The Local 913: Dinosoul
If you’ve been paying attention to the local indie rock scene, you may have witnessed Donny Donovan performing in about a half dozen Pittsburgh bands over the last few years. Currently, Donovan is focusing on a couple of projects including the band she’s in with her significant other Carolyn Hilliard: Dinosoul.
“It started off with Carolyn and I, we were writing songs that were acoustic. It was kind hippie-ish – like hippie or folky. Then her brother came in with crazy pedals- Steve, and it was more experimental. Then we got Glenn on electric drum set. His background is really interesting. He was more into metal, so he’ll play double bass [drum] on our music which is kind of a little more tribal or explosive and more dynamics.”
Donovan started off on drums herself and has always felt a strong connection with percussion in her bands
“I think emotions come out in different ways you hit the drums and how hard you’re hitting them and where the accents are. When I’m communicating with a drummer, especially in Dinosoul, there’s an emotion part where you’re both exploding and then calming down. The drums are really what comes across for me with that.”
Dinosoul’s original formation began as a way for her partner Hilliard to express herself musically
“When I was playing in all these bands, she was coming to my shows and was telling me about all this music she ‘used to play.’ She played piano and violin and she sang and danced. I never saw this side of her. I said ‘Let’s mess around,’ and she was so afraid to sing in front of me. In little bits and pieces she would start singing with me. It was just starting to fit! She was a little nervous at first to come up with things on her now. And now I have to tell her, ‘You’re singing over me, Carolyn!’ It’s been a really awesome journey.”