Last Month, Sydney band Dead Witch released their debut single ’15 Dennies’, a track filled with style, swagger and psychedelia that tells the story of a big night out in “the perfect pair of lucky black stockings (15 deniers)”.
Comprised of five friends, including Zoe Catterall (The Buoys) and Jaimee Taylor-Nielsen (Hedy Lamarr), Dead Witch are no strangers to the music scene. The band have honed their sound over the past twelve months in Sydney’s live music sphere, sharing the stage with the likes of The Delta Riggs, Body Type, Pacific Avenue, and Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys.
Dead Witch will be bringing this spellbinding sound back to live stages later this month, with a tour of the east coast kicking off this Saturday the 11th of June at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory.
To mark the release of their debut single we caught up with the five-piece – Jaimee, Alex, Millie, Liz, and Zoe – as part of our Get To Know series to find out more about their lives and music.
How did your band name come about?
Jaimee: you’d probably get five different answers for this one but my memory is that Millie used to run a band night called ‘Good Name’ and I used to run a DIY music collective called ‘Coven’ and we used to joke that we should start a band called ‘Good Witch’ which then ended up as Dead Witch to give it more psych energy… I also love the concept of women today honouring the witches in our bloodlines. I have a tattoo of a witch at the stake who’s just lighting a cigarette on the flames. It’s a bit of a theme.
Alex: Just adding to this that I’m fairly certain you two told us the name and I misheard it and said ‘Dead Witch?’ and you corrected me. Not trying to claim it, but let the record state…
Jaimee: Alex named the band.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Jaimee: Gigi has made a few appearances at Dead Witch shows and vibed it pretty hard – but I’d probably tell her its like the Rolling Stones but with Stevie Nicks and her tambourine making a guest appearance. Again, she has seen us so she’d probably reply with “you wish, love”
Alex: My nan doesn’t need any explanation, she’s all over Dead Witch. She slides into our DMs regularly and is one of our biggest cheerleaders.
Millie: Gma’s a fan, she was a merch model at one point & enjoyed our live show.
Liz: To be honest, I’d probably just rile her up and say it’s a collaborative project with us and Andre Rieu. He’s her fav.
Tell us about your debut single, what’s it about?
Jaimee: It’s about a big rowdy night out in a pair of lucky black stockings – Al and Liz have sworn by the power of 15 denier tights for years now. For us, it’s the perfect song to get ready to before going out and causing some mischief.
What do you love about your hometown?
Jaimee: I spent my teenage years eating Tamana’s North Indian in Camperdown park, waiting for the 370 to show up, and going to all ages gigs at the Annandale. Say what you want about the Sydney music scene, but seeing its resilience over the years, and the way it’s come back fighting after lockouts and then lockdowns makes me really proud of this community.
Alex: To begin with… everything. It’s taken moving to Melbourne to fully appreciate it but we really do live in one of the best cities in the world.
Zoe: I grew up on a river in the Bush. I loved bush bashing with my friends and swimming till the sun went down.
Liz: Enmore Road sunsets! I also love how unique Sydney is. You can walk down the street and in one breath see a cowboy, a punk, a drag queen, a rockabilly babe, Tiim Rogers, the smiley man that always waves, and doggos everywhere.
Millie: Enmore sunsets are magic.
Career highlight so far?
Jaimee: Playing the Factory mainstage was wild
Alex: Amen to that. Not just playing mainstage but also the overwhelming response from the crowd. So many young girls coming up to us afterwards saying they were going home to start their own bands, it was really special.
Liz: As in my music career ? Probably being asked what my music career highlight is!
Millie: Recording music & being in the studio. Playing around with guitar tones & and creating feedback for a sound you want. Drool.
Fave non-music hobby?
Jaimee: Roller skating got me through lockdowns (I’m not amazing but the endorphins and general sense of whimsy are unparalleled)
Alex: does spending hours trawling Reverb looking for the perfect vintage guitar count as a non-music hobby? One might call that online shopping.
Millie: haha I’d count that as online shopping for sure! I second Alex but replace vintage guitars with the black hole that is pedals.
Zoe: I’ve been drawing like crazy lately and using procreate for some graphic design in my spare time.
Liz: Ocean swim with my pals, followed by drive through maccas for frozen cokes and cheeseburgers.
What’s on your dream rider?
Millie: Jamo-cider (kidding)
Jaimee: Jamo-cider (not kidding)
Alex: For context, a Jamo-cider is a Young Henrys cloudy cider with a shot of Jameson whiskey in it. Super delicious but deadly poison.
Zoe: Throat coat tea, hot water bottle, Jameson and an espresso machine.
Liz: Maccas Frozen cokes and cheeseburgers (and Jamo-ciders, obvs).
Dream music collaboration?
Jaimee: Florence Welch i would die
Alex: The Rolling Stones. Or Led Zeppelin. Or Harry Styles. Or Maneskin. Working with producer Kyle Mullarky who did BoyToy’s Night Leaf would also be rad.
Millie: Alex read my mind with every single suggestion there, also adding Iggy pop of course.
Zoe: Beaches x Dead Witch
Liz: Harry Styles, Lizzo or Alison Mosshart.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Millie: Hopefully still creating in some way shape or form. Orrr surfing waves in Cali post-Coachella set, preparing for a sold-out Madison Square Garden show. But we like to keep our heads below the clouds you know?
Zoe: Touring and writing music, in a mould free home lol.
Liz: Hopefully still making music with these queens, quitting our jobs and touring the world!
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Millie: Denim & Leather by Saxon
Alex: Our group karaoke song is Gloria by Patti Smith. We sing it at every party.
Jaimee: Dusty Springfield – Son of a Preacher Man. We played it at Liz’s wedding earlier this year so its extra special now.
Zoe: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Liz: It’s All Coming Back To Me Now by Celine Dion.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Zoe: Everyone is just trying their best.
Millie: Love that definitely a big one… Also ‘Shoegaze’ by Jen Cloher lyrics ‘Those who can do, they do. Those who can’t review’
Jaimee: Growth lives on the other side of fear
Liz: People spend most of their lives worrying about something that will almost never happen. Stop worrying and enjoy the ride!
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
Jaimee: The Real Housewives franchise
Zoe: I love a cryptic crossword and spend most nights watching educational science videos on YouTube lol. Big nerd energy
Liz: I’m a proud Saturday netballer.
Dead Witch ’15 Dennies’ Single Tour
Saturday, June 11th
Oxford Art Factory, SYDNEY
Tickets via Moshtix
Friday, June 17th
Lulie Tavern, Melbourne
Saturday, June 18th
GUM Bar, Melbourne(DJ set)
Saturday, July 2nd
Avalon RSL, Sydney
Tickets via Oztix.