Words Mike Oglesby
Photographs John Hayhurst
Punk trio Dream Wife have since 2018 have been building up a formidable reputation on the live music scene. Their shows consist of high kicks, back arching bass guitar, uncompromising lyrics and “bad bitches” to the front. I caught up with Bella Podpadec at the start of their UK Tour.
So Bella, how Was Lockdown? Did you love it or hate it?
I honestly kinda loved it. It was a scary time as I thought we were gonna be touring. I was living with Alice, Dream Wife guitarist and we talked about how there were elements of live touring that prepared us to be able to cope. We were used to spending time together, not been able to choose what we did with our time and we got to cook our own meals.
Was it a creative time ?
We were playing music for fun, I used to go walking in the woods every day, got into gardening… It was helpful for us all to take a break from moving around all the time. The couple of years before the Pandemic we’d been playing so many shows which was amazing but utterly exhausting.
Has music always been a passion for you growing up in Somerset?
It was tough being the little gay weirdo in the countryside and music presented a world that was bigger and richer and more varied than the little conservative village that I lived in. I also think music lights up the path to kindred souls. When I was 16, I saw Alice playing at The Battle of the Bands and it was like “Ohh, Ohh this is the coolest thing I have ever seen! I want more of that!”
Your music has important messages in it regarding sexuality, body image, feminism etc. If you had one message for young people, what would it be?
To not destroy parts of yourself to make other people feel more comfortable.
What have you been doing to prepare physically for the UK Tour?
I have been doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. I do a lot of high kicks in the show, and you do high kicks in Muay Thai and the centre of balance thing is interesting in relation to the show. I have learnt how to pivot the bottom foot to protect the knees.
How about mentally?
I have been working energy clearing rituals into my day. You have to share so much of your energy, you have to make sure you don’t share more than you have.
What is your best memory of a Dream Wife gig?
Latitude last Summer. It was the first show after the Pandemic, and it was like slipping back into a very comfortable old glove. It made sense. It was like oh yeah, this is the thing. This is what we do.
What can we expect from the Tour and will you be bringing the Stump?
Yes obviously! You can expect a high energy emotional roller-coaster. We have written some new songs and we wanna see how they feel live before we record them. If you were to come to the full Tour, you’d probably hear the whole next album.
Read a review of their Leeds Wardrobe gig HERE