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Photo courtesy of Christel Robleto

“It was just built in to my soul to be a musician, and no one had to push or drive me to live as one,” says L.A. leading lady Michelle Armstrong, whose powerful vocals and original lyrics have propelled her band, Dame, onto the national music scene. 

With a blend of pop, rock and blues plus a dash of Pat Benatar, Armstrong’s latest EP “Preventions of Heartbreak,” has the ability to simultaneously empower and sooth the broken-hearted. While Armstrong has lived across the country, everywhere from Savannah, Ga. to New York, N.Y., she incorporates elements of the cultures and music from her past into her current style. With wild curls flying and a trademark rocker T-shirt, Armstrong belts out vocals with an energy that rivals even the most experienced rockers.

Read below to hear about Michelle’s upcoming tour, her quirkiest habits, and her favorite horse of all time (hint: it’s multicolored).

Make sure to check out her EP “Preventions of a Heartbreak” which is available on iTunes and Amazon. Dame is scheduled to play for fans Breeders' Cup weekend in the infield at Santa Anita Park. 

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Photo courtesy of Christel Robleto

Mary Dale: Tell me a bit about how you got your start in music.  

Michelle Armstrong: I was 4 years old, and my mom was taking me to my first voice lesson followed with rehearsals for musical theater performances. I just loved it. My relationship with music hasn’t stopped evolving since.

DAME: HOLY MOLY

Dale: Who was your biggest influence for getting into music?

Armstrong: It was just built into my soul to be a musician, and no one had to push or drive me to live as one, although I’ve had many great influences and inspirations. When I was a teenager, I heard Sara McLachlan’s music and it led me to pick up a guitar and actually pursue songwriting. My parents took me to rock concerts at a very young age, and every one of those front men/women helped drive my enthusiasm. I was 12 years old, thinking, ‘I can’t wait to do that!’ I was taking mental notes on their performances, studying how to better use the stage and captivate an audience.

Dale: I’m sure you travel quite a bit for work, where is your favorite place that you’ve visited? 

Armstrong: I had the luxury of joining my parents-in-law to Lacoste, France, where my father-in-law was teaching a summer animation course. They set up a show for me to play in this gorgeous French town. I was overlooking the green countryside, strumming my guitar and singing to a mostly French-speaking audience as the sun set and grew in to a dark night. It was dreamy.

More recently, Austin, Texas is my hands-down favorite city to travel to as a musician. This city lives for supporting artists and has an overall sense of embracing new inspirations.

MEET DAME

Dale: What inspired your debut EP “Preventions of a Heartbreak”?

Armstrong: It always feels so trite to say “LOVE inspired it,” but that’s just the honest truth. Love inspired it.  Love, and the adventures it puts the heart through.

Dale: How long has L.A. been your home?

Armstrong: I grew up only an hour east of L.A., so in a sense it’s always felt partly like ‘home.’ Spread out over time, I’ve probably ‘technically’ lived in the city … around four years. 

Dale: If you could describe your quirkiest habit, what would it be?

Armstrong: Eating apples ... way too many a day ... dipping them in some sort of mustard or sauce. So weird. SO yummy.

Dale: What upcoming shows are you most excited about?

Armstrong: We are setting up a spring 2014 tour mostly on the East Coast that I am so stoked about!

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Photo courtesy of Christel Robleto

Dale: How long does it take you to create a song, from concept to completion?

Armstrong: Every song has it’s own story, really. A couple have taken less than an hour. Most, I spend about a week working, playing, and living with until I can call them ‘finished.’  Some a month, some songs NEVER get finished. Inspiration is unpredictable!

Dale: And now for the horse question: Who’s your favorite horse of all time?

Armstrong: Do ALL of the “My Little Ponies” count? Because I clearly remember loving having grand adventures with them and their luxurious hair. <3

Dame -poster

Photo courtesy of Christel Robleto


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