Strange Breed sets the stage for LGBTQ+ representation in rock music

Band brings their new album Permanence to The Mansion

Strange Breed.
Credit: 
Photo from Strange Breed's website

Vancouver-born alt-rock garage band Strange Breed will stop into Kingston with their debut album this week.

Strange Breed is playing at the Mansion on Wednesday, Oct. 2. Touring their first studio album, Permanence. The group will perform songs that tackle consent, mental health, misogyny, and similar topics. Permanence came out on Sept. 13.

Given that all four members of the band identify as queer, they considered it only natural that they use their platform to lend transparency to LGBTQ+ individuals and help others embrace their self-worth.

Nicolle Dupas, singer and guitarist for Strange Breed, spoke about the band’s journey from the time of its conception to today, saying they’re living a dream come true.

“I wanted to have a band of all women ever since I was young,” she said.  “I decided to make a really specific post on craigslist looking for queer and non-binary people. Terra was the only person that responded.” 

Terra Chaplin is the group’s second guitarist.

Dupas and Chaplin later met Ally Von Wallis at a coffee shop and hit it off. Von Wallis decided to learn bass so that she could join the group.

The last member to join the group was Megan Bell, Strange Breed’s drummer, who has known Dupas the longest. The pair are dating, and Bell was present when Strange Breed got its name.

“Megan and I have these old lesbian erotica novels,” said Dupas.

They were browsing their collection looking for a name that would suit the group when Aldo Lucchesi’s book Strange Breed caught their eye.

“We felt it described us.”

Before officially forming the group in 2017, Dupas was a member of a different rock group. However, that band just didn’t cut it for her.

“I didn’t feel like my voice was heard.”

Now she’s rocking out with what’s become a tight-knit group of friends. Together, they create songs with authentic, personal meaning.

Strange Breed isn’t just a garage-rock band. They’re specifically a queer rock band.

When asked about the meaning behind their album’s name, Permanence, Dupas said that it speaks to the kind of societal changes they’re aspiring to.

Strange Breed is projecting the message that “this is permanent. This is the world we want to see.”

If anyone dares to doubt the members’ commitment to the band, they each got a tattoo of feminist icon Rosie the Riveter on their legs by Lydia K Tattoo in Vancouver. Their bond is as permanent as the change they’re hoping to see in the world.

The decision to get a tattoo was meant to symbolize their strong support of female empowerment. Chaplin’s leg is shown on the album cover, with the tattoo in full view.

“[We’re] trying to make a safe space. We want to see more openly queer women in the rock scene,” said Dupas.

She emphasizes their concerts are a safe space for everyone, and she hopes they can help their listeners find the courage to come out and embrace themselves.

Strange Breed is a band of trailblazers who are carving a path toward more LGBTQ+ representation in music, especially in rock.

 
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