Interview with Kelly Ogden by Ashley Brooklyn, Cambridge Junction, October 2012
The Dollyrots are an American pop-punk band fronted by singer and bassist Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas on guitar. They have released four studio albums and are currently under their own label Arrested Youth. I was lucky enough to hang out with Kelly before their recent gig at The Junction in Cambridge. It was awesome to meet Kelly, possibly the coolest girl in the world! Thank you to Kelly for her time. Hope you enjoy!
Classic punk rock, the Ramones, Blondie, all that. I grew up listening to a lot of class rock too.
* Do you think that shows in your music?
Definitely, we were kids in the 90s so there's Nirvana, Pixies, all that's in there.
* What was your first gig like?
We played in 1999, this weird outdoor show, it was terrible, we were really pretty terrible. Our drummer told us he could play drums when really he had only played a drum in a marching band. We learned a couple of covers and played those. It was terrible.
* What's it been like touring with Bowling for Soup?
It's the best; it's probably our fifth or sixth tour with them, our second to the UK. They're just like brothers, the crew, the band, the wives, their kids. We've been lucky to make friends with them. They're awesome Texas guys!
* What's your favourite thing about being in a band?
Travelling and meeting new people, there's something different every day. I'm ready to get home but I know that after like 3 days at home I'm going to be like 'I've gotta get out of here, I've gotta go play a show!'
* How important for the band was the decision to release an album on your own label?
I think it's the best we've done, we had amazing experiences with indie labels and we learned so much from the Panic Button/Lookout! thing to working with Joan Jett and Black Heart Records, we've been so lucky to work with really, really amazing people. Everything's always been so open so we've learned a lot about the business side of things. That's why we've had to go out on our own, because touring you don't make as much money as you used to, even when we first started, so for us to release own our music is the only way that the band can keep going. It's the only way we're going to stay afloat and it was really inspiring because our fans funded it and that was just crazy awesome.
* What's next for the band?
The immediate future is get home and then for Kickstarter, the way we funded the record, one of the things the fans could pledge for was a song that we would write for them and so there was a total of fifteen of them, and we've written about six so we've gotta get home and finish writing them and get them all their songs and then we wanna release an acoustic record. Hopefully before Christmas. It's cool because when we write everything's really autobiographical, it's real, I don't know how to make up a song that's not true. But this has been really cool because people just send us a paragraph and we have to write a song about it and it's kind of freeing because you don't have to put like your soul into it. It's fun, we did a song about a werewolf and song about Russia. It's weird, so it'll be pretty cool.
* Any advice to young musicians?
Just to keep going, people are going to tell you that you suck, people will always tell you that you suck. Even people that have been putting out albums for 30 years are still going to get bad reviews. It's a hard choice but if that's what you're passionate about you should follow through. And you gotta practice. Everybody's gotta practice.
Thanks to Dave at Invictus for sorting this out!