Inside Doll Skin's practice space.
Inside Doll Skin's practice space.
Lindsay Roberts

Inside Doll Skin's Surprisingly Suburban Practice Space

Welcome to Bandspace, the monthly series where Phoenix New Times visits a local band's practice space.

Touring Europe, playing Warped Tour, performing My Chemical Romance's "Helena" in front of Demi Lovato —  it's all just the life of a normal group of 18- to 21-year-olds. Right? That's just a day in the life of Meghan Herring,Sydney Dolezal, Nicole Rich, and Alex Snowden of Doll Skin.

It all began when Herring picked Dolezal, Rich, and Snowden to perform with her at a local battle of the bands called Rock Revolution at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale. One of the show's judges was Dave Ellefson of Megadeth. He was so impressed that he later asked to manage the band, and got them on the Metal Allegiance West Coast Tour as direct support.

Doll Skin didn't think a performance at a talent show would lead to a European tour, and they're still not convinced that they’ve made it.

"I feel like I keep realizing every day that: Oh, we're a real band," Rich says.

Where does Arizona’s coolest pop-punk band practice? A suburban home in a quiet gated neighborhood in North Scottsdale. Yes, you read that right.

In a quaint home, where you might see small kids playing in the front yard or older folks watering the plants out front, Doll Skin have been writing riffs and discussing feminism.

Herring, Dolezal, Rich, and Snowden answered a few of New Times' questions about their work and practice space. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

The setup.EXPAND
The setup.
Lindsay Roberts

Phoenix New Times: Describe your band space in five words.
Nicole Rich: Dark.
Sydney Dolezal: Our practice space is a living room. It’s always been a living room . It’s very colorful; Alex always keeps it very updated in terms of what the season is or what the holiday is coming up soon.
Alex Snowden: Decorated, dark, dusty, homey.
Meghan Herring: Dog, that’s another one.
Dolezal: Final five words.
Dolezal: Cozy
Herring, Snowden, Rich: Cozy
Dolezal: Festive
Herring, Snowden, Rich: Festive
Dolezal: Punk Rock
Herring, Snowden, Rich: Punk Rock
Dolezal: Cool
Herring, Snowden, Rich: Cool
Snowden: Final five words; lock in the answer.

What are you working on right now?
Dolezal: We are working on new tunes; we got to get over to a studio soon than later.
Snowden: We are working on, like, two-three demos right now and then.
Dolezal: The long term goal: We are working towards another full-length. Later, like 2018, but we are starting on it now.
Snowden: We are very excited already.
Dolezal: We were discussing maybe releasing a few songs before the summer, but like definitely a full-length by the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019.
Herring: I feel like the year of 2018 is going to be the year of Doll Skin 2.0 .
Rich: Doll Skin 2.0!
Dolezal: Doll Skin grows the fuck up!
Snowden: Doll Skin levels up.

Because every band needs a mascot.EXPAND
Because every band needs a mascot.
Lindsay Roberts

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
Rich: Gerard Way or My Chemical Romance.
Herring: Same
Dolezal: Jason Aalon Butler, who saw our show at emo night from Letlive and now The Fever. I would love to work with him because he’s my biggest inspiration ever. Also Mr. Victor Fuentes: He’s another huge inspiration to me. Or Hayley Williams. I can’t pick one or two; it has to be a list of all the bands I listen to. I’m sorry.
Dolezal: Synyster Gates from Avenged Sevenfold.
Herring: Underoath is another one.

What's the best show you ever played?
Herring: Warped Tour Phoenix. Because we were just doing about nine days roughly on the tour ... And we were on the hard rock stage, which was like totally awesome, that was already one of the upper-tier stages. But they specifically bumped us to Journey’s Right Foot for Phoenix.
Dolezal: Thank you Kevin, that was the best surprise to wake up to.
Herring: We opened the stage, and as soon as doors were open we had a big ol' crowd.
Dolezal: And there were people there for us.
Herring: I was playing and I was just watching my mom from the Warped Tour stage and I was like: I’m crying. It’s fine, I’m crying.
Dolezal: I literally cried.
Rich: It’s really cute. I love when Sydney cries, because then I cry.
Herring: That’s when you know it’s a good show — when Sydney cries.

How about the worst?
Snowden: The last show of the One-Eyed-Doll tour at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go. Nita Strauss — now the guitarist for Alice Cooper’s band — he was there and I kinda ...
Rich: Alex was like shitting herself.
Snowden: Yeah, and I minorly got to be buddies with her and she’s so freaking cool. But she was there and I was so goddamn nervous and I am never nervous at shows. I think I looked like a dumbass; I felt like a dumbass. I felt so awful.
Dolezal: I have to say for all of us, the worst show was Harpo’s.
Rich: Everyone was pissed off because the promoter arrived three hours late, [and] didn’t end up hiring a sound guy so there was no one to run sound. The local bands that were playing were friends with the people, like, running the show, so all the local bands got 45-minute sets and they tried to reverse the order for the touring bands. The promoters said we want to give the local bands 45-minute sets because we like them, but the local bands get 15-minute sets. One of the touring bands got so mad at the venue, and they said fine you get to play one song. And they did, they played one song
Rich: It was also in Detroit, Michigan, and the stage is straight-up 10 feet tall. It was really weird, it was in a bad area of town.
Dolezal: It smelled like some had peed in it and left it there since the '70s. I was a gross show, but we made the best of it; we all dressed up in costumes.

What's one thing missing from the Phoenix music scene?
Rich: More women.
Snowden: Every show I go to I am like: Why is there not a single girl on this bill? Do you guys hate women? Do you not know women? Are you trying to exclude women from the scene? Like, what’s going on here? There has been kind of a shift
Dolezal: They are trying to be more inclusive, but there’s certain scenes and certain areas of the music scene that just don’t give a shit.
Snowden: I feel like the scene that I used to be a part of — that was very centered around Trunk Space — was very male-inclusive. And the men that have now started to be inclusive to women all supported outed sexual abusers. So I’m like: I don't want you supporting women. Literally, you don't support women, so don’t try and act like you do. There’s a lot of shitty men in the music scene that act like they are better than they actually are.
Herring: More women.
Dolezal: We can all agree to that.

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