Dormitory Effect (band)

Dormitory Effect (band)

Dormitory Effect is an American all-female hard rock/metal band based in New York.

Dormitory Effect consists of New York music veterans. Vocalist Susan Wendelken and bassist Urith (Jordan) Myree played in New York City's One Step Beyond from 1990-2001. One Step Beyond had many accomplishments under its belt, including two consecutive years at the SXSW Music Conference (1996 and 1997), a clip for one of their songs was used for footage in the 1999 X-Games, and they opened for such bands as Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult. Their 1999 self-titled CD remains one of CD Baby's Top Selling releases of the 1990s. Guitarist Meredith Herrmann performed with the hardcore band Perseverance, who were signed to Deepkill Records and Gig Records. Perseverance toured with such artists as Biohazard and Stuck Mojo. Drummer "Gee" (Gina Ilasi) was a member of Neutron Cafe who were signed to Photon Records and were featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. All of the women knew each other from around the music scene and occasionally were on the same bill. In 2001, One Step Beyond disbanded. Wendelken, who has been called, "the best female hard rock vocalist right now" by a Grammy Nominated artist further entrenched herself in the New York city/Queens Irish music scene. With AlternaTrad she opened for Shane McGowan from The Pogues at Webster Hall and sang alongside Sean O'Connor (in the current formation of Thin Lizzy) and performed regularly with other indie Irish artists. Herrmann had left Perseverance, and along with Myree and remaining One Step Beyond members Robert Valderrama and Charlie Galasso, formed the short-lived Still Your Enemy. In 2002, Myree disappeared from the scene and Herrmann worked to get her music promotion company, Sick Promotions, Inc., off the ground. Neutron Cafe parted ways with their label, but Ilasi and her bandmates decided to continue on. They changed their name to Sympathetic Magic and continued performing and releasing music. In December 2003, Wendelken and Myree contacted Ilasi and Herrmann inquiring if they would be interested in forming a cover band as a side project. Both Herrmann and Ilasi agreed, and Dormitory Effect was officially a band on New Year's Day, 2004. After a few sessions, Herrmann introduced original material her previous bandmates in Perseverance rejected. The material was strong, and the band agreed to play these new numbers along with the covers songs they were learning. From that point on, the band rapidly progressed from a cover band to an original band. Their EP, Wealth of the Disease was released in October 2005. Since the EP's introduction, Dormitory Effect enjoyed a spate of show offers, reviews and airplay on terrestrial and Internet radio. In November 2005 the band was invited to play the Rockrgrl Conference in Seattle, becoming the second-highest show draw after keynote speaker Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde). They were also listed in the Garry-Sharpe Young book, New Wave of American Heavy Metal. The band ended the year opening for Suicide City (featuring members of Biohazard & Kittie) and Coretez (featuring members of Ill Nino and Dragpipe). Over the course of 2005, Wendelken was a regular caller to the Sirius Satellite Radio show Breuer Unleashed. The program revolves around comedian Jim Breuer who starred in such movies Half-Baked and was a recurring character on Saturday Night Live during the 1990s. On February 13, 2006 Wendelken, who is called "The Metal Queen" by the Breuer crew, phoned in to the show and sang a portion of Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" acapella. This led to the band being invited to perform and be broadcast live from the show on May 16, 2006. The band was also selected to perform June 16, 2006, as part of the prestigious NXNE Music Conference in Toronto. In August 2006, Myree was featured in the webzine "Bass Girls. In December, the band were selected to open for Soulfly guitarist Marc Rizzo for the New York date of his solo tour. At the start of 2007, The band signed up with Pitbull-Bear Management. On February 4, 2007, the band opened for Century Media artist In This Moment. Dormitory Effect also did well on the competitive with their track "What I Have Done" selected as Track of the Day" for Hard Rock on April 2, 2007 and Wendelken receiving "Best Female Hard Rock Vocal" for two consecutive weeks in March. That month, Wendelken returned to the "Breuer Unleashed" show that month to sing Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills" live with Jim Breuer himself. In the summer the band received airplay on WBAB and appeared on Long Island's WUSB twice. In October, 2007 Long Island Press featured Herrmann's company Sick Promotions, Inc. interviewing Herrmann and Ilasi. On December 14, 2007 Susan was yet again invited to sing live on the "Breuer Unleashed" program. As of 2008, the band opened for Jamey Jasta (vocalist of Hatebreed, Icepick and former host of MTV2's Headbanger's Ball) for a surprise solo date on February 19, 2008. While Dormitory Effect's EP, Wealth of the Disease, still has legs and recently was selected for airplay on XM Radio, the band is reportedly writing new material for a formal full-length CD to be released in 2008.


  • [1] 1999 as part of Levi's "Second Stage"
  • [2]; CD Baby
  • [3] DeepKill Records released "Us Vs. Them in 2000; Gig Records release "Perseverance" in 2001
  • [4]; A division of Cat's Paw Records
  • [5] By Joaquin Lievano, solo artist/guitarist, Grammy-nominated 1999
  • [6] As reported by the Rockrgrl Live Event Coordinator, November, 2005
  • [7] New Wave of American Heavy Metal by Garry Sharpe-Young, publisher: Zonda Books
  • [8];
  • [9];
  • [10]; WBAB's Homegrown Program
  • [11] 8/27/07 live interview; 10/18/07 live acoustic performance
  • [12] "When the Music's Over, Part II"/April Jiminez/Long Island Press, October 17, 2007
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