Relentless Awesomeness (Interview)

I have been horrible at updating the blog, mainly because so many thing are happening (that’s good though, right? Oh God – someone reassure me) but it was super naughty of me (in a UGH you’re the worst kind of way) since I had this fantastic interview come out on a fabulous website of long-time supporter of indie music – and most importantly, of MOI – The Dutch Guy  (yes, the one with the Music Blog you’ve heard so many wicked new artists through). I’m an artist; I was spaced-out looking at tapestries or something. But as Stephanie Tanner would say, ‘How Rude.’ How rude, indeed, Steph. But go get Michelle and Comet (D.J. is busy hiding a sandwich and dizzily operating a treadmill/butter churn in a day-long spree of anorexia), hunker down on a familiar piece of gingham couch, and read this immediately, because AWESOME.

Don’t forget to follow The Dutch Guy on Twitter, and you can read his magnificent blog right here!

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It’s been almost a year since I introduced you to the dark synth-pop, Depeche Mode-ish sounds of this glamorous sister. Teaming up with Fauxplay, she recently dropped her new single ‘Just Stop‘, that has this weird No Doubt/Gwen Stefani feel to it.

Shoot me, spank me, punish me, but I just dig her sulky, yet sensual presence and I got no shame in admitting it! But if you haven’t played (with) Dolls before, may I suggest we do it now?!

The Dutch Guy (TDG): Can I borrow 20 bucks?

Dolls: Sure – but just keep it, ’cause I feel like it’s a bit ugh to “lend” someone 20 bucks. I’d rather not care to keep track of or chase someone for a tenner. (U.S. dollars, right?)

Also – never lend anything you’d be upset about if it didn’t come back. Life rule.

TDG: When you looked into the mirror this morning, what was your first thought?

Dolls: “Having a mirror on the ceiling is so convenient! Also, who is that GORGEOUS creature in last night’s makeup?”

TDG: What was the last furry thing you touched?

Dolls: A 1980′s 40′s redux rabbit fur coat dyed the colour of Oscar the Grouch, which I think has left green all over my hands like the last stages of a bruise.

TDG: Can you describe yourself in one sentence?

Dolls: “Missing: presumed fabulous; extroverted introvert whose reputation often precedes her – with hilarious consequences.”

TDG: What are your (musical) roots?

Dolls: I’m not sure if you meant what I’ve listened to and liked or what I’ve played growing up, and you said “either/both,” which you subsequently admitted was not terribly helpful, but I’m taking it as “I think he means I simply can’t talk about myself enough!”

I started playing piano when I was 8; guitar when I was 13 and stints in school bands with brass instruments before picking up a drum kit and teaching myself music production using the wildly inappropriately-named Logic. Singing-wise, it was a combination love of musical theatre and the Bodyguard soundtrack. I wish I could say ‘equal parts,’ but I can’t Whitney like Whitney (rest her soul).

I performed in AmDram (amateur dramatic) productions of Grease (Rizzo – #duh); and FAME, where I played a punk drummer from Staten Island and learned to sing the theme song in Spanish (again – #duh) – before getting accepted into a FAME-like school just outside Toronto, and did everything from Shakespeare to standup.

My first-ever in-studio vocal recording was guesting on a track for my mate 0=0, for which I became so nervous I smoked a massive joint that ultimately left me foetal, twitching in paranoia. I can’t even remember when I stepped up to the mic again but it suffices to say I left Mary Jane out if it. Is it ironic that I became a rapper after?

In terms of what I was listening to… Obviously – lots of Madonna (quelle surprise); Salt-N-Pepa; Prince; Nirvana; Nine Inch Nails; Bowie; No Doubt; lots of UK garage and booty house; less obviously – Led Zeppelin; The Doors; Hendrix; Tears for Fears; anything Motown.

TDG: How would you describe your sound?

Dolls: “Bitter bubblegum alternapop indietronic.”

TDG: What’s involved in your songwriting process?

Dolls: Either;

A) At least ten minutes of self loathing
B) A recent breakup with an AWFUL human
C) Several glasses of Champagne
D) All of the above
E) Other

TDG: Which aspect did you enjoy the most while working on your single ‘Just Stop‘?

Dolls: I think because I was so involved start-to-finish (I even edited the footage shot by Parisian photographer Julie De Moura), it’s all such an unfathomably tight-knit knot of fabulousness. If I had to pick a standout moment it would be after we’d recorded the first vocal takes, and Fauxplay and I were in-studio super vibing on that glitchy synthy intro, trying to figure a way to describe it, eventually coming up with “the sound of R2-D2 – as heard uncontrollably screaming down the side streets of the Rive Gauche, in a shopping cart.” That amazingness aside, performing the track for the first time on my birthday was also pretty lush.

TDG: Who or what inspires you the most?

Dolls: People who live their lives artfully and with conviction.

TDG: What is the biggest misconception people have about you?

Dolls: That I’m unapproachable.

TDG: How important is connecting with fans for you? What kind of connection do you have or do you like to have with them?

Dolls: I love it, and appreciate it so much that they want to talk to me or share my work with their friends. It’s really fabulous in particular hearing how my songs might elicit a memory or given them cause to initiate a change.

I write a lot of “f**k-you” stuff and thus am credited in the liner notes for a lot of breakups. I am a way better boyfriend/girlfriend tho, so it’s no wonder I won.

TDG: And social media is a big help in your opinion?

Dolls: I think social media is essential for artists working in music, but you have to love doing it, otherwise just hire someone to speak for you. There’s nothing worse than getting 57 updates at once from someone who feels they SHOULD be tweeting/instagramming but hates it and doesn’t make an effort to connect to the way people are using that platform. Immediate unfollow. (Also very sage general advice.)

TDG: What do you do to stand out from all the rest on social media?

Dolls: I don’t get my tits out. (one day)

TDG: Who is currently on repeat on your iPod or Spotify playlist?

Dolls: I’m absolutely terrible at listening to new music, just FYI. Always Prince, Bowie, Madonna, and lately The Weeknd, Sia. FrankMusik’s new stuff is great, I think Viktoria Modesta is the hottest sh*t ever, and that track Kimono from MNDR is sickening.

TDG: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other aspiring artists/bands?

Dolls: I was never given any good advice, but I’ve had numerous conversations with other artists who agree with a sentiment along the lines of “if this wasn’t what I loved, I wouldn’t do it, because it’s fraught with bullsh*t.” So my advice is, if you don’t love it, DON’T DO IT. If you love it, do YOUR thing – doesn’t matter if it doesn’t sound like what’s in the charts, and if you’re making something worth listening to, the charts will come to you. Or not. Who cares? Dreams of popularity shouldn’t drive the decision to become an artist.

TDG: Besides dropping ‘Just Stop‘, what else can we expect of you in 2015?

Dolls: Glamorous selfies, sneak peeks of the EP coming out next year, the occasional well-played Dubsmash and a hell of a lot of sh*t-talk on my Twitter feed!

TDG: Got any last words of wisdom you wanna lay down on us before we wrap this up?

Dolls: Be as gracious as possible when exiting a situation that’s beneath you. Also, never use drugstore hair dye.

Check in with Dolls on:
Twitter: @Dollsxx
Instagram: @Dollsxx
Bandcamp: Dolls + Fauxplay’s single ‘Just Stop’

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