Pitchfork Interview: Dum Dum Girls talk about eating guacamole at 2AM, writing songs about angels at 4 years old, and Lana Del Ray
88Nine is at Pitchfork Music Festival, where we caught up with lead singer of the Dum Dum Girls, Dee Dee. In our interview Dee Dee talk about eating guacamole at 2AM, writing songs about angels as a 4 year old, being more selfless as an artist, listening to the Beatles with her parents in California, and Lana Del Ray. Listen to the interview in the Soundcloud link below.
JB: What is your favorite thing to eat at 2 in the morning on a Saturday night?
DD: Probably chips and guacamole. I make guacamole and its even better after a night of drinking. And if I’m feeling really adventurous I make my own tortillas.
JB: Whats the first song you ever wrote?
DD: Umm, I definitely wrote songs when I was a very small child. I remember when I was in middle school and I found this cassette. My parents used to record us on cassette tapes all the time, and I remember finding a cassette tape that had me singing a song about angels when I was about 4. I mean I wrote really bad songs like Tori Amos in middle School and high school. I didn’t really play guitar well, so that was a problem. But the first Dum Dum Girls song is probably the first real song I wrote, which is one thing I really like about this project, is that every little step was caught on tape.
JB: What’s the first song you remember hearing? You said you had a musical family
DD: Yea, I did. My family always had the radio on. They listened to American and English oldies. My parents were 13 years apart so my dad was always listening to music from the late 50s and early 60’s and my mom was listing to music from the late 60’s and early 70’s. So that’s how I hear the Beatles, the Stones, Elvis. The classics. I definitely remember listening to songs from Rubber Soul when I was really young, that was my mom’s favorite album.
JB: What did your parents do?
DD: They were school teachers. Public school teachers. My dad was a carpenter in the summer. He was a bit of the workaholic type. Pretty classic hardworking, pro-union good teachers. I don’t have the teaching streak or ability that they do, so that’s why I write songs I guess.
JB: But, being in a band is similar. You are still in front of a crowd.
DD: Yea, but it’s different. It’s not selfless in the same way I guess. I try to be more selfless in my work. It’s hard being an artist and being selfless. It’s self indulgent. But at the same time art has had the same role in trying to be good.
JB: You are married to the lead singer of the band Crocodiles. How does that effect your work? How did you meet?
DD: We met a long time ago, my old band opened for his old band a long time ago at a show I thought he was a comedian. We got married really quickly and immediately started touring in different things right away so it has always just been part of the deal.
JB: Why did you think he was a comedian?
DD: He was just very funny. I thought it was an act at first. I hadn’t laughed in a couple years so it was particularly amusing. We finally had some down time and we make a record together for the first time for a project we had. You would think as musicians we would play more music together, but we have very independent things going on so when we get together we do things like binge watch Orange Is The New Black.
JB: Do you write songs about him? Or think of him when you are writing?
DD: Yea, yea. I don’t know if its more of a theme, at least on my end, where I reference Crocodiles songs occasionally. Just like little conversations across records.
JB: Finally, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to?
DD: Lately, I have been taken by Lana Del Ray. Yea, Cruel World, the first song. I have always been a fan to a certain degree. I’m intrigued by the phenomenon. When she did that extended video for “Drive” I became really intrigued. I love that she had a spoken word prologue. It’s like, “No one does that. That’s cool. She’s a poet, that’s cool. I’m into that.” Very rarely do I buy an album or order one, but I got her new one early and I was at the gym when I listened to it for the first time and it came on in random order, and the song Cruel World came on and I thought “Holy fuck, this is incredible.”