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Q&A with Shana Falana

photo courtesy of Shana Falana

Shana Falana is a shoegaze/dream-pop band, currently based in New York. They mix dreamy female vocals, often looped and layered, with reverb-drenched guitar sometimes heavy, sometimes airy, for beautiful and sometimes hypnotic results. They are currently on tour, and play DC’s Comet Ping Pong this Friday, November 30th.  We Love DC’s Alexia got the chance to ask the group’s founder/front-woman Shana a few questions this week, and here’s what she had to say.

Alexia: How did you first start playing music?

Shana: Started playing in San Francisco in 1992- got an electric guitar and reverby amp to learn some surf guitar, The Cramps and Mazzy Star.

Alexia: Was there one artist or song that first made you fall in love with rock music?

Shana: PJ Harvey!!!

Alexia: How did Shana Falana come together as a band?

Shana: I have had so many bands for each of my projects with different band names, to separate out all my different songwriting sounds, but 2 years ago I decided to not pick them apart and to make them all one band with different sounds, under my own name Shana Falana. My sound is complex!!!

Alexia: You used to be in a Bulgarian Women’s choir, and mention that it has some influence on your music- can you tell us a little about that?

Shana: Dissonant harmonies are so interesting!!! For me it’s so much more stimulating to my senses and I use them throughout my music. I sang medieval harmonies as well and try to sneak them in there too! In the Bulgarian choir we would sing these chants that are very circular and layered, and when I perform my live vocal looping I incorporate that layering and dissonance.

Alexia: I read that you have more than two years sober now. I am also a musician, with a little over five years sober. I really admire hearing about musicians who are still doing their thing in the rock scene after finding sobriety. How did you realize you needed to stop using? Are there any challenges you’ve found?

Shana: There was a voice in my head four years ago telling me that I wouldn’t have a career in music unless I got completely sober. I will have three years December first! I do everything for my music so I did sobriety too. It’s not hard being around people that are drinking- I really don’t crave it at all, and I don’t lose my gear, and I perform better. The only downside is touring and staying at someone’s house who’s partying and waiting for them to get sleepy.

Alexia: Is there anyone you’re listening to right now that you are really excited about?

Shana: Thee Oh Sees, Naomi Punk, Mac DeMarco. Bands to “watch”: Breakfast In Fur, out of New Paltz, New York, and a band we tour with, Crawlbabies out of Brooklyn.

Alexia: What’s next?

Shana: Canadian tour in April, and Europe in May and June. Possibly a 7″ release with two new tracks this spring 2013.


See Shana Falana at Comet Ping Pong this Friday, November 30th!

Shana Falana

with The Deads

and Pinkish Black

All Ages/$10/10pm/Comet Ping Pong