In Your Face: An Interview With Doll Skin

Anytime I see a new band that is full of fresh ideas, energy, and a work ethic that matches their ambition, I get excited. Doll Skin has me excited.

In fact, they have a lot of people in the music industry excited, including their manager, rock legend and Megadeth bassist, David Ellefson. 

A listen to their debut EP "In Your Face" will get you excited too, and for good reason. It's got attitude, crunch, and energy - all of that in spades.

I had heard the buzz about Doll Skin via the internet, but got a chance to meet the band while I was at the 2016 NAMM show. They did several signings, but the one I witnessed was the meet and greet at the Korg (Blackstar, Dean Markley) booth, together with Kimberly Freeman of One-Eyed Doll, and rock icon Lita Ford. I saw firsthand how hard the band - vocalist Sydney Dolezal, guitarist Alex Snowden, bassist Nicole Rich, and drummer Meghan Herring - worked at making sure every single fan was accommodated, and they had a smile on their faces from the beginning of the event all the way to the end. If you've ever attended NAMM yourself, you know that in itself is an accomplishment!

I had the wonderful opportunity to ask the talented Meghan Herring some questions, and get her take on all things rock'n'roll. 

Playing With Chaos (PWC): How did Doll Skin form and how long have you been together as a band? How did you come up with the name for the band? 

Meg Herring - Drummer (MH): Doll Skin formed when I invited the ladies to compete in a Battle of The Bands in my junior year. We didn't think it would really go anywhere, but we ended up taking first place, so we were like "Uh hell yeah we should keep this going". That's also where we met David Ellefson. He was the celebrity guest judge!! We came up with the name Doll Skin because we wanted something "creepy and cute". The name Doll was thrown around a little bit but someone mentioned "skin" and we were like "eewwww....I LOVE IT."  We've been together just over two years! 

PWC: Your sound has been described as "glitter punk". For the uninitiated, what makes "glitter punk" distinctive from other types of rock out there, and what drew you to that sound as a band? 

MH: We tried to label our sound as "glitter punk" in the beginning baby stages of Doll Skin, like around the first year. We defined glitter punk as 1) we we are super into punk music and we thought our music spoke pretty well for the punk side and 2) during our shows, we would dump glitter all over my drum kit!! It was super messy but it made a great visual effect. Nowadays we try to disregard our name from the glitter punk thing because our sound is evolving. We're starting to write in heavier influenced genres. We've written songs that sound more hard rock, sometimes even grunge! We love combining our love for punk with other heavier genres. 

PWC: What or who inspired each of you to take up the instrument that you play, and what road did you take to get to where you are on your instrument? (Is anyone classically trained? Self-taught? Any favorite guitar/bass/drum/vocal teachers,books, DVD's,websites you enjoyed learning from?) 

MH: I started playing drums when I was 9. (*Smiles*)  My parents' friends had a drumkit and whenever we went over there to hangout, I would hover around the kit constantly. I went to my first drum lesson with my first teacher Jason Kay, and he said I was a natural. It was a whirlwind from there on out! I did lessons with him for about a year before he moved. For 5 years, I taught myself. :) I was into bands like My Chemical Romance and Paramore, so I taught myself through them. Then in comes School of Rock, where they helped expose me to a whole world of music and opportunity. I met all the Doll Skin girls there, and my current teacher Chad Martin. Sydney, Alex, and Nicole all took lessons with me at the School of Rock and all developed their skill there incredibly well. Look up the School of Rock, it changes lives. <3 

PWC: We're big time gear nerds here at Playing With Chaos. What do your live/studio rigs look like and what do you like most about the gear you use? 

MH: Oh awesome!! We're HUGE gear nerds, especially Alex and I. Alex has been playing Schecter guitars for years and years. She has this beautiful matte black Schecter Tempest that the company gave her for free! All of the girls are huge into Schecter. We have lots of Blackstar cabs/amps. Samson hooks us up with microphones, headphones, all those goodies. I have a purple OCDP kit with a beautiful custom James Beier snare. I have a Pearl high hat stand, and my favorite cymbal is my Sabian AAX X-plosion crash. I'm ordering a 22" Sabian AAX Omni Ride, so I'm super excited for that. 

PWC: You've opened for some pretty influential bands, including Social Distortion and Doyle. Do you have any favorite moments or stories from the shows and tours you've done so far? 

MH: There are so many amazing moments it's so hard to keep track!! The Social Distortion show was incredible. Looking out on the crowd, it honestly seemed endless, there were so many people. We played 3 sets that day, and the 3rd one was the most important because Social D was going on right after us. We all cried after the show! The best tour night that we've ever had was when we opened for Metal Allegiance at the Whisky A Go Go in LA. Metal Allegiance consists of some HUGE names in the metal community, Dave Ellefson (of course), Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, Troy Sanders of Mastadon, Alex Skolnick of Testament, Mark Osegueda of Death Angel....the list goes on. It was COMPLETELY sold out, and the timing was crazy because it was the same night of the Lemmy Kilmister memorial on the Sunset strip. Our set went really well and people were super positively receptive to us! And guess who showed up? Dave Grohl. The biggest moment of my life was probably when he gave me this huge hug like he's known me his whole life. The girls and I freaked out, and I cried for 5 minutes after I met him. 

PWC: ​If you could collaborate with any artist, past or present, who would it be and why? 
MH: AVENGED SEVENFOLD. Alex, and I are huge A7X fans. So that would be a dream come true. Being able to collaborate with Refused would kick ass too. Sydney would love to collaborate with Pierce The Veil and Nicole with Bikini Kill and My Chemical Romance!!! (Nicole and I are massive fans of MCR.) 

PWC: What advice do you have for anyone who is thinking of starting a band and trying to make a career in the music industry, but is having doubts about it? 

MH: Want to start a band? GO FOR IT AND DON'T GIVE UP. It is a timely process and requires a lot of patience. Don't jump ahead of yourselves. Play for the love of music and not for fame. Play every show opportunity that is presented to you. Take every chance you get to shamelessly advertise your band!! 

PWC: What is next for Doll Skin and where can fans get your music or see you play live? 

MH: First is our show opening for HELLYEAH this Friday in Colorado (2/19), then again at Livewire in Scottsdale (2/21)! Then, to kick off our big Midwest tour, we're opening for the Dead Kennedys at the Nile Theater on March 10th!!! We're on tour from the 11th to April 3rd. THEN we have the Otep tour, all while squeezing recording sessions in when we can. Crazy schedule!

You can follow Doll Skin's ascent to the punk rock throne on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and on the band's website. You're still reading?! Go buy a copy of the band's EP "In Your Face" and see what everyone is so excited about! One thing is for sure: Doll Skin may be relatively new on the scene, but if things continue going the way they are, they are destined to become a household name in the rock world. Don't say we didn't tell you.