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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Pop




"WASI's 'Bleed Pop' EP is Guaranteed To Make You Smile: Billboard Premiere"

The promising quartet talks finding their sound, covering INXS and not being considered 'good-enough lesbians' in their scene.

WASI, the four-piece riot pop project founded by Orange County natives Merilou "Cosmo" Salazar and Jessie Meehan, are the type of band that requires just a few minutes to win over an unfamiliar listener with its sturdy melodies, sun-drenched arrangements and wholly inviting attitude. The group's debut EP, Bleed Pop, is the culmination of nearly a decade's worth of musical collaboration between Salazar and Meehan, and its five songs hint at an extremely bright future for the Los Angeles-based newcomers.

Bleed Pop will be officially released next Tuesday (May 19), but stream the debut EP exclusively on Billboard.com below:

Nine years ago, Salazar approached Meehan during a high school class and asked if she wanted to start a band, after hearing that she owned a bass. Salazar had booked a local gig on a whim, and needed Meehan to help her quickly learn a bunch of INXS covers for the show.

"We had two-and-a-half weeks to learn these INXS songs, but at some point we realized, 'Why are we doing this? We might as well just write our own songs,'" Meehan recalls. "We wrote an hour's worth of shitty punk songs and called ourselves the Midol Poppers."

Darren Criss Gave Us a 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Makeup Tutorial: WATCH

The duo spent the following years trying to commit to an original sound, eventually moving to Los Angeles and gravitating toward the restriction-free DIY scene associated with venues like The Smell. After struggling to find an identity, Salazar and Meehan gradually embraced the high-energy pop of Matt & Kim in their own tunes, even if it didn't fit in with what was expected of them from their scene.

"It was hard to find an area where we fit into, and we tried so hard for so many years to fit into a certain group or category, and we never really did," Meehan explains. Salazar adds, "Originally, Jess and I were doing a duo, and it was getting really frustrating. It was like, 'Oh, two lesbians' -- people were automatically categorizing us, like we should be playing guitars in coffee shops. We were never like that. And because we were a little bit punkier, we were sort of considered not good-enough lesbians, I guess?"

The pair added Dylan Robin and Garrett Harney -- two friends from UCLA -- on guitar and drums, respectively, and WASI (an acronym for 'We Are/She Is') was rounded out as a four-piece. The group has played with acts like K. Flay and on last year's Vans Warped Tour, and Meehan says that they will continue to play shows in the LGBT scene while writing songs for the Bleed Pop follow-up. The WASI members have taken part in rallies and pride festivals, work with non-profits like To Write Love on Her Arms and Keep-a-Breast, and will head down to Tijuana later this month to perform and film interviews with members of the DIY community as part of an upcoming documentary.

"We're trying to find these communities of people who are, in many cases, marginalized," says Harey. "Through our music and personalities, we want to bring the spotlight on these communities and provide a place for people to get together and be themselves, without judgment."

Along with this week's Tijuana show, WASI will be performing across California this spring and summer -- check out the tour dates below:

May 16: La Nueva Bodega Aragon Tijuana, BC
May 22: The Smell Los Angeles, Calif.
June 5: Slidebar - Fullerton, Calif.
June 6: The Art Parlour Riverside, Calif.
July 18: San Diego Pride San Diego, Calif. - Billboard

"PREMIERE: Watch WASI's "Can't Dance" Lyric Video"

WASI are gearing up to release their debut EP, Bleed Pop, later this Spring and today we're excited to premiere the lyric video for their latest single, "Can't Dance." Ironically, the track shows the danceable side of the LA-based powerpop quartet, and its visual counterpart illustrates the band's charismatic live energy. Watch the clip and sing (or dance) along above.

"'Can't Dance' became a personal favorite the second we started writing it," the band admits. "It started as a fun joke song, but as it progressed and we started playing it live, we realized how much it took on the weight of all our fear and insecurities at the time. The song stands for holding on to what you know about yourself and really standing confident with who you are as an individual. Life is way too short to doubt what you can bring to the table, so just let loose and have fun. "

Bleed Pop is slated for a May 19 release on Odd Records. SoCal readers, WASI will be playing their record release show on May 22 at the Smell. Get more information at the venue's official website. - Purevolume

"Exclusive premiere of WASI’s “And the World” music video"

Los Angeles-based pop punk band WASI have a fun new video for their song “And the World” where they take on the bizarre world of media and politics. Queer leads Cosmo and Jess met in high school, learning how to play instruments together and performing everywhere they could, “parties to acoustic sets at the park.” The duo recorded their tracks and have since played dated on Warped Tour and with artists like Shiny Toy Guns and K. Flay, with friends Garrett Harney and Dylan Robin joining the band this year. - AfterEllen


First there was We Are/ She Is. Then that morphed and shape shifted (anything but swagged) into WASI. This LA based female duo makes catchy riot pop (think Matt & Kim getting high with the Ting Tings). They have a new Double Sided Single scheduled to be released on February 12th. Take my word, both sides are excellent. You can hear 1/2 of it below in the form of “And the World”. If you happen to live in LA you can catch the band Wednesday nights at the Silverlake Lounge where they will be setting up residency all February long. - Write. Cook. Listen

"ReIntroducing WASI"

Sometimes when work gets backed up and a significant amount of time passes before you can actually post an interview a band will go through some relatively significant changes… In this case, this Silverlake duo actually changed their moniker… When I talked to Cosmo (guitar/vox/synth) and Jess (bass/vox/synth) late this summer they were known as We Are/She Is. However, this fall they re-branded themselves as WASI.
The duo already have two EPs under their previous moniker, 2011’s Young Pretty and Clean and this year’s Name Game. The girls seem to blend the yummiest, most sugar-coated, and pogo-inducing sounds that could be found on the Warped Tour with a more traditional and brassy brand of punk sass… but with a bit more sincerity than implied by either of those aesthetics. During our chat, Cosmo tells me, “We’re really into 80s pop, 70s punk, and New Wave. I mean, The Clash is my all-time favorite band, but I’m also really into M.I.A. and the latest Tegan and Sara record – we actually covered M.I.A.’s song ‘Paper Planes,’ which was really cool,” while Jess cites The Ting Tings and Icona Pop as particularly significant influences.
I ask the girls about the band’s relatively brief history and its highlights and Cosmo tells me, “We’ve got a cool and kind of big following in the gay community, which is cool and we played with The Naked and Famous, which was definitely really cool and our biggest show yet.” And when it comes to what’s most important to know about WASI, Jess problaims, “We’re all about DIY. We’ve always been self supported.” Cosmo reiterates, “It’s character-building, learning to do things your own way, and no one can take that away from you. WASI currently seems most excited about getting the live show out to as many people as possible, a live show that they’re quite proud of. “We put a lot more rock energy into it. We have a lot of energy live," Cosmo says. And, if you’re in the LA-area, the band will be appearing every Wednesday next February at the Silverlake Lounge (the 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th.) - High Voltage

"WASI Bring Their Electroc Pop to the LGBT / Riot GRRL Community"

In 2006, Merilou Salazar was planning an after school event for her high school in Buena Park, and when the suggestion of a live band performance arose, she sprang up and said she had a band that could play. She didn't. In fact, she didn't even know how to play an instrument, though she owned a guitar. Seventeen days later, she had recruited Jessie Meehan on bass, along with her neighbor and another mutual friend, and The Midol Poppers played their first show. It was awful.
Now, seven years later, Salazar and Meehan have stuck together through a slew of different musical acts, the most recent being We Are/She Is. After a move from Orange County to Los Angeles, the girly duo found what they were looking for musically and personally, changed their band name to WASI, and fashioned themselves stage names: Cosmo and Jess, respectively. We recently had the pleasure of chatting with the Riot Grrrl-inspired twosome about their gradual evolution and what's next for WASI.
OC Weekly (Katrina Nattress): Why WASI?

Cosmo: We always casually went by WASI. After moving up to LA a year and a half ago, we kind of figured out our sound and vibe and felt like WASI was way more fitting for us.

Jess: We've just been doing this for so long and feel like overall have evolved into something else.

As far as the sound, how has it evolved since the name change?

Cosmo: It's a lot more poppy and energetic. A lot more us. We're really influenced by '70s British punk.

Jess: I'm big on Katy Perry and Britney Spears, just sayin'.

Has it been difficult to start new?

Cosmo: It feels more natural. And we already have eight or nine shows booked in November. We're pumped.

I noticed a lot of your shows next month are benefits and events.

Jess: Yeah, we're big on that. We've done a lot of Riot Grrrl events and LGBT stuff, and we get received really well in that community because we relate to them and they relate to us. And benefits as well - we've had our own struggles. We're playing a benefit for a women who has cancer and that hits home for me. I had cancer a few years ago, and I'm okay now, but it's like, "How do we give back?"

Talk to me about Ladyfest.

Cosmo: It's a three-day event and completely focused around the DIY femme community, female empowerment, gender neutrality, supporting minority groups...the groups that are ignored. It's our first time playing it, so we're fucking pumped.

Jess: It's about having an environment where female-fronted bands can come and perform and not worry about being judged.

Cosmo: And the workshops are about issues that aren't generally discussed. It's hard to find these spaces.

Jess: We're also really about showcasing our passions through our music...we've both dealt with oppression. I grew up homophobic because of my surroundings. It was always obvious that I was fucking gay, but I was really homophobic. And when I did realize my sexuality, I got picked on a lot. It doesn't happen as much anymore, but I do still kind of face it day to day.

You're also pretty influenced by the Riot Grrrl scene. How'd you get into that?

Cosmo: We figured it out in Portland. We played with a band called Glitter Express, and that was the first show where we realized the Riot Grrrl enthusiasm. The crowd was completely crazy. We loved it so much that we booked two or three more shows up in the Pacific Northwest. So we wanted to find that community down here, and the Inland Empire has an amazing scene.

Jess: It's a community of people who stand for something.

What are your goals for 2014?

Cosmo: New music - an EP for sure. Touring, playing a lot of shows, working more on merch and how to navigate the new music industry. Oh, and a music video is in the works!

WASI performs Friday, November 8, at 8:30 pm at Ladyfest LA (Nov. 8-10), Heart of Art Gallery, 1907 Rodeo Rd. Los Angeles, CA. https://www.facebook.com/LadyfestLosAngeles. All ages, $3-5 donations.

See also:
*The 25 Greatest OC Bands of All Time: The Complete List

*10 Punk Albums to Listen to Before You Die

*Top 20 Greatest OC Albums of All Time - OC Weekly

"Lesbian Listening Party"

It's safe to say that with only five songs, there's not a clunker to be found. As exhilarating as the best pop music can be, the delirious anthem "And the World" sets the pace with its fist-pumping energy. - Bay Area Reporter

"We Are / She Is Releases Album on Soundcloud"

Heya guys, just letting ya know that the awesom album ‘Young and Pretty Clean’ (featured earlier) has just been released on Soundcloud so you can easily check it out for free (and then maybe purchase?)

Thought it was an awesome chance to mention an album I feel I didn’t do justice the first time around because it really grows on you, even if it may be a little more poppy than you’re used to. Trust me, not your regular alt. pop. Or you may not be an idiot like me; you may like the album right off the bat.

If you haven’t heard the album before, definitely give Young and Pretty Clean and Sweet Melodies a listen. They’re amazing. 4.0/5 and 3.5/5 songs in my books, respectively (which may sound kind of low, but that’s well above above-average). Make sure you give the tracks and the artist the appropriate love that they deserve for being amazing. - The Universal Yellow Keys

"Our Interview With Cool New Band, WASI"

Welcome to “You Oughta Know” where I introduce cool new bands to share them with the world. This band is WASI (which stands for We Are/She Is, more on that later), a trio of pop-punk musicians made up of Cosmo (Guitar/Synth/Vocals), Jess (Bass/Synth Vocals), and Carlo (Drums). Their sound is like Le Tigre battling Tegan & Sara with sick guitar runs and hooks layered over earworm ready beats.

So who is WASI, really? I interviewed the Los Angeles trio to get to know them a little better. We talked about summer music playlists, food, and who would play the band in a film.

Hello Giggles: First, what is the meaning behind “WASI?”

Cosmo: We changed our name from “We Are / She Is” to “WASI.” We Are / She Is meant to us, finding individuality within a bold community. Also, it was hard for people to remember We Are / She Is, or they’d forget the “/” which was becoming a pet peeve because “We Are She Is” makes less sense.

HG: You’re super involved in the LGBT community. Can you tell us a little more about that, and also about the non-profits you’re involved in?

Carlo: I took part of numerous pride festivals, which are much more political back home in Europe than they are here. At college, I was one of the leaders of the gay-straight alliance and helped put on weekly meetings and events to build a community. I’m very fond of Rotary International, they achieved amazing things like ending polio through vaccines. I can’t be a member yet, but they helped me fund my studies. Also I’ve worked on behalf of Amnesty International in the past.

Cosmo: Back in 2008, I hosted a rally with a couple friends in Orange County for the “No On Prop 8” campaign. After Prop 8 passed, I started partaking in the Long Beach and West Hollywood rallies, using that freedom of speech, and joining the thousands of others in this movement. Since then, I’ve helped out with non-profits like the No H8 Campaign, Equality California, Amp Organization (a great local non-profit we work with as a band that focuses on culture, creativity and community), and more. In college, I worked on a documentary highlighting experiences of LGBTQ Youth in East Los Angeles. Everyone has a story to tell, and some situations and experiences make it harder for others to come out on top as they’re fighting against a world that isn’t fighting for them, and as a society I believe we should be aware and embrace other’s differences in order to progress.

Jess: We really love the non-profits we work with. Keep-a-Breast is one of them and I personally have a lot of experience in the cancer field. My mom and grandmother both had breast cancer, my grandmother died from it, and in 2010 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I think its really cool how progressive Keep-a-Breast is in raising awareness about the disease. Another non-profit we partnered up with is To Write Love on Her Arms, and they raise awareness about suicide, addiction, depression, and self injury. I think this is so important because they can be the intervention someone needs. Both of these non-profits were on Warped Tour and it was awesome getting to hang out with them!

HG: Who are your favorite artists/bands? Past and present?

Carlo: Past—Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Beatles. Present—Jack White, Kaizers Orchestra, Blink 182.

Cosmo: Past—The Clash, Tegan and Sara, Matt and Kim, The Ting Tings Present—Same as above, plus Kesha

Jess: Past—India Arie, Spice Girls, Boyz II Men, Blink 182. Present—Katy Perry, Sky Ferreira, Icona Pop.

HG: What songs would you HAVE to include on a summer playlist?

Carlo: “In Too Deep” by Sum41, “Summer In The City” by Lovin’ Spoonful, “Limbo Dance” by David Hasselhoff — nobody knows better how to summer than the Hoff!

Cosmo: “I’ve Got the Magic in Me” (Boys MashUp Finale) – Pitch Perfect Soundtrack, “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers, “Don’t Save Me” by Haim.

Jess: “Right Above It” by Lil Wayne Ft. Drake, “Do My Thang” by Miley Cyrus, “Latch” by Disclosure Ft. Sam Smith.

HG: You’ve got $100. How do you use it to have the best night ever?

Carlo: I’d buy food and drinks and lumber, call up all our friends, and start a massive bonfire by the beach! We’d bring our instruments and a ghetto blaster and dance around the fire to our summer playlist.

Cosmo: I. Love. Food. I’d hit up all of my favorite restaurants and food trucks until I was so full that I couldn’t move. Then I’d catch up on Orange is the New Black.

Jess: I’d buy a sh** ton of candy and play candy poker. The one who wins the most candy has to eat all of it in one sitting!

HG: And finally, pitch me WASI: The Movie.

WASI: The movie feels like a roller coaster of those “what-the-hell” silent moments compacted with a myriad of explosive uproar and touching coming-of-age realizations.

Three nerdy teenagers run the Math & Physics Club at their local high school when Cosmo realizes she is short on cash to pay for her college tuition. She comes across an opportunity to win a large sum of money through a Battle of the Bands where she books her non-existent band to compete. Jess and Carlo join the project and they spend every night of the next two weeks naively in Los Angeles learning their instruments and calculating what it takes to be the best rock band in the world.

The scenes are driven by the tightly-knit chemistry of the characters: Cosmo, an overly outspoken opportunist built on sicko one-liners, Jess, a flirtatious lesbian with the modelesque look of a brooding gynecologist, and Carlo, a charming rebel with wannabe machismo raised by parents who are now locked up in prison. The movie is an amiable mess as the trio naively make their way through the city, using their analytical prowess to formulate a musical group while making a name for themselves in their last days of high school.

The cast: Carlo is played by Michael Cera. Cosmo is played by Vanessa Hudgens. Jess is played by Adam Lambert. - Hellogiggles

"Pop Band WASI Seeks To Emulate Positive Energy With Release of EP"

Jessie Meehan, the bassist of riot pop band We Are / She Is, said in high school, when the teacher would assign a presentation, a knot would grow in her stomach because she was afraid to talk in front of the class.

Today, Meehan said music has made her drastically more outgoing, happy and comfortable as a person. Meehan, along with UCLA alumna Merilou “Cosmo” Salazar formed WASI, an acronym for We Are / She Is. Alumni Dylan Robin and Garrett Harney joined the group in early 2015. Harney said WASI’s presence could fit into any “two-left-feet community.”

“Bleed Pop,” WASI’s first extended play, is set to release Tuesday. All band members said that dancing, smiling and rainbows should accompany the EP’s fun harmonies, crisp production and infectious pop sound.

Meehan said the lyrics of WASI’s music are influenced by the Riot Grrrl movement of the 1990s, which reflects politically charged angst. Meehan and Salazar said their hardships growing up as lesbians in a conservative area of Orange County are also reflected in their music.

WASI was born when Salazar approached Meehan about starting a band during a high school physics class in 2006. Even though Meehan was a novice bassist, she agreed to form the band and play at a show Salazar booked two weeks later.

“It was too hard for us to learn covers, so we just wrote a bunch of crappy punk songs and called ourselves The Midol Poppers,” Meehan said.

Nine years later, in early 2015, WASI became its current four-piece band. The band, completed with Harney and Robin, played its first official show together at the Smell, a do-it-yourself venue in downtown Los Angeles. DIY venues are generally run by volunteers who wish to maintain the free expression of the DIY community.

Harney, who has been playing at DIY venues since his teens, said DIY scenes are special because they convey a sense of community to their members. Harney said WASI strives to create a similar sense of togetherness at its shows.

“We want our music to appeal to a sense of community.” Harney said. “People who come to our shows might be down and out – they may feel like they have nowhere to go – but they should feel at home at our shows.”

As Meehan and Salazar identify as active members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, they said WASI has found a niche fan base through LGBT-related shows like rallies and pride festivals. The band once played at a mansion party that featured lesbian and queer speed dating. Harney and Robin embrace WASI’s role as a band in the LGBT music scene because they said their involvement in the movement establishes the type of fun-loving community the band strives for.

This fun-loving spirit is embodied in “Can’t Dance,” an anthem in “Bleed Pop” that Salazar said best represents the EP because it focuses on owning oneself. Harney said the lyrics “We can’t dance/ But we can party all night,” embody having fun despite being different from the mainstream, a common theme in WASI’s music.

“I think when we started playing music, we didn’t want to be labeled as an LGBT band, but then we found a home in the punk community within the LGBT scene,” Salazar said. “At those shows, everyone is so prideful, inspired and empowered.”

Robin said he believes the positive energy from the LGBT music scene allows the band to organically grow music. While WASI would love to be the biggest band in the world, Harney said the group would love to be the face of LGBT pop music because the band embodies the LGBT communities’ positive attitude when facing uphill battles.

Uphill battles are the focus of the final song, “And the World,” a track that Meehan said lyrically reflects the hardships of angst and parental struggles.

“Dad’s back from the hide-and-seek games,” sings Salazar. “He’s shootin’ but he’s missin’ and he barely knows my name.”

Meehan said the lyrical strife of the song is masked by its dance-pop composition. Salazar said that the band usually closes their shows with “And the World,” simply because the crowd responds energetically to the song’s sing-along feel.

“We just want everyone to feel at home at our shows,” Harney said. “Fans shouldn’t have to care about looking like an idiot or dancing weird or being gay or being straight.”

As for the band’s future, Meehan said WASI wants to continue to spread positivity and happiness through its music.

“Have fun no matter who tells you not to,” Robin said. “WASI wants to emulate the idea that no matter where you’ve been, and no matter where you’re going, you should enjoy yourself at every moment.” - Daily Bruin


Bleed Pop 2015

1) Adolescents

2) Can't Dance

3) Fire

4) Gets Me Everytime

5) And the World


- Beach Nights

- Voices

-Sweet Melodies

- Barlights

- Let It Go



WASI’s music and vigor is an invitation into their utopia of love, liberation and a questioning of the status quo.   They combine underground hip hop production with the heart of a garage band to create the inclusive atmosphere that speaks to a genre-less youth in their most tender times.

Buena Park natives Merilou Salazar and Jessie Meehan originally joined together to create their high school punk The Midol Poppers as an escape from the suburban idea of "normalcy”. That fearlessness produced with underground hip hop production and the heart of a garage band continues to be the foundation of WASI’s soul. 

Heavily influenced by the likes of Tegan and Sara, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and MIA, WASI combines their-restriction free do-it-yourself mentality with sun drenched melodies, contagious beats and anthemic lyrics. They strive to break the boundary between artist and audience. The spark and genuine connection of WASI leaves their listeners empowered to know they’re not alone in the fight to be heard.

Their debut album RIOT POP speaks the stream of conscious honesty of a rebel who fights to love themselves. RIOT POP drops June 7, 2019. 

“The group is well-equipped to be a part of the resistance, providing sounds and solace for young people coming into their own, just as music had helped them before.” - Billboard

Band Members