Strange Breed: Queer, Alternative Rock from Vancouver, BC

Strange Breed is a 4 piece, all queer, all-female alternative garage-rock band based out of Vancouver, BC. Sounding reminiscent of every 90’s femme rock anthem (think Sleater-Kinney, Veruca Salt, Bikini Kill, Hole) while keeping a firm grip on the modern alternative-rock sound of today (Paramore, The Pretty Reckless, The Beaches, July Talk).

In a short 2.5 years, they have been invited to play large local venues such as Fortune Sound Club, The Rickshaw, Venue, Imperial, and were also finalists in MRG Concerts’ Elevate Music Project at the legendary Vogue Theatre. They recently released their debut album, “Permanence.”, which has sparked their quick success in their local scene and beyond. They have had their music played on popular community/campus radio stations across the country including CBC Music, CITR 101.9 FM & CJSW 90.9 FM; the track “Sharks” was selected as CJSF 90.1’s #1 (Vancouver Mixtape) Track of 2018. They were also Top 100 Finalists in CBC’s Searchlight 2019 Competition, listed as a producer’s pick.

Strange Breed released their debut studio album, “Permanence.” on September 13th, 2019, and shortly after embarked on a cross country tour spanning from Vancouver Island to Montreal, QC. Within the first 3 weeks, “Permanence.” cracked the Ear-Shot Campus Radio Top 50 Charts (Week of Oct 1 2019), as one of the only unsigned albums to do so, and has gotten public acknowledgment from music scene veterans such as Bif Naked & Said The Whale. “Permanence.” also made Beatroute’s “Top 10 Vancouver Releases of 2019” List, while the individual track “Witch Hunt” cracked CBC’s list of “Most Underrated Songs of 2019”.

Safe spaces, Representation, Good times and Great music are what these babes are all about.

Strange Breed released a music video for 25 .... Watch the video here....

Strange Breed Interview for UnHinged Magazine.....


What is your creative process like…

Nicolle: For me personally, it’s different almost every time! And it’s been a lengthy learning process. I’ve written songs for about 15 years, and it started from being able to effortlessly pull 2 or 3 finished songs out of my head in an afternoon as a teenager, to now, where I typically find myself agonizing over a lot of unnecessary details. I went to music school briefly when I was 17-18 (I’m a music school drop out!), and I found that during that period I became very self critical of the songs that I had written with ease in my younger teens. That mentality transitioned into my early 20’s, where I had a period of just always comparing myself to others and always writing what I felt others would want to hear. So stupid, but I don’t blame myself. Nowadays, I feel like I’ve found a happy medium. I never force myself to write anything, so sometimes weeks go by where nothing new is created. But I try my best to foster a “stream of consciousness” type behaviour when I do feel inspired, to kind of tap back into that younger version of myself where I never wrote or created with a filtered lens. It’s super helpful! Usually for me this takes place at the sink washing dishes, walking my dog, having a shower, driving somewhere. I just sing made up songs until something sticks!

As a band, typically I will bring either a full formed song or the bones of an idea into our jam space, and we just play around with it for a period of time until it sounds like something Strange Breed would play. Obviously lately, this method has changed thanks to COVID-19 and Social Distancing. Right now, If any ideas come up, I just do a quick little GarageBand demo of the song idea, and send it to everyone to work on separately! Depending on how life goes, this might be the way our next album gets written….. 

Megan: Taylor Gordon (aka the pocket queen) said “in order to respect the music you are adding to, you must learn to respect the space in between the sounds.” I truly try to emphasize the music in a way that adds to the sound instead of just trying to show off. But through that I try so many different things, and just stick with what feels best.

Musical intuition is super important!

Jess: As the newest member of the band, the creative/writing process is still fairly new to me.  I’ve only ever played music within the four walls of my house before Strange Breed, so any writing I had done before that was kept to myself or something I turned into warm ups while learning my instrument.  

With the band, along the lines of what Nicolle said, the couple songs I’ve been a part of writing so far have been like bones we’re trying to form into a skeleton.  It’s a fun process, and I’m constantly challenging myself to create fun bass lines.

Terra: I feel that my creative process can be done in multiple ways. Sometimes it's a lot of fun and inspiring to work with other people and listen to their input and be inspired by their riffs and lyrics, then expand off of what they brought to the table. Sometimes I'm inspired by other guitar players in a way you could say almost rip off other people, but I've heard that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, so there's that. Also sometimes it doesn't have to do with anything at all. Sometimes new ideas just come to you whether you're messing around on your guitar, just making up a tune in your head.

Who would you say influenced you the most in regards to music…

Nicolle: Always a hard question. A lot of my influences are very different from the music I actually make with Strange Breed. My favourite band of all time is Metric, and Emily Haines is pretty iconic to me. Not in a sense that I’ve ever wanted to “be her”, but she’s always fascinated me! Her look, her voice, her songwriting, her mind... to me, she’s the queen of Indie in Canada! It doesn’t get better than Metric to me. They are the only band where I think I know every lyric to every song, and where I’ve seen them live 10 times. “Love is a Place” was my first tattoo when I was 17. My favourite song is “Too Little, Too Late” off of Live It Out -  One of the most beautiful songs (and albums!), in my opinion. 

Additional influences and inspirations for me across a variety of genres include Sleater-Kinney, Paramore, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Janelle Monae, July Talk, Broken Social Scene, Stars, Feist, Courtney Barnett, Hol