Tokyo Taboo are a loud, ferocious band fronted by the inimitable Dolly Daggerz – who pole dances whilst singing at their shows! (As a pole dancer, I am incredibly impressed) I caught up with Dolly to get the low down on what it’s like in the industry, as well as what she thinks of #DLGRL (We now have an Instagram as well as a Facebook page, follow us @dlgrl2021)
Firstly, thank you so much for being an unapologetic, loud woman we can all look up to! How and when did you first begin to connect to your energy and power?
I think just slogging away in the music industry for a decade makes you really resilient and slowly not care what anyone thinks of you. It’s this fearlessness that has helped me when performing. Having idols that have a stage presence and something to say also helps! Pole has helped me enormously too as I’ve built my physical (and mental) strength and sometimes I’ll watch videos back and don’t recognise myself! I’m always surrounded by amazing women in pole class too so I’m sure this gives me strength and makes me feel supported. Never underestimate the power of women coming together and supporting each other. All the mainstream media and press want is for us to be against each other but when we join forces I honestly think women can conquer anything.
When did you make the decision to pole dance during your live shows? As a fellow musician and pole dancer, I’m hella impressed!
I’ve been performing for a long while and I get bored easily, so performing in the band was getting a bit stale. I always used to drink large amounts and climb on speakers and bend myself backwards off things as a thrill when performing. I took away the drink so replaced it with pole. We tried it for one gig and slowly I tested my comfort zone and every show I pushed myself a bit more. Now I have shows where I’m on my X Stage platform about 90% of the show! (If it’s super sweaty and hot in the venue I struggle but otherwise I am flying!) It really has changed our whole live show!
What makes you the most proud about being a woman working in the music industry?
I think it’s important that I write the songs (alongside Mickey). Every lyric is written by me. I get so bored of reading / hearing the male point of view. I love female songwriters who are honest and outspoken. I particularly love Lily Allen’s lyrics for these reasons. I’m proud that I’m still standing and that I haven’t given up. I’m proud I’m still writing music I love, and putting on a stage show that is different to most, and for that reason, special.
What does your songwriting process look like? Such a fan of all your tunes!
We’ve just started writing again, focusing in on the final five songs of our second album. I usually play chords on the piano then words will flow out if I’m feeling particularly inspired, or emotional. At the piano I write really fucking sad songs and cry a bit. Other times I’ll be out running (another addiction) and I’ll have a song title idea or I’ll be sat on the tube and use my notes app on my phone to write a whole bunch of bollocks that’s running through my head, like a stream of consciousness. Then, I run through it all and edit it. I bin a lot of it and Mickey and I will work on a very small amount of my lyrics. It’s just important to let everything out, then edit later, whether it’s amazing genius or utter shite.
What is one show you’ve done that you would like to live through forever? (think Groundhog Day!) And what is one show you would most like to avoid?!
I loved playing at Byline Festival last year. We were in the middle of a forest so I felt like a little pole fairy in the woods! We gathered quite a big crowd! We definitely had a captive audience and got a lot of people messaging us after, saying that they were completely blown away. The nice messages always make you realise you should keep going even though the music industry can feel a bit much a times!
The worst gig for me was when I was sexually assaulted last year. A random drunk guy grabbed my ass when I was coming back through the crowd after singing sat on the bar. I was honestly so shocked that it ended up being Mickey who called him out. I’ve had a lot of problems with men touching me inappropriately and it makes me not want to perform when that happens. It feels like all the hard work I put into creating a great live show gets flushed down the toilet and I’m left feeling powerless and small. That feeling is so depressing. I make a point to speak up about being touched when I’m just doing my job selling merch or chatting to fans. We might eventually hire security at shows if it gets really bad, but I like chatting to people after the show. It’s a shame some people spoil everything and make me feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
What would seeing a woman in the headline slot at Download Festival mean to you? Do you have a pick of who you’d most like to see in the slot? (other than yourselves, of course!)
I actually had no idea that a woman had never headlined before until you contacted us! I was shocked and saddened but also not surprised. You look at a lot of festival lineups and it’s all the same ‘safe’ acts. Mainly male. It’s boring. We need festivals to take more risks I think! I LOVE Halestorm so please get Lzzy headlining PLEASE! Pretty please?
Massive thank you to Tokyo Taboo for supporting us with this campaign and answering all our questions! Make sure to follow this badass band on all the socials, which you can find below. And if you haven’t signed our petition yet, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE? Linked below as well.
#DLGRL petition: https://www.change.org/p/get-a-woman-to-headline-download-festival
TOKYO TABOO SOCIALS:
Live Video: https://youtu.be/OycnPvWDzw8
Official Website: www.tokyotabooband.com