Interview: Life Down Here’s Michelle Blanchard

CG: Life Down Here works to raise funds for finding a cure for autoimmune diseases. Is this related to your father’s passing?

MS: He had an autoimmune disease, and my two sisters also have autoimmune diseases. My dad got sick, went to the hospital, and within a month, I lost him. It was definitely the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with. I want to make sure we can help other families so they don't have to go through what I did. That being said, all our designs are purple, not just because it is my favorite color, but also because it's the color of the autoimmune awareness ribbon. I also wear a strip of purple tape around my left hand ring finger in honor of my dad and sisters. On our website, we have a little section dedicated to making donations to the AARDA (American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association).

CG: Clearly you have some crazy guitar skills. How did you learn to play and what kind of dedication does it take to get to where you are with your talent?

MS: Thank you. I actually started playing guitar when I was 8, but back then it was more about the fact that I was young and thought it was cool. Once I turned 10, I really took it seriously. I started taking lessons for bass and guitar, and ever since then I had many different guitar teachers. Now the band and I feed off of each other and make each other better everyday.

CG: What bands does Life Down Here get compared to the most?

MS: I would have to say Paramore. That's who most people compare us to, but over time they always say, "You guys sound like Paramore, but heavier!" A lot of people also tell me that my voice reminds them of Brody from "The Distillers," which is pretty rad if you ask me.  I love her voice!

CG: What’s it like being the only girl in your band? What are the pros and cons of being with boys all the time?

MS: Putting up with my band all the time is hell! (Laughs) Just kidding, they are great…but you know boys will be boys and they can be annoying sometimes. It becomes more clear to me everyday why I'm a lesbian. But really they are my best friends and I wouldn't change it for the world, despite how annoying they may be!

CG: So speaking of your lesbianism... Anyone along the way so far ever tell you to keep that quiet?

MS: I've worked with a few people that have said that I should keep it quiet, and I told them HELL NO! Hiding that would be hiding a big part of myself, so I told them if they weren't cool with it, then I wasn't cool with working with them.

CG: Who are some front women in bands that you really admire and why?

MS: Brody from the Distillers, I absolutely love her voice and she's super badass! And of course, Melissa Etheridge is one my influences. Her lyrics, her voice, and the way she's so open about being gay helped me be okay with my sexuality, and being open about it.

CG: As you look to the future as far as your music career goes what are you looking forward to the most?

MS: The things I am looking forward to most are touring, getting our music out there, and having more people know who "Life Down Here" is. I want people to hear our music and be inspired by it, and relate to it. I would love nothing more than to have a line of kids outside the door with our t-shirt on, ready to see us play. Kind of similar to how it was when we opened for Sick of Sarah when the Lady Killer Tour came through LA!

For more visit: http://lifedownhereband.com.

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