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A Riot Unplugged

Usually, bands can't wait to get out of the Sunshine State, but Erin McCarley thinks otherwise: "Olympia has been cold for ten months; we can't wait to get to Florida!" As vocalist and guitarist for the Olympia-based trio Delta Dart, McCarley, along with Erin Putnam and Amber Bayer, have been crossing the country nonstop to bring their unique brand of music to the masses. "Our live show is all acoustic," McCarley explains. "And people assume acoustic means mellow. We are not mellow. We try to play shows with bands that are pretty diverse, but a lot of the time, people just stare. We've thought about plugging in live, but it would change the dynamic between the three of us."

Wait, come back! The members of Delta Dart are not folkie Jewel wannabes. Their latest album, Fight or Flight, pits poppy melodies against vitriolic harmonies. The opening track, "Punkrock-i-city," sets the cynical tone with lyrics like "you're worse than a frat party." Perhaps growing up in and around the Northwest during the early 1990s instilled that fuck-you attitude and girl-gang mentality. "We were all into the riot grrl scene when we were younger," McCarley says. "But we've all been influenced by a range of musicians. Oh, and we're all Madonna fanatics. Our songs aren't overtly political, but we try to relate a message that whatever you do on your own, as a woman, is a political statement in itself. It's still kind of rare to see female bands touring, because people don't take you seriously. We played a pretty weird show in Oklahoma, and this drunk guy was heckling us the whole set. We changed the lyrics. We were singing to stuff like, 'I'm gonna light your truck on fire.' We stopped the show and started to get in the van when Erin [Putnam] comes running out of the club screaming 'Start the car!' She spit in his face. I guess they just weren't prepared for us."


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