Besides appearing in Dustin Ferguson’s recent sci-fi thriller, Nemesis 5: The New Model, actress and singer Daiane Azura can also be heard on the film’s soundtrack. Her songs featured in the film are “Time Machine” and “Here is Love,” both off her band Pandora Black’s Into the Shadows CD, which was released last year.
Having no problem with the daunting task of balancing a film and music career, Daiane, who now calls LA home, savors the roles in which she’s cast. Her first plunge into films was a small, uncredited role in the 2002 comedy Big Trouble, which starred Tim Allen. After that experience, Daiane says she chose to pursue the path of a lead actress instead of lingering as an extra. Since then, her film credits have included 2006’s Prison of the Psychotic Damned: Terminal Remix, 2010’s Dead Ink (both of which she was credited as Demona Bast), 2017’s O’ Bloody Night, as well as the aforementioned Nemesis 5.
In this exclusive interview Daiane recently did for Idol Features, we touch on her past, current, and future projects, in front of the camera and behind the mic. All photos courtesy of Daiane herself.
CHRIS CHARLES: It’s a pleasure to have you here Daiane. You have an unusual first name. Do people often mistakenly call you or write your name as “Diane”?
DAIANE AZURA: Thank you, the pleasure is all mine Chris. Haha, yup, oh my Goddess, yes, I do get my name misspelled and pronounced wrong all the time. But that’s what happens when you’re born with an unique name not from this planet (laughs). Though there are a few individuals that actually get it right …and that’s when I find it impressive. I love my name because it’s a mythological ancient Roman divinity. Daiane was noted for beauty and swiftness; often depicted as a huntress, goddess of the moon and forest.
CHRIS: Our mutual friend Dawna Lee Heising introduced us. How did the two of you meet?
DAIANE: Even though we’ve been in a movie together called Nemesis 5, a sci-fi Film by director Dustin Ferguson, who did an awesome job, by the way, and everyone in it was great, Dawna and I, unfortunately, did not have the chance to meet in person due to the film’s schedules and different timings on the sets, you know how that goes, which was a bummer ’cause I was really looking forward to meeting her. And the cool thing is that she was also on my Nemesis 5 music video “Time Machine,” which is one of the songs from my “Pandora Black” band project. Super cool video created by Dustin Ferguson which may be found online. But gladly enough, I finally had the chance to meet Dawna through a student film, a commercial project which was shot not to long ago in LA by director Chaya Supannarat. The film will be released online soon, it also included a very talented actor named Bobby. It was my very first time working with him and he definitely added that special spark that was extremely needed on the film. Everyone in it was superb and Chaya as a director totally made the film look uniquely outstanding. It will be available online soon, definitely a classic and I loved working with Chaya. She knew how to guide and was super easy to work with, focused and I’m so proud of her professional work.
So anyways, even though it was for a short period of time, I’m honored to have had the opportunity to have worked with them. But I gotta say; Dawna is such a sweetheart, it was a awesome meeting her. We actually have another movie coming up soon as well, but can’t be announced yet. The script is killer! And it’s another film by director Dustin Ferguson, so you know it’s gonna be really cool. I had a blast working with him. Exciting that once again we’ll share the screen, hehe.
CHRIS: I listened to an interview you did a few years back with WSLR’s Sal White Horse, who hosts the show “Indigenous Sounds.” What is your ethnic mix?
DAIANE: Well, I was originally born in Brazil, and besides being a Brazilian indigenous from the Tupi-Guarani and Kaingang Tribes, I’m also part Italian and German. So they invited me for the radio interview show because when my music from the solo album “Demona Bast – Vicious Tongues” CD got noticed by them, they were happy to know I was also part Brazilian Native American. I was happy to be there. Radio was an incredible way to connect with my Native Americans brothers and sisters. Radio is definitely and interesting way to get your tunes and messages across the universe. And plus, they were happy to see a new indigenous face on the risen. It was an awesome gathering!
CHRIS: You live in LA now, but do you miss calling Florida home?
DAIANE: Nope, not at all and probably never will (laughs). I would definitely not choose Florida as my home and that’s because my home needs varieties of nature views, or at least a state that has varieties of views to choose from. You see, when I came from Brazil, I actually went straight to New York and I’m like a Gypsy. I tend to move around a lot. Don’t ask me why ’cause I’m not even sure. Maybe I admire different locations which involves a new breeze or a new lifestyle. Who knows, but I lived in New York, Arizona, Florida, and you name it (laughs). I would like to say my home now is California ….or should I just say…Planet Earth.
CHRIS: Since you’ve been singing, have you performed more as a solo artist or as a member of a band?
DAIANE: Hmmm, I would say about the same. A band is a great experience when performed live. The adrenaline that I get while being on stage and getting in the zone while all are in tune together is phenomenal. You become connected like a family, which is awesome. Though some bands have this egotistical attitudes, which in my opinion is unprofessional and a turn off. I prefer to mingle mangle with the ones that connects as one. So being a solo artist to me it has it’s great advantages. I can do it all on my own, on my own spare time, whenever I feel like it. It becomes creatively deeper for me as if it was a personal ritual. I keep the the focus on me myself and I, in pleasing my fans and not band members (laughs). Don’t get me wrong …having a band is awesome! Either way, it’s an unforgettable experience, solo or group band. Both is a great form of creation and just as much as I love doing solo stuff, I also love joining and collaborating with other musicians if they’re willing to do the same …as long as it is not “diva-notic” dramatic, and no negative atmosphere between each other, then it’s all good. I just can’t stand when band members gets jealous of the singer for getting more fans or more attention or complains a lot for no reason or cries to get more attention than the other or lies about who does who. Not showing up for rehearsals or slacking all the time. To me bands like that will not last long and will keep going in circles …meaning they will get nowhere. A good professional band focuses on getting their job done, supporting each other, and being team players. Sure, there will be ups and downs, but they should be mature enough to be able handle it, and realizing that we’re all in this together, then it’s all good. We’re in it for success and making what we love, so why fuzz about it? (laughs) Boy yeah, solo artists have their advantages.
CHRIS: As the current lead singer for Pandora Black, are you also the main lyricist?
DAIANE: Yes, I’m the lead vocalist and the main lyricist of Pandora Black for all the songs that I sing. Although, the guitar player laid some of his background vocals here and there, he indeed prefers to do it with his own lyrics. It’s his way of collaborating together, but not recommended for those who enjoy teamwork or being creative as a group as most musicians do. So lucky for me I can write (laughs). I admire unity in a band. Regardless, solo or band, creativity comes in many forms, so working as a team or not, we still become Pandora Black on its best. To me, it’s more about the band at the time instead of just me, me, and me in a band.
CHRIS: I have to ask; was the notion of Pandora Black not having a drummer, right from when the band was being formed, or was it decided upon at some point later?
DAIANE: Being that we were an electronic band, we felt that we did not need a drummer. Our sound was strong and powerful enough that the idea of having a drummer was not needed. Yeah, sure it crossed our minds once in a while, but just for the looks (laughs). Most of the sound came from the keyboards anyways. The guitars and bass added that specific missing touch to it, which was good enough not to have a drummer. Lots of electronic bands just have a singer and a keyboardist, so the package we needed to form a band was very satisfactory, it felt complete.
CHRIS: What have been some of your favorite venues to play throughout your career?
DAIANE: My top favorite was performing with my band Pandora Black at the Author Anne Rice’s Vampire Ball in New Orleans. That was fangtastic being that I loved Interview with the Vampire. That was definitely an invitation from her I could not resist. And performing at the Kitchen Club in Miami Florida,when we opened for Skold, which is one of the former band members for Marilyn Manson, that was pretty cool too. And well, I love the Doors, so opening for Robby Krieger and his son Waylon Krieger at the Culture Room club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with my band WET was phenomenal. We also opened for Gene Loves Jezebel at the same club, which was freakin’ awesome. Even though there were tons of shows, I think those were my top favorites.
CHRIS: Is it difficult to juggle between your career as an actress and as a musician?
DAIANE: Not at all. In fact, I love it! I love it so much, it’s hard for me to choose which I love doing the most. Pretty much whatever comes my way first, I grab it! (Laughs) And if doing both at the same time, as I did for Nemesis 5, is a dream come true. So I gotta thank Dustin Ferguson and all the directors again and in advance, to all the directors that will in the future. I’m just glad they dig my stuff (laughs). But that is what being an artist is all about. Being able to juggle between careers is part of the process of being who you are and giving your all. When a few doors open, divide yourself into two, enter in one with your body and the other with your soul. For me at least, I’m bored if focused only in one path. So the more, the merrier. It keeps myself happily busy knowing I’m being surrounded with unique and lovely talented creatures. With creative skill and imagination, light or dark, art becomes beautiful. So, bring it on baby!
CHRIS: Are there any singers who’ve also acted, you admire? I’m going to guess Deborah Harry.
DAIANE: Yes, you can say she’s on the list (laughs), but lets not forget about Cher and Madonna. I admire artists that can do both, regardless of my flavor of music. Gotta do what you love in many ways if you can and it’s possible. We live once, you are who you choose to become. So do it well …and have fun with it.
CHRIS: Moving on you your acting; was the uncredited role as a tourist in 2002’s Big Trouble your first film role ever?
DAIANE: Yes, that was my very first role in a comedy movie ever as an extra and the last. I chose to go up the ladder and follow the path of a lead instead of lingering as an extra. What happened was, once I saw beyond the veil of acting, I said to myself, I’ll never be an extra again. I deserve better for the love of myself as an actress. I fall in love with the cameras and the whole process when I joined that film. So I’m thankful for that experience, which expended myself into new horizons in which brought me to where I am today.
CHRIS: Even thought it was just sort of the first rung on the ladder for you, there were some pretty big names in Big Trouble. What was it like for you working on that one?
DAIANE: It was exciting and amusing to me. It was surreal (laughs). I have learned a lot from being surrounded by big names throughout my carrier …and grateful to have been a part of it. I must say though, Jason Lee was the coolest guy there. Down-to-earth, kinda shy, but very friendly. I was in disbelief when he grabbed one of my music CDs from my band WET that I had at the time. Me being the little extra at that time, I thought it was super cool! (Laughs) And Tom Sizemore was my other favorite in Big Trouble as well An interesting person to share the airport scenes with, very collective and seriously focused in his character, his eyes glanced with a touch of charm that gave people the feeling of character connection towards his role and people had great respect towards him. I wanted to meet him, but didn’t have the courage. Now I regret it! (Laughs) I admire his films.
CHRIS: The next one you did was The Prisoner of the Psychotic Damned: Terminal Remix. What do you remember most about that one?
DAIANE: Everything (laughs). It was probably the longest and most adventurous, haunting, and coolest film I’ve ever done so far. Only because it involved being able to put up with adventurous roles, abandoned places, characters, diversity scenes, tons of props, the freezing weather, etc. The place where we shot the film was huge, you could get lost in it. It was the Central Terminal, a long abandoned art deco monstrosity, where over 200 people have died. At one point, we had to stay there alone for one of the night all by ourselves. We were told to shoot our own home video scenes which was cool and it made it even spookier for us, which brought us even more into character.
The place was pitch black. It made it more realistic in my mind, As I was really hoping to catch some ghosts for real though (laughs). But I guess it turned out that, we were the ones who brought it to life ourselves by creating this movie, if you know what I mean. The next day, the filmmakers showed up with their HUGE professional cameras (laughs). I was living a dream.
CHRIS: Who have been some of your favorite actresses to work with?
DAIANE: There are many so, to make this easier for me, I’m only gonna mention a few of the actresses that I have met and worked with in person in specific films (laughs). This is tough because a lot of them were truly great and a pleasure to work with and some of them are; Susan Andriensen (Prison of the Psychotic Damned), Crystal Dukes (Nemesis 5: The New Model), Ronni Lea and Heather Bounds (Stirring), and I could go on, but we gotta move on (laughs).
CHRIS: Is there anyone in indie horror, on either side of the camera, you haven’t worked with, but you’d really like to work with?
DAIANE: Of course, Josh Hartnett, Sherilyn Fenn, Shiloh Fernandez, Logan Marshall-Green, Carla Gugino, Nathaniel Arcand, and more.
CHRIS: I won’t ask for names, but is there anyone, once again, on either side of the camera, you’ll never work with again?
DAIANE: Yes, a few actually. Sadly, we work in a business that involves all kinds of people no matter how hard you try to avoid them, some here and there might pop-up. Some you can trust, some you can’t. And that would be the divas, the troublemakers, the bad advantage takers, and the ones that love causing attention with drama. The unprofessionals and the gossipers. I myself prefer to get along with everybody. I have respect and even though eventually they might ruin their own carrier for such behavior, I would not trash a fellow actor just because of everyone’s’ opinion of them. I would be lowering myself into their level. It’s just childish to me and I got better things to worry about. In such cases, it is better to just not join their problems and ignore them. Easy. Good luck guessing who they are (laughs).
CHRIS: Besides appearing in Dustin Ferguson’s Nemesis 5: The New Model, you composed songs for the soundtrack. Did you write all those songs specifically for the film, or did you already have some of them in your catalog?
DAIANE: Luckily, I actually already had them made, so for him, it was easy to just pick and choose. He chose those songs “Time Machine” and a partial of the song “Here is Love” from Pandora Black’s Into the Shadows CD, which was released last year (2017).
CHRIS: You’ve also had songs of yours included in other films?
DAIANE: Yes indeed. I have varieties of tunes created for different types of genres. Most of my songs are film friendly, so I’m glad directors such as David Williams (Prison of the Psychotic Damned) and Dusting Ferguson (Nemesis 5: The New Model) heard and saw my music fit into their films. I truly admire how they appreciate me as a musician and as an actress at the same time by adding both my music and acting into their films. I’m grateful for such Directors, for they make me “shine” like a star, as a multi-talented artist.
CHRIS: You currently have a couple of films in post production. One is Stirring, directed by Troy Escamilla. What can you tell me about that one?
DAIANE: That one was unique to me in a sense that I’ve always wanted to make a “romantic movie” and, even though this film was horror instead of romance, Troy at least gave me that opportunity to show I can do romantic scenes, even if it’s in horror (laughs). Since most of my movies tend to be horror, that was a pleasant change of scenery for me, in a professional way and I’m sure it will be for others. Acting while being in a relationship was something I’ve been curious about pretty much all my life in this film business. Definitely something I’m not used to it in front of a camera, so that was an exciting experience for me and I had good faith this was gonna go well as an actress. Actor Ryan Poole was totally a natural. We clicked right away and we did it so well that filmmakers were impressed. As for me, I haven’t seen it yet, but according to directors that have seen it already were very happy with the outcome. Ryan and I’s acting went with the flow and we didn’t waste time. We definitely knew what we were doing and immediately connected as characters. Even I was impressed with how well we both transformed into our characters together. I was also excited to know that the cult famous actress Helene Udy was gonna be part of this film amongst other amazing actors such as Jace Greenwood, Drew Shotwell, and more. It was an honor to work with such great talents. Director Troy Escamilla was great to work with. When I read his script, I was like; “WOW, this is gonna be an awesome film to be in.” I was also glad to know he was working with Editor/Videographer Derek Huey, who has the magical eyes for editing films.
CHRIS: How about More Than a Conversation by Luc Bernier?
DAIANE: That is a feature film that is going to be insanely good with lots of intense and dramatic scenes. I was chosen to be the lead actress, which will include lots of tension and probably will be considered to be one of the films, as they call it, with a strong female lead. My character is Lori, a wife, avid-runner, and strong person who ambitiously and optimistically paves her way through life. One day, while running through the woods, as she does every day, she comes across an unexpected fight for her life. A crazy individual scoped her out to be his next victim. She is alone, in the woods, with no one to help her, only herself, her phone, with the psycho on the other end of the line, lurking behind the trees. As the conversation progresses, she does the only thing she can do to survive …fight back, play the game of her life, and race to the end. It will be directed by Jeffrey Schneider, who has produced many other films such as Lake Noir, Terrible Angels and more. It will be exciting to work with him for the first time. I’m so looking forward to it since I hear all good things about him and to top it off, it will include some amazing actors that I have been in films with before such as Tim O’Hearn and Donna Hamblin. This awesome scrip was written by Luc Bernier, who is also a great director in other films we have worked on in the past. He’s also a very talented actor.
CHRIS: You’ve also worked with Luc on a couple of his previous films. Did he write the role of the reporter in Like a Shadow specifically for you?
DAIANE: Yes he did, a female reporter role shot in Florida by videographer Ana Foragi. It was a small role, but a great one because I’ve never thought I would be a reporter in a film. But I guess there’s always a first time for everything (laughs) Besides, I have though, been curious in experiencing in having such a role and it’s an important role too and thanks to Luc Bernier, he made it happen. Ana and I had some great laughs and some fun enjoyment during the filming of Like A Shadow.
CHRIS: Do you ever appear at any events, such as film fests or horror conventions, where fans can meet you?
DAIANE: Yes, I have been in the past, but not lately. Unfortunately, I’ve been so caught up into other films and making music that I did not have that special time to participate in more jut yet. But it’s definitely something I’m looking forward in the near future now that I’m taking a small break from music and focusing more into films. I believe it’s important to have this time of connection with the fans and specially the filmmakers who puts their heart and soul into these wonderful projects. I will be attending a few here and there in the near future. I feel we all deserve to have these special moments with fans and filmmakers. Plus, I miss it and it’s so much funnnn! (Laughs)
CHRIS: With that, I thank you very much for doing this, Daiane. In closing, any shout-outs to anyone?
DAIANE: Thank you so much Chris for this great interview and this awesome opportunity to connect with you and the fans through Idol Features. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be a part of this. I also want to thank my two beautiful daughters, Morganna Abigail and Tabatha Avalon for believing in me, their love and for their existence. Thank you mom for being there for me and for you love, help, and support, even when you thought it was a bad idea, you let me spread my wings to fly in hopes my dreams would come true. A shout-out to all the new and old fans out there for following me for many years. Thank you for all of your love, help, and support. And a special thanks to my “One and Only” Twin-flame Pearry Teo, who gives me strength to continue in being the artist that I am, by witnessing his devotion and love for films. He inspires me to continue this adventurous world of film and music entertainment. Much love to you all! All the best and lots of success!
See and hear more of Daiane at:
Her IMDb Page
Her Facebook Fan Page
Her Youtube Channel
Pandors Black’s Facebook Fan Page
Solo Album by Daiane Azura/Demona Bast -Vicious Tongues
Demona Bast on Myspace
Official music video for “Innocence Lost”