"I've been pregnant with this album for ages…" – hmv.com talks to Brody Dalle
Former Distillers singer Brody Dalle has been quiet for the last few years, after the short-lived career of her new project Spinerette, which disbanded in 2010, she has been slowly working on a solo record, which finally emerges on Monday (April 28).
Titled Diploid Love, the album is jammed full of Dalle's classic throaty vocals and guttural guitar, tuned to just below sleazy. It is her first release for five years and features guest appearances from Garbage's Shirley Manson, The Strokes' Nick Valensi, Michael Shuman of Queens of the Stone Age and Emily Kokal of Warpaint.
We called her up to find all about the album's making…
Your first solo album Diploid Love comes out on Monday, how are you feeling ahead of release?
"I can't wait for it to come out, I'm sick of sitting on it. It was due ages ago. I finished it a year ago, so for a year I've been pregnant with this album for ages and just dying for it to come out, it's finally coming out, I need to celebrate."
So why is it coming out now? What took the time to organise?
"Believe me, I was ready to put it out myself, we just needed to make sure we found the right place to put it out. We talked to a lot of people, it's all very boring, but that's why it took so long."
When did you write the songs?
"It was written and recorded over a year period, I spent a year demoing and then went in and did the record in three weeks, then I tinkered with it for a year. So I guess that was two years ago now."
How was it recording as a solo artist? Did this represent the first time you were making all the decisions on the record?
"I've always made all the decisions. I wasn't really by myself either, I had Alain Johannes with me, we produced it together and he played on it with me, then I had all these guests too. It wasn't like I was isolated, it was really fun."
What does he give you as a producer?
"So much, he's the best person I've ever worked with, he's on a level that no-one else is. He's mastered all these weird instruments that I've never even heard, he brings so much to the table, he's just brilliant to work with. He's especially special, a one of a kind."
You've got Garbage's Shirley Manson and Emily Kokal of Warpaint on the record, how did that come about?
"Shirley is one of my oldest friends, I've known her for about 14 years, I opened for her on a tour with No Doubt in 2000 and we became friends. I wanted there to be girl gang vocals on the album, not just my voice, and Shirley was in town so she came and did it. I see Emily at the grocery store and I asked her, I love Warpaint so I really wanted her voice on there."
You've got The Strokes' Nick Valensi and Michael Shuman of Queens of the Stone Age too…
"It's a small word when you live in Los Angeles, we use and abuse each other."
What kind of album do you think it is lyrically?
"I think it's pretty hopeful, I think it's triumphant, it's about surviving, it's about carrying on, making things better."
It's nine tracks, why that many?
"Nine is a really cool, esoteric number, it's a magic number…"
"No, okay, that's not true, that's what I had, I had nine."
A few of them are longer tracks too...
"Well 'Meet The Foetus' is technically two songs, so it's 10 songs, I like 10 song records, it's very old school."
Where does the title Diploid Love come from?
"A diploid cell is the cell that's around at the very beginning of a human, it comes from your mother and your father, it basically means human. I liked the word 'Diploid' and I don't think it's ever been used before."
How have you found playing the songs live so far?
"I love it, they're a totally different animal live, a lot more ferocious, a lot more stripped down and raw."
How have found mixing them in with your material from The Distillers?
"They work really well together, The Distillers songs are high energy and vibrant, they work well side by side."
So what does the rest of the year look like for you?
"I'm on tour until September, I'm doing festivals and then I'm opening for Queens Of The Stone Age."
Brody Dalle's debut solo album Diploid Love is released on Monday (April 28th) and is available for pre-order in hmv stores now.