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I've always had a love/hate relationship with photos. Obviously, they’re important to help establish (and maintain) the aesthetic of a band or project. Getting photos done for theDramedy can be very difficult, because honestly, I’m just a nervous wreck! It’s hard to embody ease and comfort in front on a camera.

The first few photo sessions for theDramedy were done by my close friend Craig Gallery (who was also responsible for filming the "What Time Is Life?" music video). Because we were close and they already understood what theDramedy was about, it was easy to get comfortable with them. Around 2019 I made the decision to get out of my comfort zone and collaborate with new photographers, and get a different perspective. I ended up reaching out to Janine Driskill, whom I had worked with briefly a few years prior.


A little background:

Sometime around 2017, I handled the bass in post punk/deathrock band Readership Hostile. Janine Driskill (and girlfriend of guitarist Benn Ra) shot most of their photos, be it for a promo or live. While in the band, I did plenty of live shows and one promo session with her. I got along with and liked her work. I decided to contact her and see if she would be interested in shooting some promos for theDramedy.


Janine isn’t a classically trained photographer, and much of her process is intuitive and experimental. I appreciate her love of her craft and her willingness to learn and try new things. That's always been my philosophy: being open to try anything. Literally as soon as we set foot on scene, her shutter starts clicking. And I haven't even gotten in the "zone" yet! But it's that kind of process that makes things fun, keeps me on my toes, but at the same time, I’m also relaxed. After working with Janine for the last few years, I don't feel nervous or worried because I know the integrity of theDramedy is in good hands.



This past January we got together to shoot some new Dramedy photos for 2021, and it was certainly time with the new album release quickly approaching in mid-March. We met up around 2 pm or so in Century City, set up, and did our “business as usual” session. Lucky for us, the area was pretty deserted due to the ongoing 2020 pandemic (ugh). So many of the photos turned out really amazing! The setting, the poses, the gray weather, Janine's editing... the combination of all of these things gave a magical quality to the images. The more I stared at them the more I thought that these photos would best serve as the "theme" of the new album, and not just standard promo shots (which was their initial intent).



I could say that the title of the new record did not come from looking at the images, but that would be a lie. Truth be told, the title "And The Light Goes White" was birthed from this session. There were some other ideas/song titles laid out on the table, but these sealed the deal for me. My favorite image (and the final choice for the cover), was not only cool, but also captured the lyrical themes of the record with it’s stark white background and shadowy figure with arm raised towards the sky. At the time, the only motive with this shoot was to get some promo photos shot; so, discovering the album cover in this shoot was a very nice surprise.


I'm very fortunate to know Janine as both a friend as well as a collaborator with theDramedy. We both feel at ease with each session we do. She will always be one of the first people I contact when theDramedy needs photos done. So a toast to our friendship and to our future sessions!


Be sure to preorder theDramedy's forthcoming record "And The Light Goes White!" It comes out March 19th but there's no reason to wait ;).



d.


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I first met Dave when he briefly joined my boyfriend's band Readership Hostile. I took pictures of the band at their gigs and I also did some promo shots for them. After Dave left the band to concentrate on theDramedy, we kept in touch.


Dave and I have worked together a few times. He usually either has a location already picked out or has an idea in mind of what he would like to accomplish from the photo session. Sometimes he'll send me some samples. He is his own art director. This last time we worked together was the first time that the end result perfectly resembled the samples that he sent to me. So, that was a good day in my opinion. Dave is pretty easy going and we seem to laugh a lot while shooting.


I do photography because I enjoy it and it is how I relax. I'm not even sure how to work the different settings on my camera, (I push the shutter button and that's it)! If I'm outside, I can't see the camera screen at all. So I pretty much just try to shoot from different angles and hope something turns out. It's always a surprise to see what I end up with which is half the fun! And then there's editing them! I really like how the mood of an image can completely change just by adjusting some contrast and color settings.


Since I'm not a ‘classically trained’ photographer, I was shocked and flattered when Dave told me that he chose one of my photos as his album cover! I am so happy that these photos turned out well, because there have been some misses in the past. This was Dave's vision and I am still in disbelief. I love the way the cover turned out!


J.

instagram: @gulabjamin1


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I've always wanted to do a video for "Waiting On You," even when I released the 2019


acoustic version of the song. At the time, the idea I had for that video featured two people (a man and a women) being placed in different scenarios, back to back facing away from each other. It would be shot in a way that was similar to the video for the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds song "Love Letter" (look it up). Obviously, that got scrapped.

I can't really say when I got the idea to have the video to be "animated," but afterwards I was hooked. Because of the subject matter of the song, I thought it should be drawn in a style that was "innocent" and something you would find in a children's book. Adults tend to be a bit bitter or stone-faced when it comes to the end of a relationship, but as a teenager

there is that naïveté/optimism that "things can turn around if I keep holding on." I'm sure we all have felt that, and maybe just maybe sometimes miss it at times. With these ideas, only one artist came to mind: Anne Dandan I've known Anne for quite a few years now. Having met through a mutual friend, both Anne and I bonded as we were big fans of Nine Inch Nails, often talking about how much she loved their circa 2005/2007 guitarist Aaron North (jk Anne lol). Remembering her artwork, I knew she was the perfect person to helm the style for the music video. I contacted her sometime Pre-Pandemic, because I figured, since I'd never done something like this before, I should get in touch with her sooner rather than later to start the process. Good thing she agreed, because there was NO plan B! Haha.

Pre-Pandemic, the original plan for theDramedy in 2020 was to release an EP during the summer with the "Waiting On You" lyric video being released in August. Then the pandemic hit, plans were changed, the EP evolved into a larger album (to be released in 2021), and the lyric video for "Waiting On You" was moved to release December 2020. This actually worked in our favor because it gave us time to breathe and to really figure out how the main character would look, what scenes needed to be drawn, how many stills were needed, etc. Phone calls were made, storyboards were created, sketches were drawn out. I created a mock video with the initial sketches Anne sent over and discovered the illustrations were strong enough to stand as a full music video (as opposed to the Lyric video it was originally planned to be). With that decision, it made more sense to start 2021 fresh and release it in January with the new album soon following in March.


I am beyond pleased with at how it turned out. As an artist, I'm always up for a challenge. And working with the talented Anne Dandan to help develop and produce this "animated" music video was quite a learning experience for us both. Neither of us knew what we were doing, but that's what keeps things fun and fresh (which I'm sure Anne would agree with). I'm honored to have had the opportunity to work with her and hopefully will again in the future. I'm also super pleased with the responses I've gotten from all of you! It's wonderful that both the video and song resonated with many of you. The ultimate goal for theDramedy has always been connection. (I thought it was fascinating that some people thought the sentiment sweet and others thought the character should just get over it haha!) I completely understand both sides, and often I find myself wondering which side of the fence I fall on. I guess time will tell.... Thanks! d.

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I met Dave through one of my best buds who's been friends with him for ages. Even went to a few of his shows when he'd come back up to the Bay. After poking fun at my music choices it was clear we were friends. Just kidding. I have good taste in music (haha, kidding Dave! We're still pals, right?!). When he approached me about drawing the art for the video, I was both hyped and nervous —it was over 30 drawings! In traditional media! But Dave made it clear that he wanted the art to be cute and simple —exactly the style I like to draw. Cute, simple, but of course I wanted them to be GOOD as I could draw them. The song has the feeling of heartbreak and longing and when I began scribbling the first sketches I wanted to draw this kid where, when the audience watches the video might think..."man, this poor guy". The process was pretty straightforward: I'd sketch it then show it to Dave before inking and coloring. Watercolor is my medium of choice, though I almost wanted to try digital even when I haven't worked much in it. Even if there were some obvious advantages to digital, I'm much more comfy with traditional. Of course - the scary thing is...if my pen slips or the coloring isn't how I wanted it, there's no ctrl+z! 30+ drawings was A LOT but I definitely had a fun time working on this project. And what with the pandemic going on, it was awesome to have something fun to keep me busy! So, thanks Dave! Very thankful to have been a part of making this video. So if you haven't watched it - STAHP READING and watch! Anne Dandan instagram: @wrathofbom




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First blog of 2021, and it's a bit of a 'two-parter.' So before we talk about 2020, let's talk about the picture above since it is "Flashback Friday." I'm sure many of you can relate to this sentiment (perhaps point it in the direction of 2020). This picture was taken back when I worked at Tower Records in The Stonestown Mall in San Francisco, way back in 1999/2000. And I can assure you it was in jest. The Stonestown Mall is located right by San Francisco State University; both are still there, Tower is not.

This wasn't the first time I worked at Tower Records. My first brush was at the San Mateo location (another story altogether filled with crime, drama, threats, broken hearts, etc.). Out of the two locations, the SF location was far superior. It was close to SFSU, so the people who got hired were a bit more mature in the "right way" as opposed to the SM Tower which were just a bunch of high school "punks." My buddy Steve and I would take our skateboards during our lunch break and skate around the parking lot of the mall. Steve purchased the magazines for Tower, so I was able to get any magazine for FREE so long as he ripped the cover off it first (shh! ;P).

As far as titles go, I worked in the video department. I wasn't much of a film person at the time, but I liked because hardly anyone came into 'video' (as opposed to the main floor). We were supposed to play movies on the VCR, but I preferred to play videos from the "Music Section." If you came into 'video' while I was working you'd typically see flashes of David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Bauhaus, Concrete Blonde, Siouxsie And The Banshees, and The Cure (among others) on the screen. That was until a DVD player was hooked up... And then I started playing movies on the VCR, but only because I could split the difference: music CD in the DVD, film on the screen. Haha!

Working at a record store is probably one of the BEST jobs (in my humble opinion)! I had some real good times while at Tower (I mean check out the Bass Ticketmaster booth sign and the EZ CD opener tool in the background!). This photo (and the many others I found), bring back some crazy memories. _____


Fast forward and we find ourselves here today. 2020 has passed... So, now what? What do we do after a year full of bad luck and tragedy? It really was an overwhelming year and everyone knows what I'm talking about... There are just too many to list. But the ever persistent question whispering in my mind: "Is it even really over yet?" The vaccine will be doled out, but nothing is going to change immediately. It's no question that there will be a readjustment period for everyone, including me.

When the first lockdown hit back in March 2020, I was one of the few people who welcomed it. I was quite happy to stay home. Before the lockdown, I was constantly on the move and busy with so many things, in addition to theDramedy. When the orders came to stay home it was a godsend. At last I finally had the time to breathe, to rest, to focus on other ways to stimulate the mind. I finished books, watched movies, and got to really listen to the records in my vinyl collection. And I got quite a few things done for theDramedy to keep the ball rolling!

A couple of music videos were created during the lockdown, "What Time Is Life?" and "She Knows." (Plus, I learned how to edit in Final Cut and iMovie!) I got some Dramedy t-shirts made, a Halloween card, did a couple of photoshoots, and last (but most certainly not least) I was able to use the time to write/record a new Dramedy album (coming March 2021)! I'm really excited to share this new album with you because I think the songs are topnotch. Not only that but it also shows that, in the great words of Doc Brown, "if you really put your mind to it you can accomplish anything." A true sign of the times.


So all of this happened during the first lockdown. Now in the second lockdown, it was a totally different affair: one filled with restlessness, agitation, fatigue, insomnia, paranoia, boredom. A downward spiral into anxiety served with a simmering layer of bitterness. During the first lockdown I had plenty of things to keep me busy, but that wasn't the same story in the fall. Now I was forced to delve in the only direction available, inwards into my mind and soul.


I've never been one to shy away from introspection. (I actually quite welcome it.) It was a bit different this time around, and while many issues have been put to bed, there were a few that I uncovered that I was quite surprised were still around (at a slightly smaller capacity). Maybe it's because of the climate, or maybe I just never took care of them in the first place, but they definitely haven't made lockdown #2 easy to deal with. Regardless, I am grateful to bring to light these concerns, and start down the road of healing.

In any case, 2021 will be journey both for myself and theDramedy. I commit to tackle these issues head on with my heart open. theDramedy will forge ahead despite there being no telling what will happen with the musical climate. All bets are off. I embrace the change and will not shy away from moving forward.

2021 here we come, Happy New Year.

d.


PS

NEW DRAMEDY ALBUM WILL BE RELEASED IN MARCH!!

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