“It’s crazy because it is a total boys' club. On tour, some guy said, ‘Are you a roadie?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I am a roadie,' and I got up there and played and it felt pretty good. And then I keep getting, 'Well, this is going to sound kind of misogynist.' Well then, don’t say it, dude! And then they’re like, ‘You’re really great for a woman,' or, 'You’re the best female guitarist I’ve ever seen.’”
Dani Neff is constantly aware of her gender. As the lead singer and guitarist of Megafauna, an otherwise all-male band, Neff is living in a musical boys' club. This has never stopped or discouraged her from making the music she wants to make. Her fourth LP with Megafauna, Welcome Home, comes out today.
Megafauna identifies as a rock, prog, grunge, experimental band. These meshed genres show that Megafauna is tough to put in a box: Their sound has evolved throughout their four LPs. They are true artists. If their sound must be compared to another, it would be like if Björk had a jam session with a love child of The Animals and Black Sabbath. Think about that for a minute.
Drummer Zack Humphrey, backed up by bassist Will Krause, brings in surprisingly fast beats that compliment Neff’s dreamy voice perfectly. It's hard to believe the trio has not been the consistent lineup of Megafuna. The band formed in 2008, Humphrey joined the band in 2012, and Krause, who was the original bass player, recently rejoined Megafauna.
The emotion throughout the progression of the album is raw: It is easy to see that Neff was going through a difficult period of her life while writing the lyrics. “I was going through a really brutal breakup,” said Neff. “I don’t want to reduce the album to a breakup album. There were lots of feelings of aloneness and feelings of alienation and then I was using psychedelic, hippy stream of consciousness stories as a metaphor for those feelings of confusion and searching for meaning and guidance.”
Much like the growth of the band, this album is about progression of Neff through a difficult moment in her life. It's an introspective front row seat to the interworking of her mind at this point in her life. You can physically feel a taste of anger in the first song, “Desire," a gritty track where Neff croons, “I have to say I'm impressed for a change/I sloughed the dead skin off/I have to say/thought I was gonna let it sit just for kicks/but I froze the top layer off.”
Megafauna continues through a stream of conscious with “Panpsychist,” a song about someone who is alone in the house when everything comes alive, inspired by sleep-deprived visions Neff was experiencing. The 10-track album ends with a more soothing song, “Welcome Home,” an eight-plus minute track that leaves one with a sense of melancholy hope as Neff peacefully sings, “I'll be fine on the ground/I'll be through/just stand there. “ Listen to the full album here!
Top photo by Michael Worchel
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