With Dollie Demi taking their raucous, feminist sound out on the road for their first headline gig outside Manchester (see below for more details), we caught up with main mover Demi herself to get the low down on the band – past, present and future. Stand by for action!
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. What’s the story behind DOLLIE DEMI and how would you describe your sound?
Demi (Me) from Nottingham (Vocals), Ella from York (Guitar), Mia from Glastonbury (Bass) and Gabby Drums (Leicester). I am the only original member, but it’s taken time to find members who are serious about the band. While I was at university, I was discovering sounds and different kinds of music. I was listening to a lot of Pop music, Punk and Garage Rock which has created our sound and our own style. I was also going to a lot of gigs in Manchester to see what music is out there while I was studying. I noticed the lack of female musicians back in 2014/2015 which was really upsetting. This made me more determined to start a female band. I’ve always been a feminist and all for girl power. I never wanted the genre of the band to have a stereotype.
What motivates you and inspires your music, aesthetic and vibe?
Watching my favourite musicians on YouTube and going to live gigs. My favourite part of music is performing and seeing an audience that enjoys something that you and your band have created. Being in a band is a religion for me. I want to do more and more. I write every day; I would love to gig every day and be in the studio every day.
I pick up a lot of 70s garage and punk in your music – not so much sonically, but in the way that being female is important, but not the defining characteristic of the band. Do you have favourite bands from that era?
I do like a lot of 70s bands such as The Ramones, The Clash, Blondie, Queen, T-Rex and Siouxsie and the Banshees. In the 1970s there were so many fantastic guitar riffs and bass riffs which I adore in music. I also have a crazy mix of influences such as Spice Girls, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, No Doubt, Garbage, The Cardigans and The Runaways. Also, I like theatrical musicians such as Prince, Madonna and Lady Gaga. There are so many influences. At the moment, I’m loving Dream Wife, Black Honey and Sunflower Bean.
Some of your lyrics come across like they’re about love and desire, but with the female protagonist as the leading character. Is that a fair assumption?
Some of the songs are, but they are there to define female confidence and it’s all about being the powerful, domineering woman. I talk a lot about sex, love and body confidence. I think it’s important as a female to speak your mind and express your feelings. As a woman, no matter who you are, what size you are and how you look, you are strong, and nothing can ever beat that feeling. Everyday I’m proud to be a woman that is her own boss and makes damn right sure she is in control.
If you had to cover one song, what would it be and why? Or would you never do a cover version?
I’ve written that many songs we are never able to fit any of them in our set. I’ve done one in the past last year, that was Wannabe by the Spice Girls. It’s just a really fun song to do! There are so many songs I would love to cover. But one of the songs I’ve always wanted to put my own take on just because it’d be fun is The Offspring’s Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) but change the lyrics. I would also love to cover The Beatles’ Baby You Can Drive My Car but change the lyrics.
What’s up next for DOLLIE DEMI? Any upcoming gigs, new releases on the horizon, other projects?
We have a headline gig coming up on the 15th of June in Liverpool at the Jacaranda Club. This will be our first headline gig outside of Manchester. Hopefully we will be releasing a track this year and maybe a headline gig later on in the year in Manchester.