What are your names?
Clara O’Page

What is the bands name?
Debbie Christ

How did you come up with the bands name?
Well originally my project’s name was Peach Guevara, but around 2021 I wanted to give the project a bit of a makeover, and a new name was needed. I was trying to think of a name and then I remembered my old instagram and twitter handle from when I was like 18 called ‘Debbie Christ’. The people who were in my band at that time loved it, and I thought it would be hilarious. I feel like my music can be pretty serious, and the name was a way for me to show my sense of humour. Before picking Debbie Christ I wanted to choose the name Lilith. Lilith in the bible is Adam’s first wife but was banned from the garden of Eden for not wanting to succumb to patriarchy. Lilith felt overused as a band name, but Debbie Christ felt like a name that represented the same kind of feminine rebellion. While I think that Jesus was a cool dude, I feel responsible to speak up against the negative effects that the church has had on the world, especially having grown up in an evangelical household and community. If Christian extremists can spew their hate in the name of Christ, can’t I take Christ’s name to spread my own message?

What is your genre of music?
It’s funny because I don’t think that anybody has been able to settle on a specific genre for Debbie Christ or the album. I would say it’s a singer-songwriter’s approach to punk, maybe? To be honest when I write a song, I never set out to write to a specific genre. I just fiddle around until I find something that I like, and I build it from there. That’s my process, but it may change over time. I also just never want to restrict the kind of music that I make based on sticking to a specific genre… Who knows the next album might be more experimental, or maybe it’ll be more minimalist, I like to keep my options open. I am also someone who generally listens to a lot of different genres of music. Living in Montreal too, it is such a diverse scene, I can go to a dark wave show one night, then I’ll be at a bluegrass show the next. So I guess what I’m saying is, there’s no fixed genre for Debbie Christ, but I guess for those that really need an answer, we’re not exactly indie but we’re not exactly punk, so I guess we’re art rock? To be determined.

Give us a little bio about you.
A fusion of femme garage rock, folk, and punk, where music defies
categorization is where you can find Debbie Christ. Birthed as the
sonic brainchild of Montreal singer/songwriter, and guitarist Clara
O’Page. Accompanied by musicians Jacob Barton (guitar), Christian
Lee (bass), and Jack Moore (drums), Debbie Christ crafts a sound of art rock intensity with soulful vocals, revealing lyrics, and some slick and memorable riffs. Debbie Christ will take you on an emotional rollercoaster of ups and downs, ending on a high note of hope and optimism.

What made you go into music?
Well I think that there’s lots of things that influenced me. I started writing song lyrics basically as soon as I could write, and as a kid the only thing that I liked about church or school was choir. I think the ultimate inspiration is my older brother Scott, who is a really talented musician. I have looked up to him since the day I was born, so I think that it only makes sense that I would be drawn to music like him. One of my first memories is of him dancing with me as a little girl, and singing to me every time ‘Last Kiss’ by Pearl Jam came on the radio (it was the 90s lol). Scott has released 3 albums under his own project Scott Hardware, as well he has toured with his project and with different bands around North America and Europe. I think having him as a brother truly paved the way for me, and taught me a lot about having my own project. He showed me that being a musician may not lead you to the same financial success that being an accountant or something would, but being a musician has its own fulfilling aspects, like the artistic community that you build, and the experiences that you have while creating and performing music.

Who are your influences?
There are so many, but the ones that come to mind are Lou Reed but mostly is time with the Velvet Underground. The Pixies are another big big one for me, I’ll be seeing them in concert on Sunday for the first time and I think that I’m going to be a puddle of our joy the entire time. I also thank Angel Olsen because the first time that I saw a video of her perform I knew that I wanted to be like her. Again my brother showed me all 3 of these artists so again there’d be no Debbie Christ without Scott Hardware. Some local acts to Montreal that have also inspired me is my roommate Sabrina Cote who has a synth wave project called Teenage Witch. Kevin O’Meara is another fabulous friend and musician who not only has his solo project but is in a really great new wave band with some other friends called Time Ghost. Some other great bands in Montreal are Birds of Prrrey, Pool Girl, Bozo Baby, Societal Siege, and Seaton Village are all superb acts. I feel like I could go on and on about all of the bands of Montreal that inspired me.

Are you a signed?
Yes, but it’s my own label called ‘Ugly Duck Records’. It’s just a baby record label right now. In fact it hasn’t even officially been born yet. Maybe I’ll consider signing to a label, but for now, I don’t think that I am very interested in working with a label. I don’t think labels do as much as they used to for artists, and to be honest, I’m not really happy with the current structure and objectives of the music industry , so one of my missions separate from being a musician is to create a space in the music that is more inclusive, and free of gaslighting and exploitation. I want to be an advocate for all the musicians that feel like an overlooked ugly duckling in the music scene, hence the name ‘Ugly Duck Records’.

You released your latest Album, ‘Tower’, describe each track in two words.

  1. Sound – esoteric prayer
  2. I’ve Got Time – upbeat cynicism
  3. Lust! – Sexy Cowboy
  4. 11/19/18 – loving homage
  5. 2 Lil Birds – dreamy heartache
  6. Spell – spunky confident
  7. We Carry On – woozy nostalgia
  8. Come Back Home – rebirth, sombre
  9. I Love You Bob – reflective neuroticism
  10. Surrender – ethereal climatic
  11. Tower – bright theatrics
  12. Heathen – Raw submission

What was the writing and recording process like?
Long and tedious. I wrote the songs between 2019-2021, except for Lust which was written in 2017. While writing the album, I was brand new to Montreal and navigating the ups and downs that come with starting fresh and a place where you don’t know anybody. It’s funny because the album itself is about accepting that sometimes life is gonna come crashing down on you and all you can do is start over again, and the irony is that this is exactly what happened to me when making this album. Originally this album was going to be used for my previous project called Peach Guevara, but then the global pandemic happened and I couldn’t get in to record. My former project was just me and my guitar, and while I was in lockdown I decided that I wanted to play with a band. So then I had to find a band, which took over a year because you know in Canada, Quebec especially, it was very limited on how social we could be during the pandemic. I managed to put a band together, but then that band ended up not working out after about six months. So then it was another year before I found the right people to play with. Once I found my current band, though everything just flowed so naturally. We practised for a few months, where the guys wrote their individual parts for it. Then over the course of a year we recorded the whole album in my drummer’s homemade studio aka his living room. It was honestly such an ideal environment for recording. It felt like we were just hanging out, and it was fun, and there was such little pressure, it made it all feel like a breeze. So from beginning to end, it was five years to write and record the whole album. I honestly still can’t believe that it’s done, there were so many times when I just wanted to quit and throw it all out, but thankfully, I am very very stubborn and I was so determined to get it done. I would do it all over again though, that’s for sure, no doubts.

Who did you work with on the album?
On the album I worked with our bass player Christian Lee, guitar player Jacob Barton, drummer, Jack Moore, and our former keyboard player, Jacob Tarasofsky. Christian has been a good friend of mine for a few years, and after the first band fell apart, Christian was the first person that I went to to see if he would play bass in the band. Thankfully, he agreed and suggested that his life long friend Jack play drums. We met up for a few practises and we knew that we definitely wanted another guitar player, and I personally really wanted keys, so our friend Aaron set us up with Jacob and Jacob. Finding my current band was and still is such a blessing because not only are they good dudes, and talented as hell, but they really support the project and give it their all. A bonus to not only having Jack play drums in our band is that he is a super genius audio engineer. Like I said before we recorded the whole thing in Jack’s living room then jack did all of the mixing and mastering as well. There was no question in my mind working with Jack. I love all of the projects that he’s been a part of, whether he just did the recording, mixing or mastering or all of the above which he did for us. He has such a gift for giving his recordings grit while still keeping them sharp and the quality high. I highly recommend checking out other projects that he has helped out with like Fresh Wax’s first EP, and the band Piss for Pumpkin’s debut album. He’s a true talent, and I’m really excited to keep on making music with him and recording albums.

Can we expect a music video for any of the tracks and if so tell us more about the making.
Right now I’m in the very very early planning stages of making a music video for our song spell. All I’m gonna say is that it’s very much all about attitude and it’s very much “like a virgin core”, if you know what I mean. It’s gonna be a lot different from our first music video for “lust!”, but I’m excited for the challenge. I had so much fun making our last music video and I cannot wait for this one to come to fruition.

Do you have any live shows coming up?
Yes, our next show is July 4th in Montreal at Hemisphere La Gauche, for Child Actress’s single launch with my good friend Kevin O’Meara. Then I’ll be doing a small West Coast tour where I’ll be hitting Nanaimo Vancouver and Victoria. Those dates will be officially announced soon.

Let us know where we can get tickets if so.
If you check out my Linktree, you can find all the tickets for my shows there.

What else can we expect in 2024?
Other than a music video being dropped right now there won’t be any more releases, but hopefully more shows and some festival performances. There are new songs coming though, and a second album is on the horizon. I’m trying to take things as they come though, because I’ve learned from this album that nothing goes as planned. This will not be the last that you will be seeing of Debbie Christ though that’s for sure.

Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
In five years, I hope that I’ll still be making music and making art and living this cute little romantic life as a creative person. Ideally I would love to be on tour at least three months of the year which is ambitious, but that’s how I like it. Again, I just hope that I will be making music, and I continue to challenge myself and try to expand and not limit myself as an artist.

What quote or saying do you always stick by?
See this is a hard question for me, because I’m someone who really loves words, and I read a lot, but one saying that sticks with me a lot is “so it goes”. One of my favourite authors is Kurt Vonnegut and in his book slaughterhouse five throughout the book is the phrase “so it goes”. It’s so simple but to me it’s just accepting life for all of its chaos and accepting that there’s no control and that life is gonna go its own way whether you like it or not so might as well just make peace with it and go with the punches.

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?

  1. Guitar obviously haha
  2. Patch cables
  3. Pedals (my fave is the JHS Empire)
  4. Lipstick
  5. Capo

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Yes you can follow me on instagram.
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