8 December 2020
TOKYO TABOO is a multi-coloured, outspoken, and eccentric off-center big bang duo
out of London. Exactly what makes Turn Up The Volume go bonkers. They made their impressive entrance in the power-punk-rock world with hot-blooded 2018 debut LP
titled 6TH PSYCHOSIS STREET. A boiling sledgehammer of a record, as mental as their flashy outfits.
Their massive tunes fueled by mind-bending guitars, crazed synths and Dolly Daggerz
in-your-face vocals make you forget you lockdown blues. Therefore we invited art-pole-dancer Dolly for a chat about the past 12 months and the way they dumped Trump.
Before doing so let’s start the fun with TT‘s fired-up 2020 single ‘No Pleasure Only Pain’…
Your anti-Trump song was one of the most explosive I heard all year.
Great sound, great lyrics. When was it written and recorded?
“It was written just after Trump’s election in 2016. We recorded it in the Summer
of 2018 in LA with the amazing Noah Shain. Pretty happy with how it turned out!”
What did you feel the moment the fall of Trump was announced?
“Relief. Hope. Elation. I think we were scared of another four years.
I didn’t want to stop checking the results in case he took the lead.”
I’m pretty sure an anti-Boris Johnson will follow. Am I right?
‘I hope that’s true. The problem is there is no real strong left politician out there.
They are demonised by mainstream media. Look at what happened to Corbyn and
Bernie… until we have strong alternatives to the right-wing politics we are a bit stuck.”
Suppose you were asked to rewrite and put new music to the British Royal Anthem ‘God Save The Queen’. No restrictions whatsoever. What would be the outcome, in sound and vision?
“I would use the lyrics of ‘Make It Out Alive’ and keep the sound and visuals the same.
I don’t think it would make a very jolly national anthem though!
Lyrics include “World’s diseased/ Politicians selling every breath of air we breathe’”
Back in 2018 you were in Los Angeles to record new songs.
Is a new album waiting in the pipeline to be unleashed soon?
“We have released three singles: No Pleasure, Whiskey, and American Dream all from the new album. Currently working on writing new material. This second album is asked about a lot and we’ve had a few bumps in the road: Pledge taking our fans money, then burning to the ground, and now the pandemic. Just trying to survive day to day without going mental at the moment! Definitely going to keep working on that album though. We will get it finished. We are determined! ”
Your outfits are just awesome. Who designs them?
“We have collected all things colourful and bright over the years. Mickey always loved colour and I just copied him. We love thrift shops and one-off loud originals. It’s great
also wearing clothing no one else has.”
“A lot of musicians came up with a cover of another artist’s song during these bizarre times. Which one would you pick to cover?”
“We covered ‘Like A Stone’ by Audioslave over lockdown. I’ve always loved the desperate longing in the lyrics. I heard an acoustic version of it by Chris Cornell on Spotify and I fell in love with the song so much. I begged Mickey to learn it on guitar and we played the song a lot of our Facebook live stream whilst stuck at home in March.”
What was the best track and album you heard in 2020?
“Check out the new song by Dead Sara ‘Hands Up’ produced by the almighty Noah Shain!
If you don’t know this band check them out. Their new album isn’t out yet but their older stuff is amazing and got us hooked on Noah’s sound. If it wasn’t for them we would never have worked with Noah.”
“The video clip that impressed your eyes?”
“American Dream by Tokyo Taboo and Trump 😀. Honestly though it’s the best video
we’ve created and has a lot of views and made a big impact so fuck it!”
Prick of the year and hero-ine of the year?
“Prick POTUS who believes that trees explode and denies global warming.
Hero: Anyone who survived this year is my hero it’s been a tough one.”
What made you laugh crazily and what made
you cry your eyes out the past 12 months?
“Mickey and I are in lockdown together and we’ve had cry moments and laugh moments for sure. I usually ask him to spin me around the pole if the pole stops spinning and once he got stuck in a chair and couldn’t stand up whilst I was shouting him to push me- which was hilarious. He also dressed up as me this year for Halloween and wore one of my pole outfits. That was quite special.
I’ve had moments during this second lockdown where I’ve just felt hopeless and like there’s nothing to look forward to so that’s where the tearful moments have come from. Sometimes just completely out of nowhere. It’s been a tough year for sure but definitely
a year where I have grown a lot (cliche) and really got used to not having any control whatsoever. Just making plans and being like ‘well hopefully..’ and not caring too much of they don’t work out. Relinquishing control and enjoying the moment. Trying not to worry and working on mental health.”
Which song will be on your stereo on 31st December at midnight?
“Hopefully we will be out in the middle of nowhere for the new year. COVID allowing of course… Probably won’t play any music or party at all just listen to the sea or the sounds
of nature. We love to be away somewhere new for the beginning of the year. Gives us time to exhale and think about things and gain perspective. It’s nice to have a break from everyone and everything.”
Christmas 2020 will be really weird. Any tips to have fun to celebrate Xmas Day, despite the coronavirus measures?
“Hopefully it won’t be Christmas via Zoom. I’ve spent so much time on Zoom this year!
I think just make the best of whatever happens. Just be with whoever you’re allowed
to be with and be grateful rather than hateful…There’s always next year anyways.”
Name three things you really want to see happen in 2021?
“Real changes to save the planet. We can’t keep going on this path of destruction for much longer. Most people try to ignore it all, myself included, but we really need to grow some balls and tackle this problem. Business can’t keep going as usual and we can’t expect economic growth every year at the cost of being able to live on this planet. We need to face reality otherwise this won’t be the first year of pandemic there will be more to come.
I hope this isn’t a downer but I honestly think everyone is like ‘consume consume’ and obsessed by comfort and scared of change. Look at the outrage towards vegans and that’s just a reaction to people being like ‘Stop killing things that you don’t need to kill to stay alive. Stop destroying nature to feed animals that you want to eat just because that’s what you’ve always done. Stop destroying the planet just because you can’t be bothered to change your diet.’ A lot of people have a problem with change. But we desperately need
it across the board.
I hope live music returns as it’s fucking boring sat at home all the time and we need an outlet.
I hope we find a solution to right-wing populist movements that are driven by fear and segregation. Feeling that we are different when actually we have more in common. Look after each other rather than be selfish fucks hoarding toilet roll. Stand on the streets and demand a fairer, more just society.”
“Oh I’ll shut up now and go practise pole 😀.”
Thank you Dolly, thank you Tokyo Taboo.
Have a safe Xmas and a music-and-gig loaded 2021.
If you missed TT‘s awesome debut LP
stream/buy the 6th Street Psychosis
firepower right here…
Want a cool, I mean, utterly cool 2021 calendar? Go to TT‘s
Bandcamp page and get your Dolly Daggerz signed copy…
TOKYO TABBOO: Facebook
(all photos by Gary Trueman Photography – received via the band)