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House of Dolls Interview

Someone who only thinks “Leprechauns” or “Guiness” when it comes to Ireland nowadays must have been spending some time backwoods. With more and more uprising bands being at the ready Dublin appears to be the musical place to be at the moment, most certainly when it comes to bands that follow a more down-to-earth (i.e. “Yes, you can still be a convincing musician without skinny, brightly coloured pants and all that synthie-mess, thank you very much!”) and very welcome retro-garage approach. And House of Dolls is most definitely one of those bands that gives Dublin the credibility of being a hatchery of great new sounds. And, as luck would have it, SuperSonicSounds has had the pleasure of getting some questions answered by Stephen White, the man in charge of House of Dolls' vocals and bass.First and foremost: What’s the idea behind your name?It’s a book title we stumbled across; we took the liberty of borrowing it as it just suits our sound. There is just something a little unsettling about dolls that I can’t quite put my finger on!How did the four of you get to know each other?I know Stuey from school. I got to know Jimmy and Conor from our previous bands. We would play gigs together and talk about music till the sun came up...and went back down again! It just made sense to get into the studio to see what could come of it. Are you planning to remain a four-piece or are you looking for more musicians to join you on the road?Ideally we would remain as a four-piece, yeah. But circumstances have been dictating otherwise of late for various reasons. We are in a strange period where it can be hard to predict who will actually be on-stage for a House Of Dolls show. We have had a lot of people on board for such a relatively young band, with only myself and Conor playing every gig. But I guess it keeps things interesting.Try to describe your music using only five adjectives.Urgent, pure, honest, cathartic, loud...What would you say inspires you most in writing music? – This is not mainlyabout other bands or musicians, but about general things like situations, books, films, etc., whatever you can think of.We have a really visceral song writing process; it’s a need to get shit out of our system. It’s noise therapy! It feels good, and it’s pretty addictive. We are into a lot of writers and artists outside of music, but it’s hard to really single and of them out as the music is just so automatic.To what extent would you say does the place where you live influence yoursound? Does the fact that you’re from Dublin have any impact on yourmusic?It’s undeniable that all music is heavily influenced by surroundings. Dublin is a great city, but unfortunately there is a lot of doom and gloom around at the moment. Our rogue economy is to thank for that. There is a lot of insecurity. I think the need to escape heavily informs our music.If somebody cared to give you a free ride on a time machine, what timewould you travel to and would there be something like a historic show /event you would like to attend? If so, what would it be?It would have to be London in ’67...for a Pink Floyd show at the UFO Club. That would be pretty sweet. Barrett era Floyd were untouchable. The UFO Club is where it all came together, the music, the light show, it was full-on! Incredible stuff.Is there any band / act that would be your dream to support/play/tour with?For me it has always been Primal Scream. Conor had the privilege of sharing a stage with them with his old band Mainline. I don’t think he realises just how jealous that makes me!Can you shed some light on the name of your debut album “Welcome ToThe Department of Nuclear Medicine”? Is there some utopian approachyou'd like to hint at?Myself and Conor have both had the absolute pleasure of working clerk jobs in hospitals before, and were speaking about how cool the Department of Nuclear Medicine sounds. It was just fitting to base the album title around it. The idea of nuclear medicine treating disease is amazing. But also we are fully aware of, and embrace, the subversive connotations that can be drawn from it!You recorded your debut at Bow Lane Studios in Dublin. What was it like?I loved recording at Bow Lane and plan on doing so again hopefully sometime in the future. Liam Mulvaney was great to work with, his enthusiasm is infectious and the whole experience was a pleasure from start to finish. We were like kids in a candy store with so much amazing equipment at our disposal.What are your plans for the upcoming months? Will there be a tour supporting the release of your album?Yeah we are currently working on a Euro tour with Weird World Agency. The album will be released in October through Noisolution. We are already working on an EP to follow up the album too..Out now: House of Dolls - Welcome To The Department Of Nuclear MedicineWebsiteFacebook

House of Dolls Interview

Photo: Colin White