Strange Breed are a 4 piece, all queer, all female garage rock band based out of Vancouver, BC. Sounding like every 90’s riot grrrl fans’ feminist wet dream with an unexpected modern rock twist – Strange Breed has been described as a “Grittier B52’s”, or what a collaboration between Veruca Salt, Paramore, Bikini Kill and Hole would sound like.
The Sappy Story
They came together in the early summer of 2017, when front-woman Nicolle Dupas was feeling exhausted after years of trying to find the right group of individuals to form the ‘perfect project’. After years of being in projects where she didn’t feel that her voice was truly heard and her ideas were often passed over, she decided she wanted a project that was based on sharing core values, based on being empowered through queerness and based on the power of sisterhood. Guitarist Terra Chaplin reached out shortly after Nicolle had posted an ad, saying that sentiment was shared and it was exactly what she felt she was looking for. The first time Nicolle and Terra met and shared music with each other, Terra helped Nicolle finish a song she’d been sitting on for 2 years. About a month in to their songwriting endeavours, Nicolle and Terra decided they needed to find a drummer and get to work on building the bones of their songs. Nicolle’s partner, Megan Bell had been a drummer for over 10 years and had been missing it as of late. When asked by Nicolle and Terra, she accepted the invite to jam with them, “just for fun”. However, after one session running through the songs, the three of them knew this was not going to be a one time thing.
Nicolle, Megan and Terra loved what they had going, almost had enough songs polished for their first EP, and started questioning whether they would remain a 3 piece moving forward or if they wanted to find a bass player. They decided that they would keep their eyes and ears open for the right person, as the idea of friendship/shared values was a main priority as the vision for the project evolved and became real. Nicolle and Megan found themselves in a local coffee roaster one day in their neighbourhood that they hadn’t yet explored. Nicolle was instantly taken by the barista that day, Ally (Von Wallis). She had colorful hair and a look and vibe that was reminiscent of Allison Wolfe from Bratmobile. She decided that day that they would be friends somehow. A few days later, Nicolle found herself back in the same coffee shop, and Ally was working again. They chatted for awhile, and Nicolle thought she’d be extra smooth and try to win her over as a friend by complimenting her tattoos, the pins on her denim vest and by saying she was in an all girl rock band. Ally immediately lit up and commented on how she’d wanted to do that ever since she saw Josie and The Pussycats when she was young. Nicolle thought “hey why not….do you want to learn bass and be in our band?” Ally said yes!
So there was Strange Breed – 4 very different women, who all shared the same values and who all became instant best friends. 4 women who all found themselves somewhere on the queer spectrum, and who wanted to impact positive change in the world. 4 women who just wanted to make good music together, and let their voices be heard. It’s a pretty cool thing.
Strange Breed keeps listeners on the tips of their toes…That is, when they aren’t busy turning a regular dive bar into the sweaty dance party of the century. Their unique writing style and catchy hooks have caught the attention of music aficionados all over, and in a short year and a half, they have been invited to play large local venues such as Fortune Sound Club, The Fox Cabaret, The Waldorf, Venue, The Rickshaw, and The Cobalt. They have also had their music played on popular community/campus radio stations across the country, and their song “Sharks” was selected as Cjsf 90.1’s #1 Track of 2018. They were also Top 100 Finalists in CBC’s Searchlight 2019 Competition, listed as a producer’s pick.
They are currently in the studio working on their first studio album, and are slowly taking over their local music scene one show at a time. Strange Breed constantly has individuals of all different backgrounds reaching out and expressing how much they appreciate seeing queer representation in accessible music, and hearing “good, catchy tunes with an actual message”.
“…The positive atmosphere they created did not, however, disguise the seriousness of the issues addressed in some of their songs — “The C Word,” an homage to consent, and “Gun Control,” a challenge to the hypocrisy of the NRA. (-Written by Hannah Toms for Discorder Magazine” — Read the whole article here)
Strange Breed is all about promoting positive change through the messages in their music and in their general interactions with the world and online – be it political, social, or based around physical/mental health. They have been a part of raising money for vital organizations like Music Heals BC, Girls Rock Camp Vancouver, The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and WISH! Drop In Centre Society.
Strange Breed always takes a moment during each show to ensure that the acknowledgement is made of who’s land they have the privilege of playing music on, and ensures that people know what kind of environment they are entering when they come to a Strange Breed show…
“WE PROMOTE SAFE SPACES.
What does THIS mean? We don’t tolerate folks who spew hate speech against marginalized groups. We don’t support violence of any kind. We don’t tolerate sexism, racism, homophobia/transphobia etc. We don’t want to see any kind of predatory behaviour at our shows – if someone says no to you (be it to dance, to make out, to let you buy them a drink, anything at all) RESPECT that. If you don’t, you’re out in a heartbeat.
If you ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable at one of our events, please find one of us and say something. We want you to know what kind of environment you’re a part of when you come to one of our shows. ♥️”
Safe spaces, Inclusivity, Good times and Great music is what these babes are all about.