Astrid McDonald and I met years ago when I owned a small DIY venue in the beautiful black eye of Orange County known as Santa Ana. I’d booked Astrid’s band, The Side Eyes, sight unseen, because people had been buzzing about this amazing punk group with this crazy girl singer. Turns out, the buzz was real. The Side Eyes headlined the show and destroyed the place – they were absolute mayhem from the first chord to the last scream. But the thing that really blew me away was how genuinely kind, grounded, grateful, and humble Astrid was. She’s still like that to this day, despite the recent success of the band. I can’t think of many people that I respect as much as Astrid, and I feel so fortunate to consider her my friend.

Everyday Astrid vs. On Stage Astrid: is there a difference?

There’s a pretty big difference actually! In my day-to-day life I’m usually very mellow and would even describe myself as introverted. I was super into school before I graduated college and spent all my time working when I wasn’t playing shows. I’m sometimes even shocked by how outgoing and fiery I become when I perform. It really releases a primal energy buried deep within me – so much fun to explore! I love it!

Most cherished piece of clothing?

This completely thrashed early ‘90s Redd Kross “Third Eye” t-shirt! It was my dad’s and is covered in holes and rips from age and extensive use, but it’s priceless to me. I’m trying to keep it intact because it’s definitely seen better days – but its wear and tear adds so much character. It looks great with a long-sleeved fishnet top underneath! 

Something you can’t let go of that you never wear?

I have an unnecessary amount of winter coats that take up too much space in my closet, but I’m absolutely obsessed with them. I have no reason to hoard them the way I do (especially in Los Angeles weather) but I cannot part with them!! Especially my huge, faux fur leopard-print jacket. I will make room for it in my closet for all eternity!

Ever yearn to try something radically different, style-wise?

Yes!! I always try to wear radical and interesting outfits on stage, but the one uncharted territory for me is changing up my hair in a drastic way! I’m always tempted to cut it or dye it a crazy color, but I haven’t yet!! One day!

Film photos by Joellen Lu.

Tell us about that adorable, charming dog featured in the end-clip of your Style Stories.

Her name is Summer! She’s my little companion! She’s part chihuahua, part pomeranian, with possibly something else thrown in the mix. We don’t really know because she’s a rescue. She looks like a little gremlin!  

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