Q&A with Rachel Hirsh


by Liza Roberts

photograph by Nick Pironio

Rachel Hirsh, singer for the local power-pop band I Was Totally Destroying It, is excited to move back to Raleigh after a stint in Chapel Hill.“It’s a more vibrant place to be,” she says. “I feel more connected to everything there.” On April 23, Raleigh can welcome her back when Destroying It plays at Deep South the Bar. The 5-piece band will be playing some of the music that made it popular, plus new songs like Yours Truly. But Hirsh fans will have to wait to hear the music she’s been writing for a new project: a solo album she’ll record in May called Bruxes. The word, which refers to the involuntary grinding of teeth, points to something Hirsh wishes she didn’t do in her sleep, as well as her private creative output. “I have a lot of anxiety,” she admits. “I don’t really get out a whole lot, and I get kind of trapped in my head.” For the last two years, her music has been the same way. “I have all of these songs,” she says. “They exist, but no one knows about them.” Hirsh may be introspective, but she’s also funny. Before she sat down  recently to have her Gibson Girl tattoo touched up, she gamely breezed through our monthly Snap Chat quiz.

Favorite N.C. musician

Nina Simone

Earliest musical influences

The Beatles, The Beach Boys

Current musical influences

Kate Bush, Kathleen Hanna

Lyrics I wish I’d written

“You make streets so straight that a compass does no good. The concrete has a weight, makes me feel like I should pack it up and follow it to the end.”- Milemarker

Lyrics I’m proud I wrote

“When we were young the world was not as grey, but it is getting dimmer every day, so instead I pretend me and them we are ghosts.”

Raleigh is great because

It’s full of people who genuinely want to see the city grow

Favorite Raleigh bar / cocktail

The Hemingway at Jose and Sons

Favorite Raleigh restaurant / favorite dish

Tinga Tacos at Fiction Kitchen

Coolest friend

My dog Indy

Secret weapon

A cynical sense of humor

Can’t resist 

Dad jokes, bad puns

Always avoid

Family on social media

Secret hideout

The shower


“You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is ‘never try.’” – Homer Simpson

On my playlist

FML – Kanye West
Kill V. Maim – Grimes
Hungry White Lung

Never without

Photos of my dog

Perfect day

Sleeping in. James Franco bringing me a latte from Videri. Speed reading and immediately comprehending Finnegans Wake. Paul Giamatti leaving me a voicemail. Hiking at Umstead with my dog. Time traveling.

Fatal flaw


Party trick

Instantly ruining parties

In another life, I would

Be a forensic psychologist

If aliens had to describe me, they’d say

She really needs to calm down.

One wish

Worldwide rationality

One more

No really, I want a voicemail from Paul Giamatti.

Deep South The Bar
430 S. Dawson St.