LOS ANGELES, October 18, 2013 — The Barb Wire Dolls are a punk band that harkens back to the late 70s era of the genre. They are based out of Los Angeles, but were formed on the island of Crete back in 2008. Recently the band went from being a three-piece, which consisted of a guitar player, Pyn, drummer, Krash, and a singer, Isis Queen, to a four-piece by adding a bass player, Remmington. Barb Wire Dolls singer Isis answered some questions regarding the addition of a new member, touring and recording a new record.
Kevin Wells: Last time we spoke, you were pretty happy not having a bass player. What changed?
Isis Queen: In the USA we had our own back line. Pyn was playing his guitar through two full Marshall stacks and one massive Ampeg bass stack. He was loud as f**k. We sounded great. Then we came to Europe and were at the mercy of each venue’s back line. We never could get our sound right and finally we added a bass player to get that full sound we had back in the USA. But the great thing is that we have lots of new songs that could only be done right with a bass player, and now we also sound massive. Having four people on stage also adds more chaos and excitement, and our new bass player, being female, adds to that wild sexy feminine energy too!
KW: Did you actively pursue a new bass player or did she pursue you?
Isis: She had a band in the USA and opened for Barb Wire Dolls. We immediately thought of her when we finally chose to add a bass player. She was hands down the right choice.
KW: What is Pyn using now for his amps?
Isis: He goes through just one guitar amp and most venues give him whatever they have. But with the low end in the mix from the bass player, he still sounds raw and driving like before.
KW: Was it hard to getting comfortable with another member being added to the band?
Isis: Not at all. Remmington adapted instantly. She came from the hardcore punk scene and started playing punk shows at the early age of 14. She got her first bass at 8 years old. She’s young, but fully experienced at being in a rock and roll touring band. The day she arrived in Berlin, Germany she laid down tracks in a recording studio for some new songs, then rehearsed for three days, then played three shows in 24 hours. She is full on punk rock and fits like a doll in the band!
KW: Let’s talk about your current tour. How have things changed this time around in Europe as opposed to the last time Barb Wire Dolls played there?
Isis: Well for one, the band has gotten a lot, and I mean A LOT bigger. Every show we play now there are wild, ecstatic fans showing up and they know all the songs and go wild with us. We also have been headlining many punk festivals and playing also some big ones and also been doing select dates with major punk acts like Jello Biafra, NoFX, GBH, 999, etc. We also had so many European record labels wanting to put our debut album, which surprised us. We had no idea the punk scene in Europe was that strong. Also a great thing is that at these festivals, all the legendary punk bands come to see us and hang out with us. It’s great to hang out with legends and hear their stories about the early punk days.
KW: How much longer will you tour Europe?
Isis: No plan after the end of the year. Right now we will have played over 75 shows in over 13 countries by year’s end after arriving here around the beginning of summer. We are being invited to play many festivals next year here and also getting invites to Australia, Brazil, Asia, and more so I guess we will see then what our destiny shall be! One thing for sure is we will be kicking a** on stage and taking no prisoners. After being so fed up with the music scene of the last twenty or so years, it’s great to feel this new punk explosion really taking off like wildfire for us.
KW: What are some of your highlights from the European tour?
Isis: Playing Rebellion festival and having a huge packed audience just to see us. And in the crowd having a list of who’s who in the punk books. But I would say the most exciting thing is that our audience is so amazing and each show is magical and special. The fans make it worth all the miles (kilometers!) we have to drive to each show each day.
KW: When can people in Los Angeles expect to see the Barb Wire Dolls again?
Isis: We don’t have any clear plans yet because Europe is really taking off for us and as long as that continues to grow, we are going to keep playing here. I am excited to return back to Los Angeles and also to tour the U.S.A. again, but that might not be until we release our next album. But you never know! The Casualties had asked us to do a 60 date U.S. tour with them, but both of our routing plans I guess didn’t work out. That would have been rad to tour the U.S. with them, they are amazing people and I have a new found respect for them after playing with them here.
KW: Do you have any plans to get back into the studio?
Isis: We have already been recording many new songs and will be recording more after the new year. We have about 8 new songs that are epic. We’ve been approached by some big record labels, so maybe we will sign with one of them for the next record. Right now being DIY has served us very well. We are in complete control of our band which is great. That is something these labels want to take from us, but we have told them under no circumstance will we be told what to play, how to sound, etc. Either they get with it, or they can continue to release records by other bands that have no depth or artistry. The record business is struggling because the suits don’t get it, but they see our band and all they think about is money. It’s about the music, the art, NOT the money. But they are the record “business” not the “record - fill in the blanks”!
KW: Will you work again with Steve Albini?
Isis: For sure. He did an amazing job to make our record in those two nights. We all want to spend more time for the next record in the studio, so when the time comes to choosing who we will record with, it will be the right choice. We have had some conversations with some other engineers/producers so we will just have to wait and see!
KW: Is there anything else you would like to say to the people out there?
Isis: If you are fed up with your life and wish to live it to its fullest and be free to be yourself, then just do it. No one is stopping you but you. No one is out there to judge you but you yourself. What you say and do is what you create, so watch what you say and do. You are creating your own fate every moment so choose wisely and follow your instincts because life is so worth enjoying. Leave the drama aside and make things happen for yourself. It is possible. You have the power. It’s all within. Activate your thunder and watch the world embrace you. Rock, riot, and rip it up!
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