Speaking in their own musical tongues, Pink Lady Monster allows the sonic feel of their songs to speak for itself. “I don’t think anyone has known what the songs are about, and that’s how you want it to be, right? You want things to be ambiguous,” asked drummer Gabe Gravango as his band was seated around an antique wooden table, an assortment of chairs surrounding and coffee cups set on top, for this interview. After a sip of coffee and a moment of thoughtful consideration, lead singer and guitarist Simone responded simply, “I do want things to be ambiguous.”
Simone — who, alongside bandmate Savanna, will not be using last names for the purpose of this interview — began releasing demos of music she had written in her bedroom under the alias Pink Lady Monster in 2020. “I consider myself mostly as a person that just likes writing songs. I’m not so much of a musician per se but I definitely consider myself a songwriter so I would always just be creating things in my room,” Simone said. She explained how she began experimenting with GarageBand early on and eventually brought her songs to life. Once she entered high school, she realized what she was doing could potentially have legs, and craved the experience of playing in a band and giving her songs a live sound.
“I was trying to find people to play with,” Simone said about her time after the COVID lockdown had ended. “And then I found Savanna which was really exciting. There’s obviously tons of musicians around but it’s hard to find people that you really click with and connect with and feel comfortable collaborating with.” Simone and Savanna used their innate connection as a foundation for their band. The duo eventually found a drummer and began performing at dive bars and venues around Denver. “I think [the band’s] been evolving ever since. I don’t know how to define it right now but I like where it’s heading,” Simone said.
Although the project of Pink Lady Monster has been in the works for nearly three years now, the band still considers themselves fairly new to the scene. “We’ve always been going through a lot of changes as a group. Like, we had people play with us and then people had to leave and things would always be shifting and we did that for a while but it wasn’t super serious,” Simone explained. With the addition of their current drummer Gabe Gravango, the trio shared the sentiment that they feel like a fully functioning group at this stage in the band’s evolution.
Although the band does not have any new music currently recorded, they have a large catalog of songs, many of which they are taking in new directions from where they initially began. “I think we’re trying to move out of [people’s perception] because people would historically label us as kind of a dream-pop group and I think we’ve been making an active choice to not fit into that category anymore. We’re really trying to shift into a sound that’s more raw with more energy behind it because we’ve been more atmospheric,” Simone said.
In an attempt to move away from their old sounds, Simone explained that she’s writing songs that are more unpredictable, structuring them so that they move in unorthodox directions. “It’s really exciting to try and push away from all the past versions of the group and try to keep moving into new realms,” she explained.
Similar to the way that her musical and personal relationship with Savanna elevated the band’s capabilities, Simone noted how the introduction of Gravango pushed her songwriting to new levels. “When Gabe started playing with us, that inspired me to write differently because drummers really do affect how everything is glued together in a really significant way,” she said. The connection that the trio has in their personal lives shines through in their ability to make musical decisions and push the boundaries of their sound as a band.
Reflecting on the tribulations surmounted to get to where they are now, Simone pointed to her next goal of releasing an album. “Primarily I really want to record a full album and get that released because there are so many songs that have come and gone that we haven’t recorded. That hasn’t been a priority for us and I think that’s because we’ve gone through so many changes trying to stabilize as a band so recording wasn’t even a possibility. So now, having an album that we’re really proud of — that’s my ultimate goal.”
Pink Lady Monster will be supporting The Velveteers alongside The Mañanas at The Bluebird on January 20 (tickets on sale now) and is planning on releasing music and continuing to play shows in the coming year.
All photography by David Cohn