Monday, 18 November 2013

THIN DISGUISE: Our interview with Dogstar Rose - she speaks about her solo stuff and her music with Futurejack!

What was your first musical memory and what pushed you towards perusing a career in the record industry?
"First musical memory was probably when I was about six or seven years old and being introduced to the stereo player my mum and dad had bought...a record collection began to appear with lots of classical vinyl, and then brilliant 'street' compilation albums which included bands like Blondie and The Jam...also, I particularly remember my mum used to listen to John Lennon's 'Shaved Fish' album.  Almost three whole decades came and went before I moved to Liverpool and picked up on the 'live' music vibe and suddenly found myself sucked in and becoming a musician."
Had you been involved with any other bands prior to becoming a solo artist as Dogstar Rose?

"Yes, very briefly, I was probably about twenty-three or twenty-four years old and I'd been writing a lot of poetry and some guys got on to me and asked if I wanted to sing for them, they had been batting the idea around of being called 'The Herbal Pillows'...I was only with them for about five or six weeks, possibly because at that time I wasn't the best singer, (it's not been a natural gift to me, I've definitely had to work at singing and I'm sure not your regular 'girly' sweet high tone voice) but they did like my words..."
Why did you choose to become a solo artist instead of forming another band?

"It wasn't really a choice, I've literally stumbled into becoming a musician and because my poetry started to morph into songs I simply progressed into forming natural melodies by picking up the guitar and learning how to play and then putting the two together. Before I knew it I was tentatively getting up on stage to perform."
How would you describe the sound of Dogstar Rose?

"Gritty and retributive."
Where did the name Dogstar Rose come from?

"A shamanic acquaintance was sitting in my living room along with other friends and I was standing up giving an impromptu performance and he gabbled some mystical words and when I asked him to repeat himself it came about that he'd said 'you remind me of the Dogstar'. (In short: Sirius - in the constellation Canis Major the Greater Dog - is the sky's brightest star)."
Why do you choose to go under this pseudonym instead of your birth name?

"Skeletons! A whole walk in wardrobe of them..."
You have released a number of songs online including ‘Thin Disguise’. What is this song about and what influenced it?

"This song came about from the fact that I had a glitch in my personality whereby in a relationship or two I found I couldn't tell the truth to a lover because of not wanting to hurt them. The truth being that I wanted to end the relationship."
You also front the ‘gypsy punk’ band Futurejack. Why did you choose to form a band to go along with your solo career?

"This was a natural progression as the more I played live in and around Liverpool, the more interest I would get from other musicians who felt they could bring something to the sound I was producing. Futurejack has been through many changes but right now, it is the best it has ever been."
What is the difference in dynamic between the solo stuff and the band and which do you prefer?

"The difference in dynamics speaks for itself when Futurejack perform, we have a ludicrously brilliant drummer called 'TwoPints' and a dark zany bass man 'Jonny Mc' and these two wonderful human beings both have the same vision as myself, they relate to my words, understand them, and enjoy nothing more than to play and perform. Together, we three have a united imaginative conception, we know what we want, and where we're heading. On the other side of the coin though, I still very much enjoy giving my solo performance, I have deep scores to settle and every time I get a guitar in my hands and a mic in front of me, the story unfolds a little further."
You have also released a number of songs with Futurejack. One of these is ‘Read My Lips’, a fine rock ‘n’ roll song with punchy drums and a fine chorus. What is this song about and what influenced it?

"This song is about when you're trying to tell your (who you deemed to be, 'life') partner something that will benefit them at a primal level and they just don't listen, ever!  You feel like you're knocking your head against a brick wall and because they avidly don't want to listen and improve themselves as a human being, well, then it's 'back door exit time' isn't it...'Read My Lips' is about disenchantment and escape."
Any new songs in the pipeline?

"Yes, plenty.  First album of songs is in pre-production stage.  Then second album has already received its title and will bring forth songs such as 'Monsters', 'See The Sun', 'To The Bone' and 'Fuck It'."
When can fans be expecting the next official release?

"Wednesday, April 23, 2014 is going to be the official release date for our first album and we'll be having a Futurejack launch party to boot."
Do you have any 'rituals' before going on stage?

"Rituals eh! Speaking for myself, no! Not particularly, other than deciding whether it's going to be a 'shoes on' or 'shoes off' performance. As for my fellow Futurejackers, I can't let you into their secrets but it has been known for the three of us to jump in the shower together to shake it all out."
Any live dates coming up?

"Thursday 5th December 2013 at Lomax, Cumberland Street, Liverpool, Merseyside with Love Music Promotions."
Who would be your dream collaboration?

"Would love to collaborate with either P J Harvey, Bjork, Jarvis Cocker, Brian Molko, Tim Booth (for TwoPints) or Daft Punk."
Who would be in your dream super group?

"I already have my dream supergroup in Futurejack thank you, and we have amazing guest musicians on our tracks like Nizha Salim (violinist), The Prof. (saxaphone), Dylan (harps), and future supergroup input from Ged Parker (guitar) and Helen Maher (accordion)."

Favourite Beatle?


Favourite band?


Favourite new band?


Favourite song?

"Your Arse, My Place (Elastica)."

Favourite album?

"Portishead, Dummy."

Vinyl, CD or download?


Style icon?

"Mary Quant."

Favourite clothing brand?

"Baby Phat."

Favourite film?


Favourite TV show?


Who would play you in a film of your life?

"Sissy Spacek."

Favourite food?


Football team?

"Tottenham Hotspur."

Hope you enjoyed this feature on Dogstar Rose and Futurejack! Check out our previous feature on Tiki Black!
Check out Dogstar Rose here -
Check out Futurejack here -
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