Interview with Laura Dolan (Electric Citizen) <¬-- Add fancyBox -->

Interview with Laura Dolan (Electric Citizen)

01/10/18 12:43PM

You’re gearing up to release your third album Helltown, which has been described as something of a homecoming and is based upon your home town’s history – can you give us some more insight into the focus of the album, its themes and stories?

The world through my eyes, I suppose. I guess that’s why the title is so fitting. Helltown is where we live, write and record our music. What’s near to me, what worries me, what angers me. I don’t write based on themes, necessarily. It’s really just what’s moving me at the time the song is created: Human interactions with technology, the destruction of the earth and our country, the power balance between women and men, the internal struggle between good and evil. It’s very much an album written for the times. 

Why the focus on your hometown and its history?

Simply because it’s us. It’s where we make this music. It’s also a reflection of the style of music we play; scrappy, gritty, blue collar rock n roll. I liked that it could take on different interpretations and meanings, what it means to me isn’t necessarily as important as what it means to the listener. 

On this album you’re rejoined by bassist Nick Vogelpohl from Electric Citizen’s original line-up, what’s it like to join forces again? Is it a happy reunion?

Absolutely, it’s as if he never left. Nick and Nate have played bass and drums together since high school, there’s a chemistry there that’s irreplaceable. We all love Nick, we missed him, and I don’t think we truly appreciated what he brought to this band till we were without him. 
Three tracks – Hide It In The Night, New Earth and Lunch – have been released for streaming on your bandcamp page – can you tell us about these songs? What do they mean to you?

My songs are meant to be multidimensional, hopefully they come off as such, and that people find their own meaning in them. To me, here’s what they mean...
Hide It in The Night is about finding purpose in your dark side, New Earth is an exploration into what happens when we finally destroy the earth, and Lunch is about the internal human conflict between good and evil.

Which vocalists have inspired your style and flair?

I love when a singer’s voice is so unique you can tell it’s them without knowing the song. Nina Simone, Marc Bolan, PP Arnold, Geddy Lee, and Burke Shelley have all had a profound effect on my life. 


Helltown’s album cover features some mysterious figures and a curious landscape – what solidified the choice of this image as the album cover? Does it have any specific meaning? Is it linked to the notion of Helltown?

RidingEasy directs all of our cover art. This piece was created before it met this album, but perhaps in some other dimension they were made for each other. It just felt right. I love future exploration in my lyric, when we saw this, it fit. 

You’ve toured with some big names - who has been your favourite band to share a bill with?

Touring with Arthur Brown (the godfather of shock rock, god of hellfire) feels more like a dream than something that actually happened. And 5-6 years ago, it literally was. This is something I don’t bring up much because I can’t make sense of it, but prior to this band I had a vivid, somewhat prophetic, dream with Arthur. 

I was sitting in the middle of this rock scape/stage/pit (picture the Houses Of The Holy cover) and a giant, muppet-style character that looked like Arthur Brown appeared out of nowhere and performed his song Fire. At some point Ross (our guitar player, my partner) showed up; lying on his back, spinning in circles (ala Spinal Tap) playing guitar solos. Arthur finishes the song and takes this giant leap off the rock stage down a slide that looked like it went for miles into outer space. Some dreams I forget the minute I wake up, but not this one. 

The last US tour Arthur performed before our 2017 tour was with The Doors, 40something years ago. He’s still got it: his singing is perfect, his stage performance is perfect. He’s also an incredibly kind, intelligent, interesting person.

If you could put together your dream line up for a tour – who would make the bill?

Oh God. How to chose!? What genre?!
I’m going to go out there, first 5 that come to mind, because you asked.

T Rex
Blue Cheer
Nina Simone
Flower Travelin Band
Roy Orbison

What’s the best show on TV?

Curb your Enthusiasm

What music are you currently enjoying?

Been listening to a lot of old Alice and Chains. And Roy Orbison. Nina Simone and Trex are always on rotation. Really dig this newer band MaidaVale from Sweden, and a Cincinnati band called Leggy. Also recently found the genre Desert Blues, Tinariwen is an awesome band. 

To bring the interview to a close, we’d like to ask some ‘quick fire’ questions.

What is your favourite cake?

Carrot (vegan)

CD or vinyl?


Cats or dogs?

Both. Seriously, this divide angers me, they’re all perfect. I identify more with cats if you really want me to choose.

Winter or summer?

Summer. I hate being cold!

What is the best dinosaur?



Photos: Emily Harris (2), Nikita Gross (3)

Read the full story