Sunday, October 02, 2011

Brody Dalle Discusses Her New Band, Spinnerette, and the Joys of Being a Mum

By: Jade Blackmore
Date: May 04th, 2009

Brody Dalle blazed into punk rock consciousness earlier this decade as the Distillers' charismatic, Mohawked singer-guitarist. With her gravelly vocals, low slung guitar, and attitude with a capital A, she was hardcore punk’s most visible female artist of the time.  After three albums and non-stop touring, the band officially called it quits in early 2006. 
Since then, Dalle got married (to Josh Homme of  Queens of the Stone Age) and they had a daughter, Camille. Now she’s back with a new band, Spinnerette. Along with collaborator Alain Johannes and ex-Distillers guitarist Tony Bevilacqua, she’s built a new sound partly influenced by some of her early musical memories like Neneh Cherry and Hunters and Collectors. 

The digital EP Ghetto Love contains four tracks that give us a taste of the full length CD
the band is currently recording. It's electro-rock tinge may surprise some Distillers purists, but the guitar-powered "Valium Knights" will reassure them that even though Brody’s all grown up, she hasn’t lost her edge.

Spinnerette is playing festivals in Europe and the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle this summer. I recently interviewed Brody via e-mail about Spinnerette, motherhood, and what she’s been up to for the last few years. 

You’ve been through lots of life changes since the Distillers broke up. You got married and became a mother. How has this changed you creatively and otherwise?  
Being a Mum is the best fucking thing that has ever happened to me, but it means there is less time allotted to spend being creative. There isn't a lack of inspiration or an ideas drought, I get songs and ideas in a lash and they are either recorded into my blackberry, garage band or my old tape player, whatever is closest at the time. Then when the time is
right the songs/ideas are picked apart, dressed up, dressed down, undressed or left naked wearing only socks. When I go to the studio or Al Johannes' studio, I work my ass off and get it done. I work harder and focus more as opposed to laying around and taking my sweet time about it... ahhhhh those were the days.   

The songs on Ghetto Love are more melodic and "electro" sounding than the Distillers. Did this evolve naturally or did you set out to write in a different style? I also want to add that I love the way your voice sounds on "Distorting a Code." It's an interesting song- it starts out very haunting and somewhat delicate, and then adds a layer of electronic distortion near the end.  And it really showcases your vocal range.  
Thank you! That's my favorite song on the record. It's weird because I get the "electro" thing when I hear some of this record as well, except there are no keyboards anywhere near this record and the only electronic drums are on the EP/b-side track "Bury My Heart," so go figure! Alain Johannes is a musical magician, that's what I know for sure. And I love singing, did I mention that?
You've played a few gigs so far, including one at the Shockwaves NME Awards show. How have the live shows been received so far? Are there plans for a tour soon?
Well, some loved the shows and some didn't and I'm sure some weren't fussed and some thought there was room for improvement, which is to be expected and they're all coming from unique perspectives - and they're all right in their own way.
I guess getting used to the idea that the Distillers are done and that Spinnerette is here and is an entirely different alien is a shock to the system for some and might take a bit of getting used to... but I sure had fun. I just want to get some more shows under my belt - might do a tour under a different name - just to have the space to fuck up and grow again. 

And did it feel strange to perform at the Shockwaves show without your guitar for most of the show. I know with the Distillers you were usually singing and playing guitar simultaneously.
Yeah, I feel a little naked without it, I don't get to play as much as I used to , don't have a ton of free time on my hands, so I didn't want to ruin everything with sloppy playing. I guess if you see me and I'm playing more live, it means I've been practicing and if I'm singing more, I've taken more showers . I do wanna play more though. In the Distillers I played and sang all the time.   

When will the full length CD be released? I read that Spinnerette initially signed to Sire but that didn’t work out.
I was personally signed to Sire; we parted ways amicably and now I'm on Anthem. I love Anthem. Thank god for Rush. The record comes out in June!

What was it like to work with Liam Lynch on the video for "Ghetto Love”?
It was super fun, late at night at Liam's house in his film room with a green screen and it took 25 minutes. Liam rules!