Dum Dum Girls – Interview

Sie nennt sich lieber Dee Dee. Wer das Debütalbum von Kristin Gundred im letzten Jahr verpasst hat, hatte seinen Kopf entweder unter einem Stein begraben oder konnte vor lauter Reverb die Songs nicht finden. Zwar ließ der Name Dum Dum Girls damals schon auf ein Bandprojekt schließen, doch machte Dee Dee vom Songwriting bis zur Aufnahme alles komplett im Alleingang, einzig mit dem Beistand ihrer Gitarre.

Erst in diesem Jahr soll das s im Bandnamen seine Berechtigung erhalten: Auf der neuen Platte „Only in dreams“ hat Dee Dee zum ersten Mal ihre Bandmitglieder mit ins Studio rekrutiert und klingt tatsächlich so als wäre sie die Sängerin einer poppigen Vintage-Girlgroup. Abgenutzt klingt hier allerdings nichts, im Gegenteil: so sauber poliert klang Dee Dee selten. Mit uns sprach sie über Soundveränderungen, ihr Kult Label Sub Pop, Lyrik-Inspirationen und Tagträume.

Taking a closer look at the lyrics on the new record, I thought the title „Only in dreams“ was meant like escaping into dreams avoiding having to face reality. Would you agree to that?

Yes, very true. It was a rough year and there was a lot of stuff going on that was hard to deal with.  A lot of the songs have to do with wishing things were different or longing to be somewhere else.

Fans who really got into the earlier stuff might not like the new ‚cleaner‘ sound as much. Do you care or is that not something that you think about when making music?

No not really. As soon as you worry about what other people think about your music while you’re making it, you’re probably not making it for the right reasons. It was just a very natural progression, because when I was starting I was just recording myself, wasn’t exactly knowing what i was doing, hat pretty limited equipment, in addition the sound was very noise, very reverb, bass and guitar heavy but they were kind of buried. As I continued to do this, i got more confident and I just wanted the lyrics and the vocals to be more obvious, because to me that is what I actually spend the most time on. The EP that came out between the two records (Anm: He gets me high) was probably a nice middle step, so if you haven’t heard that and you just went from the first to the second full length record then the difference sonically is pretty drastic, but if you take a look at the full progression it does make a lot of sense.

Did being signed to a label like Sub Pop play into it as well?

They are not the kind of label to tell you you have to do a more polished record, they are nothing but supportive. But it does matter in that sense, that i have a budget now, to record and stuff.

This is the first album that your band actually plays on. Did that just turn out as a good idea during the process of recording or were the songs written as band songs straightaway?

Dum Dum Girls by Glynis Selina ArbandNo, I still write everything by myself for the most part. Because I knew we were going to record it together, I didn’t demo it as extensively as I would have done it in the past. I just left a lot more room for them to contribute their ideas for their parts and because we recorded it predominantly live it does have this live band sound, which was something that i thought was appropriate because we had been touring non-stop for a year or two and we changed a lot as band from when we first started and i wanted that sound to come across.

Was it hard to let go a bit and not be fully in control anymore?

No, it wasn’t. When I was starting I was doing everything and I had no interest in anybody else’s opinion and I still don’t for the most part. But a lot of good things come from collaborations, things that wouldn’t come from working by yourself really but are really appropriate for the music. I don’t really worry about them having ideas that don’t make sense for us, because we’re just on the same page. It was a nice change of pace for me to step back a little.

Do you prefer to work on your own or to collaborate – now that you have experienced both?

I don’t know, it just depends. For me this record needed to be a band record and I don’t think it would have come out right if I had tried to do it on my own. But the next EP that we’re putting out is a bunch of b-sides that I did on my own.

I didn’t try counting the „nice legs“ comments on youtube, but there were many. What do you think about journalists or people generally more talking about the outward appearance of you and your band than your music?

I don’t care. There are no rules – how we dress is just a matter of personal taste and it has nothing to do with the kind of music we play but it does have a lot to do with what kind of band we are. The aesthetic is important and it’s not superficial to be concerned for the aesthetic. At the end of the day if it’s condescending then fuck you and if it’s complimentary then thank you.

What would you say is your number one influence?

That’s hard. I definitely go through cycles, but if I had to name one it would probably be The Cure or better Robert Smith.

I was wondering how much of your lyrics are fictional and how much is autobiographically?

I think every song I have ever written except for  one has at least had a significant seed or something personal, an idea or an experience I had that I then kind of expend on or exaggerate – the first record was probably more like that, but this record is pretty straight forward, generally if I haven’t lived it it won’t really cross  my mind.

What’s the one that’s not based on personal experience?

That was a song called “Mercury Mary” that was on our first 7inch ever. It was a b side about an article that I had read about, or maybe it was a television programme I watched, but at least it was about a woman that poisoned her husband with mercury.

Foto: Facebook-Profil der Dum Dum Girls


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