Melissa Brooks is the leading lady of The Aquadolls, LA’s own ragtag band of eternally teenage bubblegum punks. Ever ambitious, she’s got her own solo project in the works and works closely with garage-rock harbinger Burger Records. It’s clear to anyone who’s ever checked out their Tumblr page that The Aquadolls are all about the fans and make every opportunity to bridge the gap between performer and audience. I got in touch with Ms. Brooks to get an even closer look into the sugary-sweet psychedelic world of The Aquadolls.
I remember when Stoked On You came out, my friend Max texted me and was like, “you have to listen to the new Aquadolls album – it actually uses distortion!” Do you think your last album is an improvement on the We Feel Free EP?
Totally!! We Are Free is a collection of demos that Ryan and I recorded for fun. We never expected that anyone would actually listen to it. Stoked On You is our first studio album, and it’s also the only collection of songs that’s performed by an actual band. All the other demos are usually me playing most of the instruments and Ryan adding guitar.
Is Stoked On You going to see an official release soon? I can’t seem to be able to find a way to get it through Burger just yet.
Yes! It should be out later this summer.
Was anything different about the writing process for Stoked On You as opposed to We Are Free?
Not really as I write most of the songs on my own. Stoked On You, however, was more collaborative with the rest of the live band because we all had to vibe with each other in the studio sessions, rather than me playing all the instruments. Stoked On You was more fun to record!
I bought a poster from you not too long ago and you wrote a really sweet letter too! Sorry for not writing back, but that was really sweet of you. Do you think it’s important to have a close interaction with fans like that?
I write notes to everyone who orders from my online store. I am blessed to have such awesome fans that want to be a part of my weird mermaid world, so I have to thank them! I love my fans so dearly 🙂
What’s your favorite place to play in LA?
You’re very active on Tumblr. Do you think Tumblr in particular has contributed a lot to your success?
Somewhat, yes! We mostly play in Los Angeles and Orange County, so anyone who lives outside out that probably found us on the internet. Social media has been a huge factor towards discovering new artists, as I myself am constantly stumbling across awesome musical acts on the internet every day.
You’ve got a solo project that you’re working on. When can we expect more from that?
Yes! I’m working on my debut album right now with Hollywood-based producer Aaron Greene. I don’t have any official music out yet, but I am playing my new songs at shows! Expect it to be out later this year. Finishing up this album is my main focus right now.
How does that differ from the sound of The Aquadolls?
It’s psychedelic pop. Electro, dance, carefree good vibes, hallucinogenic ear candy. I’m focusing more on my songwriting for this project lyrically, as well as pushing myself with my voice. It’s going to be more grown-up, yet it will be a dance record. I’m really excited about it!
I’ve seen a few pictures of you posing with Sky Ferreira. Do you guys hangout a lot?
I wish! I just ran into her at the DIIV concert in Los Angeles last week. She’s a really cool girl.
What band or songwriter do you think you have the most in common with?
I feel like I really get Lana Del Rey right now.
Since you’ve started to get into cassette culture and everything through Burger, what is the rarest tape you’ve gotten your hands on?
I don’t really play cassettes, but the most vintage tape I have is my Britney Spears Oops I Did It Again… cassette. It still has all the dust from 1999.
If you could accomplish one world changing thing through your music, what would it be?
I would want people to be able to express themselves and not fear judgment.
When do you think you will finally have “made it”?
When I hear my song on KIIS FM!
Slurpees or Icees?
Beavis or Butthead?
Butthead! He’s cuter.
Nachos or French fries?
Pastel goth or beach goth?
Totally soft grunge. Ha!