Toronto, Canada - Living Dead Girl is a heavy metal/pop punk fusion that has turned many heads since the release of their debut album Exorcism in 2021. Despite the calamitous Covid-19 pandemic, the band erupted with the release, and has since been touring all across North America. With features in major publications and hitting the radio charts, the band has definitely made some huge strides in a very short time.
On Tuesday June 6, 2023, Living Dead Girl will take part in Canada's annual Independent music showcase, aptly titled Indie Night in Canada. On Sunday June 4, ahead of their participation in this event, we had the distinct pleasure of chatting with leading lady Molly Rennick, and bassist Jordan Storring, and the band shared some exciting news about their upcoming gig for the event.
LOUDTO: So today we're here chatting with vocalist Molly Rennick and bassist Jordan Storring from one of Toronto's newest metal bands Living Dead Girl in support of their upcoming feature during Indy Night in Canada on June 6th. How are you guys doing today?
Molly Rennick: We're great, how are you?
LOUDTO: Good! Awesome! Actually just got back from Italy yesterday. Was supposed to be home Friday but we had a flight cancellation so we didn't get home until yesterday.
MR: Oh, that's awful!
LOUDTO: So with the time change it's pretty exhausting. Travelling is exhausting but it was an awesome trip. So right off the hop here, I have to ask, you guys Rob Zombie fans?
MR: We are yes, but contrary to popular belief, that's not where we got the band's name from.
LOUDTO: Oh! Would you like to elaborate on that a bit and share where the band name came from?
MR: So I came up with the band name when I was 15 years old, which admittedly I believe when I was 15 years old the only Rob Zombie song I knew was "Dragula" because I was still getting into the genre itself at that time. Where we got the name was my parents told me a story about how when I was born, the doctor thought I was a stillborn for like the first 5-10 minutes of my life they said I was like grayish blue. I wasn't screaming I was just like a dead body. So my mom told me that story when I was like 10/11 years old and I was like 'Woah that's so cool I was born dead!' so then I started calling myself Living Dead Girl because even by age 11 I was already starting to you know wear black lipstick and starting to listen to like rock and metal and so I just thought it was so cool to tell people 'I was born goth, I was born dead' so I just called myself Living Dead Girl and rolled with it.
LOUDTO: Oh wow! That's a crazy story actually. Unreal.
MR: It makes for a great ice breaker at parties.
LOUDTO: (laughs) Yeah for sure! Like that was one of the first things that came into my mind because there are some bands, I think the main one that comes to my my mind is Godsmack, who took their name from an Alice in Chains song actually so yeah so I kind of thought that that's where the band name came from. But are you horror movie fans?
MR: We both are.
Jordan Storring: Yes, absolutely horror fans.
LOUDTO: Is there a specific sub-genre that you prefer?
JS: Oh God. Speaking of Rob Zombie, I do love his films. I'm a very big fan of House of 1000 Corpses and Devil's Rejects. They're definitely on the top of my horror films I guess. Other than that, I mean like I'm down for anything like The Conjuring all that kind of stuff but I really love Rob Zombie's films.
LOUDTO: Cool. Are you zombie fans? Like the zombie sub-genre I mean?
JS: Yeah, more so like the TV shows I guess if we're doing zombies. Watched The Walking Dead through the whole what 11/12 years they were doing it and that was pretty good. I mean it dragged on but I more so watched cuz I wanted to see how it ends I guess but yeah I do like zombies.
LOUDTO: Molly, you kind of shake your head. Not so much for you?
MR: (laughs) I'm like, I like paranormal horror movies better. I prefer ghosts and demons over zombies.
LOUDTO: So you know we were talking about kind of some of your musical interests like about Rob Zombie and stuff like that. Do you find that your musical influences have changed? I mean as you've gotten older for sure but more now that you're actually writing and performing songs of your own in front of audiences. Is there anybody that you've worked with that's kind of influenced you or are your influences still from kind of the music you listen to?
MR: I feel like I always go back to my roots which is I grew up listening to mostly like pop and pop punk and then I did branch out into like heavier things as I got a little bit older but I always come back to, it needs a catchy hook. It needs to be radio friendly and needs to be the upbeat energy of pop music. I always come back to that. But as I get older I do listen to a lot more versatile music. As I get older, I like different types of metal, different types of pop, different types of rock. Where as I used to always listen to the same 3 bands. I've really expanded that. The older I get, the more versatile I get. But at the end of the day I always come back to, I've always liked the same structure if that makes sense. Like at the core of everything I like although I listen to everything from Avril Lavigne to Disney Soundtracks to Motionless in White, like it's so across the board, the roots of everything I listen to is the same it's like I like a catchy chorus. I like it to be able to be a sing-along worthy song like memorable lyrics, catchy lyrics. Like the root of all the things I listen to is the same thing.
LOUDTO: I agree. With me doing photography and stuff, I go and I try to shoot as much as I can. So I've shot a lot of music that I would never even think twice about listening to. Once you're at a show, and you're watching, you're taking it in while you're there, it kind of opens up a lot of doors. But I'm the same. I'm still always gravitating back to that hard, kind of crunchy... I mean I'm a thrash metal fan mainly... I just love the energy and stuff that always draws me back to Hard Rock and Metal... One of the things I like to talk to bands about is the pandemic. I mean it's definitely one of the biggest generational health crisis that we've all ever seen and it's probably been a good hundred years since we've had anything kind of similar to this. It's had a real negative effect on a lot of the music industry. Whether it's the live music industry or just bands generating music cuz you weren't able to get together. I feel like for Living Dead Girl it seems like it's been a little bit opposite of that for you because you guys kind of really broke out during the pandemic. Can you share how all that came about for you guys leading up to the pandemic and recording your album and then getting it released in 2021. How did all that come together for you guys when we were kind of all shut down?
MR: So we finished recording Exorcism, like the full album, in February of 2020 so right before the shit hit the fan I guess you could say. So we finished it like a month before that happened so we had all these plans that we were going to release the album in October of 2020 and we were going to tour that entire year to build up hype for it, and start releasing singles but then the lockdowns happened like 3 weeks later and we were back to square one. I was like 'OK! I'm not releasing this music and not letting anyone hear or know it exists. I'm not wasting what I know is a good product.' So we went back to the drawing board and had to kind of reinvent the whole marketing plan, so we ended up pushing it from October 2020 to June 2021 to give us some more time to build up the online presence and film some music videos, do some photoshoots and like kind of gear up for the release cuz I didn't want to just make an album that I spent my life savings making and just put it on Spotify and hope for the best. I was like 'This needs, we need to build up our audience, we need to reach people'. So we were really just kind of scratching our heads for a minute going 'Is this going to last long? Can we do this? Like when can we play a show again?' cuz without live performance it's really hard to get people's attention. Like you can use the internet obviously and use press and radio and everything but people want to see you live and that's how you build an audience in specific places and in cities and like get your loyal following is with live shows. So we were kind of just we were actually just like we are now. Jordan and I were sitting in my car, like I think just parked outside my driveway, and we were like 'Should we release singles? Should we hold off? What should we do? How much longer is the stuff going to last? Like can we play a live show anytime soon?' So it was just confusing as much as it was I'm sure for everyone else cuz we didn't know what's going on but I'm glad we did end up releasing Exorcism later. That we pushed it back, we waited until like we kind of had a better idea what we were doing just because you know we had the original plan and then we couldn't do it, so we kind of had to just regroup.
LOUDTO: It seems like you made the right decision because there seems to be a lot of eyes on you guys over the past couple years and things are happening for you. How has it been?
MR: It's been really good. The response to the album has been incredible like it's been praised by like such big publications and you know like magazines we read. Like we were featured in Revolver and Hustler and like all kinds of huge publications. And to see something I made get the attention of those kind of people I was like 'WOAH'! It was actually like really surreal to see this happening and hearing it live on the radio and it was getting on charts. Like I didn't know how it was going to go. Like I was confident in the product I was putting out. I knew people would like it but the hardest thing as musicians is to get people to pay attention because everyone nowadays is in a band or creating something or they're an influencer or a content creator. Like we all have access to Youtube and Spotify and the internet. Like everybody is putting something out. So you need to work really really hard to get someone's attention to make them care in the first place so I was just like really rewarding to see that that worked.
LOUDTO: And our attention span is like point 2 seconds.
MR: That's a problem too! (laughs)
LOUDTO: So with that, and now rolling into Indie Night in Canada in a couple nights, how did all of that come about for you guys?
MR: One of the people who organizes it, I'm blanking on his name because he was talking to Steve not myself (our drummer Steve), he reached out to him and asked him 'Is Living Dead Girl able to play Indie Night In Canada cuz I know you guys live in Florida now' and at first when he asked us, I immediately, I was just like 'No' cuz I was like I don't want to fly up and pay for the astronomical flight prices now like you're talking about travel earlier and how difficult it's gotten I was like 'I don't want to pay flight prices from one show.' I was like 'I don't know if we're available let me let me figure it out' but then Steve and I were looking at the calendar and we sat down and we were planning it and we're like 'We're already coming up to Canada. We had our engagement party' and we were like 'we can just extend our trip'. I'm like 'let's pile everything into one trip'. I just hate with now that I've moved my life I have to go back and forth so much it's so expensive but I was like if I'm going up to make a trip I have to make a trip of it so we arranged some things we made it work and then we're like 'alright, yes let's do one Toronto show we'll make it work let's do it'.
LOUDTO: So you are living in Florida now?
MR: I am yeah so it's just it's very difficult since we're all in different spots for us to do a one-off show. Like we prefer to do at least a 2 week run when we have you know like the control over it. So doing a one-off show is like a weird thing for us but we were like ok, doing Indie Night In Canada, Toronto's a home town show for us, so doing it like we'll make it work.
LOUDTO: I mean there's even a lot of bands that are touring right now that are having to cancel full legs of their tours because it's just too expensive for them to travel from city to city so I think it's awesome for you to pull it together to come and just play this show. Is it exciting for you? I think it's a silly question, but what does it mean for the band to play this event here?
MR: I am extremely excited about it cuz I've heard so many great things about El Mocambo. I've actually never been there myself so to go and play like a legendary venue and play on the cool big stage and everything is going to be really exciting for us cuz you know sometimes you play big theaters, you play big great stages and other times you show up at venues and there is not stage. So when you get to play a venue like El Mocambo, as a newer band, it's very exciting. And also for us, it's a hometown show so there's going to be so many familiar faces there. Like getting to play knowing that your family and your friends and all the people you grew up with are in the audience is just like very sentimental.
(we lose connection at this point for a few minutes)
LOUDTO: I was just saying there is we got cut off, what goes through your mind before a show? Can you walk us through the emotions during the day and like does it change like from the moment of you wake up versus 5 minutes before or are you know completely chill throughout? Do you get anxiety? How does that work?
MR: I feel like this goes for both of us. It's changed so much since we started touring more frequently. Like the very first time we were playing live we were both sick to our stomach we were so scared. Like we were both backstage like popping medicine to make us not crap our pants we were both so nervous and then even like the first tour I was still getting nervous I'd be shaking a little bit I kind of be bouncing around like a boxer like trying to make myself calm down. Apparently that's a real thing that calms your nerves is like the boxer bounce like when you bounce back and forth on your 2 feet. And I was like do some stretches and be kind of anxious. But now that we've played a lot more shows, Jordan and I were talking about this one day and we were like 'wait, do you get nervous anymore? I don't!' Like we went from, it's not that you stop caring it's that you're more content your abilities the only thing that makes me nervous nowadays and if anybody that does a very good sound or something like that because there are sometimes shows where no matter how much the sound guy does, somebody is doing a great sound, there have been shows where we've played an entire set and none of us could hear ourselves and we're like 'Well, I hope it sounded good cuz I know I couldn't hear anything. So like the the only thing I ever worry about now are the things that are out of my control like technical difficulties or what if the microphone stops working or I've had times where my in-ears like the frequencies were off with the wireless had stopped working. So I don't get nervous about my band or our abilities anymore but I do get nervous about the technical difficulties or the things that I can't fix. But I always tell myself 'Don't worry about the things you can't control. You got this!' Like I've had my microphones stop working halfway through a set and I just like grab the backup singer's microphone and take it from him or my in-ears don't work so I just wing it.
JS: Like even the last two we just did I was running a wireless unit for my instrument and the one set we played it was like clipping the whole time so I had to unconnect that and then put my quarter inch cable in and then connect that back into my guitar and it was just a big ordeal. So that's basically it I guess when it comes down to that like from the moment we would wake up until we're about to hit stage is pretty relaxed for the most part.
MR: Pretty chill
JS: Usually for me, within like the half hour of us getting on stage Johnny and I would do like some yoga stretches and try and get all hyped up and what not but pretty relaxing the most part.
MR: And I get really stressed when we're playing at avenue that doesn't have air conditioning. Especially when you're in the south. Like we play like in Florida and Tennessee all these like really really hot places and sometimes when you play in a venue that's so hot, I actually get worried and thinking like what if I pass out on stage that would be so embarrassing.
LOUDTO: (laughing) Yeah. Speaking about your sound and stuff, you're kind of at the mercy of the venue right?
MR: You really are.
LOUDTO: Cuz you're not bringing your own sound guys or anything like that.
MR: Not yet, no.
LOUDTO: Is there any like is there any specific shows, and I know you guys again like I said the last couple years things and finally taking off you guys and you know you're on the road throughout the continent really. Is there a favorite show or is there a show in general that sticks out as more memorable whether it's good or bad?
MR: Earth Day Birthday?
JS: Yeah, Earth Day Birthday was a really good one.
MR: That was a festival we played in Orlando. So we got to play with Motionless in White, Godsmack, Three Days Grace like literally like all the bands we listen to we're on the same bill with us so that was just like surreal. It did stick out a little too in another way though it was Orlando, it was 32 degrees out and it was our first time playing outside and my God I thought I was going to die I was so hot. I don't know how bands play these festival all summer long and like not pass out.
JS: Yeah, especially cuz we were running around all morning checking out the bands and stuff and after we played we stayed there what, till like 11/12 pm, or like I guess 11:00 pm, 12 am? And we stayed for the whole, everybody's set essentially. By the time we got home it was just like...
MR: Heat exhaustion!
JS: Yeah. It was lights out! We slept for like 24 hours.
MR: yeah it was the most fun and most uncomfortable at the same time.
LOUDTO: Do you get starstruck at all, with some of these bands that you're playing with? Like you said, you've been listening to these bands your whole life and now all of a sudden you're sharing the same stage with them.
MR: I would say not anymore.
JS: Yeah, it's like a yes and no. They're people too right, so I find it like once you break that ice in a couple times it's easier just to sit there and hang out and like hold the conversation rather than be like super fangirl like I guess.
MR: Yeah, like when I met Avril Lavigne the first time when I was 15 I sobbed my eyes out. But I'm at the point where I don't do that anymore. (laughs)
MR: I'm at the point where like I met Marilyn Manson for the second time and he was just like 'Hey what's up Molly' and I was just like 'Oh no, like I'm good how are you?' Like I finally got the point where I was like okay I can have a normal conversation I'm not going to start crying.
LOUDTO: Cool that's awesome. So can you guys share what the fans can expect from you on Tuesday night here at Indie Night In Canada?
MR: What can they expect? We have a brand new unreleased single that we are going to be playing live and it's really a fun one it's exciting it comes out later this summer so like the only way you can hear it is at the show not on the internet anywhere it doesn't exist anywhere else and we're also playing a new song off of our latest EP Not That Innocent so it's the first time we played that one live in Toronto right?
MR: Yeah. The first time we ever played that one live in Toronto, so it's a different setlist than we've ever done before in Toronto.
LOUDTO: Awesome! Jordan, I have one thing to say to you. There's a metal band from the 80s, Toronto based metal band. They still play. One of my favorite bands actually growing up they're called Sacrifice and the lead singer's name is Rob Urbinati and you look just like him. At least as you're sitting there with your glasses and hat on.
MR: We're going to have to look him up and do a side by side.
LOUDTO: Thanks so much again for having a little chat with us!
MR: Of course!
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