Hey Creeps! Here’s our exclusive Q+A with Melissa Brooks, the lead singer and guitarist of The Aquadolls. We spoke to Melissa about her musical beginnings and how The Aquadolls came to be the indie success they are today, with their record deal at Burger Records and playing lots of festivals. Stay tuned for more of The Aquadolls in our exclusive interview with the whole band!
Creeper Magg: How did you get into music/playing instruments?
Melissa Brooks: Music is something that I have always been passionate about. Even when I was a little kid, I would sing in church choir, do musical theater, take piano lessons, and I even played clarinet and percussion in marching band. As for writing music, I wrote my first song in second grade and didn’t stop after that. For years, I’ve collected hundreds of notebooks filled with poems, chords, and song ideas, and my favorite ones ended up becoming real songs and got recorded. I’ve been playing guitar since I was fifteen and I love it so much.
CM: Where do your inspirations for songs come from?
MB: Song inspiration derives from a lot of things, depending on the song! Some songs are based off of personal experiences, whether it’s falling in or out of love. Others come from fantasies I have, whether they are about my life, or completely make believe. As for artists who inspire me, I love The Beach Boys, Hole, No Doubt, and Gwen Stefani in general. I love mixing beautiful harmonies with powerhouse energy.
CM: Describe the process it took to make your debut album Stoked on You.
MB: The songs were written from January 2012 through March 2013, reflecting the year I turned 18 and graduated from high school, all the way through meeting Ryan, falling in love, and having one of the most memorable summers of my life getting to know someone new and exploring the silliness of my imagination and the world. That summer, I wrote a majority of the Stoked On You songs in my living room while teaching myself to play bar chords on guitar. Up until the day before we went in the studio, we were practicing songs that I kept writing and wanted to add to the album. It ended up being a 15-track album, which is kind of a lot, especially since we recorded and mixed everything in the course of seven days in the studio. The recording process was super fast! The band was mostly live tracked, with the exception of guitar and bass overdubs on some songs. Each live band recording was done in about four or five takes max, and each vocal take was in about one or two takes! Even though it was done so quickly, it gives it that live concert feel, and I am super proud of how it came out.
CM: What inspired your latest single Girl Riot?
MB: Girl Riot is an anthem about women fighting against social norms society has set for us, as well as the struggles women face. How we dress, how we act, talk, think, and view ourselves, as well as social injustices including but not limited to inequalities in work, racism, sexual assault and rape culture. I could only hope that Girl Riot gives a voice to those who need to speak out about anything in life they feel that they need to fight against.
CM: What has been the most rewarding part of being in The Aquadolls?
MB: The best thing about being in this band is the incredible people who I’ve met at concerts and online and becoming friends with them! Our music has helped reach so many people from around the world and it’s incredible hearing everyone’s stories about how they’ve discovered our music, how it makes them feel, but most importantly, it’s just amazing meeting such nice people. Seriously. I love you so much.
CM: Are you in the process of writing/recording new songs?
MB: Oh yeah! I’ve got quite a few gems up my sleeve and I’m also trying to write every day. Expect a new release in the near future! It’s going to be fire.
Interview by Emily Kimura
Photos by Kelsea Cadena