- Posted on Feb 25th 2011 7:00PM by Linda Laban
Sub Pop Records
In an interview with Spinner, Dee Dee -- AKA Kristin Gundred -- discussed her band's musical DNA, connecting the dots from Frank Sinatra to Hole.
When did you realize you wanted to be in a rock band?
Very, very early on. I was really shy as a child, but I had this strange fascination with pop culture and artists, the whole thing. I probably wanted to be a performer, or an actress, since I was a toddler. I was very attached to music as a teenager. It defined my whole world. I idolized singers in bands and I wanted that, but it took me a while to figure out how to do it. It was always an underlying desire, and it took me until my early 20s to know how to facilitate all of that.
Which artists or bands were early influences?
I grew up on my parent's music, which was great. They had such great taste. My dad was a teenager in the '50s and my mum was a teenager in the '60s. So, from my dad, I got a lot of doo-wop and vocal groups. Classic singers like Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan. My mum had the classic California '60s rock thing. When I was very little, I was really enamored with surf music. I loved the Ventures. I loved the girl group stuff and I absolutely adored Jefferson Airplane. I wanted to be Grace Slick and I'd sing 'White Rabbit' in the shower. Which probably has bled somewhat into my vocals by accident.
When I got older and was finding music from my generation, I got into Hole. That shook me hard. Even though I'm absolutely nothing like Courtney Love, I identified with what she was putting out there. I wore my Hole tapes down. Other than that, I was into the classic stuff like Nirvana, Sonic Youth, the Cure and the Smiths. A lot of the standard stuff. Then when I went to college, I got to know record collectors and learned how to dig around for music. It all blossomed from there.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the suburbs near Berkeley. San Francisco was nearby. I understand why people raise their kids in the suburbs, but it definitely gets stifling when you get older. I was something of a weirdo and singled out, but I had enough friends to be exposed to fun and interesting things. It gave me a taste for what I wanted to be doing and where I wanted to be doing it, and I knew it wasn't here.
Where was your first stop when you left home?
I went to college in Santa Cruz. I was going to go to UCLA and pursue being a writer. But I didn't like it at all, and I thought I might get swallowed up and never resurface. I went to Santa Cruz on a whim, because my grandmother lives there. It was kind of isolated up on a mountain, just beautiful. It was everything I didn't know I was looking for. There's the beach and the forest, which is my natural setting. I love the Northern California coastal area.
Then I ended up in San Francisco. Santa Cruz was small; I didn't want to live there. San Francisco can feel small, but even so, it is one of my favorite places. I'm comfortable there. Whenever we play there when we tour, I always feel like I'm coming home.
Catch Dum Dum Girls' SXSW Set on Friday, March 18 at Red 7 Patio (611 E 7th St.) 11:20PM.
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