Melbourne & Los Angeles-based DOCTRIN,the brainchild of Australian-born singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Dolly Denko, has been hard at work upon her debut EP release "The Deep". She has already released a video for one of the songs off it "Give Me Love". The EP can be picked upon iTunes HERE. Check out what Dolly herself had to say about the video, single, and EP as a whole.
1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do as Doctrin, and how long have you been an artist?
Dolly: I’m Dolly, I play and write for my project called Doctrin and am the only current member. I’ve been operating as Doctrin for the last 1.5 years but I was in a band for a couple of years before that. I’ve been making music on and off since I was an early teenager in various projects - I feel that Doctrin is a good landing for me to channel my energy into, I feel very ‘myself’ in this project. I play guitar, vocals, piano and program keys/additional sounds as well as produce and write.
2. Who is Doctrin and what does the name even mean or reference if anything?
Dolly: It’s just me physically but it’s metaphorically bigger than that. it’s a representation of my Doctrine for life. I come from a private Catholic school so learning about different religions was part of growing up, I questioned everything (and still do) but still absorbed a lot. These days I’m not sure what I believe and I don’t practice anything in particular so I just believe in myself and follow my own code. I stylized Doctrin without the e because it just felt better to me and made it my own, basically it’s my set of rules for my life, music is my religion.
3. How do you describe your music to people?
Dolly: I usually call it Dark Pop or Alternative PoP Rock it can be a little genre fluid at times. There’s pop and rock with blues elements and even some electronic with hip hop parts. I play guitar so there is always guitar on each track but not all the tracks are guitar driven. I listen to a lot of music so my influences sway and I’m sure that has a sublet effect on what I create.
4. Who are your musical influences?
Dolly: It’s hard to keep this short because there are so many but, I grew up with Marilyn Manson, Garbage, Hole and Placebo when I was younger so there are shades of that in my writing and guitar tones but I also love Lana Del Rey, Crosses (†††) and more recent artists so I’m sure of those influences come out too. My dad listened to a lot of blues and I inherited a great vinyl collection so that’s always going to be a big part of my style even if it’s only subtle.
5. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Dolly: This record has a night them to it, which I love! lots of mentions of The Moon, water, star signs, psychics, not giving up, love, lust and desires. There’s some empowering lyrics in there, saying “I’ll do what I want” and “I can do it on my own” with some themes of sexual liberation and being demanding. Overall they’re a reflection of me and what I’ve been feeling or thinking about. Heavenly Cross is mainly about me doing what I want but it’s also partially about/directed to a celebrity crush - I’ll never tell who!
6. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Dolly: Yeah definitely, I’m not opposed to writing with others but that’s the most enjoyable part for me so I do it a lot. I’m always switched on for writing, most songwriters are, always gathering and taking notes or collecting themes and experiences. I usually start with a phrase, that develops into a theme that makes me feel something and I zone in on those feelings then try to express it in words. Sometimes I have some music I’ve be working on, without lyrics but it will have a vibe like, fun, sexy, angry etc. so I find some lyrics or notes and get a little catch phrase for theme that suits the tone of the music and start adding melody and lyrics. It’s always random how it happens, the urge to write comes and goes unpredictably and sometimes when it hits you it’s just a vortex where time disappears and you wake up the next day with a new track.
7. Why did you think that "Give Me Love" was so suitable to be made into a video, let alone as a single?
Dolly: That track was my - “Hello, I am here” track. I loved it the day I wrote it and decided I’d released it as a stand alone single, just to get Doctrin out there and introduce myself. I made the video because I had the visuals in my head and wanted to get them out too, that way people can see what’s inside my head and complete the artistic cycle of Give Me Love. It began the conversation about Doctrin and gave people an insight before I released an EP. A bit of an ice breaker!
8. Will you be taking anymore of the songs off the EP "The Deep" and have them become future singles and or videos or just sticking to the one?
Dolly: Definitely, Water Sign will be the next single, I certainly think it best represents Doctrin and the EP overall. All the tracks are more recent than Give Me Love and really express what Doctrin is about today. Love Like This is another one that will be a single too, I’d love to make a music video for that one. I have a story in mind and can’t wait to bring it to life, it’s sexy and has a badass character I want to play!
9. What was it like writing and recording for your first debut release "The Deep"?
Dolly: Writing was great, after I recorded Give Me Love and released that, the rest of the music started to take shape and ideas came to me quite vividly. I had been in a band before this so I had to shake the residual influences there and find myself to know what my music sounded like alone. I wrote most of it in Australia except for Ride Or Die which I wrote here in LA, mainly inspired by the many Psychics around town. I track a lot outside of the studio and build the song up then once I hit the studio all the parts are sectioned out and laid down to be recorded properly and I import parts from the demo material too. I worked with Maxwell Moon as an engineer and co-producer, it was all very smooth and organic in nature, he really looked after the project and respected the vision.
10. Do you feel any pressure whatsoever about it's release and people's reactions?
Dolly: Ultimately I have to like it first - which I do! I think if you love what you make and stand behind it confidently, any criticism isn’t as hurtful and that relieves some pressure. But to better answer, yes I feel it. If you spend time, energy and money on something, you want to see it do well and I really feel passionate about these tracks.
11. What image do you think your music conveys?
Dolly: It’s a tough question actually, I’m not sure I can even think of an answer? Maybe people can tell me what they think? Send me tweets @dollydenko - that could be interesting! I just present myself as I am and what I write is from my head so it’s all me, what people walk away with is their interpretation of it. I think it’s a little dark and moody but also feminine and powerful. Definitely not shy!
12. What plans do you have lined-up for this coming year?
Dolly: I’m heading back to Australia for a few shows and some more writing, I can write anywhere but I love my studio there and my cats plus it’s summer so the weather is great. Hope to be back in the states for summer and play some shows!
13. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
Dolly: That they really liked it and definitely want to add it to their playlist for 2016!