Interview with Lisa Doll & the Rock n Roll Romance
- by Dawn Reed
The Deli: How did the band start?
Lisa Doll: I have always tried to get a band together since middle school without much luck. At one point in my early 20's I was going through some tough times, where I had to pawn off any instruments I had. I was trying to focus on school, which turned out to be a bust and getting out of a horrible financial situation. I felt like I had wasted a lot of time doing what I thought I was supposed to do and was pretty pissed off about it. Guess I still am! But I was HELL BENT on reclaiming my original goals of art and music.
In late 2011, I moved to Baltimore, re-evaluated my life, got another guitar and was ready to go. It can be hard finding people who are interested in and get what you are doing and wasn't having much luck. I was writing songs in my basement with a drum machine for most of 2012, and re-visiting songs I had written even earlier. In the mean time, I started playing guitar for a local band called Del Tigers and met Andrew who plays 2nd guitar and sometimes drums in RnR Romance now. Finally, I had a buddy to play music with and it helped build my confidence. Del Tigers disbanded after 2 shows and then I started up my solo project under Lisa Doll & the Rock n Roll Romance with Andrew. Originally I wanted to do a guitar/drum duo but later recruited Sue Werner (from NJ's Stormshadow) on bass and Kevin Mitchell on drums who make up the RnR Romance live.
What are your biggest musical influences?
I listen to a lot of different things, but they have to have pop hooks. I listen to a lot of garage rock/punk/pop that spans the 50's to the present. There was a lot of great garage rock n roll hits of the 60's and 70's that drive my song structure. But I love the fast energy and trashiness of punk and the swagger in rock n roll. Joan Jett is definitely an influence as far as channeling her overall mojo and love for music.
What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
Who's currently in my playlist, to name a few are; Ty Segall, Carbonas, The Muffs, B52's, Rocket from the Crypt, Bass Drum of Death. Some local acts I've been into recently are Baltimore's own Ravagers and Norfolk, VA's Great Dismal Swamis.
What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album thatyou ever bought?
First concert was a local show in my hometown Fredericksburg, Va at a community center when I was in 9th grade. First album I personally bought was Green Day's Dookie in 5th grade. Me and my sisters would get babysat after school and there was an older boy there who would listen to stuff like Nirvana, Green Day and Silverchair with headphones on, but I would hear it if I sat close to him. I asked to listen one day and he was playing Green Day. I thought it was so cool. I bought it with lunch money off of him the next day. It got me into more pop punk driven music.
What do you love about Baltimore's music scene?
There's a lot of different things going on which is great.
What would you like to see change in the local music scene?
For people to be less fickle and clique oriented. Having a group of like minded friends is awesome! But being closed off elitists and "Judgy McJudgerton's" is not. Though it does make for good snarky jokes.
What are your plans for the upcoming year?
I am self releasing a fall release and would like to be picked up by a label and tour more. I wanna tour the west coast!!
What was your most memorable live show?
GEEZ it's hard to pick one. Any show where the crowd is going nuts, the mood is just right, the band is giving it their all and you're having so much fun. Any kind of memorable show moment to me is going to be where it feels like a religious experience almost, like you're physically and mentally apart of that sonic wave of music and the people in the room.
Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?
Yes!! Anyone who plays live with me and thus becomes part of the RnR Romance. Anyone who has let me practice at their place, mentioned me to someone, helped me with a show, etc etc. All are integral parts of being able to continue on and move up. It's so wonderful how people can be helpful and important to getting music out there and I appreciate them all and know that anywhere I go, wouldn't be without their interest and kindness.
Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without and why?
Cakewalk's Music Creator PC program. I record all my song ideas and such on there. It helps me to try different things and hear different parts together. I also use the voice memo on my phone. And of course...my guitar. :)