Sophia Cacciola is one of the most entrenched women in the Boston music scene, for a number of reasons. One, she's the lead vocalist and drummer in one of the most unique concept projects I've ever seen, and the band goes by the name of Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling. (More on that in a bit.) Two, when Sophia's not onstage herself, she can be spotted snapping photos of bands all over the city and she co-founded popular local music blog Boston Band Crush. And three, Sophia is an avid local music supporter and fan and can be found checking out acts passing through town or bands her friends are featured in nearly every night of the week. Frontwoman, photographer, blogger AND showhopper? She does it all, and she not only does it flawlessly but in a style all her own. With her Barbarella-inspired show get-ups and her everyday classic jeans and t-shirt combos with a vintage twist, Sophia's got a lot to say when it comes to making the transition from her daily self into her onstage persona and how clothes and makeup help hone her presence as a Boston rock star on the rise. Dying to know how she does it? More on comfy jeans and '60s-inspired show clothes after the jump....
Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling is a concept project that revolves around the plot of '60s spy TV series The Prisoner. Sophia and Mike Epstein, bass player for DNFMOMD and frontman for The Motion Sick, write songs based on all 17 episodes of the show, and their wardrobes, which consist of entirely black outfits trimmed with white piping, are direct knockoffs of the main character's trademark black and white jacket. The band itself makes for an enjoyable project to see and hear, as Sophia, as a blonde bombshell, surprises everyone the second she sits down at her drum kit and starts screaming about spies into a microphone. Sophia was a given subject for TDR, as her look onstage is so distinct and so different from the black t-shirts and jeans I see her donning on a regular basis. "If I go to a dirty rock club, I'm not gonna wear something nice!" she laughs. "I try to stick to black and white consistently, because it’s the uniform of the band. It's also kind of what I’ve always worn, aside from jeans."
What about your show outfits? Where did they come from?
I shop at Poor Little Rich Girl and the Garment District. My black dress is an H&M dress my friend sewed the white trim on. I was looking for something tight and black that she could work with. I play without shoes and stockings on, so I always wear ¾ length stockings. I’ve always got my eyes peeled for pieces of clothing we don’t have to modify, so if it’s black with white trim, I grab it!
Now, I noticed that Mike also wears a pretty distinct jacket and also goes along with the theme. How has "dressing the part" helped you guys out as a band?
We were inspired by the show, so dressing alike was easy to do. Mike's jacket and my dress are iconic, and together look like we’re in the same band. When we’re walking around the club, you can tell that we’re in the same band, and when people see us onstage they notice that there’s some thought that’s been put into our look. Even though it’s very simple, it catches people’s eyes.
Take me through your pre-show beauty routine. Your eyeshadow alone must take you hours!
It definitely takes me about an hour to get ready! I have a makeup artist that I use for big shoots and events, Bri Welch. I told her that Jane Fonda’s look in Barbarella is what I was going for: Big blonde hair, blue eyeshadow, pink lips, so I think that was her anchor. When I do my own makeup for shows, I try to copy her a little bit. I haven’t been playing with makeup my whole life, only the last couple of years, so I’m still learning!
How do your clothes and makeup affect your performance? Do you feel like they play a part in the show, or are they just dresses and tubes of lipstick?
I feel better thinking I look good onstage, so if I don’t feel like I look good, it stresses me out. I don’t wear my black dress out, as I just wear it for shows on purpose, so when I put the dress on and do my hair and makeup it gets me in the mood to play a rock show and it kind of puts me in that other personality. I’m quiet in my real life and I’m screaming in the band, so it’s a good opportunity to step aside from myself and put a lot of rawness and emotion out there. Going through the ritual of putting on eyeshadow and lipstick and everything else prepares me for a show. It would be a nightmare situation in my mind if I were onstage in jeans and a t-shirt with a logo on it! I’d feel naked!