Earlier this month while on tour with Bowling For Soup, we managed to have a sit down with The Dollyrots and talk about their influences, family life & touring.
6 days into your tour with Bowling For Soup, how have you found it so far?
Kelly: Its actually has been the best tour yet
Luis: I think its the best tour ever, I know it doesn’t sound like I mean that because I’m really tired right now but its been awesome. Touring with these guys has been great
Kelly: The crowd been great, its been sold out every night
Luis: We just feel really welcome over here, I don’t know why, they like guitar music and people say they like our accents which is funny ‘cause I’m like, “no you’re the one with the accent dude”, but yeah we always feel like people are receptive to our music and we’re really grateful to have them because we really like coming here, even though its cold, colder than a witches titty.
Kelly: We’ve only come in February and October
Luis: It might be colder now, we’re not used to it, we’re California & Florida people so its like forget it!
Last month you released your studio E.P, how have you found the reaction to it from your fans & critics?
Kelly: It’s been really good!
Luis: Awesome yeah, we have like the lead track we put it on our set list and every night people have been into it. You never really know how people are going to gravitate towards new stuff but we do try to include our new stuff when we have it.
Kelly: I’ve been walking past our tour bus and I can hear the guys in Lacey singing along to it, so it cool that it happens. I think the E.P is the best thing we’ve ever done, we’re hitting our stride all of a sudden 15 years later.
Next month you’re releasing your ‘Live In Los Angeles’ DVD, part of a pledge and it has reached 148% of the goal that you set.
Kelly: We have the best fans ever, bands always say that but it true for us
Luis: The thing is a big part of that chunk of fans are from the UK
Kelly: Yeah I would say about a third of them were from the Uk
Luis: Yeah it’s pretty significant, we’re sending a lot of packages over to the UK, so it been really good
Was there any particular reason why you wanted to do a DVD release of your Los Angeles show, you only seem to see the bigger bands like AC/DC as you would expect it from an arena style band?
Luis: We moved out to LA in 2002, so now LA is the bands home, it was the place where we grew up into a band, we feel comfortable there. We played at the Roxy, a good ten times before this show, it was with Bowling for Soup at the end of the tour, we were well rehearsed and super tight and when we were landing in our home town we were like, lets do this one. All these different factors came together and we felt it was time to give the fans a live album because all my favourite bands have a live album so its like a rougher version of the studio stuff.
You have something more than other bands do, your basically family, so how do you find that works together, as all bands do they travel together for long periods of time but being family do you find that makes you better?
Kelly: We make each other stronger and we work harder as we owe it to each other.
Luis: Yeah and now we owe it to our song, we brought our two year old on this tour, he’s asleep on the bus right now but he’s been around and i think it makes us try harder,w e don’t want to let him down. Before it was about we don’t want to let each other down or we don’t want to let our friends down but now its like we cant let him down,we got to just put it all out there every night.
Kelly: We’ve known each other since we were 12, we went to college together, we’ve been together most of our life at this point, if we didn’t have the band we would have some other business together.
Luis: Yeah we would just do something else, we’d be like scuba divers or something!
Kelly: We can be charter boat captains
Luis: We can be pirates, nothing like being in a rock band and being a pirate!
Your music style is punk, so where do your influences come from to create that style of music?
Kelly: British punk was one of the first things that Luis and I listened to together, like Buzzcocks and the clash.
Luis: It was highly influential on us, It was weird for us to be growing up when we were in high school in the 90s, I was into that kind of music then too, I loved Nirvana, there was so much good alternative rock but then we really loved 1976 British Punk and we still try to channel that into what we do.
Kelly: I think a lot of our punk influences come from, not necessarily current radio punk, like 1950s rock and roll, like the Crystals.
Luis: The Ramones covered 60s pop, we’re fans of all rock & roll, we don’t have a thing with timelines or sub-genres. If it feels like rock & its goo then it will influence us in some way.
With your new release what was your influences for the writing, like did you draw from your personal lives or your life in a band?
Kelly: Its kind of funny because we ended the tour and after the live dvd, we though maybe we should do something new while we were in LA, so we called our producer and we were like can we have a couple days where we can do an E.P real quick.
Luis: Like in a few weeks as we have nothing written and he was like I have time in 3 days and then I’m leaving town & we were like OMG!
Kelly: So we had three days, we wrote 8 solid songs the skeletons at least and when e got into the studio I don’t know where it came from
Luis: Kelly wrote the lyrics to half of them while she was singing
Kelly: yeah, I caught them in the air whist i was singing
Luis: She was in the recording booth scribbling lyrics and I’m like alright I guess just write them now.
Kelly: So it was all very last minute, just like visceral reaction music
Luis: I think thats what makes it good, thats why it feels good.
Kelly: We don’t have time anymore to go over it and make it all polished. We do everything on our own, we run our record label, we hire our for PR, but the mail order aspect and the management are just the two of us and between that and having a kid.
Luis: We don’t second guess anything, we record as we write. The last few releases have been written as they were recorded, the demo’s are the finals.
While you have mentioned your child, how do you work around him as a lot of bands have one parent at home while the other is on tour but with both of you on tour, how do you get it to work?
Luis: People asked us before this tour, ‘you going to bring River or what?’ and I’m like we’re both his parents, we’re both in the band who’s he going to stay with
Kelly: If it was a long weekend he could stay with his grandparent but no he’s our child he’s not our pet.
Luis: Neither of us wanted to do this band without the other and we’re both essential to the delivery of that
Kelly: Obviously we’ve wanted to have a family since we were kids and luis sat me down and was like if we’re ever going to do this we have to try for it now and we went into parenthood not knowing if we would be able to tour and do music, we’re kind of learning as we are going along.
Luis: its kind of scary, it happened after the last tour with Bowling For Soup, we ended it here in 2012 and we were like we’re already in Europe lets go to France. So we got to France and we spend a few days in Paris and I was like ‘Look we’re in Paris, it really romantic we’ve got to have a serious talk right now.
Kelly: We were on the balcony of an AirBnB apartment drinking wine, sun going down and he was like when we get home we have to make a baby, its going to happen
Luis: And thats what we did and it was scary because we didn’t know if we would ever come back to this life.
Kelly: A lot of woman cant do it, its too hard to figure out how to do, its great that we’re both in a band and we have awesome people who will help us out all day everyday other wise it would not be possible.
Luis: You’ve got to have friends around you, who care about you, luckily everyone who’s on this tour loves River so its not a problem.
Final question from me today, how have you found your two support bands Lacey & MC Lars?
Kelly: We’ve known Lars for a while, we met on Warped Tour in 2011. He a really positive wonderful force and his music is fun
Luis: He’s like intelligent and interesting and he does it on the fly and it so cool.
Kelly: He’s just a great person to be around and Lacey are our bus mates and they’re perfect and I’ll just say its too much fun
Luis: We can’t because we’ve got the parent thing going but theres a party on that bus every night till like 4 or 5 am anti pretty funny, their shirts are removed. Articles of clothing become removed
Kelly: Its been really great, everyone on the tour has been fun and positive so its just really good!
Interview by Sean Shore (@seanshorephoto)