Since breaking out in lockdown with a feverish output of rave anthems and not-so-serious club edits to keep away the isolation blues, Daria Lourd, aka Bored Lord, found a platform for her fun and infectious attitude towards dance music. Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, surrounded by innumerous genres and sounds that guided her DIY ethos, all the while performing in a punk band and producing for rap artists, Daria has always found ways to keep the relentless creative cogs going.
Setting up base in Oakland, California helped to steer her incendiary rise and gave Daria an introduction to the Bay Area’s queer dance music community, while chance encounters with T4T LUV NRG founders Octo Octa and Eris Drew allowed Daria to release new music in tune with her do-it-yourself ethos. “The first time we met, we all just hugged,” Daria says. “We already knew each other’s music because we were all making rave music that was about being trans on the dancefloor. We’ve been really close ever since - it’s special.”
Now, Daria is gearing up to release her next full-length record on the label where she first earned her stripes. ‘Name It’, an eight-track album coming this month, is the next ‘chapter’ in the Bored Lord novel - an intricate story of love and romance with a deeply personal touch. The album continues to tap into her influence of sounds from the UK, the West Coast, and her hometown of Memphis, touching on jungle, UK bass, broken beat, and plenty more.
We caught up with Bored Lord ahead of the release of ‘Name It’ to talk all things punk bands, DIY music culture, and her forthcoming album. Check it out below along her Impact mix blending the sounds of the US and UK.
You’re based in Oakland but you seem to have quite a close connection to the UK and cities like Bristol. What draws you to the UK’s music scene?
I played a show in Bristol about a year ago at Strange Brew, it was a really cool little watering hole and I played with a crew called Health & Beauty. It was one of my better shows last year, and it’s just a really nice small community with good record shops and good people - it’s just a smaller scene packed with talented artists. There are so many good DJs and good producers, I love Noods Radio and the little community around Mickey Zoggs, it’s nice and easy. I’ve always had a good connection to UK rave music, I think the UK’s West Coast and the States have always had that connection throughout the ‘90s, drum ‘n’ bass mostly. A lot of my friends are pretty adjacent to UK rave music so it kind of makes sense.
Had you been to the UK pre-lockdown and seen the scenes where you pick a lot of your styles from?
No! I hadn’t really toured before the pandemic, it kicked in last year when I really started travelling a lot and I ended up playing in the UK a bunch, I even played in Scotland and Ireland. My music just makes the most sense there.
How do you feel about the music communities you grew up with in Memphis? Is there a soft spot in your heart for the scene there?
Yes and no - there were so many different kinds of music communities there, but the dance music community is quite small and generally pushed into the same scene as experimental music which can be nice. I was also part of the rap music scene at different points, and I was in rock bands too. It was cool because I got a lot of different experiences and a lot of different views and angles on things that I don’t get now with the monotony of the dance music world.
Read this next: Not dead: How punk inspires dance music's innovators
You were in rock bands?!
I was in a punk-indie rock band for years, from when I was a teenager to my early twenties. I was also part of a small collective of producers making all kinds of electronic music, it wasn’t really dance music-oriented specifically.
Lots of different worlds coming together…
Yeah! That era happened simultaneously while producing for rappers and singers, it was all very DIY. There’s not really an industry in Memphis so it was a lot of house parties and dive bars, shit like that.
Do you think that plays into your sound now, being in punk bands? And at what point did you pivot toward dance music?
I don’t know, dance music was always kind of there. When I moved to Oakland it was what I focused on more, but I was already doing it. I got booked in Oakland to play a rave and that was how I got introduced to the scene here, when I moved here I became a lot more focused on that. The community aspects and the approach to DIY culture where it’s okay to always be doing shit with your friends, I think that’s the main focus no matter what’s going on outside of that - that’s forever. The way I remember T4T LUV NRG and No Bias, they were always part of that DIY ethos.
You have quite an unserious edge to your music, lots of fun pop elements and cheeky vocals. You’ve talked before about how the music you liked as a teen is creeping back into your life in some ways - has it influenced your productions?
Maybe more so my DJ sets rather than my productions, but even as I say that, unserious is one way to put it and the other is throwing everything into the same bag - not being afraid to be cheesy sometimes because it can be endearing. Things can be overly serious, especially in the straight guy-dominant music scene where they’re like: ‘This is how you do it for real’. We’re just having fun!
You had a non-stop output of new music over lockdown - what drives that and how do you stay consistent?
Just like we were talking about with the DIY aspect, I’ve always made a lot of music and especially over lockdown, I didn’t really understand how many eyes I had on me - or maybe I didn’t have them on me just yet - so I just released music when I made it. It wasn’t about releasing the next EP or whatever, there wasn’t much else to do! I’ve always thought like that. The last thing on my Bandcamp is a collection of tracks where I thought, ‘Well these are all done and it’s my birthday, here are some songs’. I did zero promo for it.
You have a new release on T4T LUV NRG soon, ‘Name It’. What can we expect from that?
It’s a full-length album, and it’s a lot heavier than other things I’ve released. Emotionally anyway, not exactly sonically. I’m excited about it. It’s a double-disc vinyl release and it’s a lot more concentrated, not as referential as a lot of my other works. I’m nervous about it!
How did you get involved with T4T - is it a label you hold quite closely?
Yeah! Eris and Maya have been like family for me in my inner personal life, but also in navigating industry stuff. I met them right before the pandemic, or early 2020. I played a rave with them in LA and we already knew each other’s music because we were all making rave music that was about being trans on the dancefloor. They just put out their first collab EP and I’d just put out this album, ‘Transexual Rave Hymns’, so I think we knew we were doing something similar. When we played together, we were like, this makes sense. The first time we met we all just hugged.
They asked me to put out an EP and because I make stuff all the time, I just had one ready to go. We’ve been really close ever since, it’s special. It’s good to have a label where it’s still super DIY, a very small team, even with bookings and PR. I can trust that they’ll listen to me, I know that I can do anything I want but also not do things I don’t wanna do!
Are there any queer DIY collectives, artists, or club nights that you think people should be on the lookout for at the moment?
They're all over, right?! I feel like I almost exclusively play with collectives like that everywhere. No Bias and the Bay Area are obviously very close to my heart, and then there’s Health & Beauty in Bristol, and Raiders in Berlin, I really love working with them. Just so many people, there’s probably a collective popping up right now!
What’s next for you?
The album is the big one, I’m gonna be touring around the States. I love playing in smaller cities over here so I’m gonna try and do that. I’m just really prepping for the album, and hoping the rollout goes okay and that people get it in their hands.
Can you tell us about your Impact mix?
This mix is a snapshot into my DJ sets lately as I’ve been on the road. I always love blending both American and UK styles, the house with the hardcore, the club with the UKG. It’s what I think best represents my taste as both a DJ and producer. I threw in both recent tracks from myself or my friends and also some older classic tunes from my crates. My hope is that you can hear my love for the dancefloor inside the one-hour span - it’s meant as a medium of love for the craft.
Bored Lord's next LP, 'Name It', is out on T4T LUV NRG on October 27. Pre-order it here.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter
Bored Lord - feel your love
Dukeyman & Technics - The Power
Gynoid74 - Rain
CHANTS - Dance The Crevice
Nikki Nair - Justtryingto
agropol - DUBSTAB
Devoye - Radius Clause
Bimbo Hypnosis x Bored Lord - Cherry
DJ Tameil - Everybody
Introspekt - Luv U Right
OSSX + TAH - GABBY
Bored Lord - There's More
Juan V. - To Da Sky!
Booman - Break What?
Kelela - Happy Ending
Front Bench - BRRROOOMMLLYY
Soundbwoy Killah - Oh Baby
Ordinary People - Baby You Make My Heart Sing
Идиот & Jahanam - catching the vibe (Bored Lord Remix)
Paul Johnson - Tenacious
Blair Sound Design - Give It 2 U