Tokyo Taboo are headlining our next gig at the Hope & Anchor, on 12 July, and we cannot wait! We caught up with frontwoman Dolly Daggerz to get the scoop ...
Tell us about Tokyo Taboo – how did the band come about, and what’s the Japanese link?
I really love ‘kawaii’ style which originates from Japan. Big eyes, manga / cartoonish appearance and creepy weirdness is my thing. I wear freaky contact lenses and like to mix those with bows in my hair and cute pink ‘Dolly’ outfits. I love to combine sexy, cute and feminine with weird and alien. That’s where ‘Dolly Daggerz’ my stage name comes from and I think our music is similar in that there’s some sweetness in my vocals and speaky squeaky rap which contrasts to the rock and roll screams and badass performance.
Do you, Dolly, write all the lyrics? If so, can you tell us a bit more about the songs which you’re particularly proud of from the album?
Yes the lyrics are an amalgamation of two years of my life where I went through a big change and – as cliché as it sounds – had to battle my demons and make some changes. I went through two years of therapy and wrote lyrics or ‘brain dumps’ as I worked through everything.
I’m particularly proud of ‘Drowning’ as I hit a low point and to create something powerful from that is an achievement. I was literally sat on the tube on the brink of tears most days. That kind of depression is a physical pain that never really goes away and every time I sing the song live I go back to that painful place. I usually sit in the audience at this point in our set and try to get everyone to hold hands so everyone feels a sense of togetherness and community which is so rare!
Your live performance is quite something. We saw you play for the first time last weekend [at the Lady Luck in Canterbury], and had our jaws dropped by your fetish costume and theatrically sexy performance. A row of older, male fans stood at the front, filming constantly on their phones/cameras – ‘Dads making sexytime memories’, as a commenter put it. Do these kind of one-track male fans creep you out?
I think if you are going to wear underwear on stage it comes with the territory a little bit and if it sells tickets to our shows I’m not going to knock it! The guys are really supportive and buy merch and attend shows regularly which is great. The creeps online are who I have a problem with. Lots of messages starting with ‘I don’t mean to sound like every guy but…’ Also I get 50+ friend requests from creepy guys and around 5–6 dick pics a week. It gets tiring. I really don’t understand the dick pic thing. Penises are disgusting in general. And receiving pornographic images whilst I’m teaching (usually young kids) is very jarring. A lot of images I see I can’t unsee. I’m a very visual person so would be great to have someone vetting my inbox!
LOUD WOMEN is committed to putting on gigs that support the women on the stage, and also those in the audience. In what ways do you feel you, as a performer, can help make the gigs you play a safe and entertaining experience for women?
I’m always outspoken on stage and I feel as a female I’m told to pipe down a lot. A lot of people assume Mike is the one in charge of things and will ask him questions when really he has no idea of what is going on most of the time. I think it’s important to say ‘Hey come to me – I’m in charge! I book the shows. I call the shots.’ Also it’s really important to say ‘no’ to things I’m uncomfortable with. Like if someone gets a bit too close to me after a show while taking a photo or tries to grab me inappropriately I definitely will stand up for myself. I like to dominate the audience (especially older men) and tell them to sit down and shut up as most men feel like they are the boss and they want to be all macho and stand up rather than sit on the floor. I write in an ‘outspoken’ way (that’s the Taboo part) and will say what I think in interviews. People like that and I think it’s definitely part of being a strong front woman. I won’t be silenced and I will be heard!
What are you working on at the moment – any releases recently/coming up? Other shows/festivals to tell us about?
We are writing a second album currently which I’m really excited about. I feel like I’m a lot more secure in my vocal ability so it’s completely changed how I write. I also had a creative spurt a few months ago where I was writing a song a day so it’s great to have a lot of ideas to choose from!
On the 22nd of September we will be playing Looe Festival in Cornwall as part of our UK tour. Will be really awesome to play to such a huge audience. The festival have committed to the Keychange 50:50 pledge of having half their lineup female. So that’s great to see!
What can we expect from your set on 14th July?
We will definitely be playing our next single! It might even be an exclusive preview of what’s to come as we won’t have time to rehearse new material until July. So so excited to play new songs and showcase what’s to come. It’s all very busy and exciting right now so it will definitely be a night to remember! This will be our last London show before our September single launch so don’t miss it!