Punk Rock Without Batting an Eye
‘Ladies First’ is a live music showcase, of hopefully many to come, that features some of the desert’s best female-fronted acts. The event will be held at Coachella Valley Brewing Company at 30640 Gunther Street in Thousand Palms, CA on Saturday, January 26th from 6-10 p.m. The line-up includes; Courtney Chambers, CAKES and the A**holes, Jetta King & Tyler Ontiveros and The After Lashes. The event is FREE and ALL AGES! Food will be available courtesy of DJ’s Louisiana Kitchen.
Coachella Valley Weekly sat down with Esther Sanchez, Death Valley Ali and Jen Corradi of The After Lashes for an exclusive new interview regarding the show, how they REALLY feel about each other and the deets on their much anticipated new album that was recorded by Ali’s main squeeze Greg Saenz and features a guest cameo by another John Garcia’s Band of Gold member, guitarist Ehren Groban.
CVW: Please give us an update on the completion of your new album and how it’s going with The After Lashes.
Ali: “We just finished recording our first release of 9 songs. It’s being mastered now and we are collectively deciding on a release date. We have a few shows coming up with some great bands, including Dali’s Llama, Blasting Echo, GayC/DC, Jesika Von Rabbit , House of Broken Promises and more!”
Jen: “We have been spending a lot time recording. As for the rest, y’all will have to just wait and see; you may be surprised.”
CVW: What do you see as the purpose of the “Ladies First” event at Coachella Valley Brewery and why is it important?
Ali: “I think the purpose is to shed light on female-fronted bands and performers. We are very honored to be a part of this show and are really excited to see everyone perform. There are still some that I’ve never seen before, like Jetta King and I’m really looking forward to the day.”
Jen: “Another purpose is to give local women musicians a space to showcase their talents, it’s important because there hasn’t been events like this for us before that I can think of. All these ladies getting together to create a beautiful event is magical.”
CVW: Are women in the arts under-represented in this area? If yes, what can we do to help create more opportunities that are equitable for women? And what are we doing right?
Ali: “I wouldn’t say we are under-represented per se. There are more women performers in the desert than when I moved here 10 years ago. What I am seeing is that women see other women out there doing it and it has made us all more comfortable to come out of our shells and get in front of people and put ourselves out there. While there are always exceptions to the rules, the music industry is still predominantly male focused. Just go check out any music gear endorsement page and count the women versus men. What I would love to see is more women headlining shows. I understand that it comes with development as artists, but people LOVE to see women taking charge of a stage!”
Jen: “I think women in the arts get a lot of recognition; there is an amazing amount of talent in that category. It’s just a matter of shows being booked and people showing up to support.”
CVW: You’re performing with CAKES AND THE ASSHOLES, JETTA KING and COURTNEY CHAMBERS for the “Ladies First” event at Coachella Valley Brewery on 1/26. What would you like to say about each artist?
Ali: “Like I said, I haven’t had the honor of seeing a lot of the ladies perform yet. I have performed with Courtney Chambers before and I think she is amazingly talented, driven and a sweetheart to boot. I can’t wait to watch everyone else at the show.”
Jen: “They are all incredibly hard working and talented. I’m so stoked to be playing with all these rad ladies!”
Esther: “I have yet to meet all of the ladies performing but we are really looking forward to sharing the stage with them. I have been following Cakes since her early days in Trucha and anyone who knows her, knows she is a force to be reckoned with both personally and as an artist. Regarding Courtney Chambers, I think she has one of the most stunning voices of anyone I know and I should probably go ahead and become the president of her fan club.”
CVW: Who are some of your favorite CV artists by history and who are some of the artists you feel are up-and-coming and have piqued your interest or inspired you?
Ali: “I don’t have a very long history with the desert. I have to say that The Hellions will always be one of my favorite desert bands. All prejudice aside, I really love You Know Who. I’m really interested in a new band coming out of the high desert called Hot Patooties. It includes a couple of fellow San Francisco gals who I already know rock in their own rights. We are hoping to put some shows together with them very soon. I also love seeing the young bands like Instigator and FrankEatsTheFloor. These kids are gonna kill it!”
Jen: “My favorite CV artists include Bridger, Throw The Goat, 5th Town, Blasting Echo, Waxy, Courtney Chambers, The Delta Tones and The Sweat Act. I have to stop myself because my list will just go on and on. Like I said, this valley is full of incredible people and talent, all each inspiring in their own way.”
CVW: What has been your favorite music moment thus far as The After Lashes?
Ali: “It’s really hard to pick one moment. I mean, it could be the last show we played at the Red Barn where the crowd was amazing or it could be every time we write a new song and it comes together the way we want it to. Very hard to say.”
Jen: “Playing any show with my girls is always a rocking good time but if I had to pick it would have to be playing the Coachella Valley Music Awards show.”
CVW: Are there any themes or messages imbedded in your music or is your focus based on punk rock; hard-edged melodies, stripped-down instrumentation, and anti-establishment lyrics?
Ali: “Ha ha! Believe it or not, not all of our anti- establishment songs are about the establishment. It could be about a fight I had with my husband or about a shitty week at work. We leave it all open to interpretation for folks to ponder. We write about whatever is affecting us at that moment. The meaning of the song can also change from show to show. Esther will usually let the crowd know!”
Esther: “Although a lot of our lyrical themes are serious and political, we do have a lot that is open to interpretation and we do enjoy making fun of ourselves as much as we do anyone else.”
The After Lashes on Lead Vocalist Esther Sanchez:
Ali: “Oh man, when I was looking for a singer, three separate people told me to check her out. She had this bluesy quality to her voice that I knew would be perfect for this band and I asked her to audition. She thought that she wouldn’t be able to sing rock or punk. How quickly we learned the opposite. I have come to love Esther’s fearlessness to try new things vocally, her outspoken ways and her bravery to stand in front of us in crowded venues, that takes guts and she’s got ‘em. I adore her.”
Jen: “Esther is an amazing frontwoman, she always gives a great performance and her energy is always a fantastic boost. She’s always interactive with the crowd and you can see she really gives it her all. I love that chick.”
The After Lashes on drummer Death Valley Ali:
Jen: “Ali is a fantastic drummer! I wouldn’t want anyone else to lead us into battle. She is really innovative and productive with her ideas and brings a lot to the table. She really puts her heart into her band and it’s truly inspiring.”
Esther: “Ali is not only a great drummer and friend but she truly is the backbone of the band. The After Lashes is somewhat her creative brainchild and I feel so proud to have been brought in to be a part of it.”
The After Lashes on bassist Sepultura Moon:
Ali: “All I can say about my Serene is that she is fast becoming one hell of a bass player. Her playing has steadily evolved over the last 2 1/2 years and you can hear it on our upcoming release. She is a force to be reckoned with! We have become very tight as the rhythm section and I’m happy that she’s mine ha ha!”
Jen: “Sepultura is a freaking badass and I am in love with her ‘I don’t give a fuck!’ attitude. She keeps us all humble and always reminds us to have fun. Growing with her has been fantastic. I love her bass style. She’s really made it her own and she rocks it, every…single…time!”
Esther: “As far as Serene is concerned…When I first had made the decision to join the band, I knew we needed a bassist. I also knew my little sister had been dabbling with the bass but to be perfectly honest, I never heard her play and didn’t know if she was any good. I asked her if she wanted to try out and she was interested so we gave her six songs to work on, thinking that would take her a while. To our pleasant surprise, not only did she learn all of the songs overnight, she was good! Within weeks she was writing great songs on her own and she just keeps getting better from one show to the next. I have been in a handful of bands over the years, but never with girls. It’s not even something that I ever really considered. I had no idea how fun and fulfilling it would be to bond with these girls over music. Especially my sister because it has made us closer than ever.”
The After Lashes on guitarist Jen Corradi:
Ali: “Most people don’t know that Joni Mitchell is trapped inside Jen’s body. She excels at melodic, poetry-inspired diddies on the acoustic. She always breaks out the riffs in between songs at rehearsal. We threatened to start turning them into punk songs and we actually did that with one already. You’ll have to see if you can pick it out on our record.”
Esther: “Jen truly brings a unique energy to the band. Although her aura is very chill, musically she is passionate and always has something to bring to the creative process.”
Find out more about The After Lashes and when their new release will drop on their social media pages or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1/26 – Ladies First – CV Brewery – Thousand Palms, CA
2/1 – Music Heals Everyone – Palm Canyon Roadhouse – Palm Springs, CA