Dum Dum Girls
Thu 3rd Nov, 2011 in Features
Getting signed to Sub Pop must have been a thrill considering the scale of the project when it started out. Has it felt like a blessing or have the creative restrictions felt limiting compared to the hands-on, D.I.Y. nature of your previous labels?
No, I mean there’s been absolutely no difference. I’ve always just done what I wanted to do, whether it was for my 7” label, or for Captured Tracks, or the first Sub Pop record, or the EP. I think it’s probably easy to assume that with a bigger label like that, and if you can identify that there’s been progression in sound from something scuzzier to something cleaner, that it’s the work of a label or some non-musical entity, but each record that I put out is what I want to put out.
Are there any releases that stand out as ones you’re most proud of in your career so far?
I haven’t put anything out that I wasn’t proud of. There’s different reasons why I’m proud of things. The first 7” that I put out or the first EP that I put out were surreal moments – I just couldn’t believe that anybody would want to release anything that I’d done! [giggles] You know, it’s the third song I’ve ever written, I don’t have a band, I don’t play shows, yet somebody wants to put this out. That was definitely a flattering moment. Other than that, maybe here and there, there are songs where I really feel like I’ve tapped into something special, or just knowing that we’ve made progression. This record to me is a big step for us as a band, and therefore I’m proud of that. I think that on this new record I’m very loyal to the song ‘Hold Your Hand’. I was I think the first song that I wrote, quite a while ago, kind of the start of the descent into a rough year, so I regard that song with loyalty.
Your EP earlier this year, He Gets Me High, features a cover of The Smiths’ classic There Is A Light That Never Goes Out. Do you consider Morrissey and The Smiths an important influence on your music?
Oh, definitely. I’m a huge fan. I regard Morrissey as one of the best lyricists in a long while. I probably both tortured and saved my teenage self listening to The Smiths [giggles]. I’ve always found a lot of solace in listening to their music. I think last year on tour I probably listened almost exclusively to Morrissey records and Cure records. I’m just one of those.
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
Iggy Pop must have had a fair influence on your life as well, as the band is named after a 7 minute psychedelic epic from The Idiot.
[giggles] Well it firstly was a reference to The Vaselines’ album Dum Dum, and then it was secondly a play on the Iggy Pop song. But it’s not my favourite Iggy Pop song. It just made sense as a clever homage to the both of them – they’re both very big influences on me musically. It just seemed fitting.
In your time in the music industry, who stands out to you as the most charismatic and interesting character you’ve come across?
Our producer, Richard [Gottehrer], by far. He’s great.
What’s next on the horizon for Dum Dum Girls?
We’re doing a US tour, followed by a UK/European tour, followed by a short visit to Australia and New Zealand and then I don’t know… I guess we’ll see what the spring holds for us. On a personal note, I’m looking forward to having most of December and January off to enjoy New York. I just moved there and I haven’t been able to spend much time at home, and I’m looking forward to being holed up in my Upper East Side apartment under the snow [giggles].
Though it’s still a long way off yet, how would you like Dum Dum Girls to be remembered?
I’m not motivated by how we’re regarded. I would like to think that because our intentions are pure and we’re hard workers that we will have contributed something to somebody other than ourselves. I would just like to be able to do this at a level that I enjoy and can respect as long as it makes sense to.
Catch the Dum Dum Girls at the Peats Ridge, Pyramid Rock and No Years festivals or at their sideshows:
Monday 2nd January – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Tuesday 3rd January – Corner Hotel, Melbourne