Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images The sad news came across late Wednesday afternoon…
- Posted on Feb 22nd 2010 4:07PM by Stephanie Griffin
With an EP released this past January and an album due out this summer on Blackheart Records, 2010 is shaping up to be a big year for pop-punk band the Dollyrots. The band is gearing up for a trip to SXSW in March, fresh off a tour with Bowling for Soup. Spinner recently had a chat with the Dollyrots' spunky singer, Kelly Ogden, about her band, politics and sneaking backstage at concerts.
How would you describe your sound?
I appreciate how your band name perfectly matches your sound. How did you come up with it?
Well, that's the goal of what we were looking to do. We wanted the name to actually say something about the band. My voice was sweeter back then, and we played really fast, raw punk rock, so we wanted something to show the difference between my voice and the music. We picked a whole bunch of gross, weird words and then a whole bunch of really cute words, and then we just literally picked from tiles.
How did the Dollyrots form?
Luis [Cabezas, guitar] and I were in college, and we needed a distraction while we were writing our thesis. I heard that Luis was starting a band, and I was like, "You guys have to let me play!" They just rolled their eyes, but they let me play rhythm guitar. Eventually the bass player quit, and I had to start singing. We just kind of found our way to where we are now. It was an accident, for the most part.
I've heard you guys started as a reaction to George W. Bush getting elected in 2000. What's that all about?
We were in college, and we were in Florida, so it was a big deal. Our school pretty much entirely voted Green Party, and we were pissed. If we wanted to create change, we'd need a platform to do so. If we wanted to do anything, one route we could take is rock 'n' roll. We also thought there was a pretty big chance George Bush was going to ruin the world and blow it up, so we might as well follow our true passion while we have time.
So what's your take on the current political climate in the US?
I still have hope, and I believe that change takes a really long time. I feel like people just have to get educated and get motivated, and not give up so soon, because there hasn't been much time to do anything yet.
What are your musical influences?
Definitely good old punk like the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Buzzcocks, all that kind of stuff. There are a lot of females I grew up imitating and adoring, like Joan Jett, Kathleen Hanna, Kim Deal, Kim Gordon, and Courtney Love, of course.
You guys are on Joan Jett's label, Blackheart Records. What's it like working with her?
It's really amazing. At first it was a little bit overwhelming, but at the same time, when someone you've looked up to your whole life validates what you do, it's the best thing that can happen. At first it was strange, but now that we know her, she's kind of just another friend. She's exactly what I hoped she would be.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
You know, I like a really good pop song. I like some Miley Cyrus songs, and I'll end up singing along to a Justin Timberlake song. It's kind of embarrassing, but I actually think he's really talented.
If you could have any band cover one of your songs, who would it be?
I think it would be great to see NOFX do 'Because I'm Awesome.' I think the true meaning of the song would really come out if they did it.
What is your biggest vice?
It's a normal one, but it's bad. We'll play a show, and beforehand I'll tell myself that I'm not going to drink too much, but after the show we'll just be having so much fun. I've reverted back to being seventeen again, with the drinking and the partying.
What aspect of SXSW are you most excited about?
Meeting lots of new bands, I hope. It gets really busy. I feel like last year we didn't get to see very much music because we were running from one place to another, and the lines are crazy. But in the past, that's what we've really enjoyed -- finding new bands we didn't know about and hopefully hooking up with them on the road.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Propel and Advil for morning-afters, because we stay up way too late. And definitely good shoes for jumping over the fence, because we can never get into the good shows, but we know the back way now. Remembering to eat is pretty important, too.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
We jumped over the fence once to see Iggy Pop, because there was no other way we were going to be able to see him. There was another group of eight people doing it at the same time, but we pretended that we were waiting in line at the Port-O-Potties, like we were supposed to be backstage. All the other people got kicked out, but we just nodded at the security guards and they walked away.
Do you have any advice for bands just starting out?
Pick people that you can stand being around. That's more important than how people play, at least in the beginning. People can always get better and practice and learn how to play, but if you're going to live in a van with someone, you better like them.
Stephanie Griffin is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.