Damn The Witch Siren Celebrate Their “Big Mouth” With New Single
Damn The Witch Siren Celebrate Their “Big Mouth” With New Single
Damn The Witch Siren isn’t a political band, nor is it one prone to grand statements. They have always, sometimes subtly and sometimes more directly, engaged their listeners in a dialogue about sexual politics, or, if you will, the politics of sexuality. This dialogue consists of themes more directed at combating the suppression of women sexually, intellectually, and socially as opposed to being more of a blatant exploitation of female sexuality. Somehow though, those descriptions of DTWS’s political themes don’t quite fit. There’s something much deeper and more artistic going on with their music. On one hand, their music is pure dance floor (or slam dance floor) oriented. The kind that you lose yourself in. On the other hand, it has much in common with thinking man’s rock thematically, as well as straightforward rock sensibilities, than is at first glance evident. Their latest single “Big Mouth” manages to mesh both music worlds together in one song in that magical self described “witch rock” kind of way that makes DTWS such a unique, and relevant, listen.
I think you hit the nail on the head actually. It’s like that old saying ‘the personal is political’ right? They go hand in hand. -Bobbi Kitten
“I think you hit the nail on the head actually. It’s like that old saying ‘the personal is political’ right? They go hand in hand.” explained Bobbi Kitten, DTWS’s singer/co-songwriter/guitarist and all around bewitching band leader, in response to my question on the political dynamics of DTWS’s music. “We were just discussing our band’s overarching theme the other day and the most appropriate term we could come up with was “sensuality”. At first glance that might seem strictly personal, or romantic, or sexual…but sensuality is the expression and pursuit of pleasure. I would say it’s also the pursuit of joy and the exploration of yourself. I think that suits our music and our live shows quite well. When we perform we want women (and everyone) to feel sexy and be sexy for themselves, not for anyone else and not because society told them to.” continued Bobbi.
Wanting women to feel sexy is definitely a theme in the music, and music videos, of DTWS. With titles like “Feelin’ Myself,” “Sex U Up,” and “F**K Me (Like We’re In Love)” it’s kinda hard to miss. None of these songs, nor their corresponding videos, are in any way exploitative or titillating in a negative or pornographic way, nor are they purposefully designed to make exploitative use of Bobbi’s own sensuality and beauty. Instead they speak to feminine empowerment and as Bobbi remarked, they’re designed to make “women (and everyone)…feel sexy and be sexy for themselves.” With an obvious emphasis on female sensual (and sexual) empowerment, it isn’t a surprise that DTWS would make the jump from the politics of sex to the politics of women’s equality in areas outside the realm of the sensual. This is especially true in light of the toxic masculinity that is currently dominating The White House and much of Congress.
They can’t stop the change that’s coming. Women have made great strides politically and artistically the last few years, and it is exciting, but we have centuries’ worth of sexism and misogyny to destroy. -Bobbi Kitten
“Big Mouth” is a response to the above, but also to certain experiences the band, and Bobbi, in particular have had. Everything from social media and online commentary designed to sexualize Bobbi instead of lauding her talent, sexist booking agents, and audience members assuming Z Wolf (Bobbi’s life and music partner) is the brains of the outfit have dogged DTWS basically since their inception. “Big Mouth” calls out these individuals, but more importantly, their actions. As described in DTWS’s official press release for the single (and in multiple reviews across the web), “Big Mouth” has “arrived in a timely fashion.” While the song isn’t reactionary, (DTWS, as noted above, has been in the women’s empowerment game for some time now) it can be seen as part of the wave of reaction against high profile toxic masculinity which includes the election of empowered, passionate and outspoken women to Congress across the land like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. When I asked Bobbi if she felt that this reaction can become a sustained and lasting response her response was a mix of hope and concern:
“Clearly a lot of what’s been happening in politics the last few years has been reactionary. We both want to hope things are heading in a better direction, but with how divisive American and world politics currently are, it feels pretty grim. The fact that we are remotely capable of putting someone like Donald Trump in office and keeping him there for this long does not bode well for the state of our country. The system is fundamentally broken. However, I do think the right has become so extreme and vitriolic because deep down they know that the world is different now and their gross 20th century worldview is dying off. They can’t stop the change that’s coming. Women have made great strides politically and artistically the last few years, and it is exciting, but we have centuries’ worth of sexism and misogyny to destroy. It’s going to take time and we have to keep fighting.”
DTWS have been fighting the good fight thus far and with “Big Mouth” have chosen to get more directly involved. It’s the band’s third release in as many months so far this year, and while it is less adventurous musically than their initial offering “Gothic Summer,” it does include some elements that have been more foreign than natural to DTWS’s music. The use of real drums in the mix and samples from a brass section keep with the promise the band made to push their sound into new territory. With a straightforward bass line and beat, the music reinforces the straightforward message of the song. The horns are a particularly nice touch and help create the havoc that reigns in the center of the song from which Bobbi’s voice leads the listener out of, just as a strong female voice and perspective can point to new ideas that can lead to new ideas on healing our “fundamentally broken” system, as Bobbi called it.
DTWS plan on a 58 date tour this year, and for readers in the southeast they definitely have plans to “make it up the east coast again.” Hopefully, that means Bobbi and Z Wolf will hit the Carolinas again later this year. With three new songs, and a little more to add to the mix thematically, I for one can’t wait to see them again live.
Damn The Witch Siren’s new single “Big Mouth” drops March 29th.