Interview – The Dollyrots

The Dollyrots are a band that need no introduction, having had an impressive career in the music industry over the years. When the opportunity to interview them came along, I jumped at the chance. Find out how they’ve been getting on below!

By Jane Howkins

The band recently released a rarities collection titled Down The Rabbit Hole – what can you tell us about the album? 

Every time we record an album, we end up with a handful of great songs that don’t make the final album sequence, for whatever reason. It might be too dark, too similar to another track on that particular record, or just a little off the wall. It’s not that these tracks are bad; in fact a lot of the time they’re our personal favourites. So gradually, over the course of 7 full-length albums and various EPs and singles, we’ve amassed a pretty hefty back catalogue of songs that have fallen into the cracks and never received a proper release. This is a collection of all those songs, smack dab in one place.

How did the collection come about? Did you ever think you would get to the stage of releasing such an album when you first started out? 

We’ve been talking about putting out a B-sides collection for over 10 years now, but it wasn’t until recently that we really became laser focused on the idea. The pandemic, being stuck at home, not touring – it gave us a chance to go through the archives and rediscover a lot of songs we had forgotten about and just plain put on the forever back burner. Around the end of 2021, we decided that we needed a new release to start off 2022, and seeing as it’s the band’s 20th anniversary, we figured the timing was right to put it all together. There was no way our baby selves 20 years ago could have ever imagined putting out a career-spanning B-sides collection in 2022. No way! That’s the FUTURE.

Will you be releasing any singles from the collection? 

The first couple of singles are already out, a co-write with our pal Jaret Reddick from Bowling For Soup called Just Like All the Rest and a newer original Too Fun For My Health. Both of those are on Disc 1, which is the first half of this collection. There are still a bunch of covers on Disc 2 that we can pick from for a subsequent single so we’ll see what shakes out!

Do you have any plans to release a full length studio album in the near future? 

That’s the next thing we’re banging out. We wanted to cleanse our system and get all remaining good older music out there before moving on to the next chapter, and with the release of Down the Rabbit Hole, we feel like we have permission from ourselves to approach the next album with a clean bill of health. It’s probably going to be different, a different approach than everything that’s come before it.

Do you have any tour dates lined up? Any chance we can see you in the UK anytime soon? 

We do! We’re heading out on a string of dates in the USA and bringing along our friends The Von Tramps this March, and we’re scheduled to head to the UK with Bowling For Soup and Lit in April for a huge amazing party. We haven’t been to the UK in 6 years so we’re ready to bring it!

What can people expect from a Dollyrots show and why do you think people should come and see you perform live? 

You should expect tons of super uplifting, positive, silly fun. We put on a pop punk show with zero pretence and keep the jams coming. We don’t try and get in your head and make you all sobby. We play our songs and lift you up and make the party happen.

You’re going to be performing on the Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Sea Cruise. Are you excited? 

We are! It got postponed until 2023 but we’re still as excited. The opportunity to jump on a boat with so many of our punk rock heroes is going to be a massive milestone. We grew up loving the first wave of punk rock even though it isn’t necessarily of our generation. And for some reason the British version of that wave resonates most with us. We’ve been on tour with friends Buzzcocks several times over the years so we can’t wait to see them, and the rest of the line-up is stacked!

How did the cruise come about? Will you be doing anything special for it? 

It’s all a product of the radio station – Kelly is a morning DJ for Little Steven’s Underground Garage on Sirius/XM. Everyone should give the station a listen; it’s the greatest radio station on the planet. Stevie Van Zandt came up with the concept for a rock cruise with the sensibilities of the station and we’re honoured to be part of it. We’ll be playing multiple shows throughout the trip, and plan on digging deep into a few of our best albums to give people a one-of-a-kind experience. Definitely going to bust out some songs we’ve never played live before. 

How have your influences changed over the years? 

Our influences are, honestly, timeless. We’ve always and still love 60s girl groups, 70s punk rock, and 90s alternative. We listen to tons of new and modern music as well, and recently went to Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. So that’s the only real difference lately; we’re listening to more of the fuzzier and grungier electronic dance music.

Any last words for the fans? 

Stay true to yourself, keep your chin up, and wake up every day thinking it’s going to be a day where you don’t forget to have FUN.