Pop punk has been seriously lacking in the past few years. Luckily, The Dollyrots have cured that. Of course with a pretty blonde singer in Kelly Ogden, there have been comparisons to Blondie, but The Dollyrots are definitely in a class of their own with the way they pair catchy punk with a nice pop sheen.
NUVO: You've recently had an album come out (The Dollyrots, released September 18). Can you tell me a bit about it?
Kelly Ogden: It's our fourth full-length release, and our first since leaving Blackheart Records. Seeing other musicians and artists like Amanda Palmer taking their careers into their own hands gave us the motivation to do the same thing, so for this record we went independent. It sounds like a Dollyrots album with maybe a little more new wave influence. We really feel like it's the best thing we've done yet.
NUVO: The album was funded partly by your fans correct? Do you guys have a very dedicated following?
Ogden: We didn't know how dedicated our following is until making this album. We set up a Kickstarter campaign and asked our fans to be involved in making it, so it's entirely fa- funded. In exchange for backing the album we gave away locks of our hair, baked them cookies, wrote songs for them, gave them our guitars, and more. These amazing people blew us away with support and we ended up quadrupling our initial goal. It was all a really humbling and awe-inspiring experience. In the end, we made exactly the album we wanted to make, and the best record we could because we knew we were turning it in to our fans and they deserved the best.
NUVO: You've performed with such legends as The Buzzcocks and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and even had an album released by Joan Jett's label, Blackheart. What was that like? Did you guys learn anything from them?
Ogden: We learned a ton from Joan, especially in terms of how to handle being a female in music. She's a class act all the way. There's something that comes from experience and seeing how Joan or Buzzcocks handle themselves, with such a sense of self-assuredness on stage, it really rubbed off on us and how we approach the live show.
You've been on shows like CSI:NY, Greek, Ugly Betty, Vampire Diaries. Are you going to be guest starring in any shows or movies again soon?
Ogden: There aren't any plans to do any on-screen appearances at the moment, but the new album is starting to filter out among the folks that place music in those sorts of things. We've had a couple placements on MTV for the new songs and we're looking forward to seeing more of that. Licensing is a major factor in whether bands can afford to continue making music and we're really fortunate to have had those sorts of things come along. It's usually a total unplanned surprise when it happens, to be honest.
NUVO: You've had many drummers in the past. Who is your current drummer?
Ogden: We actually met our current drummer through Buzzcocks. His band, IMAGES, supported on some of the dates we were on and we just sort of met and became friends through those shows. We kept in touch over the past couple years and when it came time to book this tour he was the first guy we reached out to. He usually sings lead and drums in his band, so he's a good fit for what we do.
NUVO: You guys are set to tour the UK: have you ever played there before?
Ogden: We just got back! It was our second time there, and the second time we've supported Bowling For Soup overseas. It was an awesome experience. British and Irish audiences can get pretty rowdy. There was lots of crowd-surfing and arms in the air. It's always interesting to see how different places react to what we do.
NUVO: Who are you touring with right now?
Ogden: We're in the home stretch now. We did the first leg of this tour with our friends Prima Donna, and the UK/Ireland leg with Bowling For Soup, and now we're on our own heading back to L.A. for the final week. So, basically, Indy gets us right on the tail end. Which usually means the show's gonna be great because we're running on all cylinders.