How to evolve yet remain distinctly yourself… It’s a thornier question than one might think. In creative fields, stasis is often looked at as the enemy, repeating yourself as a cardinal sin. And yet, if you are working long enough, you are bound to settle into what works best, finding consistency among the chaos. Screaming Females is a band who have seemed to find the sweet spot between comfort and evolution, changing and yet never losing themselves.
When I caught up with Marissa Paternoster (vocals/guitar), Jarrett Dougherty (drums), and Mike Abbate (bass) of Screaming Females, they were a few weeks out from the release of their eighth studio album Desire Pathway, another incredible addition to one of the more impressive discographies in independent music. Keep in mind, for them, “independent” is more than a convenient way to package their sound. Screaming Females are a DIY band in the functional sense, preferring to retain the elemental, grassroots aspects of what it means to be an artist in 2023.
Which is, in part, why the arrival of Desire Pathway is so exciting: it’s a way to finally show off the band’s new songs, as well as an occasion to mark their return to the touring circuit. So what better way to celebrate than with the 2023 Garden Party Festival, a two-day festival featuring bands like Armand Hammer, Laura Stevenson, and Catbite at White Eagle Hall on February 17 and 18. But first, check out my discussion with the band, in which we talk about everything from the endless cycle of Instagram posts, writing without live shows, and of course, their new record Desire Pathway.