The band are busy rehearsing for their forthcoming tour, but Doll took some time out to converse with Mudkiss. DATK are a four piece band, who formed in 2005, established in the cosmopolitan city of Brighton. The name of the band derives originally from the title of a Foo Fighters track called 'Doll'. After bouncing names around, 'the kicks' were later added to the mix, and they were crowned Doll And The Kicks.
Photo: Doll by Shay (magicube 77)
Doll is a striking front woman with her own style but has comparisons to several notable female singers such as Siouxsie Sioux & Debbie Harry.
We are really enthusiastic about reviewing their show at The Ruby Lounge in Manchester this month – on their second headlining tour. With an album released, (I’ve just downloaded it from iTunes) it’s bursting with promise. Punchy, energetic catchy tunes, danceable pop, splattered with a ‘take no prisoners’ attitude, yet have a feminine touch in the same vein as Blondie. Certainly Morrissey was duly impressed enough to invite them to open his ‘Tour Of Refusal’ last year, in the UK, Europe and Russia. They've also been invited to play the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas in March.
Doll And The Kicks are: Doll (vocals), Matt (guitar), Olivier (bass) and Chris (drums). Mudkiss wanted to chat to them to find out more before the show.
MEL: Firstly thanks for this li’l interview, and well done on the huge support to Morrissey. I guess I’ll start by asking the usual questions about the band. Can you tell us a little about how the band started and how old are you guys?
DOLL: Olivier and I used to spend class at college at the back drinking vodka from my grandma’s old flask. So we shared an affinity and we decided to start a band together. Matt and Chris were friends of friends which we found out later after we actually all came together as the only dancers on the floor of a really dodgy 80’s night. We didn’t really know what the hell we were doing, that’s why it’s taken us so long to get it right! We are all aged 23-25 which I suppose is still pretty young but sometimes that feels ancient! Especially when you play with super hot bands who are all 18 years old!
MEL: What music do the band listen to, is there an overall favourite band?
DOLL: Definitely all 80’s. But we really have a lot of different music taste its either going to be a very short or a very long answer. So let’s keep it short, we like everything.
MEL: How rock ‘n’ roll are the band, any wild moments of abandon?
DOLL: I would say I am pretty rock and roll - The rest of them are pussys. [Laughs] no really. If I had to list stupid stuff that I had done we wouldn’t have any room for anything else. But that’s allowed right? You can be bad - and now you’re asking about it…. Hospital and police station visits are common on the list but it’s hard to go into detail without sounding like a cliché.
VIDEO: 'Roll Up The Red Carpet'MEL: I wondered if you do any cover songs live, if so which and how do you make them your own?
DOLL: Our best cover is a gossip song. It’s completely different from the original if you want to know what it sounds like you will have to make it to an acoustic gig!
MEL: How did Morrissey choose you to support his tour? Rumour goes he saw you play in Barfly in Camden – is there a great story to this?
DOLL: He came to watch us at The Fly in London which is about half the size of the barfly… about 100 capacity. And he liked us - he came again to Proud Galleries and then that was it, he asked us to support!
MEL: How were you received at the gigs, usually with big shows they can’t wait for the main act?
DOLL: To be honest we were blown away by the audience response. We were told by everyone to expect indifference at best and open hostility at worst and mostly people really seemed to love us. We were so grateful for everyone’s support because we were really nervous, it was our first every tour, but I suppose you just get up there and do what you know and hope that it connects. And thankfully it seems to!
MEL: What was the atmosphere like after the Liverpool show where Morrissey got hit by a bottle?
DOLL: I really don’t know because we were backstage when it happened then everyone left so I wouldn’t know what it was like in the arena.
MEL: Doll I believe your from my shores - a Scouser? Brighton has always been considered ‘arty’ and Liverpool more kind of ‘down to earth’, yet both are creative forces. How would you compare them and why did you move?
DOLL: I moved when I was 18 because I wanted to be independent and I had a difficult relationship with my mother at the time. I love Liverpool still every time I go back it seems to get better and better, but it rains too much. The weather is too nice down south for me to move back just yet. Brighton has been amazing and it opened my eyes to a lot of different things but now it’s time to move again! I will be in London from next month and I’m even more excited about that than anywhere I have ever been before.
Photo: Doll by Phil KingMEL: I believe you’ve done a bit of modelling. I saw in your blog you modelled some vintage style underwear for the Enamore label. Have you done anything else; is this something you’d like to continue?
DOLL: It is fun and I LOVE doing it, it is something I would definitely do more of, in fact I have a photoshoot on Sunday for a new mag SPINDLE magazine. And I’m getting creative input into every aspect of the shoot, which I like the most. I don’t think it’s something I could have done solely though, as it’s mostly other people who are in charge!
MEL: How would you feel about being a pin up poster girl? What do you think about the Suicide Girls?
DOLL: I don’t know that much about suicide girls, its alternative hot girls who post up pics of themselves right? I think it’s cool.
MEL: You have a great funky, unique look. How would you describe your fashion sense, where do you shop for clothes? What colour is your hair today?
DOLL:My hair today is black, it has been for about 5 or 6 months. I’m trying to grow it, it has been every colour under the sun in the last year. If I had access to any brand I desired I would shop at; All Vintage stores forever! – Balmain, BALMAIN, BALMAIN, Christopher Kane, Topshop, New Look, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, American Apparel, And many more. I heart clothes.
MEL: How much fun was it doing the latest Ben Parks photo shoot, with the pillow feathers scattered everywhere? Tell us more!
DOLL: Ben is a good friend of ours so yes it was very, very fun. We spent the day at the location and had an amazing make up artist and lights and a clothes rail! You know you have a proper photo shoot on your hands when you have a clothes rail and silly string.
MEL: What’s your take on Tattoos? Do you have any yet, I read your were calling out to tattooist for a ‘cheap or ‘freebie’ one. ?[Laughs]
DOLL: I have three tattoos now and I love them. I had one when I was 16 and I have had 2 large pieces in the last 6 months. My Leg design was done by Pete at Tattoo Carnival in Cleveleys and my forearm was done by James at Nine in Brighton both very talented guys you should check out their stuff. James is second to none for birds and flower work, really amazing! The one on my back was done by a guy called Neil who was my friends boyfriend when I was about 16. I think body art on anyone is sexy and now I have three a want more! They do say it’s addictive…..
MEL: I believe you self funded the 'Doll And the Kicks' album, this must of drained your resources, are you still without a recording contract? Are their any signs of signing yet?
DOLL: We say we self funded - we actually begged borrowed and stole from everyone we knew! No label, but we just got an amazing new booking agent and new management on the cards for the next couple of months. So everything is moving in order at the moment.[smiles]
MEL: Do you write a lot of love songs? Where do your songs start out and where do you get inspiration from in your writing?
DOLL: I wouldn’t exactly call them love songs. I write about stuff that I feel strongly about at the time. At the time of doing the album it just happened to be a particularly harsh break up hence a lot of the subject matter. Most of the new songs we are doing now are about different things though. I have written about being a girl in an industry of boys and about hidden desires and about the differences in personality that you encounter in different countries. All that is stuff no one has heard yet though! You will all have to wait but I think people will be pleased with the results.
MEL: ‘He Was A Dancer’ is one of my favourite tracks from the album, who is this written about? Is he a ‘player?
DOLL: It’s kind of about a guy I dated briefly in college who was also dating another girl in my year who looked very like me! We found out and she blamed me - she confronted me outside a bar one night like I was the other woman, it was pretty ridiculous.
MEL: ‘You Turn Up’ appears to be about someone from L.A who arrives unexpectedly, and unwelcome, is this a ‘real’ person?
DOLL: No, it’s about an ex who dumped me to go and ‘make it’ in LA then came home empty handed trying to win me back - not going to happen!
MEL: Who can you claim to be your most famous fans?
DOLL: Hmmmmmm Morrissey? Janice Long is great and asked us onto her show and has played us loads. Jonathan Ross played us on his Radio 2 show as well. Chris Mintz Plasse is a friend and a fan, we stayed with him when we were in LA he is all kinds of ACE. Also weirdly enough Martin Fowler from Eastenders came to watch us once and tried to book us for a festival he apparently was organising? Other than that I really don’t know!
MEL: Why should people come and see you, sell yourself in a sentence?
DOLL: Matt pulls a mean guitar gurn face and there is always a risk of broken limbs.Thanks for the interview, we'll see you in Manchester. Go catch Doll And The Kicks at a venue near you and check out their début album on iTunes £5.49. Details here: www.mudkiss.com/tournews.htm
Interview by Mel 03.02.10
Photos: Shay (magicube 77)/Sam Hiscox /Lisa Duffy/Phil King