Shari Black Velvet: Drivers are driven. How much does music consume your life and how focused are you on it becoming a full-time successful career?
Debbie Leigh Driver: Driver is ...er me! However when I step up on stage it’s about a team effort so rather than have my full name, Debbie Driver, I shortened it to DRIVER, I thought it was a good way of including my band. My life is all about music. I have worked at it full on for six years now. I was working on it before then but I made it my mission this time. It has taken me a while to get into this position, and I won’t give up my dream. I’ve had plenty of ‘day jobs’, however this is the one thing that has never left me. It is always exciting, fun and challenging. Full time successful career? Depends on how you view success. I’m doing something I love. That’s success. If I had all the money in the world what would I be doing...? This! How many people can say that about their jobs?
SBV: How long has Driver been around and how long do you anticipate Driver being around?
DLD: Driver is me, the vision comes from my head, the songs come from my head. It’s my creation, so it will be around as long as I am or I want it too.
SBV: In your ‘About’ section on MySpace you say the world is back to front and ‘doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information and religions destroy spirituality’. Can you explain your thoughts on those a bit more, going into why you think each does that?
DLD: At the time I was watching Michael Ellner. He has some really great thought-provoking ideas going on and I felt an understanding. I am no expert in these fields however I would suggest watching Michael Ellner. He was completely mind blowing. However my thoughts on doctors is that they think there are pills for every ill, people are over-fed and under-nourished causing their bodies to be out of alignment, which then goes on to cause disease. Religion in my experience seems to be fear-driven and controlled. I feel that to move closer to ‘God’ or whatever it is, we need to move away from organised religion. I am a big fan of George Carlin and his, ‘Religion is bullshit’, and also Bill Hicks, ‘All matter is energy condensed to a slow vibration...’
SBV: Regarding the above, what changes do you think the world needs and how does the above affect Driver?
DLD: I feel that the world needs people to start taking responsibility for themselves. There is more than enough information out there now with the internet, if you’ve not seen it already I suggest watching ‘The Secret’. We need to make changes on the inside then the changes on the outside will occur. But it all starts with you. I don’t think the correct information is reaching the masses and we are being feed shit with media.
SBV: Driver’s album ‘Paranoid Rage’ is you making a stand and being outspoken. Do you think it’s possible to be too outspoken and turn people off by seeming like you’re preaching – either in music or life in general?
DLD: I’m making a stand for myself, my life, my music. I’m singing about my experience’s which will make me outspoken. I am what I am and if people don’t like it they can listen to someone else. I’m not forcing them and I’m certainly not preaching. I don’t go knocking on doors, play a gig and forcing people to purchase my album. People will see what they want to see at the end of the day. I don’t believe in telling people what to do, you have to find it out yourself.
SBV: How proud are you of ‘Paranoid Rage’? What does the album mean to you?
DLD: It’s more a feeling of who I am, who I was and who I’m about to become.
SBV: In your promo photos you look quite glam in different outfits. How much thought and time do you put into your appearance and as a vegan, what’s your view of vegan clothing and footwear?
DLD: My appearance is important to me, I’m a girl and I’m also a qualified personnel trainer (W.A.B.B.A). I’m always up the gym and have recently got into juicing after spending time in southern turkey last year, having only juice to live of off. I’m not skinny like most people think you are leading a vegan lifestyle; however I like to feel I am really healthy. Vegan clothing and footwear, absolutely! I don’t wear leather; however the only thing I have really got stuck on is my guitar strap. The ends are leather, and I’ve not been able to find a non-leather one thru love nor money, so if anyone reading this can help, I would be really grateful.
SBV: SaveAScream has actually just recently recommended a company, Legacy Straps – www.legacystraps.com – who produced vegan guitar straps. Check them out!
SBV: What’s your fave outfit?
DLD: I don’t really have one, although I often thought about locking myself away in a castle, with a piano and wear a period dress from the 1800s.
SBV: You’re related to Veggie Vision’s Karin Ridgers. How have you helped each other regarding being vegan and other things?
DLD: Ah! Karin is great. Always new things to try (vegan chocolate!) or shampoos and creams to try out. We are both really busy right now and Karin has helped tons with some PR and feeding me! I help her out by being the naughty sister!
SBV: You come across as quite bubbly and ballsy. What were you like as a child and growing up and has your personality changed in any way?
DLD: I was shy as a kid. I never used to talk. All I remember is sitting on the stairs over hearing a conversation that my mum and dad were having. They were discussing whether or not they should take me somewhere as I was very shy, they came to the conclusion I would grow out of it. I still think I’m that shy kid sitting on the stairs and have trouble expressing myself.
SBV: Since the album is called ‘Paranoid Rage’ – would you say you are paranoid at all?
DLD: Yeah! All the time! Haha.
SBV: Tell us about the Driver live experience. What is a Driver gig like and what’s been your best/fave gig ever?
DLD: Driver live eh? I think that may best be asked to the audience, I have no idea what is like to see me, however I do love it when things get thrown and people start jumping around... I love all my gigs, I think a fave of mine was a college gig where we turned out the lights and got everyone to put their mobile phones on for light, it was wicked! Plus they were all RnB kids and I was thinking, ‘shit they’re just not gonna be into this’, but they loved it!
SBV: You’re currently unsigned. Why should a label sign you – or would you rather stay independent?
DLD: I’m an artist I’m doing what I love. If a label is interested great, if I stay independent, great. As long as I’m happy nothing else matters.
SBV: You like Metallica. What do you think about how James Hetfield is apparently into hunting? And would you ever go off a band after discovering they were into a form of animal cruelty like hunting/bullfighting?
DLD: James Hetfield is apparently into hunting... yeah I read this too. It’s not good. I think hunting is sick, twisted and deranged. I hope he doesn’t do it. The music is still amazing and you have to remember there are other people in the band one, being Kirk Hammett, wicked guitarist, that I believe leads a vegetarian diet. I wonder how he feels about James’s hunting if he is Veggie? Could I have a band member that went shooting? NO WAY!
SBV: What do you do when you’re not working on the band?
DLD: At the moment I’m working with Rob Cope who is helping me demo my 2nd album, S.W.A.N.S. it’s an acronym for STRONG WOMEN ACHIEVERS NO SPOUSE. This sums up where I’ve been for the past three years. Also no sex would be very fitting too! Haha. I work out at my local gym as much as possible, I’m really into Juicing right now to after spending time at the Juice Masters retreat last year. I’ve a new look myspace page - www.myspace.com/drivermusicuk which has links to my merchandise page: (www.izeezi.com/driver) and there’s also an over 18 bit... www.cooponz.com/driver I’m about to shoot some videos with Cast You, practise music, vocals. So not much really!
SBV: Finally, you have a song called ‘Can’t Stop The Screams’ and since we are SaveAScream.com, how do you feel when you watch animal cruelty footage and hear the screams of animals that are being tortured, abused or killed?
DLD: Fucking sick. I hope there is such thing as karma and it comes back round to them. As a suggestion... let’s torture those people instead of testing on animals.