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ONE-ON-ONE WITH DOLLS
Chris B caught up with the sultry, sulky fairy-tale smut aka DOLLS whilst she was packing her showgirl costumes for her next concert.
You’re originally from Canada and moved to London after a disastrous pop career. What prompted the move to LONDON specifically?
I’m originally from Toronto but had always been a bit in love with London – the UK has been so influential in the arts, particularly in music and fashion, so I was addicted straightaway. My previous project (The Royal Society) had some success in Canada and I’m still so grateful for all the support we got there, but I wanted to make something a bit darker that didn’t fit with the group’s image and started to resent the input of the commercial music industry, which very much advocated “just do what everyone else is doing.” So moving to London and relaunching was a huge gamble that meant starting from scratch – I’ve been dedicated to learning things the hard way ever since, with FABULOUS consequences.
How has your music changed since you’ve moved to London?
Having previously released tracks that were glossy, polished-and-produced and super-commercial, I initially rebelled against conventional pop ‘rules,’ making and releasing extremely unpolished material (which would have had my label fainting), but it was very teen angsty of me – like a rebellion for rebellion’s sake. The new music has incorporated a more polished sound into the project that remains true to the dark, retro sound I always wanted to make, but doesn’t neglect the pop music roots I’ve never stopped loving.
We read you were planning to launch an album but decided to drop the single “Pedestal” first. We’re loving it here at GFM.FM. Would you dare to share with us who your musical influences were, when you were growing up?
I have been working on an EP and have all the music together, but being an independent artist has its downside – chiefly the lack of resources to properly push the music, which is why I LOVE GFM.FM – you’ve supported me since my first release! The video for Pedestal shot in February and borrows heavily from Twin Peaks, which two weeks ago set the internet on fire by announcing its return to television after 25 years – so fate intervened and demanded Pedestal be released as a single. I’m sure I also had a dream where everyone spoke backwards as well.
Growing up, I had pretty diverse musical influences – in no particular order: David Bowie; Nine Inch Nails; Madonna (I made up a thousand ‘tickets’ to watch my poorly-attended lip synching performance of Like A Prayer); Nirvana; Whitney Houston; Salt-n-Pepa; NO DOUBT; New Order and Depeche Mode (which Pedestal’s sounds have been likened to – massively satisfying).
Are there any musicians or producers that you would love to work with in the future?
Definitely – I’d love to work with Trent Reznor, Alex Metric, Trevor Horn, Howard Jones – not all at the same time, guys. Don’t feel pressured to break out your iCal and sync. I’d love to do something with Lana Del Rey because I think we have similar influences even though we have very different styles. Depeche Mode and I would blatantly have beautiful children, and I’ve proposed a collaboration with Keith Flint from The Prodigy but he hasn’t returned my calls.
I’m also working on a collaboration with London dance producer Fauxplay, so look for that shortly. We’ve been tirelessly grinding in studio to prep something delicious for worldwide aural consumption. Stay tuned, ’cause it’s gonna be delectable chaos.
As a radio based in Hong Kong, we’re wondering if you have plans in the future to do an Asian tour?
Too many ways to say “yes please” – get your bookers in touch and I’ll pack my most ridiculous costumes.
To female newcomers to the music business, what words of advice would you pass to them?
Don’t try and fit the template of what’s already out there or what’s ‘worked before;’ tap into what gets you excited and deliver that to your audience. Don’t be afraid to be ‘weird’ or different – we are all so much more interesting when we aren’t being stereotypes.
You can hear DOLLS‘ newest track “Pedestal” on The Indie Underground Channel on GFM.FM