The Gauntlet: What has the band been up to lately?
Gil: We are pretty much getting ready for some touring and the release of the record.
Dominique: A lot of press and interviews.
Gil: We are doing a lot of press which is good. Pretty soon we will be doing a Northwest tour and a few dates in Los Angeles.
The Gauntlet: Who will you be touring with?
Dominique: A group called the Degenerate Art Ensemble from Seattle. They are from the same scene as Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Everyone kind of knows each other. It will be a fun little run. It isn't a very long tour, only about two weeks.
The Gauntlet: Do you see yourselves breaking out of the little clique scene you are in and touring with more national acts?
Rani: Good question. Sleepytime legitimized us and gave us our credibility. It is nice to be accepted and be on the fine lines of artsy and crossover music. I say this as other people have said this. Dominiqueinique was talking to Tre from Mr. Bungle.
Dominique: Oh, that's my story, I have to tell that. I have been a big fan of Mr. Bungle since junior high. I don't think of them as an influence, but it's one of those things that of course they have influenced me. When Sleepytime did a little run, I went up to San Francisco with them to do merch. I was describing our band to someone and saying we are too artsy to be considered commercial and too commercial to be considered artsy. Then out of nowhere, this guy interrupts and says 'I have been hearing that for the last 20 years!' I looked up and it was Tre from Mr. Bungle.
Rani: That sentiment has just carried over with us always. We have been considered up until recently as this. From out of nowhere lately we have been called experimental and avante-garde. We listen to avant-garde and we know what it is and we aren't it. We do have different textures or colors and there are moments in our music that are experimental. We are just coming from so many places that we can't put a label on what we do. When we play these shows with Sleepytime and Degenerate Art Ensemble, it helps that notion that we are part of this clique. There is nothing wrong with that at all and we have nothing but admiration for these bands.
Dominique: We did a run with the band Giant Squid and that went really well. I don't know if it was personally because I like them so much, but I thought it went well musically too. I think that we are very versatile in who we can play with and what bills we can be on. I'm sure some purists would see us onstage and wonder what we are doing up there with certain bands. But other people would think it is perfect as we can play with so many different types of bands.
Gil: I agree with what Rani said earlier. I see us as being crossover. We did the Warped Tour last summer and we stuck out like a sore thumb. We were totally accepted; beyond accepted. People were going out of their way to find out who we were and come to talk to us. It is cool because we can easily fit in the nitch and stay underground and also we don't have to limit ourselves. It is cool for us. There is versatility and we can fit on a lot of bills. We have never been booed off playing a metal, gothic, industrial or horror show. Everywhere we have been, we have fit.
The Gauntlet: That's one of the things that I liked about the band. Stolen Babies draws on so many influences.
Dominique: We are like the supermarket.
Rani: We like to cover all bases so we don't offend anyone [laughs]
Dominique: Because covering all bases doesn't offend anyone?
Rani: A lot of people hate us for the same reasons that people love us. It is just that kind of thing.
Dominique: Our favorite band is Oingo Boingo and they were a love/hate band and I think it rubbed off on us a little bit. It is just one or the other. We are just in your face.
The Gauntlet: Do you find that people hate the band?
Dominique: We have gotten some emails based on people's initial reaction to the band. Like one time someone saw Rani walking out of a show wearing a wedding dress. It is one of those things. If they are not going to like a band for that, then it is quite alright as they aren't going to be able to open their minds. We are creating our own world; it is our music and we are going to do it our way whether people like it or not. That is our vibe.
The Gauntlet: Stolen Babies has been around for a long time now. It is not like it is a gimmick that you are doing with this album and maybe next album try something else.
Gil: Exactly, thank you for saying that. That is the thing. It is really just us being us. I do make our own props. I do take my work home. I work for a special effects shop doing mechanics and machining for certain jobs in film. I have a blast making things. I like to make props and bring people into our world when we are on stage.
Dominique: I am a makeup artist and makeup junkie. We are very real and natural on stage. The guys love it too. They do their own makeup and take pride in their own face work.
Gil: I personally don't think people hate us at all. People have opinions. One guy sent us an email and started with 'I saw you guys setting up on stage in Oakland and I wanted to hate you.' But then he said 'As soon as you started to play, I was whoa, I really like this band.' If people are just going to judge us by our looks, then fine. But we have never gotten emails saying we suck or our music is horrible. But everybody has a right to their own opinion. But when people find something real and genuine, it is just the real shit. We are being who we are. People know; they have a filter. They appreciate us as they know we are doing some new shit.
The Gauntlet: On October 3rd, The End Records is releasing 'There Be Squabbles Ahead'. I understand Dan worked on the album with you guys?
Dominique: Yeah. It is Dan Rathbun of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. We had been fans of Charming Hostess' for such a long time. We were fans and then we found out about Sleepytime forming and we started talking to them at shows and hanging out. Dan told Rani he records bands and has a studio in Oakland. We ended up opening up for Rasputina and Faun Fables which is a project with Nils [Frykdahl] of Sleepytime and Dawn. Nils said we should open for them sometime. So we opened for them on Halloween of 2004. I was so nervous. It started this wonderful friendship. We found kin; we found family. We really hit it off and it led to magic. We ended up going to Oakland and recording there. He really captured our sound and rawness. He is really amazing to work with and be around. He is one of us.