Barb Wire Dolls. An example to all of us for their hard work, patience, courage and faith for themselves and their abilities. They ignored the mentality of their own people in their own country by chasing the big picture in the other side of the Atlantic. Today is the hottest punk band in the states. Isis Queen, this charismatic figure, the front-woman of Barb Wire Dolls, answers to our questions.
H.M.: Hello Isis Queen! Welcome!
Isis Queen: Hello! Its so nice to be here!
H.M.: Would you like to introduce the Barb Wire Dolls?
Isis Queen: Well, im the lead singer, Mr. Pyn Doll is our guitarist, Mr. Krash Doll plays the drums and Miss Aerial Black is on the bass guitar. What we do?..well, we don't have an exact name for our genre. We do our own thing. We love 70s Punk which wasn't a molded concept. It was more open, more of an artistic expression. That's what we do.
H.M.: Tell us your story. How it all begun.
Isis Queen: Everything begun in the island of Crete. We have our own space there where you can relax and a lot of artists from all over the world would visit. They can work there in their own pace, it's a time/money free zone. So, we where there not liking any of he music being heard in bars or radio stations, cos we're into New York Dolls. Doing art just because you can.
H.M.: What was the reason to go to L.A?
Isis Queen: None of us wanted to leave Greece, actually. But, Rodney Bingenheimer, a radio produce in the states, who was playing some of our stuff, called to say that people really liked us and we should go there for a concert he was preparing for new, upcoming bands. That was it for us. We sold everything we had. Cars, clothes, even music instruments to get the money for the trip. When we got there, we crashed at the house of one of Pyn's friends.
Its once in a lifetime an american radio producer to call a band from Greece.
H.M.: What happened when you got there?
Isis Queen: When we got to L.A., we learn that the show was being postponed for two whole months. We had no money and of course we couldn't stay in another's house for so long. We tried to book some gigs, knocking the door of every club we knew. Whiskey, Viper Room, Molly Malone's. but... we were new, so no one cared.
H.M.: Τhese are all legendary clubs. You got some guts!
Isis Queen: On one hand, we only knew these clubs. On the other, we wanted to do it right. Not in a local bar.
H.M.: So which was the starting point?
Isis Queen: It all begun in Roxy Theater. We got an email from the manager, asking 1200$ from us. Anyway, these days we happed to catch a documentary in TV, about thee punk situation in the 70s and how the whole thing worked. FLYERS! We were the first punk band from Greece. Using that as a promo-boost, w managed to give around about 10.000 flyers. In L.A. hardly ever rains but of course in the night of the gig its was. We had to find equipment and instruments, no time for soundcheck and seven other bands were playing before us. By the time we got the stage, we had a full house. It was a great night and at the end we didn't have to pay anything.
H.M.: After that was all way up for you?
Isis Queen: After that people took notice of us. Even in the US, it's a small world, my friend. They started asking us to play in clubs, we also did the Rodney Bingenheime gig, which went awesome, but not even once we got paid! There are so many bands that clubs don't have to pay you if you're not a big act. Anyway, this situation helped us a lot. We played everywhere for a whole year. Now we are one of the big acts! Haha. We have our own crowd, we get paid, we can even ask for a free entrance.
H.M.: Υou kind of live your dream there...
Isis Queen: We live our dream everywhere cos we love what we are doing.
H.M.:Doing what you do, is it a matter of good luck or solely hard work?
Isis Queen: It's a hard work thing, totally. Its your own decision of you grab every chance you get.
H.M.: Some years ago, you took part in ''Greece You Got Talent'' tv show. What was all that about?
Isis Queen: We took part in this TV show, ''Greece you Got Talent'' so that people can take notice of our existence and for the shock that we brought about. People think that its better to fit in than express your own self and ideas. This thing is starting to change the last five years.
H.M.: You think that the crisis in economy play a part in that?
Isis Queen: Yes, the whole crisis 'thing' helped a lot in that. It is the same thing with the 70s in England. Arts and new expressions bloomed at that time. In every period as this that Greece is in, I think, people stop to go after the whole money idea but take chances and grab every opportunity to express themselves in a more artistic way.
H.M.: What about your new album? Is it ready?
Isis Queen: It is. Just before we took off for this tour. Actually, it was one week after the incident in Paris, we recorded in the guitarist's of Eagles of Death Metal studio. So, we dedicate this new album to those who lost their lives that night.
H.M.: What do you think are the main differences between the music scene in L.A. and here?
Isis Queen: The main difference is that in L.A. you can find clubs for every genre and the line up of a gig had bands of the same musical style. In Greece it's a more mix situation. Also, during these last years, I see a lot of new genres finding their audience. That didn't exist when we were living in Athens.
H.M.: Thank you Isis Queen
Interview: Ilias "Demon" Papazoglou
Photos: Konstantinos Kiriazopoulos
Translation: Andreas Doutsias