Late last year, provocateur Dana Dentata announced the beginning of her next chapter as the first female solo artist signed to Roadrunner Records. Her arrival was emphatically stamped with the debut of her wholly confrontation single, "Do U Like Me Now?" - a track that was equal parts performance art and war cry - charged with its message of empowerment and patriarchal liberation.
Armed with a keen ability to fluently translate her own musical pedigree combined with an artistic focus that she refers to as 'DanaVision,' the result thus far has propelled Dentata to produce a teflon body of work that merits such hype leading into her debut full length.
Her 2020 opus in 'The Resurrection of Dana Dentata' functioned as an extended play coupled with short film that offered compelling visuals, cinematic ingenuity, and a genuine sense of catharsis that made the work as engaging as it was personal. Embracing narrative, Dentata's craft is a documentation of her individual evolution not only as an artist but as a resilient spirit that has endured trauma and come out stronger because of it.
Prepping for her full length debut later this year, Dentata's highly-anticipated Pantychrist offers a modern take on the progression of aggressive music. The cross-section of subgenres utilizing menacing vocal stanzas, a powerful rumble of distorted bass, and potent accents of metal fruits an amalgam of audio assault that set Dentata apart from the pack.
Offering her latest preview from the effort, Dentata enlists the production tutelage of Dylan Brady of 100 gecs for the album's title track in yet another assertion of her creative prowess. As with previous projects, Dentata couples her music with the kind of visual translation that allows the song to stick long after it's done. Writing and developing the concept herself, Dentata tapped director Kathleen Dycaico to help fully realize her vision and the end result is a powerful clip that bolsters Denata's stylistic signature.
Posturing proudly through her fluid wordplay and clever turn of phrase on "Pantychrist," Dentata's manifesto over Brady's forceful cadence becomes especially clear as she convincingly commands in the visual - "Don't You Ever Fuckin'' Doubt Me!" - stripping away skepticism of her arrival if ever there was any.
To mark the release of the second glimpse into the Danavision that anchors Dentata's debut, Dana herself shared how the album has been a cathartic experience and how her insistence with her ideas now finally has the supporting team they always deserved.
Each of your videos tell a story while showcasing some especially engaging visuals. What can you reveal about what’s next?
Dentata - So much of my visuals and performance art has been focused on my darkness which in turn brought a lot of darkness to my life. Once that happened I realized that I had the power to make the opposite happen. If I turned my art into positive manifestations for myself then I could make it just as real as it was with the demons. Pantychrist era is all about celebrating my rebirth and the outcome of the manifestations. Finally living, no longer living dead.
Your last video for “Do You Like Me Now?” tackled some heavy themes in patriarchy and weaponizing trauma. Is there any continuity to that theme throughout Pantychrist or do each of these songs kind of have their own identity within the structure of an album?
Dentata - There will always be continuity with delivering that message because I believe that is my purpose on this earth and the reason I'm still alive. I believe that everything that happened to me was a lesson that I had to experience in order to help and protect others. The only reason I'm interested in making music at all is to help fuel power to the wounded. My message is in my name, Dentata. These songs have their own identity because this time around I've been able to utilize the knowledge I've gained in therapy about the trauma so I'm able to approach it from a more informed, healed perspective. I feel like tortured artists that express their pain through music do it as a form of catharsis but it doesn't necessarily heal you. It helped me cope but it never healed me. The intentions and lyrics were supported by a psychologist's inside perspective of my brain and I think it helped me say what I needed to finally heal.
For the album you have collaborated with Dylan Brady of 100 Gecs, Kris Esfandiari of King Woman/Miserable, Yawns and Fish Narc of GothBoiClique, Travis Barker, and more. Do you take that same collaborative approach when it comes to pairing the visuals for the album?
Dentata - I get obsessed with my ideas. I've always been hyper vigilant and protective about my visuals, because it was something I always felt like I couldn't trust anyone with. I always felt like they were gonna fuck it up. It all has weighted meaning to me. I've been micromanaging my visuals to the point where it becomes punishing because I'm also emotionally invested in everything I do. The first video off Pantychrist is my first video being styled by a stylist, because I have never been able to let anyone else give creative input on anything. I needed everything to be strictly what I call “Danavision.” Learning to open up and let people into my world has been healing for me too. Basically I'm trying to say I'm controlling over my visuals (smiles).
Your visuals have always been strong but it feels like The Resurrection of Dana Dentata really set the bar moving forward. Is there any pressure to meet such a high standard visually when you get to work on developing your music video ideas now?
Dentata - I feel like there’s actually less pressure now because I'm used to making something out of nothing on my own. If anything, I feel so fucking blessed now to have a team of amazing people around me that supports me and I can trust. I know that everybody behind me understands the message and its importance and it gives me a real sense of peace now.
Creatively, has coming out of this pandemic been a good thing or has the weird stall of life made it difficult to get the ideas flowing?
Dentata - I believe I am a well of endless ideas and inspiration. I used lockdown as best to my advantage I could. This album wouldn't exist if the pandemic didn't happen because I would have never stopped going. I never would have had the chance to face myself and finally get through to myself the way that I did. Right now I'm busy executing all my ideas from that period.
The anticipation surrounding Pantychrist has been building for quite some time now. How eager are you to get these songs out and realistically, are you already plotting what’s next?
Dentata - Waiting for Pantychrist to be released can be best compared to being in purgatory. Once this is out, I will truly be set free. There are magic and messages in these songs that will activate once it is heard. This album is my healing bible and I want to be present and in the moment to experience it all. This IS what’s next. I'm excited to enjoy life. I trust the process to take me in whatever direction is next.
Watch the Kathleen Dycaico-directed video for "Pantychrist" from Dana Dentata below.