The Duloks interview
It’s a long walk up a cold dark asylum corridor. As I pass each cell the inmates press their face up against the glass, peering and gurning at me. Then, nearly at the end of the line the warden plunges his key into the large pink door, pulls it ajar and with a deft shove, forces me into the cell. With a dictaphone in one hand and panic alarm in the other I’m here to interview The Duloks.
For the benefit of the tape, would you each kindly introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you?
Mira: Hello! I am the singer of the band. I am the old lady of the band and like nothing better than a flask of tea and a good book in bed after a show. I am also a positive thinker and I do hippyish things with crystals!
Abi: Hi I'm Abi, you might remember me from such things as http://myspace.com/abimakesmusic or Abi Makes Music Meets...Goldie Lookin Chain. I am the keyboard player person of the band. And Mira is my nan.
Mar: Hi, I'm Mar the first Dulok and the drummer. I started the band and you can blame me for the lack of instruments. I'm Canadian and I like swimming and all things to do with water.
So, how did the Duloks come about?
Abi: Oh not this question again...
Mira: This is a Mar question! I am so tired of this question that I now like to answer in this fashion. I ran a PYO strawberry farm and hired Abi to wash out the punnets. Mar was a travelling straw saleswoman and won me over with her super soft organic straw which I began to use for my crops. From this a friendship was born and over numerous cups of strawberry tea and discussing German sanitary products we formed the band.
Mar: I started the band as a rip off of my old band The Ewoks http://www.myspace.com/theewoks (The Duloks were the enemies of the ewoks in the eighties star wars spin off cartoon - Sci-Fi Ed) who were much more lo fi than the Duloks.
The Duloks formed to play my 25th birthday. We had two weeks to write five songs and perform at my fancy dress party. My other band played that night too but only the Duloks went on to play more shows.
If one of our readers came to see you live what could they expect? Can you also explain your onstage attire?
Mira: I say expect the unexpected. You will be engaged and entertained and quite possibly amazed and dumbfounded. So you can expect those four things, but everything else is unexpected.
Abi: I thought the diarrhoea was expected? From the audience, that is...
Mar: Expect silly talk about poop, cock and married men. We dress for FUN usually involving brightly coloured PE wear.
You’ve just come back from a tour of Germany, how did that go?
Mar: The tour involved a LOT of sitting and eating cheese and bread. European food is way too heavy for me but really yummy. We're really lucky to have gone to Germany seven times now and it's always fun making new friends and seeing old ones.
Mira: It was only a short tour by other bands standards but tour fatigue set in for me by day eight. We had a great time at some awesome shows in the German sunshine, were accompanied by the awesome Mila and the (temporarily crippled) lovely Martin from Mum Promotions and just soaked it all up. Germany has always been very kind to us Duloks!
Abi: Yes. Long. But enjoyable mostly. The end was longer than I had expected and I spent about 24 hours searching for a sanitary towel. Luckily I found an ambulance that helped my life.
You are on your 3rd keyboard player now. Is this in some way a homage to Spinal Tap’s drummers? Abi, are you concerned?
Abi: I'm not concerned. I was only expecting a couple of months until the next keyboard player arrives.
Mar: We've just been unlucky. Abi is NEVER leaving though. She has formed an unbreakbale vow with Mira's Harry Potter-obsessed boyfriend.
Mira: Our oldest not-related-by-blood fan (who's German and lives in Berlin) said to me "I think you and Mar must be very horrible people, this is ANOTHER keyboard player..?!" - but you can see from our web history that YES I am heavily influenced by The Tap (saw them on their recent two date tour at Wembley) - but none of our drummers have ever died through spontaneous combustion, have had their vomit dusted for fingerprints or been crushed by Stonehenge!
The Children of the Sea LP is fantastic, I read elsewhere it was part of quadrology for the elements. Are you planning to do Earth, Wind and Fire next? If so when?
Mira: We're going to take in all the elements. Back then I was reading a lot about Taoism and thinking how fate is entwined with nature and all the ocean inspired songs just naturally built into a watery tsunami of an LP. (Mini LP if truth be told!). The songs we're writing now are more firey and epic, hence Vol 2 will be FIRE!!! I think the Wind album might have lots of comedy flatulence on it...some Duloks (ahem!) are known for their flatulence!!
Abi: The Duloks apart from Abi are known for their flatulence...
The only other band I can think of that manage to be as genuinely funny yet musically brilliant as you are Half Man Half Biscuit. If you were Half Lady Half Biscuit, what type of biscuit would comprise your non-lady half? And why?
Mar: I'd probably be more like a marble cake. As I'm more soft and spongey and my nickname is Marbles.
Mira: I'd be half pink wafer, cos my nickname used to be Pink Panther.
Abi: I can think of one more band - Abi Makes Music. I'd be a chocolate finger. It reminds me of lesbians.
Fantastic! Can you tell me about your song writing process? How do you come up with such brilliant songs?
Mira: We all write together in Duloks HQ aka Mar's Bedroom! Although it all seems completely random there's generally some hidden meaning lurking beneath the comedy!
Abi: Steal them from the neighbours. Not the tv show. The people smashing up cars in next door's driveway. Good sounds.
Mar: Generally they are all inside jokes. If you spend enough time together (eg too much!) random phrases and things start to be funny.
I understand Venus Productions from Paris asked you to be their 2008 Greeting Card band. What are the responsibilities that come with such a role?
Abi: Merry Shitmas.
Mira: We are obligated to party with Didier the company owner and his model girlfriend Peeta every time we hit Paris. It's a cool kinda responsibility and Didier is a VERY classy gentleman. We love him!
So, what sort of music are you into? Is there a common band you all love?
Mira: OH MY GOD! Our music tastes are so disparate...eeek...Mar, Abi...who do we all love?
Mar: Anything Mira and I both like is generally embarrassing... metal and unpopular brit pop bands. I actually have no idea what Abi likes besides herself.
Abi: Abi Makes Music of course...
Are the characters in your songs like the ‘Octopus in Love’ and the ‘Lovelorn Unicorn’ based on real people or events?
Mira: Yes - come to our shows and I generally spill the beans about who and what!
Erm, Hi Abi… Right, if you had to have a tattoo of a single word in a large font on your forehead what would that word be?
Mar: I once got Weird Al Yankovic to write in BOLD capital letters on my forehead "AL". I was 13 and misguided.
Mira: Mine would be http://www.myspace.com/abimakesmusic... NOT REALLY - I just wrote that cos it's a Duloks in-joke for Abi...I'd tattoo the word DREAM in a Unicorn & Clouds font.
Abi: I agree with Mira.
If you relieved a £1 million advance from a record label tomorrow what would you spend it on?
Abi: For myself? Lots of Abi Makes Music merchandise. For the band? A trip to Bognor Regis every fortnight and a portable fridge to keep all the mouldy tour food in so it doesn't go stale. Oh wait..I think the latter is just my problem...
Mira: For the band? A nightliner tourbus with jacuzzi and bar and Playstations and walk in wardrobe and a HUGE amount of American Apparel stage wear!
Mar: I'm the band accountant and I probably wouldn't spend it cos that's how geeky and good with money I am. I'd probably invest it.
Would you prefer a robot butler or monkey butler?
Mira: As a lifelong Asimov fan - it'd be the robot!
Abi: It depends how filthy the monkey is. I don't want to clean up urine. Oh wait..he's have to do it himself if he was the butler...
What’s next on The Duloks ‘to do’ list?
Mira: Hawaii. We're gonna conquer all the islands in the Archipelago!
Abi: Isle of Wight. We're going to conquer all the islands in the UK.
Mar: Split 7" with You Say Party! We Say Die! and as much touring as I can force Mira and Abi to agree to.
My verdict: they are all quite clearly insane but also the most fun you can have with three girls in PE kit! (We need to have a word, Mules - Ed.) Their songs are hilarious yet brilliant, singalong lo-fi classics that will improve any music collection. They are without question one of my favourite bands and I thank them very much for giving up the time to sit down and do this interview.
You can buy the fantastic EP from their myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/theduloks or find out when they are next playing near you.
Illustration kindly provided by Mark at http://www.misterlion.com/
Live photo kindly provided by Michaela Ripl
Huggy photo kindly provided by Laura Hernando