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From the outside looking in, it seems like femme-punks DOWNGIRL are in a pretty good place at the moment.
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Their newest single Manic was quickly adopted as Rage’s feature video, their calendar is stacked up with tours and festival appearances around the country and most recently, the group have begun working on their debut album. Although, it’s always a lot easier to find the positives when you are looking at a situation with the lens of an outsider, because in actuality, the past two years have been some of the most difficult and mentally challenging times that the band members have ever had to endure, with Manic being born out of a psychotic episode that the band’s drummer Skarlett Saramoore faced with bipolar.
“I had a really bad night one night in lockdown,” she recollects, “I was absolutely losing my mind. I went into a full on breakdown rollercoaster in my head just thinking that the lockdowns would never end.”
“My bipolar was really hectic at the time and I couldn’t connect with people the same way, it was really flipping me out. I needed something to keep my mind occupied so I just sat down for like 20 minutes and churned out the guitars and structure to Manic.”
With the group’s currently unannounced EP featuring four songs, each written by a different member of the band, Manic marking the first song that Saramoore has individually written in its entirety, although, she did give thanks to the band who helped tweak some of her “dyslexic writing.”
“This is basically our chaotic, locked down period of writing. Because of COVID we didn’t really have a choice, as a lot of the writing was done over GarageBand and different social media. So I think people will quickly realise that the four songs on the EP are all pretty different, but that’s because we wrote them separately.”
I’m 33 now and I’ve been doing this for such a long time, but yet I’m still constantly shocked at how I’m continuously learning new ways of what it is like to be in a band.
[ Skarlett Saramoore ]
“For the album and all the songs we have been working on lately, we’ve been writing together in a rehearsal room, which is how I think we will continue to do it in future. It sounds lame, but we are all the biggest fans of each other, so writing that way just helps us to push ourselves up in a way where we all just feel loved and supported, and I’ve never been in a band that does that.”
A statement that bears a specifically heavy weight considering the sheer amount of groups that Saramoore has been a part of over the years, although to her, it’s all just a “growing experience.”
“I mean, I was once in a band for 7 years before realising that I’d never been paid for anything that I’d done. Just so many dumb mistakes that turn into realisations as you grow up.”
“I’m 33 now and I’ve been doing this for such a long time, but yet I’m still constantly shocked at how I’m continuously learning new ways of what it is like to be in a band. It all comes down to if you can take the lesson, move forward and be better or if you’re going to run around chasing your tail.” With the release of their debut EP imminent and a full length album in the works as well as a lot of “behind the scenes stuff” that the group have been working on, there’s certainly a lot of keep an eye out for but if you can’t wait until then, you can catch DOWNGIRL tear up the stage on their national Manic tour this November.
October 16 // Soda Factory // Sydney
November 12 // The Lass // Newcastle
November 19 // Cherry Bar // Melbourne