Up Close & Personal with Doll Skin

Song River: Can all of you play each other's instruments? And if you were in a bind- could you play well enough to just pick up and hit it?

Meghan: I cannot play any stringed instrument for shit. The first time I picked up a bass I played it upside down. I can do harmonies for vocals pretty well but that's about the extent of it. 

Sydney: I like to think I could play Meghan's drums, but I have tried and she is too good for me. I could possibly do the bass parts, but Alex's guitar parts? Probably not; I can do the rhythm parts but the solos are way above my talent level.  

Alex: I can play bass a bit, and if it came down to it I think I could pull off an impromptu performance. I definitely could not fill in on drums or vocals! The extent of my percussion skills don't usually leave the steering wheel of my car, and I don't favor the mic unless I'm yelling backing vocals from 3 away! 

Nicole: I can really only play bass actually! I could probably play some single notes on the guitar and maybe keep a beat on drums but that's it!

Song River: Being in a band is more than just wanting it. More than just showing up. What has each of you given to create this point in time? (Not necessarily given up- just given.)

Meghan: Sydney said something once that really put things in perspective for me. "The second you stop trying is the second the band fails". You can usually tell when someone isn't in it for the long haul. If they're late to practice a lot, or if they're not responsible and don't learn their songs right. I hear that a lot when people tell me about their band struggles. Be best friends first, musicians second. Take responsibility!!!

Sydney: I give my all, to put it in short. I get up on stage and I give it everything I've got. I let loose on stage and do whatever I feel like doing. When we're writing or recording, I pour as much of my heart and soul into it as possible. It's all about giving your all and doing what you want to do and doing it with as much passion as you can muster up. 

Alex: We've poured our hearts into making music, it takes a lot of time and serious dedication to keep things progressing forward. Each of us has to be able to give some serious discipline, not only over ourselves but towards any aspect of being in a band. 

Nicole: We've definitely given a lot of our time to this band! We all meet quite a bit to practice, and writing an album together took a lot of our creativity to make it how it is. It's all completely worth it though, wouldn't trade a second of it for anything else!

Song River: So often people do not know what goes on in the background. They only see the success side to a story or the crashing side. What is projected on stage? Is there anything any of you would like to say to your fans about what your parents, grandparents, guardians, significant others have done to help create what and where Doll Skin is today?

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Meghan: Those who know me know that I struggle with severe anxiety. It's crippling when I have attacks. My whole family has been extremely supportive and understanding of my disorder and have done whatever they can to help me. The girls drop whatever they're doing to help me when I have attacks on the road, which is the scariest. I'm very thankful for that! 

Sydney: We have a phenomenal team behind us. We have people looking out for us in an industry that can be really harsh to young musicians. We all face a lot of struggles on the road and during writing but we all have family and friends to help us through anything. What's important to know is that even though you see us rocking out all the time, we still go home and have to do the dishes and take out the trash, haha. 

Alex:  My mom and my grandparents have gone to great lengths to provide for me and encouraged me through every up and down of this whole shebang, there's no way I would be doing what I am without them. All of our families have shown nothing but enthusiasm and support from day one, they're our built-in crew! 

Being so young when we started the band, our parents had a lot of influence that could have easily changed the course of DS...Who knows where we would be if we didn't have the coolest bunch o' parents out there. 

Nicole: We are so so thankful for the support system we have today. We have all of our families behind us, our friends, and a super dedicated team. We wouldn't be the band we are today without our manager David Ellefson or our tour manager Dom! We have such a strong supportive team behind us it's crazy!!!!

Song River: An out of the box question for each of you. You get to pick a crayon colour. What colour crayon represents each of you best and why?

Meghan: probably a light blue. I really don't know why, but that was the first color that came to my mind!! 

Sydney: A crayon color that would represent me is any of the sparkly crayons. To be more specific, the sparkly black crayon is me. I feel like I come off more intimidating than I really am; really I'm sparkly and soft. 

Alex: I'm not very well-versed in my crayon color names, but I would be some sort of an iridescent yellow/green and I don't have an explanation for that one besides the fact that it's not the obvious choice of a teal/blue. 

Nicole: BABY PINK!!! My aura is baby pink I exude baby pink!

Song River: Talk a bit about your songwriting process from inception to lyrics, to layering, etc... how do you make it all work?  Can you define who has what strengths clearly in the group for each step along the way?

Meghan: The songwriting process is a big collective effort out of all four of us! Usually, I will come to the ladies with some lyrics I wrote at home or at practice, or Alex or Sydney will come with an awesome riff they came up with. Or we throw something out on the fly and a song will come together under 15 minutes!! It's very spontaneous and wonderful! 

Sydney: We all do our own writing and we all play a big part in making the songs into what they become. Meghan is the biggest lyric writer, yet we all help with lyrics every once in awhile as well. The rest of us all play equal parts in coming up with instrumentation, melody, and song structure.

Alex: It's a collective effort that comes together without much of a set system, but that's how we like it! Meghan and Sydney write lyrics, but we all collaborate on themes and ideas. There is a similar collaboration with instrumentals- one of us will present a riff, chord progression, melody, etc., and we will play off each other until things start to settle in. We'll spend weeks on a song and may end up scrapping it before it ever makes it to the studio, but others come together within an hour and never see much editing. It's different every time! 

Nicole: Meghan is 1000% the force behind our lyrics. Occasionally we'll come to her with an idea but she is our main writer. For the music, it is a very collaborative effort with all of us coming together with an idea and building off of it. It's a pretty fun process for sure.

Song River: Warped Tour is here. Thoughts?

Meghan: Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? 

Sydney: My thoughts about being on Warped Tour consist of a lot of just internal screaming. I'm so gosh darn excited about it. It's been a dream of mine for so long and now IT'S HERE. 

Alex: PUMPED. I was ready to jump out of my skin before we were allowed to announce it, but now that it's out there and coming up quick, I don't think any of it will seem real until we roll up to the first show! I am absolutely ecstatic to mingle with the Warped Crowd and see Doll Skin on those iconic posters. Gah! 

Nicole: AHHHH!!! Is exactly how I feel. It's a festival I've been going to for years and it seems like a complete dream come true that we are playing it this year. Sometimes I still can't believe it's real!

Song River: Noticed you all do strip down versions of your tracks. What has been your fans reactions to them?

Meghan: I'm glad that our fans have been digging them! I would love to play more acoustic gigs some day!

Sydney: We are lucky enough to get unconditional support from all of our fans no matter what we do. Our fans really seem to appreciate that we are really transparent with the processes of songwriting and we love to show them the parts that all go together to make our songs. 

Alex: So far so good, we've gotten a few requests and will definitely keep those coming! 

Nicole: We've always had such positive responses to all of our music from our fans, we are so lucky!!!!

Song River: Doll Skin doesn't seem to represent just girl power... but power that can be had by any and everyone. How much do you realize the responsibility you at times carry as a looked up to rock star?

Meghan: Rockstar??? Me??? That is insane that people think that!! It's an honor that fans look up to us like that. Sometimes it hits me on the road when I'm listening to my favorite bands (My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Underoath, Tool....etc) that there are people on this earth that look up to me as I look up to my heroes. That's crazy.

Sydney: I believe that we can lead by example. We strive to be the best people we can be and I think that if we do that, and other people see that, we can really be setting a positive example for people. It's a lot of pressure to not mess up, but I feel like if any of us do mess up, it'll be fine because it can show people that it's normal to mess up as long as you learn from your mistakes. 

Alex: I don't know about rock stars, but when we see a young fan nearly in tears waiting to buy a copy of our album and chat, it definitely brings our influence into perspective. None of us are perfect and I sure hope no one ever thinks so, but we strive to be real and empowering to anyone who needs it. 

Nicole: All the time! Anytime we have a fan that comes up to us after a show to tell us we've inspired them, it really hits me. We always want our fans to know they are powerful and their voices are strong. If we can tour the country as teenagers, anyone can do anything. 

Song River: Following up on this empowerment. Doll Skin seems to dictate almost a way of life, living. Anything in the works as far as a clothing line, hair colour, or even perhaps a comic book about your adventures?

Meghan: You are giving us some great ideas!! Hair color would be way cool. Hayley from Paramore has her own line. Just a fun fact. Anyway, we DO have some super cool merch coming in the future!! Our favorite we've ever put out!

Sydney: I WISH. It would be so fun to create more of a lifestyle aspect of our existence as a band and as people. It would be so cool to create more ways for our fans to be more connected to us and our lifestyle. 

Alex: Not yet, but it would be so rad to expand our merchandise beyond what can be found at the merch table! Stay tuned...

Nicole: So far no but we would totally love something like that! Maybe a makeup line would be cool!!!

Song River: Lastly Doll Skin where would we find you hanging out on a weekend night?

Meghan: We had just hung out at one of our favorite venues in Arizona right now, The Marquee. I just got to see our past tour mates HELLYEAH go on. Pretty cool! 

We love to go to shows together. But mostly we work a lot and veg out while we have the chance.

Sydney: I am most likely able to be found in my room binge watching whatever show I feel like. Either that or hanging out with my siblings or with my boyfriend. I don't have a very exciting home life, haha. 

Alex: I'm writing this on a Friday night and I'm headed to a movie, just took a quick sunset hike and I'll go walk my husky when I get home. That is when we aren't on the road! 

Nicole - For me personally, probably at home haha. Or maybe at a show, that's where I answered these questions! (at HELLYEAH)!

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