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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Spotlight on: Diva Destruction

Diva Destruction is a darkwave band, formed in the late nineties by Debra Fogarty, a classically trained pianist and singer/songwriter who had experimented with instruments since her childhood. The band's sound combines haunting, almost aggressive Goth and darkwave music with anguished lyrics about loss, love, despair and deceit.

Following the release of the (excellent) debut album Passion's Price, the line-up expanded to include Sharon (live keyboards, backing vocals), Benn Ra on guitar and Jimmy Cleveland on drums. They are signed to two labels, both infamous within the Goth scene - Metropolis Records and the German label Alice In...

The Metropolis Records website says, 'Painful and beautiful, Debra's dramatic keyboard melodies create an epic soundscape, while her urgent Beethoven styled strings pierce through heavy industrial dance rhythms. The resulting wall of sound merges the best of industrial dance beats, gothic melodies, and synthpop elements. With her passionate female vocals venting lyrics as bitter as a betrayed lover, the strong emotions of her songs range from fast and angry dance songs to seductively dark ballads.' 

Diva Destruction boast several accolades - they were declared the winner of Best LA Goth Band two years running by Rock City News, and were voted Newcomers of the Year by Orkus German. Robert Smith (of The Cure, as if you didn't know...) chose them in his top ten on mp3.com. They have featured on many compilations, such as Unquiet Grave I and II, and have appeared on tribute albums to Radiohead and Cocteau Twins.

Debra has appeared on the cover of many magazines, and the band has headlined several large festivals throughout Europe and the US.

Their second album was entitled Exposing the Sickness and was released in 2003. Personally I don't think it was as good as Passion's Price, nor as good as their 2006 album Run Cold. But that's just me... In the years between Exposing the Sickness and Run Cold, Debra trained to become a complex Logic Pro Recording Engineer. According to Metropolis, 'Now she not only writes and performs her own songs, but she is also able to elevate her sound style to its purest potency. Debra has always co-produced her own albums, but for the first time ever she actually recorded, edited, mixed, produced, wrote, and performed the entire album by herself. This rare feat establishes her as one of the few female recording engineers and programmers.'

I love this band because even by Goth standards, Debra's music is pretty damn dark. The vocals veer between a melancholy croon, a despairing wail and a semi-shriek on standout tracks such as my personal favourite, The Broken Ones.

The band is perhaps equally popular for their look as their sound. Elegant, opulent eye make-up, long swathes of hair adorned with glittering tiaras and lace, corsets, chokers and a seductive swathe of dark lipstick characterise Debra's look. Got to love her.

Essential Diva Destruction...
Album: Passion's Price
Track: Cruelty Games
Other purchase: definitely some scrummy merch!
Random fact: Debra recorded vocals for a Das Ich song in 2006.
If you like Diva Destrucion, you might like: Emilie Autumn, Two Witches, Switchblade Symphony, Corpus Delicti, Mephisto Walz.
Get more Diva Destruction: http://www.divadestruction.com/

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