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A Dirty Dozen with A DOLL’S HOUSE – September 2023

| 21 September 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Contemporary alternative rock band A Doll’s House released their debut single today, September 8th to all major platforms. The single is already being picked up at radio stations across the country. New music can come from anywhere… even four middle-aged guys. Meet A Doll’s House. A band that is old but new. In the late 80’s, Dav and Seth, two friends in L.A., started writing songs together. They found Tony – the drummer – and A Doll’s House was born. For a few years, the band played all the L.A. clubs, The Whiskey, The Roxy, The Troubadour, etc. They built a bit of a following and they did well. But not well enough. Life took over and the party ended. They were barely 22 years old. Thirty years later, those same three guys were now in their 50s with established careers as a lawyer, a veterinarian and a TV producer. Married, kids, mortgages –the whole deal. Bucking the odds and embracing the well-worn adage “better late than never,” they got back to making music together.” We get the band to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Seth: This is our first album, Annum.  We’re a bit unique in that three of us formed the band 30+ years ago when we were in our late teens, early 20s.  We had some success around Los Angeles – where we’re from.  We played a lot the big clubs, like the Roxy, Whiskey, Troubadour, but we really didn’t have an adult in the room with us so to speak to help guide us to the next step.  Flash forward we’re in our 50s and decided to go for it.  We got very lucky in finding a lead singer, Dave Santos, who fits right in and can actually sing!  We got lucky again when we connected with Brian Wheat from Tesla who ended up recording, producing and mixing the album.  Something that may not jump off the page on the first few listens is that the last four songs are loosely based on the seasons, which is how we got to the album name, Annum (Latin for year.)

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Tony: I started on piano but it was once I started on drums and discovered bands like The Police and Rush that did it for me.  I’ve continued to be drawn to music that finds a way to incorporate the drums truly as an instrument with its own personality, in the same way we think about guitarists or bassists having a personality.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Tony: It’s hard to pin point any one but certainly when it comes to rock the ability of drummers like Peart, Copeland, Steve Perkins, Taylor Hawkins to do what they do in the studio and recreate that vibe on stage influences my thinking.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Dav: The Beatles – Like many other musicians, they are why I fell in love with music, what inspired me to start playing and are still my main musical influence today. Mick Taylor (the Rolling Stones) – After exploring the Beatles, I bought my first Rolling Stones album (Get Your Ya Ya’s Out) not knowing it was a live album. That was a fortunate mistake on my part as because of this album I became completely obsessed with Mick Taylor’s lead guitar playing. Duran Duran – A very, very underrated band. After buying the album Rio in 1982, I have never been the same. Jane’s Addiction – There were many fantastic bands in the late 80s to early 90s. I was fortunate to see Jane’s Addiction literally from their earliest shows. Incredible talent with a matching live presence that I absolutely admired in my early 20s. Joy Division – This last one was the toughest as I wish I could also list bands like the Smiths, Siouxsie, Bauhaus and the Cure (see what I did there; I cheated). But seriously, the Goth sound of the early 80s was and still is a major influence on me. So, rather than trying to name a specific artist to represent this genre I’d like to acknowledge that whole style of music.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Santos: Susanna Hoffs – She’s got such an amazing iconic voice.  It would be a lot of fun to do a proper Doll’s House duet.  She would fit perfectly in to the kind of music we’re doing.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Santos: Our music has been described as “Chill Rock”, and I think that’s a pretty good description.  But I would also add that there is a pop element to what we’re doing.  I particularly like how some of our songs are arranged so that the end is really big.  The final chorus is like the third act of a movie.  Hopefully you feel like you can’t leave until it’s over.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Seth: It’s one of the very few things in life where I can get truly absorbed, where hours can pass in what feels like a no time at all.  The thing that never gets old about writing songs is the feeling from creating something that didn’t exist before.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Dav: Santos & Seth get the drinks, I get the food and Tony (the drummer) breaks out the guitar.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Tony: Years ago, I ended up at a party where Sting and Chris Cornell were both there.  Surreal experience.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Seth: A better musician.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Tony: When A Doll’s House first formed in the late 80’s there were definitely moments where we could have been better prepared to try to push to the next level but didn’t really know how.  It’s easy to see now that we were so young then and really didn’t and probably couldn’t know better but we were certainly better looking then!

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Dav: Abbey Road (the Beatles). I wouldn’t want to be a part of the recording sessions per se, just a fly on the wall. It is an amazing piece of work wrapping up an incredible 8-year run. It’s my favorite album, and more specifically “You Never Give Me Your Money” is my favorite song.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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