Dollhouse - The Rock & Soul Freakshow!

By Jens Hellroute

The hardest working combo of Sweden had a frantic 2004 with their trip to LA recording ”The Rock & Soul Circus” with MC5 drummer Michael Davis at the helm, and last year they selfproduced their mini LP, ”The Basement Takes”, and there’s a new album already recorded, ”The Rendezvous”, (produced by Nicke Royale), so there was tonsa shit I wanted to know from my r’n’r buddies. There’s a zillion bands out there who’s trying to get the classic Detroit rock sound right, but rarely do they succeed at it like Dollhouse do, who throw in a lotta blues, soul, and psych into their superior sound.

Chris Winter (vox, guitar) and Marcus S. Davis (drums, bong producer) did most of the talking, while Yoda Hassian aka Yoda Chrome (bass) and tour guitarist Mauro Bozzi hung out.

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Yesterday was a sad day for rock’n’roll, Wilson Pickett died, any comments on the great soul singer?

CHRIS WINTER: It’s really sad. He inspired a lot of musicians.

MARCUS S. DAVIS: He’s actually one of our favorites.

WC: Any of his songs in the set tonight?

CW: We were thinking about doing ”Land Of A 1000 Dances”, but we haven’t really rehearsed it.

WC: But you could dedicate the show to Wilson Pickett?

CW: Yeah, absolutely! (and they did, ed.)

WC: Because you have a lot of soul influences in your music?

MSD: More and more. We were always playing more psychedelic stuff before, but now as we get older we are more and more influenced by soul music.

CW: Next we might get influenced by African roots music, who knows, haha.

(Lorenzo Woodrose, who later in the night joined them on stage, drops by and says hello to everyone)

WC: You went to this MC5 re-union in London in 2003, one of your big heroes, and then you hooked up with drummer Michael Davis?

CW: We passed him our first 7”, and he contacted us a couple of days later, and he said he wanted to produce an album with us.

WC: Then you went to LA to record?

MSD: Yeah, 3 weeks in LA living in Michaels’ place. His wife, Angela, is also his manager so she started manage us for awhile there.

WC: The ”Rock & Soul Circus” album. How do you think about that album? The sound is pretty muddy...

CW: It’s not at all what we expected, the sound wasn’t really what we wanted, the whole recording was a bit troublesome. But people and the media seem to like it, so that’s good, people are listening to the songs not the sound.

WC: The Dim Mak label released it.(Dim Mak meaning "Death Touch" in Shaolin martial arts. Also the name of killer death metal band.-->
CW: That’s a guy called Steve Okie, the label has licenced out records before by bands like Soledad Brothers etc. We were gonna be the first real band on the label...

MSD: I don’t think they knew how to put out records from the beginning for a band, they knew how to licence records cuz that’s easier. It didn’t come out in stores like it was suppose to.

WC: The mini album, ”The Basement Takes”, has a much more clear sound?

CW: If you listen to some of the same songs on ”Rock & Soul Circus” (”Come On, Baby”, ”I’m A Man On The Move”) the sound on ”The Basement Takes” is the sound we wanted all along. Actually we recorded it in our rehearsal room instead of a studio.

WC: That can sometimes be better than a studio with the overdubs etc.

MSD: It was a cheap production with cheap microphones, all the gear was cheap, but it turned out good.

WC: Nicke Royale, who also played in the MC5/DTK lineup at Loppen where Dollhouse supported them, and at London show, he produced your new album ,”The Royal Rendezvous”?

CW: Yeah, the upcoming album.

MSD:: We hope to get it out in May. We’re really satisfied with the recordings.

CW: Actually, he asked us at that nite at Loppen if he could produce us, and we’re kinda fed up with producers, so we said, well, that’d be cool cuz he knows what we want.

WC: All new songs on the new album?

MSD: Yes, and no covers.

WC: And there’s a split 7” with Electric Frankenstein coming out?

CW: We don’t know when it’s coming out, but it’s coming out this year, and it’s ”Bang Bang Bang” from ”Basement Takes”, but a different version.

WC: Are you a 4 or a 3-piece at the moment?

CW: 3, but when we tour we’re a 4-piece, this guy here joins us.

WC: What’s your name?


WC: So where are you from, which bands have you been in?

MB: I play everywhere, USA, Switzerland, played with Motorcycle Boys, Marky Ramone.

CW: Mauro is from Switzerland, he’s the guy who put out the ”Hear ’Em Talking/Born Under A Bad Sign” 7”.

WC: Is he a permanent member, or just helping out on tours?

CW: We haven’t decided yet, it works fine the way it is now. When we play small gigs in Sweden it’s too expensive for Mauro to come and join us.

WC: What inspired you to put the bong sound in the end of ”All My Luck Is Gone”?

CW: I don’t know, I just came up with the idea, and put Yoda on the bong, and Marcus was recording, haha.

WC: And you did it over and over, (laughter).

YODA CHROME: Yeah, four takes,(laughter).

MSD: When I was producing Yoda I was hard on him, and made him do it over and over again, haha.

CW: It’s a song about when everything goes wrong, really depressing actually.

MSD: Yeah, it’s about Dollhouse, haha.

WC: I remember one nite a long time ago when we’re drinking, you wrote like a list of ’100 Rules Of Rock’n’Roll’ in my apartment?

MSD: The 100 Points Program, haha.

CW: It was when we were stuck in Copenhagen, and we had to have something to do. The was fun, but we were broke, and I ended up selling my pedals to afford going back to Sweden.

WC: What are some of the best bands you’ve played with? Of course there’s MC5/DTK but...

CW: Many, but The Bellrays were really good. I really enjoyed their show.

MSD: When Lisa sings it’s like being hit by a tree.

WC: Any closing remarks? This is the 2nd date on the tour?

MSD: We have a 900 km drive tomorrow to Altenburg in this shitty snowy weather.

WC: I wish ya a lotta luck!

MSD: Thanks, we need it!

Dollhouse's Official Website