By: Ryan Cooper
Date: May 20th, 2009
Most of us remember the brash, gutsy vocals of Brody Dalle, the lead singer of the Distillers. The Distillers burst upon the scene in 2000 with their self-titled debut album, and punk rock immediately had a new female figurehead.
With her distinctive, harsh voice, Dalle showed punk rock that it wasn’t just a boys’ game, and that a woman could front a punk band without being cute about it.
After the 2003 release of Coral Fang, the Distillers went on hiatus, insisting they weren’t broken up. Several years later, Dalle has reemerged, sans the Distillers, with a new band, Spinnerette, a new sound and a new way of looking at things.
We caught up with her to talk about the new project, and about whether the Distillers were still officially “on hiatus.”
RC: It’s been a few years since we heard from the Distillers, but you’ve been rather busy. What have you been up to?
BD: Well I got married, had a daughter, started a new band called Spinnerette, made a record, found new management, signed to indie label Anthem, put out a digital EP, found people to play with live, life.
RC: Does becoming a parent change the way you look at the world, or at being a musician?
BD: It changes everything. It makes you more conscious. It makes you shed the skin of your past and fight your demons. It makes you accountable, makes you question a lot of things, relationships, your place in the world and what kind of world you want to make for your child. Kids are the best thing ever! My daughter is a real comedian, she's always saying the funniest, weirdest, cutest things to me like "Mum, you're king of the noodles," or "One day Mum, I'm gonna have a wife and a farm," or "Mum, I love lizards so much!"
RC: You’ve been quoted as saying that the Distillers have not really broken up. Is this still the case?
BD: I thought maybe I could buy myself some time to try and convince Andy to stay in the Distillers, but I decided against it as we were estranged for a few years, now back in contact and all's well. The Distillers is no more. It's been over for me for years now, going back would seem redundant.
RC: With Spinnerette, we’re hearing a somewhat drastically different sound. What motivated this change?
BD: It wasn't intentional at all, it just came out that way, I think the sound is me and Alain mixed together, with a sprinkle of Tony.
My songs are pretty simple, Al's playing adds a real maturity, zing zang and sparkle that otherwise would not be there. Tony comes in with his moody lightning playing, sad and pretty one liners, a general noise maker.
RC: On Spinnerette’s recordings, you compiled a pretty solid lineup, including Jack Irons. How did the (recorded) lineup come about?
BD: Well, Jon Theodore was originally going to play drums, but he tore his rotator cuff a couple of days before, so Al said let's get Jack to play! And that was that. Everything happens for a reason, this was that Jack was meant to play drums for Spinnerette.
RC: When you tour with your album, the touring lineup will be different. Why is that?
BD: Alain works engineering and producing, making his living and Jack Irons has a family and doesn't go on tour too much these days, although he expressed interest in doing so, so maybe we'll play some one-offs with the recording band.
RC: What’s next in the immediate future? More Spinnerette? More Distillers? Any more side projects?
BD: Touring, touring, touring, make another record which will come out next year, maybe a side project with special friends.
RC: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
BD: I love Howlin' Wolf, vegan cupcakes and vodka.
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