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Dum Dum Girls - Interview

  by Aaron Brown

published: 1 / 6 / 2010

Dum Dum Girls - Interview


Los Angeles all girl band the Dum Dum Girls combine 60's vocal harmonies with an old school garage punk sound. Aaron Brown speaks to singer Dee Dee at a gig in Manchester about their debut album, 'I Will Be'

The Dum Dum Girls come from Los Angeles and feature Dee Dee on (vocals and guitar), Jules (guitar and vocals), Bambi (bass), and Sandra Vu (drums and vocals). The quartet blend cool Californian melodies with a cool old school garage punk sound. Think the Ramones writing ditties with the Mama and Papas without the drugs and several deaths. Formed initially in 2008 as singer Dee Dee’s solo project, she released several EPS and vinyl singles before capturing the imagination of and being signed by the mighty Sub Pop Records in 2009. The Dum Dum Girls became a four piece just before releasing their excellent album 'I Will Be' to rave reviews. The future is looking bright for the four-piece with even 'NME' singing their praises as part of a new wave of American indie rock. Pennyblackmusic up with singer/founder Dee Dee just before a gig at the Manchester Sound Control. PB: So tell me about the band. How did you come about? Dee Dee: It started, it was a just a recording project. I started writing songs as I had a lot of spare time on my hands. I think I really did it to avoid going stir crazy. I started recording and would spend hours at a time recording these songs. At some point people started hearing them and it kind of just blossomed from there. Fast forward a few and I hit the ground running getting signed by Sub Pop. I was trying to put a record together then basically realised I needed to get a band together. I spent the next few months figuring out who that would be. So I made some new friends and friends whose personality I knew would I would get along with joined my band PB: You have with you people that you wouldn’t want to kill. Dee Dee: Yeah that’s what I mean. The irony is you play for about 30 minutes when you are on tour. If you don’t get along, you're in each other's hair, so, yes, as you said you could end up killing each other. PB: I have a few friends that were in bands and aren’t friends anymore now. PB: How cool was it getting signed by Sub Pop Records? Dee Dee: It was amazing. I was absolutely shocking and it’s like the funniest story. My A and R guy Dean literally found me on MySpace because he’s a record collector and he picked up our seven inch, 'Yours Alone'. He wrote to me on MySpace. He didn’t say he was from Sub Pop. He emailed me offering to put out a single because he was in charge of a singles club they do. But we didn’t know he represented Sub Pop and we were just thrilled. A few weeks later he changed his mind and asked how we felt about him pitching us to the label to put out a record. I told him to go ahead and that was us signed. It was shocking and I still haven’t wrapped my head around what it really means to be on that label. They are great people to work with. They are like a family. It’s not like you go there and you are in a corporate office. I mean they are one of the great indie labels and have put out some of the most iconic music. PB: I have been listening to the new record the last few days. Where do you draw you influences from? I am hearing 60's garage rock. Dee Dee: I like Siouxsie and the Banshees ,but I think there are two main genres of music I like. I like very melodic catching vocals, lots of harmonies. You know that is really my….If I have forte it is crafting simple melodies and harmonies. My songs are simple three chord wonders. The other side of that is punk like the Ramones. These are things I draw from upon because it is main interest and because it is my limitation. With my music you get melody over simple pretty simple songs. PB: What do you mean by your limitations? Dee Dee: I don’t think I am a very good guitar player. It is not something I am concerned about. I can write the songs that I want to write. I am able to write songs with the other girls in the band so I am fine with that. PB: You don’t have to be Van Halen to play guitar and write cool songs. Dee Dee: I know, I know. I am not Eddie. PB: How are you enjoying Manchester as I’m aware you are big fan of Manchester’s bands? Dee Dee: Yeah, it’s what I expected, raining. I grew up near San Francisco so I am kind of used to it. PB: I’ve been lied to by all those Californian bands who said it was always sunny. Dee Dee: It’s sunny in Southern California where I live now. PB: There are no depressing California versions of Morrissey or Joy Division that I am aware of. PB: What can we expect from a Dum Dum Girls gig? Dee Dee: I think we’re pretty true to our music. We’re pretty faithful to the songs on the record. If you enjoyed the record you will enjoy the show. I like to think if you are not aware of our music and come to see our show, you will buy the record. We like to think you will enjoy our show. PB: Thanks for that. Dum Dum Girls' debut album 'I Will Be' is out now on Sub Pop Records.

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Dum Dum Girls - Interview

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live reviews

Factory 251, Manchester, 13/11/2011
Dum Dum Girls - Factory 251, Manchester, 13/11/2011
Aaron Brown at Factory 251 in Manchester finds, despite them coning on an hour and a half late, Californian girl group's garage punk charms winning him over
Cargo, London, 30/7/2010


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