosh with my bass in the crowd, haha. It was so hot the concrete floor was getting slippery and people were falling but still moshing. New Jersey sure loves their mathy music, and we love them, it’s our second home.
10. What’s the best advice you can give someone who is joining or starting a band for the first time?
I have three pieces of advice: First off, stay humble. There’s a good chance you’re gonna be playing to nobody in the crowd at some shows, it’s the nature of the beast. Just work hard and promote yourself and fans will notice. Secondly, touring is not for everyone. There’s this notion that touring is just parties, tour buses, and packed houses every night. Reality is you’re literally stuck in a van with the same 3-5 people for days at a time with no alone time, don’t get to shower regularly, don’t get to see your loved ones, and are driving 3/4ths of the time that you’re on tour. You gotta have a certain passion if you’re gonna survive touring, cause it can be taxing on your mental and physical health. Lastly, have fun. Sure bands are seen as a business or brand per say, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. You literally get to jam with your best friends and get to change people’s lives with your music!
To grab a physical copy of our October ’22 issue where you can find this interview and more, click the image below!