Meet The Covenne

The group wears horror-based makeup on stage while screaming into a microphone

From+left+to+right%2C+Aradhana+Rage%2C+Sandi+Kill+and+Sami-Jo+Bones.+Photo+by+Melanie+Witherup.+
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Meet The Covenne

From left to right, Aradhana Rage, Sandi Kill and Sami-Jo Bones. Photo by Melanie Witherup.

From left to right, Aradhana Rage, Sandi Kill and Sami-Jo Bones. Photo by Melanie Witherup.

From left to right, Aradhana Rage, Sandi Kill and Sami-Jo Bones. Photo by Melanie Witherup.

From left to right, Aradhana Rage, Sandi Kill and Sami-Jo Bones. Photo by Melanie Witherup.

Sophie Siegel, Editor in Chief

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When witchcraft meets music, it may create some kind of dark magic.

Meet “The Covenne,” a 4-piece band from South Florida made up of Sandi Kill, Aradhana Rage,  Sami-Jo Bones and new member, Synn Skyclad. The group has been together for two years now, and most of the band originated from FAU — Sandi is an alum, and Aradhana currently attends the university. They’re centered in Lake Worth and based on “scum scene,” as coined by Sami-Jo.

Around Halloween in a small Fort Lauderdale bar called Beer Punx, the trio grabbed everyone’s attention when they started to play and scream into the microphone. The stage was set with an ouija board and baby dolls to add to the influence of witchcraft.

Dressed in Halloween-style makeup, they opened up with a cover of “Bruised Violet” by the riot grrrl band called Babes in Toyland, who they cite as one of their influences.

But crowds at small bars aren’t the only people The Covenne has played for. They got the chance to open for their idol, Doyle from The Misfits, during an October show at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach, where they played for “roughly fifty people,” according to Sami-Jo.

The show was sold-out, which Sami-Jo said “was nuts!”

During shows, Sandi and Ardhana switch instruments in a “witchcraft dance,” accompanied by Sami-Jo playing a beat. This has been part of their stage persona since they started as a band.

During one show, Sandi yelled out, “We’re switching bodies, bitch!” when the audience asked what they were doing to go with the theme of their goddess-based witchcraft.

These dolls are on stage with the group during their sets. Photo by Melanie Witherup

The dance on stage came “organically,” according to the band. The chanting was inspired by Lila Lindie, who was inspired by Wiccan chants, which are about the earth and spiritually. The band also said their Hispanic and Iranian heritages have inspired dances on stage.

“It is very ingrained in our cultures,” Sami-Jo said.

But the “scum scene” of music isn’t where they started.

Sandi said she was focused on the classical music track at FAU, and worked with Hoot Wisdom, FAU’s record label. But eventually, she wanted a change of pace.

“I didn’t like that stuff. I just wanted to do punk for some reason,” she said.  

Sandi’s goal was to start an all-female band inspired by Bikini Kill and Babes in Toyland. The Coven, their former name, comes from “what is means to be a female,” she said.

“Sometimes, when you are part of a marginalized group, you have to feel that you have to be more perfect than other people do,” she said in regards to how she believes women have to present themselves in society.

That is how the name “The Coven” was born. A coven is a gathering of witches, who are typically represented as female. It’s also “very punk,” Sandi said.  

She met Ardhana while playing in another band, and they met Sami-Jo through mutual friends. It all felt like a “blind date” where they clicked instantly, Sandi said.

The group bonded over their love for punk. Photo by Melanie Witherup

Their 4-song EP “Fire” opens up with a song called “Cynical,” where Sandi screams about wanting to be with someone so badly, and closes with “Daisy,” which was one of the first songs Sandi ever wrote.

“Daisy” was Sandi’s favorite song. She said it was about having the right to choose in life, as well as “having a voice and accepting who I am.”

The EP’s second song, “Made in China,” was written by Ardhana and is about civil rights and corporations.

And the third song, “Solipsism,” is about academic concepts and experiences that Sandi went through in an FAU anthropology class. She was reading the Satanic Bible at the time, and the song illustrates her frustration with how people reacted negatively to her studies, as she grew up Catholic.

They band doesn’t plan to stop at this EP. They are releasing a single later this month, which they said is “folk-er” than their normal sound.

“It takes three to create this music,” Sandi said.

You can stream them under their old name, The Coven on Spotify and follow their Facebook or their Instagram, @thecovennebandofficial for updates.

Sophie Siegel is the Editor in Chief of the University Press. For more information regarding this and other stories, email her at [email protected] or tweet her at @SophSiegel.