Watch out for The Cherry Dolls in 2017 as they will win hearts and minds around the country as they go on the Viva Las Dolls Tour. It is busy in The Cherry Dolls camp as bass player Brendan West explains to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles with the release of their new single Slaves and their debut due for release shortly.
Does it feel liked your debut was a while in the making?
Not really. We probably recorded our debut album before most bands do in the timeline of their career. We released two EP’s last year and at the start of this year we decided that we would do an album. We went into the studio and smashed most of it out in a day. It all seemed to happen pretty quickly.
Did you think it would take as long as it did?
The recording of the album didn’t take long at all. Most bands spend months in the studio getting it right but we tracked most of it live in a day and over the next few weeks added some overdubs like guitars and vocals and extra percussion. It was being mixed at the same time as the overdubs were being added so from the time we started the recording to the time we got the final master back it was probably only a couple of months tops.
How was it working with Alex Markwell of the Delta Riggs?
He’s alright I guess… Nah he’s a legend. He adds a lot of ideas to the arrangements and he’s an absolute work horse.
What was the biggest lesson you learnt from him?
I guess to just really throw all the ideas down there and see what sticks. A lot of the songs were only half written when we went into the studio so we had to get in a super creative head space when we were in there. Markwell really helped with that.
Did it take a few takes to get that frenetic live sound you were going for?
To be honest and I can only speak for myself but when we recorded the beds for the tracks which was mainly drums and bass I thought the energy was there pretty early on. Tommy and I had about three or four takes on each track. The first couple we were just getting the vibe (and the notes) right then by the third or fourth take we’d have it nailed. Then it was about keeping that energy through the overdub and mixing stage which I think Markwell and the rest of the boys pulled off really well. The guitars sit nicely with the vocals up front but overall the album is very bass and drum heavy which I think really drives those energy levels.
Do you usually write enough songs for an album?
Well we have an album and I believe there are enough songs on it. So yes? Is tensongs enough? We have more songs that aren’t on the album. This is a weird question haha
With the tour starting this week, are you pumped?
I’m so pumped. We played out first show together last weekend as a warm up which went really well. The vibe is good, the songs are sounding great and everyone is super excited to get on the road and play. We actually booked the album tour before we started recording the album so we’ve been looking forward to it for a while.
Do you have a favourite city to tour?
Personally I love playing the Great Northern in Byron Bay. We’ll be up there this weekend. We’ve only played there once before but the crowed was sick and the pub looks after you with accomodation and rider so it takes the pressure of us. We just have to turn up, play some rock n roll, party with the locals then chill out on the beach the next day. The home town shows in Melbourne never disappoint also.
What’s an essential on the tour rider?
Sushi platter… FFS SUSHI PLATTER! CAN WE PLEASE GET OUR SUHSI PLATTER!?
Which band has had the biggest influence on your career?
It’s probably different for all the guys in the band but I think The Rolling Stones would rank pretty highly on everybody’s list. Those guys are just relentless. They’ve been touring and creating great music since the 60’s. They’ve written some of the greatest riffs of all time. I wouldn’t say our music sounds at all similar to the stones but they have definitely been an influence in terms being in a band and doing what you love and sticking to it.
Where to from here?
I’d say we’d be touring the album for most of the year. I actually went to SXSW a few weeks ago in Austin and that really inspired me to get the band overseas. So I’d love to get us playing at some of these showcases and touring OS. Who knows though it’s still early days so we’ll see where it takes us.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Have a listen to the new single Slave
Don’t miss out seeing The Cherry Dolls, check the following dates for a venue near you…