Bad Pollyanna's Olivia Hyde is One Scary Monster Child


As their oxymoronic name suggests, Bad Pollyanna enjoy combining beauty and darkness. Fronted by the eccentric and theatrical Olivia Hyde the band draw influences from Anime/ Manga and gothic science fiction as well as cutting edge alternative rock and electronica. Frontwomen vocalist Olivia Hyde not only sings but plays piano, writes the lyrics, co-writes the music, and has been a producer and art director as well. She was the one to disclose the band's details on their latest release and what the future holds for them.



1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Bad Pollyanna, and how long the band has been together.

Olivia: We are Bad Pollyanna, we love to mix dirty industrial rock with beautiful melodies...with a good dollop of drama. I'm Olivia Hyde and I sing, play piano, write the lyrics, co-write the music and, up until now, have been the Music Video Producer and Art Director. Nikki Kontinen (bass, programming) and I have been playing and writing together for many years...but Val and Steve have been in the band just over a year.

2. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Olivia: Nikki and I begun a musical/artistic project a few years ago. We wanted to do something that was dark meets light, yet twisted and weird meets meaningful and mature, something beautiful and dark at the same time. Our songs were picked up on MySpace by a Producer in LA and we flew out to record them. When we got back to the U.K. we advertised for band members and, after kissing a few frogs admittedly, we found Steve (guitar) and Valerian (drums). We spent a good few years on the road honing our song, working on our music and developing our visuals. This year has been our turning point as we have released a music video and our debut album.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Olivia: The music scene in West Yorkshire is OK but it could be a lot better. There are a lot of indie bands and we've genuinely struggled to find bands who we compliment well. We sit among quite a few genres and although that's led to us having a unique sound we often find ourselves too heavy for the melodic rock/goth bands and not heavy enough for the screamo/metal crowd. We've built our following over many years as a result rather than being an overnight success.

4. How did you guys come up with your band name?

Olivia: It started when we were in LA. A member of the team called me a "Pollyanna" because I said I always tried my best to see the good in people. We found out that it was the name of a book and film where the title character does this very thing. These days however, Americans use the term as an insult. Nikki and I found it very odd that someone who was supposed to be an inspirational character is now a cynical byword for naivety. Furthermore, the individual was very surprised to learn about my deviant interests, as though this somehow contradicted the image he had of me as a cheerful person.

That was when Nikki and I realized that everyone has different sides to them no matter how society wishes to put you in a box. We all have our introvert/ extrovert; dark/ light; sad/ happy; angry/ kind; ugly/ beautiful sides to us. They don't contradict each other, they just all add up to make a person the multifaceted individual you are.

Calling the band Bad Pollyanna was our way of saying 'Don't let anyone define you, tell you who you are or put you in a box.' It's normal to have conflicting sides of yourself.

5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Olivia: We love bands with real passion and balls that make you wanna party like Rammstein, make you want to fuck the nearest person such as NIN and sing from the soul such as Skunk Anansie and Kate Bush. We also love bands who dare to be theatrical such as Marilyn Manson and In This Moment.

6. Can you tell me about the collaboration with Illamasqua and The Sophie Lancaster Foundation you guys have planned?

Olivia: Illamasqua approached us about a collaboration for new promotional images and future tours and music videos and it followed that when they heard Invincible Girl they thought it would be a great single for the Sophe Lancaster Foundation. As huge supporters of the charity we readily agreed. It will be released next year. Illamasqua and SOPHIE will use their avenues to help get the word out and we hope to not only raise money for SOPHIE but also to make people more aware of its message and what the charity stands for.

7. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Olivia: One fan joked that all my lyrics were 'delicious sex and death' which I have always remembered. I generally write about the duality of human nature- sex, love, transformation. Also, I often ask myself what song I wish already existed. When writing a cathartic song such as Monstrous Child I thought about all those times I had been so mad at someone, so betrayed that it was making me ill. I always say that holding onto resentment and bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It's best to exorcise those demons and so I wrote that for everyone that needs to release those emotions. Chase The Demons is about sexual awakening, claiming back your sensuality as an empowering statement rather than using your sex appeal to please someone else or to make them give something to you. As a former model I spent years being someone else's idea of being sexy to make money. When I quit I felt like I had to re-remember that my sexuality was about my own happiness and not a way to pay the bills. There are so many people out there who need to 'chase the demons from their bed' and that one will hopefully help them. With Liquid Lover I wanted to write a song that was like a 4 minute tease!

8. What's your favorite tracks on the album?

Olivia: That's like asking me to choose my favorite pussycat. I love them all equally in different ways. However, Where Does It Hurt, Monstrous Child, Hollow and Invincible Girl are the ones I enjoy listening to the most.

9. Who produced Monstrous Child and what was it like working with them?

Olivia: We co-produced the album with Mat Dauzat. I think we wanted to drive the album in a more industrial direction and he wanted it to be more melodic hard rock. What happened was a unique mix of the two and we are happy with the result.

10. Is there any story or concept behind the Monstrous Child title?

Olivia: There are 2 answers to this question. Why was it originally called Monstrous Child? Because Nikki and I joked for years that the band was like a monstrous child...sucking up our time, energy, sanity...etc. What has it come to mean? The co-writer of the script for the music video was inspired by the title. For those who haven't yet seen our gothic science fiction music video, my character in the piece is transformed from a victim to a vengeful, deadly creature: the "Monstrous Child". The album is her story. So there is a double meaning...

11. Who did the cover art for Monstrous Child and how much input did you have on it?

Olivia: As the Art Director I decided on the make-up artist- Illamasqua of course- as well as the venue and photographer. Of course this whole team of people worked as a team to come up with the finished result.

12. Select two songs from Monstrous Child and what inspired the lyrics.

Olivia: Where Does It Hurt: It's about someone with no empathy being so in lust with someone that they cut them open to be closer to them. They also want to find where pain and unhappiness is stored in the body and to relieve their love of those feelings. In looking for them they accidently murder them.
Invincible Girl: Negative experiences shape who we are. No one ever learned a damn thing from being happy all the time. However, it doesn't mean that those experiences that have made us stronger don't still hurt. They still scar and continue to be painful.

13. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?

Olivia: That we love beauty, we love darkness, we LOVE to be onstage and we love to connect with our fans in any way possible. Honestly though, we aren't too interested in being signed. our creative control is our Number 1 priority.

14. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Olivia: You can connect with us at www.facebook.com/badpollyanna and www.twitter.com/badpollyanna; watch our videos- including our Gothic Science Fiction inspired music video for Hollow- at www.youtube.com/badpollyannaband and buy our album at www.badpollyanna.bandcamp.com
Thank you for asking! It's wonderful to see how many people have chosen to support the band and show their appreciation by buying the album rather than file sharing. ANything we make all goes into making MORE music for our fans.

15. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Olivia: New and improved live shows, stunning visuals as part of our Illamasqua collaboration, a single release for SOPHIE and much more. Bad Pollyanna have most definitely arrived.

16. What is it you'd like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Olivia: That, if they love the songs, they belong to them...and not to us.

17. Any final words of wisdom?

Olivia: Support independent artists. We need it. We LOVE to do what we do and to do more of it. We can only do that with you guys. This is why we treat every fan like gold- just ask them they will tell you the same thing. Come and say hi.

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