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Austin, Texas rock duo One-Eyed Doll talks touring, influences and more
Why did it take me so long to find out about the Austin, Texas band One-Eyed Doll?
I have no idea, but better late than never. One-Eyed Doll is a rock duo that consists of
Kimberly Freeman (guitar, vocals) and Jason "Junior" Sewell (drums). No stranger to the
music scene, the band formed back in 2007 and has since released several albums,
including their latest album Dirty released earlier this year. I would best describe
One-Eyed Doll's music as a mix of Babes in Toyland and Dresden Dolls. Incorporating
theatrics into their live set, Freeman and Junior captivate their audiences when playing
live. One-Eyed Doll spent this past summer on the "Destroy To Create Tour" with Otep
and Butcher Babies. I caught up with them for an interview in Dayton, Ohio.
How would you say One-Eyed Doll's music is different than Kimberly's solo stuff?
Kimberly: One-Eyed Doll is a lot more anchored, we have a certain style that we do. It's
like that rock 'n roll fun guitar and drums thing. And the solo stuff is still Junior and myself,
and even more of Junior than in One-Eyed Doll. He plays a lot of the instruments and it's
a lot more collaboration. The solo albums are all these different genres and it goes off into
whatever direction we feel like. It's not usually rock 'n roll--it's folk, bluegrass, dance,
electropop, its whatever we feel like. One-Eyed Doll can always be its rock 'n roll thing, so
it's not going to be like a disco album and the fans be all mad. The fans can either get the
solo albums and discover those other genres or just stick with One-Eyed Doll's stuff.
What can you tell us about your latest album, Dirty?
Junior: We recorded it at Sylvia Massy's studio. She is a legendary producer. The album
is a lot more natural and organic. She has a lot of vintage equipment, so it really inspired
us to make a 70's style rock album. We released it on vinyl too. It's more on the
depressed side. One-Eyed Doll historically has been kind of manic depressive, some
depressing songs and some super happy songs. Dirty is pretty much all on the dark side.
How was the transition going from producer to drummer?
Junior: I made the first One-Eyed Doll album as a producer. I wasn't in the band at that
time. But we still made the album together. I was pretty comfortable with the whole
transition from producer to drummer. It's coming up on three years now that I've been the
You wrote a song about your mom as a Mother's Day gift and I read she makes
some of your merch, so she must be really supportive of your music career?
Kimberly: Yeah, she is. Kind of lately I've been trying to draw her in with her arts and
crafts. I used to make a lot of our stuff by hand. And I can't really do it anymore. There is
only so much I can do in our van when we're on tour. Thats where we've been living the
past year and a half. I kind of showed my mom how to make a lot of it. So she's doing it
now and I'm able to support her as an artist that way and she's supporting me. And the
fans love it! She's painting pictures of us and we're selling them on our website to fans all
over the world.
What kind of theatrics do you incorporate into your live show and how does it go
over with your audiences?
Junior: I can say from my job in the band being the drummer and trying to keep up with
Kimberly, every show is different. We never really have anything planned out. Some
nights are more theatrical than others.
Kimberly: And every audience is different too. You never know what to expect from the
audience. Whether they are going to play along and have fun or take themselves too
seriously to have fun. This tour has been awesome! These crowds have been fun loving,
easy going people all around. I've been really pleased with them, they've been so fun!
I especially love a metal crowd who can just let go and smile and laugh. It's great!
Kimberly Freeman. Photo Supplied
Do you think your DIY ethic makes things easier or harder for you as a band?
Kimberly: Both. It's pretty much this is what we have to work with. We like to do things our way. I don't know if thats kept it indie for us or what, but
I'm enjoying myself. And it is a lot of hard work. And we've had to pay some serious dues. We've been doing this awhile and put in a lot of miles. But
there are plenty of bands who can fast forward through some of the work that we've done with money or whatever. I'm happy we've done it this way!
What kind of musical influences do you have?
Junior: I grew up listening to 70's prog rock like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Rush. My dad was into that stuff. And he was a
drummer and had a drumset in the garage, so I always went in there and jammed. In the early 80s I got into New Wave like Duran Duran, Cyndi
Lauper, Madonna and all that stuff. And then I'd say '86 or '87 I got into Metallica and Slayer when all that stuff started taking over.
Kimberly: I think one of the big actual influences on me was I used to sneak off to Bluegrass festivals when I was in junior high and high school
because they happened around where I went to school. It's funny 'cause recently in an interview someone asked me if I've ever skipped school for a
metal show, no, but yes for Bluegrass festivals I did. Obviously, I love my divas like Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton. I love my
girls Bjork, Madonna. I've got a lot of punk influences like the Lunachicks and some of the riot girl bands. I'm a northwest girl so I got into bands like
Bikini Kill and L7. And I think some of that comes out in me. I don't mean to, but I'm sure it just seeps out!
What would you say is the best thing about being out on the road and playing live?
Kimberly: Get to hang out with my best friend every day. It's pretty awesome, good company! I've always been really nomadic, so it's comfortable
for me. I get a little weird when I'm home for awhile. I get all nervous and stuff. When we're recording I'm super happy. Unless we're recording or
touring I get kind of weird. I like to be working on something all the time. I love discovering food in different places, we always try to support local
businesses. I'm always blown away that people actually want to come see us play.
Junior: I feel like before I started touring I had such a limited view of the world, just of the United States and what's out there. You kind of think you've
been to a few places and know what it's all about. But now I feel like I've pretty much been everywhere in the country.
What kind of plans do you have after this tour?
Kimberly: I'm not sure. Hopefully hop onto another tour. That seems to happen a lot.
Junior: We're going to do a few Halloween shows in the Texas area. Then we'll either have some time to record another album or on another tour.
Any last words?
Junior: All of our albums are available for name your own price including $0. Check out the music, download it. You can check it out at
http://music.oneeyeddoll.com/. And if you like it you can pay for it or just check it out!