Interview: Itarya Rosenberg from LOW DOSE

Itarya Rosenberg is no stranger to being a part of a great band. She was previously in the underground favorite Legendary Divorce until she and her band-mate/husband actually did get a divorce. Instead of sulking, Itarya took her emotions out through music in the form of a new punk/noise band: Low Dose. Along with members from another great disbanded act, Fight Amp, they have made what I believe is a perfect record. Filled with emotion, melody, heavy guitars and relate-able lyrics this Philadelphia band's self titled debut is hands down one of the best records I have heard in a long time. As a woman, Itarya is strong, fierce and honest. In a time when we have a thousand Lana Del Ray wannabes and not enough female rock icons, she is filling a void that is lacking in heavy music.I encourage everyone to check out this band and get to know the amazing Itarya.



Photo by Ellei Johndro

You have a new album coming out March 29th and you have said that a lot of the lyrics had to do with you going through a divorce. I think anyone can relate to that whether it’s a divorce or just a bad breakup. Talk a bit about where your head was at for the writing process and how this differed from your past experiences with writing a record.

Itarya: This was the first time I had ever been hyper focused on writing about one particular event or situation. I was consumed. There is one song that I wrote lyrically on the Low Dose record not about the divorce / or on the periphery of it, "Right on". (Dan wrote and Jon wrote lyrics for 2 songs on the record which they front / not about my divorce either). However, 7 of the 10.... Previously I wrote about a large array of subjects from friends' addictions, depression, dance parties, politics, love. So yeah, previous to this record my lyrics fluctuated on a grander scale in the way of topics. Talk about the first single we have off the record called Right On. I imagine this comes from experience being a woman in the music scene... Itarya: This comes from my experience of being a woman in general. There is some depressing irony that comes with playing music in a fringe / "punk" music scene and the condescending, at times brutal reaction some men have to it. Everything from walking home, to taking up any space where cis men exist can be incredibly frustrating and scary at times. When I say "he has the weapon" it's pretty literal. And getting to the point of fuck this, I am gonna make you feel some real regret / I am fucking pissed and you are going to know it. Stay the fuck away from me and everyone, really.  Its hard to categorize Low Dose but one of the best comparisons I have heard it that its like The Melvins had a baby with the Distillers. Its easy to hear punk mixed with noise rock or grunge. Who are your personal influences and did any band or album have a bigger influence on you as you wrote this album? Itarya: Thanks - I am glad you think we are hard to categorize. I read that, pretty cool / into it. I have an enormous amount of influences in many genres of music - I love not only punk, noise rock and grunge, but soul, hip hop, industrial, old country, etc. It's hard to say pertaining to this record. To be honest, I wasn't really listening to music while writing the record. My emotions were already so fluid and overwhelming, music just made everything that much more painful. Every song became too intimate. Including what we were writing, but was clearly necessary for a lot of reasons, including to assist in venturing on. Insanely cathartic. I would try to turn on like PJ Harvey White Chalk or some shit and not even be able to move. For a minute could push through some Patsy Cline. I don't know lol, everything and nothing?  Was there any song on this album that was harder to write than the others?  Itarya: Not really, the writing came fairly easy, just the inspiration was exasperating.  I think its important for artist to be honest when they go through shit. I admire you addressing your divorce and using music as a form of therapy. Are you naturally a very open person or do most of your feelings come out in your music? Itarya: As do I, though everyone handles grief and hardship differently. Thank you xo. I am open to probably a fault all of the time haha. No mystery. How did the band decide on releasing the album via Brutal Panda Records? Itarya: So Brutal Panda is handling the digital aspect of the release. Mike who plays guitar in Low Dose is releasing the record physically - LP, cassette, CD on his label Knife Hits Records. We are very excited about all of it. Everyone in the band has been friends with Bob and Mike from BP for years now. I used to work with both of them at Relapse Records which is how we met / became tight. They also have released Fight Amp records in the past. Was a seamless and obvious choice to work with our buds on this!  Given all your experience with fronting bands, what has it been like to be a woman in the music scene during the “me too” movement? Do you consider yourself a feminist? Itarya: So this is tricky. Clearly the me too movement is important, but it doesn't go far enough. I consider myself a feminist, but I do not think cis feminism is entirely helpful or goes far enough. Feminism needs to be intersectional and all inclusive, which isn't the case a lot of the time. I don't feel comfortable speaking for trans / non binary / genderqueer folk, since I myself am a cis woman, but I do think putting their needs at the forefront of any movement is crucial and imperative. There is a gender non-conforming activist, poet, performance artist who I adore and respect immensely - Alok Vaid-Menon - who put what I believe so eloquently I am going to quote them now (they posted this on international woman's day): "happy international working women's day! i do not believe that feminism will effectively challenge patriarchy by ;using the gender binary because patriarchy is the institutionalization and maintenance of the gender binary. the problem is not just cis men's dominance over cis women, it is about the existence of "man" and "woman: as oppositional & mutually exclusive to begin with. feminism must address the root causes: that gender is foundationally violent and that gender non-conforming people experience the brunt of this violence...... cis feminism is not feminism, it is patriarchy. trans exclusionary feminism is not feminism, it is misogyny." Do you have a lot of other women who are musicians who you consider close friends? Are there any up and coming women we should be looking out for? Itarya: I do! Too many to count, but some "punk" bands with women / non binary folk in Philly I adore are Control Top, Yarrow, the Hirs Collective, Potion 200, Empath, Full Bush - this is just off the top of my head and I am tired haha. Philadelphia has an overwhelming amount of good music!  You have a short tour coming up. What are you most excited for?  Itarya: Yes! I am honestly excited for all of it. I love playing music and touring, especially with a bunch of my favorite people in the world; I am so in love with my band mates and friends who are helping out / coming with.  From what I have heard so far, this album is epic. Are you ready to become one of the best albums of 2019?  Itarya: Hell yeah, thank you so much!! I really appreciate the kindness and reaching out. Truly means everything xoxo


Check out links, tour dates and music below. We love Low Dose!!!!

Photo: John Vettese


https://lowdosephilly.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lowdoseband/


LOW DOSE will be playing a few show to celebrate the album release. Go Support!

Apr 04

Johnny Brenda's

Philadelphia, PA

Apr 05

Metro Gallery

Baltimore, MD

Apr 06

The Spacebar

Columbus, OH

Apr 07

Deluxx Fluxx

Detroit, MI

Apr 08

The Empty Bottle

Chicago, IL

Apr 09

Buzzbin Art & Music Shop

Canton, OH

Apr 10

This Ain't Hollywood

Hamilton, ON

Apr 11

Turbo Haüs III

Montreal, QC

Apr 12

O'Brien's

Allston, MA

Apr 13

Union Pool

Brooklyn, NY

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