Written by: Andrea Janov, CC2K Music Editor
It’s true, I am still listening to this album and crossing my fingers super hard that The Dirty Panties will tour the east coast sometime soon, they are just damned good. I recently had the opportunity to ask the ladies a few questions. The energy that they capture on I Am A Robot was not lost at all as they took the time to answer my questions. Take a moment, read the interview, and then go pick up this album immediately.
First off, thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. I was totally blown away by I Am A Robot, and keep listening to it even though I have other albums to review.
Let’s start off with introductions, who are you guys and what is your role in the band?
I’m Barbara, I play guitar, This is Animal (Kayley) on the drums, Lil Moe (Michelle) on the bass and Melanie is the lead singer.
Was I Am A Robot conceived to have a distinct flow and order or was it simply as a collection of songs? Was there a reason that you approached the album that way?
Barbara :: It’s just a collection of songs
What are your favorite tracks on the album? And Why?
Barbara :: I Am A Robot is my favorite of our newer songs…I love the buildup in that song, but Pretty in Pink has always been one of my favorites.
Moe :: I love Wet because I’m a total party girl and it brings back memories of drinking in the parking lot before going into the bar and I love the beat and flow of I Am A Robot and I love Pretty In Pink because that’s how I feel.
Melanie :: This is such an unfair question…I love every song on this album. I know sounds so cliché, but each song has something so unique and distinctive, that as the singer…the story teller…I’m finding it hard to choose. I guess, with a gun to my head, it would have to be Confighted. It was the first song we wrote together, as the current Dirty Panties, and we wrote the entire thing in one practice. Lyrically, it was a moment in my life that was given the gift of great music to live through. It’s also the first song I ever wrote lyrics for, and it turned out really well.
Animal :: InTentCity because of the intense chorus.
In all your bio info it says that the idea for the band formed in an NYC bar, first off, what bar? Were you living in NYC at the time? What prompted the relocation to Vegas?
Barbara & Moe :: The lineup we have now has changed from the original line up. Originally 3 of the 4 of us came out to Vegas from NY and we met the singer in Vegas. The lineup has changed so now I’m the only member from NY and the other 3 are from Nevada and Colorado. We came to Vegas for a change…may end up there again someday. I have no idea what bar we were in…I need to find that out, see if anyone remembers.
Las Vegas seems to be really killing it with great punk, rock, and rockabilly bands lately, what is it like being a part of that explosive scene? Is there a lot of support?
Barbara :: We have a bunch of awesome bands in Vegas. I don’t think there are more or better bands now I think they are just being recognized now.
Moe :: The punk community is like a family, we support each other and I think that helps everyone continue making great music.
There are so many great local bands. We’ll actually list them all because we will miss some…but here we go…..there is The Quitters, Surrounded By Thieves, Guilty By Associations, HOTS, Peoples Whiskey, Happy Campers, The Core, The Vermin, Gashers, Banana Riot, The Objex, Deadhand, Battle Born.
Melanie :: We are lucky we are around during a time where local bands are being recognized, the city is getting focus…..I’m grateful to be a part of it.
Animal :: There is a lot of support locally, hoping to get more universally.
As a writer, I am always curious about a band’s writing process. Is there a primary song writer or lyricist? Is it a collaborative effort?
Barbara, Moe and Animal & Melanie :: The process is all over the place for us, sometimes the music is done first, sometimes the lyrics are before the music, sometimes we write it before we meet, and sometimes we write it together. It definitely a collaborative effort.
What’s the best lyric you’ve ever written? What’s the worst? And why?
Barbara :: I am completely embarrassed of the lyrics to Cheers…and I helped write them” “I really like the lyrics to I am Robot, Get Off Your Ass, and InTentCity. InTentCity reminds me of fun times in California with my friend.
Melanie :: Figment of A Girl is such an honest expression…no hiding in that song.
Moe :: I never wanted to be pretty in pink sums up how I always felt growing up as a tomboy girl.
Animal :: The worse is Cheers. The best lyrics are Overt.
How did you get involved in punk rock in the first place? And what made you become a musician?
Barbara :: My friends were playing in bands and I was going to listen, then I decided I wanted to play music also.
Moe :: I started listening to punk in 95 and it spoke to me, I love the energy of it and the in your face attitude. I played the drums growing up and was always a big fan of the rhythm section.
Melanie I got involved in punk rock first by listening to The Clash, then I went to The Quitters first show and reconnected with the music scene I listened to you years ago at The Huntridge and The Boston.
Animal :: I became a musician because it ran in the family, punk rock because there was an all girl band that needed a drummer and now I’m permanent.
Do you have any plans to tour outside of Vegas, maybe make it out to the east coast?
Barbara :: We would love to tour more outside Vegas. We have played California a bunch of times an Alaska already. We are hoping to play NYC soon and also get out of the country to tour.
Melanie :: My only plan is to be all over the world.
Moe :: I wanna tour the world…hopefully starting with NYC in March.
Animal :: We have hopes to, as far as I know.
As a fan, what is the best show you have been to?
Melanie :: I think Dead Weather (gift from Moe…changed my life), Marz Volta, System of A Down, Puscifer, and Flaming Lips.
Barbara :: No Doubt, Rage Against the Machine…which was long overdue, Dead Weather (with Melanie, in a box at The Pearl at Palms, Las Vegas….epic! Violet Femmes at the Roseland in NYC.
Animal :: Incubus at the Joint in Vegas
Dream line up for a show that you are playing?
Moe :: Bad Religion, Queens of the Stone Age, The Dirty Panties, No Doubt
Melanie :: Double Down Line up….The Dirty Panties, System of a Down, Queens of the Stone Age, Rage Against the Machine, Dead Weather. Gorillas are my backup choice.
Animal :: Rise Against and The Dirty Panties
First album/tape/cd you ever owned?
Barbara :: First record – Stacey Q, First tapes- Twisted Sister and New Kids On The Block, CD-REM.
Moe :: Tape – New Kids On The Block, CD – Green Day-Dookie, Vinyl – Jonny Cash
Melanie :: Vinyl – Gorillas, Demon Days, Tapes – Whitney Houston, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Michael Jackson, Dangerous, CD – Green Day D,ookie and Nirvana, Unplugged
Animal :: Hanson and Back Street Boys
What are your guilty pleasure bands?
Barbara :: Pink, Eminem
Moe :: Hole, Missy Elliot, Eminem
Melanie :: Laurel Hill, REM, Eminem
There are kids discovering punk rock every day, what bands should they be listening to?
Against Me, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Vandals, Rancid, NOFX, Misfits, The Connie Dungs, The Bronx, Anti Flag, Black Flag, Bad Brains
Do you have any irrational fears?
Melanie :: I have food fears of the raw egg variety and needles, especially if they are going into someone else’s skin. I think Moe’s is cockroaches.
Moe :: Tight spaces.
Barbara :: My fears are all rational.
Animal :: Snakes.
Secret (nonmusical) talent?
Melanie :: I can clap with one hand.
Barbara :: I can make my toe do the worm.
Moe :: Classical dance.
Animal :: I can touch my tongue to my nose.
Barbara :: I read all the time…my favorite books…Mole People, and I like Bukowski’s, John Kozal’s, and Palahniuk’s books. And I did love The Hunger Games.
Melanie :: To Kill a Mockingbird
Animal :: The Bible
Describe the band in 5 words.
Fun, wild, energetic, entertaining, carefree