For many fans of the Pittsburgh rock scene, Dream Phone is full of familiar faces. But for this ambitious project, each member of the band is reaching out of her comfort zone to play a less familiar instrument. Corrie Anderson, who plays keyboards in Paddy the Wanderer, takes on lead guitar. Lisa Christopher, who played keys in Delicious Pastries, carries that instrument over to Dream Phone, adding backup vocals to her duties. Carrie Battle, known as the guitarist and singer of the Harlan Twins, plays drums, keeping her powerful vocals on backup.
This change of instruments has fueled their creative spirits, allowing everyone to contribute to the songwriting experience in ways that differ from the members' other projects. The goal is to have fun and keep it simple. "When people see us," Battle says, "what we want them to remember is our energy — how much fun we have and how much fun the audience has."
From the band's debut show — which it played with its original frontwoman, Allison Boyle, at Howler's in 2014 — the simple, catchy garage rock pulled the audience off barstools and onto the dance floor. And when Boyle moved away (she played her last show with the band at Cattivo in February), continuing the concept of an all-female lineup playing their non-primary instruments seemed natural. The band has since added a couple of new people, rounding out a five-member lineup: Steph Wolf, keyboardist of the Lopez, now fronts the band and plays bass, while Roulette Waves singer Heather Donovan plays guitar.
"We wanted to push ourselves to try new things and fill a hole we felt [was] in the music scene," explains Battle. "I'm realizing there are already these great bands like Murder For Girls and Brazilian Wax. It's exciting to find these bands with female musicians I hadn't known about, and disappointing [that] I didn't know about them until recently." Dream Phone's influences and fan base are expansive and evolving, and the members hope to continue supporting fellow women musicians along the way.