The Venomous Pinks

The Venomous Pinks

The Venomous Pinks - Cassie Jalilie / Drea Doll / Gaby Kaos

  • 1st April 2023
  • Haven City Market, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
  • Marcus Solomon
  • SBÄM Records

The Venomous Pinks were interviewed on April 1st 2023 at Haven City Market in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, after opening for TSOL and Voooo Glow Skulls. This trio of strong women create incredible punk rock that transcends the genre with a unique blend of power, harmony, grit and passion. Drea, Gaby and Cassie have dedicated their lives to their craft and it is clear that they live, breathe and exist to create intense rock ‘n’ roll with meaning. I could go on and on writing about how much this band rules, but as always, it impossible to accurately describe a sonic sensation. Words fall short, so the best thing to do is listen for yourself and be pleasantly astounded.

Marcus: “Hi. I am lagging, I missed your set, I forgot my notebook, and my pen does not work.” 

Drea: “Awwww. [Laughter.]”

Marcus: “Let me tell you how I discovered your band. I saw my friend Louie’s pictures on Facebook and I thought, oh…that looks interesting, so I went on YouTube and I then realized I love this band a lot. Now, I am singing your songs while I am in the shower and hoping nobody can hear me.” 

Gaby: “They should hear you! [Laughter.]”

Marcus: “I have no prepared questions, but I want to know how did you three come together to create the band and how long have you been doing this? “

Drea: “We got together in high school [motions to Gabby] because we got in trouble for smoking.” 

Gaby: “Smoking cigarettes.” 

Drea: “Yeah, were were in trouble so we met in detention.”

Marcus: “So, it was like The Breakfast Club?”

Drea: “Yeah. I said to her: “You like punk. I like punk. We should start a band.” And then, we met Cassie because we did a tour with her old band called Glam Skanks. Gabby and I were just watching Cassie, and we were thinking: “Yeah, that should be our drummer.””

Cassie: “And was watching them in awe.”

Drea: “We had a practice and we realized…this is it.”

Marcus: “Where did this all happen? To me, you all seem very East Bay, Berkeley kind of people.”

Cassie: “That is me. I am from the bay. I am from San Bruno, San Francisco area.”

Drea: “We [Drea and Gabby] are from Phoenix, Arizona. We do a long-distance, back and forth kind of thing.”

Marcus: “You got a JFA kind of thing going there. So, you met in high school…how long ago was that?”

Gaby: “I want to say like five years ago, but it was quite a while ago.”

Marcus: [To Cassie] “You left your other band to play for The Venomous Pinks?”

Cassie: “I had already left my other band, and almost instantaneously I got a message [to join the band.] I don’t remember who it was from.”

Drea: “I’m pretty sure it was me. We’d had our eye on her for a while.”

Cassie: “That was right before COVID-19. We were all like, “Fuck yeah!” and then COVID happened and we were like: “What? Why?””

Marcus: “What did you do during all that time? Practice a lot?”

Gabby: “Well, because of COVID, we couldn’t really travel to practice. We went about a year without practicing.”

Drea: “After that, we were able to travel back and forth; kinda take turns [going from Arizona and California.]”

Marcus: “Now, it seems like you are always performing. I see online you are playing somewhere like every other day. How is that possible, I mean….do you have other jobs?”

Cassie: “When you’re self-employed, you can make it happen.”

Gaby: “I do screen printing, so whenever I get back, I screen print and make all the money for The Pinks.” 

Cassie: “I am a self-employed dog walker.”

The Venomous Pinks

Marcus: “That is hard to do and it can actually be dangerous. Some dogs get kidnapped at gunpoint.” 

Cassie: “Yeah. It also sucks when it is late at night or early morning.”

Drea: “I am able to work remotely.”

Marcus: “At this point, the band has an EP and what else?” 

Drea: “We have two Eps and we have our full length album [self-titled] which is available from SBAM Records. [The vinyl album has three different color combination choices.]”

Marcus: “Any new releases coming soon?”

Drea: “Well, no, not really. We have been really, really busy touring. We do need to sit down and put some time into writing a new album, because SBAM is expecting another album.”

Marcus: “So, it’s like doing homework. I am good at this, but now I have to actually do it.”

All: [Laughter.]

Marcus: “Have you done Europe?”

All: “Yeah!”

Marcus: “Have you played any of those big European festivals?”

Gaby: “We did BrakRock [Belgium] last year, Extreme Fest [France] last year, SBAM Fest, Punk Rock Holiday [Slovenia], we had to cancel Rebellion Festival…we’re doing some other festival, but I don’t know how to pronounce it. It starts with an A and ends with an…I have no idea. [Laughs.]”

The Venomous Pinks

Marcus: “Bill Stevenson of Descendents told me that when a band tours another country, the band members really don’t get to see much of the country because all you really see is the venue, the place you are staying at, and whatever is on the road between those two places.”

All: “Yeah.”

Gabby: “That is it in it’s entirety.” 

Marcus: “You get to see the sights like: “There’s the Eiffel Tower! Oh, it’s gone now.””

Gaby: “Yep. That’s it. Better have your camera ready.”

Drea: “Unless you have a day off.”

Marcus: “Do you have any amazing, interesting, or lurid tales from being on the road?”

Gaby: “Well, our first festival was in France, and the next day was SBAM Fest in Austria. It was a 16 hour drive, which is like, here in the U.S., we could get that done in a couple of days. But over there, it’s like driving through three countries. We made it on time for the festival, but we had to sleep in the van at a truck stop. We played the show in France, and we were back on the road for like two hours, and I was driving and I was like: “I can’t do it.” It was like a holiday or something and we could not find a hotel. We tried like a dozen hotels and all of them were booked. We pulled over at some random truck stop in France.” 

Cassie: “The van was like super small too.” 

Gaby: “There were like five of us and we all had to figure out where we were going to sleep. It was a six passenger van and we had all of our gear too.”

Drea: “The door closes in the back and the only way to keep it open [for ventilation] was to use a baguette we had bought before. We bought a baguette at the gas station.”

Gabby: “It held the door open enough for us to get oxygen but not enough for people to stare inside.”

The Venomous Pinks
Photo Credit: Louie Lou

Marcus: “Did you eat it afterward?”

Gaby: “No! It was hard as a rock!” 

Marcus: “I was hoping to hear some weird, obsessed fan being in the van doing something strange kind of thing.” 

Cassie: “We’ve had fans just holding the door open for others, but that is kind of cliché.” 

Marcus: “That could the the title of your new album: Kind of Cliche’.

All: [Laughter.] 

Gaby: “Well, there was that one time when that guy tried to kiss me on stage. I was like, what the fuck? We probably threw a stick at him or some kind of shit. [To Cassie:] That was long before you joined. We really don’t have creepy people because we’re pretty good at telling people to fuck off.”

The Venomous Pinks
Photo Credit: Louie Lou

Marcus: “Where do you go from here? What are your goals for the band? You all clearly enjoy playing.” 

Drea: “And dancing too, but I’m a terrible dancer.”

Marcus: “I play your music when I am playing chess online. I play a lot of bullet chess, so it makes me play fast.”

Drea: “Cool. Well, after this, we go to Hawaii, and then we have a week off, then we go on a three week tour with The Bounncing Souls, and then Wilhelm Scream in the midwest.” 

Marcus: “So, you are going to keep doing the band for as long as you can?”

Drea: “Yeah, we’re not just going to turn the mic off and go away.”

Gaby: “We’re going to have a glamorous summer in Europe!”

The Venomous Pinks
Photo Credit: Louie Lou

Marcus: “How do you deal with inter-band tension? A lot of bands have ended because of infighting.”

Cassie: “We don’t have that.”

Drea: “We just call each other hoes.”

Cassie: “You know, like…stop being a ho.” 

Drea: “Some people in bands just hold [tension] inside, and we don’t.” 

Cassie: “It’s because of me. It’s because I’m here…and I’m outnumbered! There are two Libras and I am a Cancer!”

Drea: “We’re like sisters. We might bicker at times, but it’s no big deal. Jack from TSOL was watching us one time and he was like: “Oh, you guys are in the we still like each other phase.””

Cassie: “We’re a coven.”

Marcus: “When you are onstage, to you ever anticipate each other’s improvisations? Do you improvise a bit?” 

Cassie: “We try, but shit always happens that you can’t control, so why try to control it? Go with the flow.” 

Drea: “Most people don’t know what the fuck is going on anyway…so….”

Marcus: “I read somewhere Buzz Osbourne of Melvins say something like making a mistake while playing can lead to some amazing things.”

All: “Yeah.”

Drea: “Most people don’t know your’e making a mistake. We know we’re making a mistake though. It’s not like we go to each other: ‘You fucked up!’ Or anything like that. Shit happens.” 

Marcus: “I am trying to think of something clever, but I can’t, so one of you say something clever. How about…have you seen thepunksite.com yet? It’s really great!”

Gaby: “No, but I have a random fact though.”

Marcus: “What is it?” 

Gaby: “Squirrels forget where they hide their nuts, so they forget where they hid 75% of their nuts, so they grow into trees.”

Marcus: “I like stuff like that. Like, palm trees are not trees.” 

Gaby: “Really?”

The Venomous Pinks

Marcus: “Yeah, they are a seperate species, but are closer to flowers than trees.” 

Gaby: “You know they are not native to California, right?”

Marcus: I” knew that. The Spaniards imported them for the California missions. Drea, what did you do before this band?”

Gaby: “Nothing. I was a child. [Laughter]” 

Marcus: “Do your families understand and support your punk rock lifestyles?”

Gaby: “Now they do…yeah. They see us travelling the world and they never did that. When we were young, we would hear stuff like, “Oh, you need a backup plan” and all that. And now its like, “Oh, you’re going to Europe for like the 12th time?””

The Venomous Pinks
Photo Credit: Louie Lou

Marcus: “Do any of you have a backup plan?”

Gabby: “No.” 

Drea: “This is it.” 

Drea: “I love doing what I want with my friends.” 

Marcus: “As the cliché’ saying goes: “Not all who wander are lost.””

Cassie: “We get to travel the world and play music as a band.” 

Marcus: “This is my backup plan [motions to my Buddhist monk shoulder bag.] I used to be a Buddhist monk, and I will go back someday. I have to. I have no savings and no property.”

All: “Oooo! Cool.”

Drea: “What do you do?”

Marcus: “I am a tutor. I own a small, moderately profitable tutoring center in Rancho Cucamonga. If you ever need to learn algebra, I am your guy.” 

Cassie: “We are interested in learning meditation though.” 

Marcus: “I can do that. I go to the nearby temple every Sunday night and load up on calm because it gets depleted by the end of the week.” 

The following portion consists of follow-up questions that were conducted at a later date via email. I believe it was Drea answering, but I am not sure, so responses will be designated: “VP.” 

Marcus: “How did you come up with the name Venomous Pinks? What are you conveying with this name?” 

VP: “It’s a play on the name that comes from the Pink Ladies in the movie Grease. It has nothing to do with a woman’s anatomy like some people assume it does.” 

Marcus: “I read that you do not like to be compared to other bands. When I read someone compared your band to Bikini Kill, I was annoyed, because your music is so much more skilled and versatile. Please respond to this.”

VP: “It’s not that we don’t mind being compared to other bands there just isn’t a current band who has our sound and diversity. I love bikini kill but that isn’t the type of music we play.” 

Marcus: “How did each of you learn to play your instrument? Are you all self taught?” 

VP: “We are all self taught for the most part. Cassie and Drea both played in the school band in high school. So, that’s where we developed the ability to read music.” 

Marcus: “What other bands inspire and influence you?” 

VP: “It differs for all three of us, but as a band we can agree on a few: AFI, Bad Religion, Betty Blowtorch, and Rancid.”

Marcus: “What other styles of music do you listen to for personal enjoyment?” 

VP: “Hardcore like Agnostic Front and Comeback Kid. Latin Hip Hop like Bad Bunny, and dance like lady fucking Gaga!”

Marcus: “How do you compose songs?” 

VP: “We send each other ideas thru audio files in email or on voice recordings through the phone.” 

Marcus: “Ask me a question.” 

VP: “Tell us about the first punk show you ever went to.” 

Marcus: “My first show was when I was a senior in high school and I went to see Suburban Lawns at The Whisky in Hollywood in 1981.The opening band was a group called The Boneheads and that was a stright-up punk band, while Suburban Lawns were more of a New Wave, quirky, rock thing. Adam Ant was playing just down the street at The Roxy. Neither show was sold out and my friend and I debated with ourselves which one to see. When I walked into The Whisky, The Boneheads were playing, people were slam dancing, and stage diving. I had never seen anything like it and I was enthralled by the intense energy, and the dangerous strangeness of it all. I knew that was where I belonged.”

The Venomous Pinks

The Venomous Pinks are constantly touring so when they come to your country, city, village or corner pub, you really need to be there so you can experience your new favorite band. The most recent (2022) eponymously-titled album is available on vinyl via SBÄM Records and it comes in lovely half yellow, half purple, violet & purple marble pattern, or a yellow, purple & clear splatter version. Buy one for me and buy one for yourself. More merchandise and tour information can be found here.