The Vans Warped Tour 2017 Interviews with Doll Skin
The Vans Warped Tour was one week in, and the iconic music festival was making a stop at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in scorching Las Vegas. The Hard Rock Stage was definitely the place to be, situated right in front of a massive swimming pool – and the first band to play would be Doll Skin from Phoenix, Arizona. Their raging punk rocking anthems supplied the perfect soundtrack for a Vegas pool party. Unveiling songs from their recently issued Manic Pixie Dream Girl full length on EMP Records, Doll Skin set the temperature even higher with an absolutely exhilarating performance. Just after their wet and wild set, we caught up with three of the Doll Skin members in the press area to discuss Manic Pixie Dream Girl, life on the Vans Warped Tour, working with the legendary Dave Ellefson, and other topics of intrigue. Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Doll Skin.
Sydney: I’m Sydney and I’m the singer
Nicole: I’m Nicole, I’m the bassist
Alex: I’m Alex, I’m the guitarist
How has the first week of Warped Tour been going? What have been some of the highlights besides the one hundred degree weather?
Sydney: The tour all around is just crazy. The heat obviously is one thing. But the mass amount of crowds that still come out regardless of the heat is ridiculous. I don’t get it. I haven’t gone to Warped Tour for the past two years cause it’s been too hot. But now I’m playing it and so it’s like crazy to see all these kids still coming out to this. You know, I’m forever grateful to all of them for coming out regardless of this crazy heat.
You are all from Arizona, so you traditionally have the hottest Warped Tour.
Sydney: I mean we are used to it. First I mean we are kind of used to it but…
Nicole: We are not used to it.
Sydney: Yeah no. We just know how to deal with it better.
Compare Warped Tour to a club tour that you would do with a band such as Stitched Up Heart.
Nicole: I feel like probably the best tour to compare to is the tour with Otep. Cause she is hardcore and Warped Tour is hardcore. Those are two of the hardest tours I feel we’ve ever done. Length wise and also touring is physically demanding and Otep’s got a lot of rules for us. So there were a lot of things to get used to for those tours.
How did you wind up on EMP and what was your first impression of Dave Ellefson?
Alex: Dave basically created EMP more or less to give us a professional kind of platform. He really wanted to start a label and he was interested in us we kind of put the two together and EMP was born. We met David, he was a celebrity judge at a battle of bands in Meghan’s high school where we all kind of came together as a band for the first time. He was really impressed with us and kind of took us under his wing. So yeah, he is a great guy – super helpful.
Sydney: And EMP has being really helpful in getting us our footing. Cause usually a big label doesn’t sign a band that has never been on a label before, never toured never done this or that. So David wanted to help us get that footing. Lay the ground for us.
Any overall story or concept behind the album title Manic Pixie Dream Girl?
Nicole: There is a huge concept. We wrote the album around the concept of Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She like in movies and in books exists for a male character to find himself and she is just kind of like an outside character. Not really any depth to her, so we just wanted to reclaim that term and really told the story of the manic pixie dream girl and show that she is not just surface level, that she’s got a story behind her. So all the songs in the album really just like tied in some way or another to telling the manic pixie dream girl story
Select two songs from the new album, what inspired the lyrics?
Sydney: So let’s see. Did I write any of the lyrics? Oh “Daughter”! That’s one that I’ll talk about “Daughter”. That’s one of the songs that I played the most part writing the lyrics. Megan is our lyricist. She is currently in bed cause the heat really got to her. But so, I wrote this song originally about mother earth. I was in California I was sitting on the beach. I was wow there’s a lot of litter and kind of got to thinking no matter what we do to this planet she keeps on breathing. That is kind of where the lyric came from. I find it really amazing that like we can put this planet through so much but for so long and we have been able to stay here. Global warming is catching up to us. It’s gotten hotter and it’s ridiculous. Megan, after I wrote those lyrics I really just wrote the chorus and had her write some verses around it. Her and I ended talking about it more and she was kind of like what if I change a few of the lyrics and make it more like a song that you kind of apply to anything like she made it easier to apply it to like an abusive mom, or an abusive parent or whatever. It’s kind of the same idea you can get whatever you want from the lyrics. And then a second song what’s another song?
Nicole: “Road killer” was a song that was actually our oldest one I think that we have on the album. We have worked on the album for like a year. We were going back to the rehearsal studio – I think we were driving on a car on the freeway. And we heard that in Arizona there had been this shooter on the freeway. So we were talking about that and all of sudden Meghan goes really quiet and maybe like five minutes later she says “I wrote a song about it.”
Sydney: So she wrote that song about the I-10 shooter and serial killers in general, which was cool. We were like, yeah let’s do a song about serial killers.
I wanted to ask about Rodney on the ROQ. How did he get involved with you guys and play your song? What was that like?
Sydney: We’ve really just been sending all of our songs out to everybody and I guess he ended up liking it. He ended up really getting an interest in us. It’s so awesome. We kind of just try and send out our music to everyone, even the really big stations. Even the small ones. We try to hit everyone with it, we just see who takes it. Throw the line out. He was a taker, he liked it.
Nicole: It’s cool to have such a big name backing and playing us all the time. We were like, this is really cool.
If Dollskin could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Alex: I’d have to say Green Day just because I feel like there’s a similar energy level. Not to compare us to Green Day or anything, I don’t think anybody does. I just feel like it’d be a really cool energetic show, energetic fit. I’m a huge fan of Green Day too.
Nicole: I would say Paramore, just because this last album was so heavily inspired by Paramore. I remember listening to Brand New Eyes on the way to practice and be like, “guys! I have a new idea! – we could do it kind of like this!” Paramore would be cool personally for me. I love Paramore.
Sydney: I have a lot of bands I want to tour with but realistically speaking, there’s this band Letlive that is no longer a band. Shut up, stop laughing at me. I cry about it all the time. They just broke up. They’re so amazing. I literally cried in the car driving, so sad. Letlive and I guess Pierce The Veil, and then us. I’m a big fan of both of those bands and lyrically and melodically speaking I’m really inspired by Vic Fuentes from Pierce The Veil and Jason Butler from Letlive. Both of them, whenever I hear their music I’m just like, that’s so cool what they do with their voice! He’s so deep. I get really inspired by that as well.
Doll Skin is:
Sydney Dolezal – Vocals
Alex Snowden – Guitars
Nicole Rich – Bass
Meghan Herring – Drums
(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)