The Dollyrots' Kelly is No Longer Barefoot or Pregnant

Rock n' roll duo The Dollyrots have been hard at work writing and recording for their follow-up release to their self-titled album, this one called "Barefoot And Pregnant". The title goes with saying that frontwomen vocalist and bassist gave birth to her new born child so both go hand in hand. Plus frontwomen herself Kelly Ogden discusses the new album and future plans they have in-store.

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

Kelly: Hey! I'm Kelly. I play bass and sing. Luis (guitar) and I have been playing in this band for 12 years!

2. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Kelly: We started the band as a joke in college but in time we decided it was what we wanted to do with our lives. After ditching our grad school/med school plans we moved to LA to "live the dream." HA! A combination of luck and perseverance have landed us some amazing tours, tv spots and led to our music being used in films and tv shows over and over again. We've released 4 studio albums and are just about to release our 5th one this month. After releasing records with some cool indies (Panic Button/Lookout Records and Blackheart Records a la Joan Jetts label) we've decided to change the way we make and release the music. Our last album and the upcoming release were funded by our fans through the crowd sourcing services Kickstarter and PledgeMusic. So now.. it's just us and the fans. And we wouldn't want it any other way. After taking this route the past few years we've grown so much closer to them. So many of them have become friends as well as supporters. It just feel so organic.

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

Kelly: We've been based in LA for 12 years now and t be honest we play other places as much as we play here. We've toured the US about 20 times and have played Canada, the UK and Ireland too. LA does have it's scenes but it's such a big place things are pretty spread out. My favorite trend/scene in LA right now is a young Riot Grrl-esque trend. Bands like the Potential Lunatics, Pretty Little Demons and Claudia Dunn are playing shows and doing the whole band thing at the age when I was just sitting in my room alone plunking a guitar sheepishly. There's a great rock camp for girls here and a lot of them are leaving and starting bands. It's pretty cool.

4. Why go and call yourselves The Dollyrots? What is a Dollyrot and what does the name represent and symbolize for you guys?

Kelly: We wanted a name that described the band girly, dirty, raw rock n roll. And it had to be the somethings.. all our favorite bands names start with "The" and end with an s. It also needed to be googalable. At this point it's just our name. In the way Kelly is my first name. It's us.

5. How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?

Kelly: We play melodic poppy punk rock. Our biggest influences are 70's punk bands like The Ramones, Buzzcocks, The Sex Pistols, 60's girl groups like The Ronettes and The Crystals and 90's alternative, Nirvana, The Pixies, The Vaselines etc. There's a lot of Joan Jett, the GoGos and even some Cyndi Lauper and Melanie Safka thrown in there for girl power. This album is very heavily influenced by the first Beatles record and the first Ramones record.

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

Kelly: We don't have any set themes, Each song just grows naturally. On this album there's love song from the vantage point of my dog, there's a punk song about being a First World Anarchist and a song about the crappy parts of pregnancy. Inevitably there are relationship songs, both the romantic and friend type. And sometimes we touch on politics but not usually. Overall our music is hopeful and confident. I hope that's how it makes listeners feel.

7. What's your take on Barefoot And Pregnant as a whole?

Kelly: It's our best album so far. It's the most us record we've ever made.

8. Was your songwriting and recording process any different than usual for this CD?

Kelly: Actually yes. I was pregnant for the whole process… writing and recording so we kind of wrote as we recorded in our home studio in-between my bouts of puking and napping. It was our first time recording it ourselves and weren't sure if we were recording the demos or the final tracks until we took it to our producer John Fields and all he thought we needed to add was drums! I think that's part of why the album sounds so strong and carefree. Especially the vocals. I figured I was re-recording them anyway so I was a little cavalier in my approach. In the end it worked out perfectly!

9. Your on album number five - what crosses your mind? Did you think that this band would have gotten this far into your musical careers?

Kelly: I just can't believe this is my job. Both of us hoped we would still be doing this but I don't think a single day goes when we're not a little surprised and grateful.

10. Why did you want this album to be funded by the fans through the Pledge Music Campaign? What is it about these funding campaigns that keeps drawing bands towards them with releasing their music or helping them with various projects?

Kelly: It cuts out the middle man… you know? Instead of us making a record and turning it in to a company to deem good enough or whatnot we're recording it for our fans and handing it directly to them. For them I think it's much more fun, with the Pledge campaign they were updated every step of the way. We gave them demos, studio clips, they voted on the vinyl color. It becomes a project that they don't just fund. They inspire and actually help with along the way. It's the best.

11. This album was produced by you guys as well as John Fields what was it like having him on board and what did be bring to the table for you guys?

Kelly: We've worked with John on 4 out of 5 of our records. He's pretty much a band member now! He's the best musician we know and he just gets us. He adds his spices and puts a cherry on top. He also makes sure we have drums. ;) When we write and demo tracks we just create a drum track and do the drums last.

12. It was then mixed by Paul D. Hager what was it about him that made you want him to be a part of this whole thing?

Kelly: Hager has fine fine ears. And he knows how to mix female voices. He's also a great dude.

13. Why go and release this album on your own label Arrested Youth Label - what made you turn to creating this label and wanting to do the whole DIY approach?

Kelly: I guess I kind of answered this earlier but at this point no one knows our band better than us and although it's a TON of work we feel like we're better off steering this pirate ship just the two of us. It wouldn't be possible without our ridiculously rad fans and the handful of people we work with but for the most part it's the two of us.

14. How does this release compare, differ, and evolve from your previous Self-Titled album?

Kelly: The self-titled album was a bit of an experiment and the most "studio" album we're ever made. For that one we decided to give ourselves the freedom to record anything we wanted instrument wise… there's ukelele, a symphony, SO MANY KEYS and lots of extra sauce. We just wanted to make an album and not be limited by what we could do as a 3-piece live. For Barefoot and Pregnant it was the opposite. Stripped down,  3-piece rock n' roll. It's more like our first album "Eat My Heart Out" than any of the others.

15. Since the Self-Titled album was such a success did you guys feel any pressure whatsoever to do this follow-up to it?

Kelly: I think there's always pressure but more than that we felt confident. That's in part the result of the PledgeMusic campaign… having so many people pre-order the album without hearing a beat makes you feel equal parts badass and a scared bunny. The last thing you want to do is disappoint them.

16. What's your favorite song on the album right now?

Kelly: I LOVE "Get Weird" it's based not the "Can't Hurry Love," "Lust For Life" drum beat and it's just so much fun to play.

17. What are your expectations for the CD?

Kelly: It will be a fan favorite but I hope it will reach far more people than our core fan base.  Of course there are a lot of licensable songs and lines in there so I would love to hear it in a film or on TV. That's the best. It's even better than the radio because it reaches SO many people all at the same time!

18. What are the plans for 2014?

Kelly: We have a record release party in LA Feb 20th and are headed out for some Southwestern US dates around SXSW in Austin. It'll be our 9th time playing at SXSW and we can't wait! We're also booking some other US dates and figuring out a plan to return to the UK.

19. Why did you and the fans want to call your first born child "The Dollytot"?

Kelly: Hahaha. The fans started calling him that and it just stuck. They've been so sweet about it. He's so lucky to be so loved already.

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

Kelly: The feeling that they have. I hope it's pure bouncy bliss and courage.

21. Any final words of wisdom?

Kelly: Hahaha. Always floss. And don't forget, to have fun.

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