Punk rock was defined when Sylvain Sylvain
banged out the chords to Personality Crisis
on The New York Dolls
self-titled album released in 1973. The band were pioneers of a punk movement that would later hold sway over new wave and glam bands. They broke up after just two albums the aforementioned debut and the follow-up, Too Much Too Soon
and ultimately reformed in 2004 to record another pair of albums: 2006's One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This
and 2009's Cause I Sez So
. Original members Sylvain Sylvain and singer David Johansen
recently got back together to record Dancing Backward In High Heels
, a raucous collection of Dolls-inspired rockers like Kids Like You
and Talk To Me Baby
as well as ballads swimming in acoustic guitars and Farfisa organs like You Don't Have To Cry
and Baby, Tell Me What I'm On
Sylvain Sylvain plays in his typically furious and frenetic style, bashing out chords and messy riffs with an abandon that has been a mainstay of The Dolls music from their earliest days. Here he talks about the new record, old records, and what it means to be a Doll in 2011.
UG: The early 70s were a pivotal moment in the development of American music. The punk scene was starting and the New York Dolls were at the center of it. Could you sense that there was a style of music being created?
Oh, god, yes. I mean it was just taking birth and it was movin' so fast and I knew for a fact that the New York Dolls was ground zero for all of that, which really made me so proud. When it all kicked through and especially once we got our recording deal, which took three years probably.
Oh, yeah, because we started like'70, '71 and we were already goin' and '72 we were goin'. By the time we got a record deal it was '73 and this was pre-CBGBs because they opened their doors in '75. This was Max's Kansas City of all places if you're talking about a club; there was no places to play so you had to kind of chum up with this one and that one and whatever. Or invent places like the Mercer Art Center was just a performing place for theater; off Broadway theaters and stuff. So, um, there was no place; there was only Madison Square Garden and there was stadium rock was the norm. The song was 25 minutes long and the guitar player, that was just his solo [laughs.] You know what I mean? And it was mundane. To us it was like all showmanship and nothing sexual; that's we thought. That's what we loved about rock and roll like the Eddie Cochrans and the girl groups like the Ronettes.
What was that fascination with the girl groups all about?
They had beautiful legs and wore skirts and full lips and you wanted to kiss em and you wanted to dance with em. They're songs were so damn sexy like Be My Baby is probably one of the greatest songs that was ever written or recorded. It was just fantastic and it was campy as hell and no one caught the sense of humor. A lot of people did but the New York Dolls got most of it.
So the Dolls wanted to take those elements of camp and humor and use that to build a band around?
No, no, no, nothing we did was conscious. Out of our boredeom of what was goin' on, it just arrived like that. It was very organic to be quite basic about the whole thing. And we tried to get away and the reason why was because of what was going on. Like I said there were huge, huge shows like Madison Square Garden was the only place and there were not too many clubs. Even Greenwich Village had completely died; Bleeker Street had nobody. That was it; it was finished and there was nothing going on. And we started on the Lower East Side and became the darlings of that whole crowd and we found out that it wasn't only us that was bored with what was going on but there was a whole generation down there of artists and groovy people that wanted to have something different.
Is that when you started running into other bands?
No, the bands got created around us. The first band that was ever there in New York City and the first band ever was the New York Dolls. And I'm not talking about Iggy Pop because he was a 60s band; he was a late 60s and the MC5, those guys were from the late 60s. In fact, the New York Dolls re-hatched Iggy's career. He went on the road with us in 1973 playing little theaters all around the country from Detroit onto California. He played with us at the [Hollywood] Palladium in Los Angeles actually where Iggy Pop opens up for the New York Dolls. That's what was going on. Iggy was sleeping in Johnny's room at the Ramada Inn. I'm not kidding.
I believe you. At a point in time, did you get a sense that other bands were forming and branching out around the Dolls?
What really happened after the Dolls started, then the first one that came out of that was Eric Emerson and the Magic Tramps and Chris Stein was in the band. He was the guitar player for Eric Emerson who was an Andy Warhol superstar. Then it was Jane County and back then he was Wayne County and he was an Andy Warhol superstar. They came out and after that, Patti Smith who was probably the most talented out of the whole bunch.
You think so?
Oh, god, yeah, she was really the real thing and she was the most talented. She came out and thenof course Blondie, and then of course the Talking Heads and Television. Television was a big band at that time. And the Ramones were actually a little later so they were after Television and stuff like that and I remember the Ramones kinda started coming out and stuff. I'm talking about 1972 and in 1975 CBGBs opened up their doors and the rest started happening.
Wasn't it around this time that Malcom McLaren got involved with the Dolls?
In 1975 is when Malcolm McLaren basically started to manage the Dolls of their career in May and June. He went to England of course and took all the influences. He loved it; he wasn't trying to copy anything but he loved it and took it over there and the British put it on the map and it looks like punk was invented in England. But it really had its birth with the New York Dolls in New York City in 1971, 1970.
Did McLaren have any kind of vision for the Dolls when he was working with you?
No, no one knows what the fuck they're doing. The thing is you let them do because they're cool and they're nice. I had met him in the rag [clothing] business; him and Vivienne Westwood in 1970 at a New York rag trade show. I was making clothes myself and I had a company called Truth and Soul Sweaters and him and Vivienne Westwood, Let It Rock was the name of their company. We met at a trade show and I told him we were playing the Mercer Arts Center that night and they came down and that was the kickoff of the whole thing how they fell in love with the Dolls.
You talked about how the Dolls were influenced by R&B and the girl groups. What about the English bands of the era? It's pretty well-known that the Stones had a big impact on you.
Fuck yeah! The whole English invasion stuff. They were known as the ugliest band from England. Who was that? The Rolling Stones. And of course the most beautiful band from England was The Beatles. But The Beatles to me were kind of wimpy.
Were they really?
"We found out that it wasn't only us that was bored with what was going on but there was a whole generation down there of artists and groovy people that wanted to have something different."
Yeah, I mean they were cool and everything and they started everything they were the New York Dolls of that era but The Rolling Stones was great. Cause they were playing the blues and that's really what I dug. I liked all that rhythm and blues stuff, that Little Richard and Eddie Cochran stuff.
Were you listening to The Stones closely enough to pick up on what Keith Richards and Brian Jones were actually playing on guitars?
I don't know; that might have been in our subconscious but we just loved The Rolling Stones. And we loved The Yardbirds and we loved T. Rex was fucking great. All that stuff all mixed in altogether. I mean I loved the early Who; I just didn't fancy them when the became an opera band but thank god they did that because maybe I wouldn't have thought about trying to do the New York Dolls if I wasn't bored with all that opera [laughs.] Opera rock is what it was. Yeah, The Rolling Stones and don't forget, here's a little bit of trivia Johnny Thunders is in the Gimme Shelter movie.
Is he really?
Yeah, check out the part where Mick Jagger asks to light up the lights, open up the lights on the audience in Madison Square Garden during the movie. You could see Johnny; he's in the audience and he's standing on top of his friend's shoulders, this old buddy of ours, and he took Johnny there and stuff. And you can see Johnny messing up his hair, he's trying to perk it up and stuff. Johnny was a huge Stones fan, shit; he was a huge Stones fan.
By the time the Dolls were in the studio for that first album, the band has been playing together for a while as you mentioned. You and Johnny Thunders have been working out guitar parts and stuff like that so how did those sessions go?
Actually we didn't work out anything. Don't forget I said it took us three years to get a record deal. We were passed by every major record company.
Were you really?
Yes. Our managers did this showcase and they invited every record company at once in the same room. And I don't know if you know but that's like World War III [laughs.] It was about the stupidest move you could ever do. The New York Dolls were only good when they performed for their audience. We didn't have an audience; here we are playing for these older guys, I guess, that didn't get our thing at all. It didn't work and we got passed by everybody. The only company that didn't come down that night was Mercury Records and that's who we signed with. So fast forward now, we got the record out and everything and that opened up the door for everybody. Once we got signed then they said, Hmm, it might be something to this whatever they want to call this music. You were saying?
What were the sessions like on the first album?
No, hold, on, you were asking about, you were saying about me and Johnny trying to work out our guitar parts.
The reason why is we had those three years. Those songs of ours like Personality Crisis and Trash which was written in '72 so it wasn't in '71 or whatever. Looking For A Kiss, all the other songs, they were already hits with the kids. The kids knew of them already and they loved those songs; they made us the stars that we became to sign and get those record contracts and stuff. So we didn't really have to work out much.
What was it like working with Todd Rundgren as producer?
What was really kinda cool, I thought that Todd did, he put Johnny on the right-hand side of the stereo spectrum and I was on the left-hand side. I thought that was pretty cool.
Were you always on the left side?
Yes. And no one really remembers but I actually played the piano, I'm the piano player there on Personality Crisis.
You rocked on Personality Crisis.
Yep, yep, I do tingle every now and then.
Did you ever play piano live?
Yes, I did. That show at the Palladium in Hollywood, I played a Hammond B-3 [laughs].
Did you think that was a strange combination of putting you together with Todd Rundgren?
Well not back then because we were all going out with the same girl; the same chicks were fucking us, you know?
Musically you'd heard Todd's music before you worked with him? He had a few solos albums out like Runt and A Wizard, A True Star.
Oh, yeah, of course. We knew Todd and he had that Utopia band back then and he was like producing a lot of huge bands. I think simultaneously or right after us or right before us he produced Grand Funk Railroad [We're An American Band].
Did you like his production on the New York Dolls album?
I don't know if he did a great job cause I think that's the way we sounded to be honest with you. That sound, that razor guitar thing that me and Johnny did, [was already there]. Those power chords or call it whatever you want. I call it a lazy barre chord cause it only takes two fingers instead of your whole hand. And, uh, yeah, we ran into that because we were too lazy and we couldn't stamina-wise probably hold the whole chord and do the progression as a barre chord. We sounded the way we sounded and when it came down to it, I mean he got in there and recorded us. Don't get me wrong; I think he's really the most talented, wow, one of the most talented guys out there as far as music and production especially. And he's produced incredible, incredible records and stuff over the years. He's had his share of bloopers, too, but anyways that's what makes you great.
Todd was really in the studio as a producer just to get down on tape what the Dolls had already been doing for a while.
With The New York Dolls and Todd, it was really The New York Dolls kind of wrote what was gonna happen. You just had to capture it and print it in there.
In '73 when that first Dolls album came out, the first Aerosmith record was released, Mott the Hoople's Mott album came out, and the Stones' Goat's Head Soup was also released. Were you listening to these other records at all? Were you interested in the other music that was happening in 1973?
Actually you know what? Again you're wrong because they all came to see us cause we were the guys that was happenin'. And especially in the case of Mott the Hoople because David Bowie when he first came to the United States and he came by boat by the way back then he got off of the Queen Elizabeth and The New York Dolls were playing the Mercer Art Center. He came right from the boat right to see us and he was writing songs with Mott the Hoople and Ian Hunter and stuff like that and Aerial Bender. We went on tour and it was called a stupid name through our managers and stuff and through our promoters probably too it was called The Glitter Rock Tour or whatever. And we went out there with Aerosmith that was opening and The New York Dolls in the middle and it was Mott the Hoople. And I think that turned into Kiss, Aerosmith and then New York Dolls became the headline. We did some shows in Detroit and Massey Hall in Toronto. We did some shows like that and we introduced those bands in a way. Not so much Aerosmith because they were with the same managers as us; they had the same management as us. So basically they hooked us up with them and vice versa.
On the New York Dolls album you were doing a little bit of writing. Did you like writing songs?
I wrote what some people consider one of the most important songs in the Dolls which was Trash. I wrote a lot of stuff that I didn't get credited for unfortunately. I'll explain later. The other tune that I did get credited for was Puss N' Boots on the second album [Too Much Too Soon]. And Frankenstein of course so those three I'm credited for. But I had plenty to do with Jet Boy that whole solo, that whole middle part there in Jet Boy. And what's that other song I'm thinkin' of? Oh, Human Being, that kind of middle part in there. But you know, it was back then and it was like, Well, the middle part and the solo don't count as music. But bullshit [laughs]. When other people interpret your songs and then they play the same exact solo and the same exact lick and everything. And then it goes beyond a solo and now it becomes music. But anyways such is life.
Too Much Too Soon was another step forward for the band with songs like Babylon. More of that great guitar stuff between you and Johnny. How does the album stack up for you now?
I loved it. I thought Stranded in the Jungle was like, forget it, it was perfect. Oh, we got to use Stan Bronstein who used to be in Elephant's Memory on the horn on that record. That was really cool. The only thing that I didn't really dig is they didn't let me play the piano and they brought in a professional [Alex Spyropoulos].
But such is life you know. It was more at that moment, it was starting to, the problems had started to set in.
The problems were already there on the second record?
Oh, yeah. I mean they were already there by the first record. So by the second record, they had already worked out their kinks. You know what I mean?
You still have good memories of Too Much Too Soon?
It was great though; it was great. I still think Jerry Nolan played some incredible drums on Stranded in the Jungle and stuff. I was just doing this thing on Don Kirshner who passed away recently. I did this PBS radio thing, Soundcheck, and we were talking about Jerry Nolan's drums and stuff and he of course did Stranded in the Jungle and shit. He was great. He had that beautiful pink Ludwig drumset that he had custom made. Now it's become such a sampled [thing] that you probably hear it all over the place but you don't even know that it's Jerry Nolan's drums.
If the Dolls hadn't gone through all those problems and could have stayed together after the second record, do you have any sense of where they could have gone musically?
"New York Dolls were influenced by R&B and the girl groups."
Well, you know what? If I ever think about I'd say, You know what? If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change anything. I wouldn't change anything. Because that's the way life is and you've got to live it for what it is and what happens to people. They're gonna go wherever they're gonna go and the environment is gonna take you where it is gonna take you. And what'ya gonna do? What the fuck are you gonna do? Heroin is the only thing I would take out of the equation because that's the only thing that you think you can control but, man, when she's got you by the balls, forget it. It's a losing battle. Your body is dead already but it's still going and it's a sigh finally when you do pass away.
You did survive and you're still here doing it 38 years later. The new album, Dancing Backward in High Heels, has a lot of surprises on it: acoustic ballads and a lot of keyboard stuff.
Well, you know what? Time goes on of course and you have to grow with music. If you're a real musician you have to keep on learning; learning everyday is what keep you goin'. And if you don't have that ambition, I don't think you're gonna do anything. Or else maybe you have a good year or so and then that's the end of that. We don't try to do anything that's really programmed or calculated. We don't know. We fly by the seat of our pants. We have this really good relationship in working and our natural way is hopefully you try it in front of the audience and they're gonna tell you whether it's working or not; whether it's a good song or whether you should fucking can it. If there's anybody out there thinking about trying to do anything, this would be a great suggestion to do.
That's exactly what you did on The New York Dolls album road tested the material before recording it.
Like I said on the very first album, wow, we had three years to practice those songs and to make em popular. So the minute we recorded em they were already hits; whether they sold or not. With this, we didn't try to do anything that's different. It was just, Let's write a fuckin' good song. It's damn fuckin' hard to come up with a good tune, baby, no matter where it's from; no matter what genre and everything. You just take your influences that you love and for me it was the Eddie Cochrans and it's the girl groups and sometimes it's even Bob Marley or whatever. I like rhythms; I think I put in a lot of rhythms on this new record.
You co-wrote virtually every song on the album.
I did a lot of the writing again on the keyboards. The first song that I wrote on the keyboards and it kicked off basically all of em was End of the Summer, which closes the record.
That was your ode to the girl groups. Very cool song.
Thank you. When that came out and we started performing it live at this residency at a club called Cluny's in Newcastle and we played there for three nights. We really had a cool attitude. It was like, Hey, if we blew it, the intro to a song, we'd stop it and pull that Jimmy Durante stunt. Hey, stop the music, stop the music.' And the audience fuckin' loved it; they were all singin' it [End of the Summer] and they had just heard the song for the first time. So that automatically told you this might be something good. And you just gotta keep on growing, man, you just gotta keep on writing good shit. Real stuff; stuff that means something. And the drums have to be important and the sound and it just can't be, OK, well hey, that's the sound that blah blah blah got. So let's get that. Fuck that; create your own. Fuckin' make a fuckin' hole in the damn [drum] skin and see what that fuckin' sounds like. And put it through this and that and channel it through here and there and throw some echo on it and now it sounds like a fuckin' piano.
The first song on the album, Fool For You Baby is all keyboards and no guitar. That's different.
She [song] was saying, Hey, I don't need it. Let me tell you, we attempted.
You did try putting guitar on there?
At the end of the day, it held it back; it changed it. It took away instead of adding. Sometimes you might try something cause you might think that, Hey, you know I hear this there but at the end of the day when it pulls back from the speakers, you're gonna hear the truth if you're there in time. You gotta be there with the time.
Where did your fixation with the Farfisa and Vox keyboards come from?
Oh, god, forget it, man, when I first heard The Doors' Light My Fire and shit like that. Basically 96 Tears by ? and the Mysterians. Are you kiddin'? Don't go any further. I got my first Vox organ that I bought. It was a Continental that had two keyboards and stuff and I bought that for 20 bucks! In New York we used to have this newspaper called The Byline and it was like used stuff and I drove out to Nassau someplace and I bought it for 20 bucks [laughs].
You were always going to be a guitar player, right?
Well, you know what? My first instrument that I learned how to play on was actually the keyboard. This house that we rented when the Mizrahis [Sylvain's birth name] immigrated to the United States, the first place we lived in the States was Buffalo, New York. And in Buffalo, New York, the place that they rented for us had an upright piano and I started monkeying around. My uncle used to play the accordion with the keyboard on the side, not the buttons, and he used to show me some things and I kinda learned where the A 440 was and things like that. When I was bored I'd sit down by the piano and figure out a song or whatever and usually it was a French song cause that's where we emigrated from. It was probably like Johnny Hallyday singing Be My Baby or whatever it was. And who was really big in France was Ray Charles and my Uncle Victor had all his records. He was a rock and roll fuckin' piano player. I would like learn a song and shit and call my mother in and play it for her and she said, Hey, this guy I think he's got something. Cause I was doing really bad in school. I had dyslexia and back then they just called it stupid. He's just stupid. There's nothing wrong with him he's a fuckin' idiot [laughs]. So I picked up the things that I could pick up on which was how to play the guitar and how to play the keyboards.
Did you take any lessons?
I self-taught myself so I'm a C man. Everything I wrote on the record, check it out, it's on C.
No black keys.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I play it safe, man. But that little pinkie 7th has got to hit that A#.
In Streetcake, you name check all your favorites: Mitch Ryder and Tommy James. Were you fans of those bands?
Oh, god, yeah, especially David, too; David loved Tommy James and the Shondells.
Oh, yeah, I mean who didn't? But he was a sucker for them and hence the reason why he put them in the song. Especially in the New York Dolls songs, David graced em with fantastic, fantastic stories and lyrics and clever shit that means stuff for a long time. And a lot of times, too, we work together. I would bring to the table the hook line. On this album, Kids Like You, that was my hook line. And I brought Baby, tell me what you want was my line but he changed it to Baby, Tell Me What I'm On. Which I thought was a lot cleverer than my fuckin' line. It was just like a lot of fun. And yeah, sometimes, he won't dig a line or it wasn't quite workin' but on this album it worked on a lot of stuff which was great and it kept it all movin'. Just keep it rockin'.
Kids Like You was another surprising song inasmuch as it was built around your C major Farfisa organ. And your whistling was great.
Oh, you liked that whistling? I love when David says, You're gonna get the blues/Kids like you. I mean that is gorgeous, man, with that raspy voice of his.
Frank Infante, the other guitar player on the record, plays some cool slide on that song.
Oh, god, we've been buddies. I mean he came into Blondie after Gary Valentine; of course he was on Parallel Lines and everything. But me and Frank have been buddies forever. We didn't play so much music back then but we partied together. How's that?
Is it a different thing playing guitars with Frank Infante in the studio as opposed to playing with Johnny Thunders?
Well, you know what? The one beautiful thing is one of Frank's influences is Johnny although Frank could probably out-lick him cause Frank's a really good player. I know somewhere down there in his heart, he's got Johnny in his mind. And I think, of course, on our other records, [guitarist] Steve Conte was aware of Johnny's input and all of that. In a way, you can't help to do that with this band cause we do have all that legacy and you have that vibe already; it's in there. I don't want to sound spooky or anything but Johnny, Jerry [Nolan], Billy [Murcia], and Arthur Kane were in that studio with us anyway.
Fool For You Baby had a really interesting groove.
"The New York Dolls re-hatched Iggy Pop's career."
Oh, god, you know what? I was listening to old Kinks stuff and one day I kind of came up with that riff because I'm always playing in D anyways. Also You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory which was kinda borrowed from Lonely Planet Boy and such and such. Even on my Sylvain Sylvain records, I had one, Without You that was basically that same kind of stuff but all different melodies. With that slushy kind of drum it was all kind of toned down and really gated but it sat in there so fuckin' cool. It was almost like you didn't need anything else but the voice, the organ, the guitar and the drums.
How did you come up with the violin, viola, cello and trumpet arrangement in You Don't Have to Cry?
I could tell you about the violins and all that kind of stuff. On the song Funky But Chic where the girls are singing in the background? And on I Sold My Heart to the Junkman, this girl, her name was Stephanie [Clift]. Down the road from the studio was this bar called The Ship and there were these girls Nina [McDonnell] and Stephanie; Nina owned it and Stephanie worked there. They became our caterers for our sessions. One day Stephanie brought in the food one afternoon and she started singing and she had a beautiful English voice and was a really beautiful woman. Little, petite, and beautiful blonde hair and she started singing and this beautiful voice came out. And we said, Oh, my god and we started chatting to her. She said she went to a music university in Leeds and she has friends down there so she brought two other girls and they came in and they learned the songs the night before and stuff like that and they started singing and they winded up to be on our record. What's that English movie where one is working in the supermarket and the other one is working here or whatever
The Commitments, yeah; it was one of those fuckin' deals, man. It was so beautiful and it winded up just like that. When they're knockin' on somebody's door and they go, Not him; no, not her. And this just worked out so great. We showed her the other songs that we needed violins and cellos and string sections and stuff like that and she brought in all the string sections from the same school in Leeds. I forget the name of the school; I wish I could tell you. Leeds and Newcastle is not that close; they had to travel all night in the pouring British rain and they came in and learned the song right there. We coached them a little bit on this and that, me and Jason; Jason basically did all the work. They even did some of the singing on Talk To Me Baby with all those ahh ah ahhh things.
You know what? I wrote that line, You don't have to cry and then David just wrote the lyrics on all the verses and did such a great job. It brings me to tears. Not only as a writer on this record and as a performer, but just as a listener I enjoyed it so much. I keep on not putting it down and every day or so I wanna listen to all of it. No other record has done that to me.
Getting away from The Dolls for a second, what is happening with you and Cheetah Chrome and your solo project, The Batusis?
Yes, The Batusis. You know what? Speaking of Sylvain on piano, you have to check out What You Lack in Brains.
It's a smoking song.
You hear the piano in that?
Definitely. Does What You Lack in Brains have a little bit of a ZZ Top feel to it?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's got that boogie in there. The Batusis just recorded a new album in December in Nashville where we recorded the What You Lack in Brains EP with four songs on it. And now it's a whole album with Ken Coomer as our producer and Cheetah Chrome of course. We were listening back to our first sessions in 2009 and we did the Blues Theme [Davie Allen and the Arrows], an instrumental with all the motorcycle sounds and everything. It was featured in the Peter Fonda movie; not Easy Rider [Sylvain is referring to the opening sequence of The Wild Angels]. I was dancing in the studio and we were listening back to it and shit and we had a real motorcycle guy with a Triumph come in the studio to get the sounds and shit. And then I started dancing like the Batman dance with the fingers across the eyes? And Cheetah asked me because we were looking for a name for our project, and he said to me, What the fuck is that? And I said, That's the dance that Batman does. And so he looked it up on his laptop and shit and Googled it and said, Sylvain, it's called the Batusi. I said, Shit, that's the name. And that's how we derived it.
Do you like doing these side projects and playing with different musicians?
Yeah, and it's fun and sometimes between records with The Dolls there's a lot of sittin' around. I got a lot of songs and I call them threads; each song is a thread in my curtain. And at this point I've got an awfully big curtain. Like I said, it's so hard to write a damn good tune. So whenever a song comes to me and it's a good one, I put it down. I don't care if it's for me, if it's for The Dolls, if it's for Barbra Streisand. I don't care; that doesn't interest me as long as it's a good damn tune. After I write the tune, I throw it as a thread in my curtain and then when it comes to a project, I say, OK, what fucking great tune would fit this project? And that's how I really do it.
Do you listen to the songs from other bands? Do you listen to bands like Fall Out Boy, The Briggs, Alkaline Trio or those types of groups?
Yeah, definitely. Probably with Sylvain, you could play him the worst music in the world and I'll find something absolutely genius about it. I have a good eye for something that's good and I feel like everything has something to offer. Within the Dolls our influences are so deep and so wide and so many different types of music are influenced by us. In our shows sometimes I'll see like a longhair band guy standing next to a superpunk and they're standing next to a real serious mod. I'm very proud that we can entertain them all in a way and they can find something great and it's not just one thing. And maybe that's why we stuck around a long time and hopefully knock on wood we'll be around for a lot more time. How's that?
Interview by Steven Rosen