Kristin Gundred, late of America’s Finest City, got her showbiz start singing and banging drums with San Diego hopefuls Grand Ole Party, although she refuses any party or scene affiliation now (see below). Moving to L.A., she changed her name to Dee Dee, locked herself and occasionally some friends in a studio, and released the results under the band name Dum Dum Girls. Bundling C86 nostalgia in with the roots of that scene, the insta-quartet’s Sub Pop debut, I Will Be, rolls along like a half hour or so of AM radio circa 1964: voices coo and sweetly insinuate over drums and guitars soaring through whirlwind re-creations of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. Dee Dee took time out of her suddenly busy schedule to answer a few questions:
You have an affinity for Phil Spector and the Brill Building scene, but “Dum Dum Girl” was the title of an early Talk Talk song. Have you got a few new-wave synth-pop records kicking around in your bins?
The Talk Talk reference was unintentional, a coincidence of paying homage to Iggy Pop [the song “Dum Dum Boys”] and the Vaselines [their album Dum-Dum].
You’ve worked the music scenes in San Diego and Los Angeles. Do you prefer one to the other?
I was happy to remove myself from any local scene. I don’t want to make music within that context, and DDG started as a bedroom project — it didn’t matter where that was.
Of all the instruments you play, which one do you enjoy the most? Which one are you best at?
I’m out of practice on the drums, but I am certainly better at them than the guitar, although that’s my primary focus at this point.
Producer Richard Gottehrer [Link Wray, Blondie, the Raveonettes] gives you a link to the music that inspires you. How did you get him involved in the project?
Working with him was an unbelievable and surreal experience. Sub Pop basically cold-called him, gave him the backstory, and we all freaked out when he was interested. He really helped define each instrument and paid special attention to the vocals.
You dedicated this album to your mother and put her on the record’s cover. What were her thoughts on the finished project? Was she always supportive of your music?
She maybe doesn’t understand the noise aspect of DDG, but she’s a proud supporter, which means the world to me.