Dot Allison

-  Dot tell us about her work and her next album.

-  Thanks to Jeff, from http://www.dotallison.com , for the contact.

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About you, Dot…

-  Are you currently working on your next album? What kind of musical orientation does it take? (Jamaïca Aroma/Dissolved Girl)
Dot Allison : Yes I am working on another solo LP I have written all the songs and am just getting ready to present them to producers. The direction is quite alt. country/folk. Not so electronic this time, quite organic with more guitar and traditional intrumentation. I played my songs to Andy Weatherall and he likened them to Emmy-lou Harris meets the Velvets. He also mentioned the LP ‘ No other’ by Gene Clark which I have adore, so he was spot on. It is very lyrical and vocal led. Full of heart-felt intimate moments, Andrew reckons it is my strongest work to date, it is exciting to get that kind of feedback!

-  I’ ve been wondering about « Private Message » for a while . Does it has something to do with Françoise Hardy? Do you know other French artists? (Dissolved Girl)
Dot Allison : Yes it is a direct allusion to Francoise Hardy. I have the 7″ and that LP. I quoted the B-side, ‘ Premier Rencontre’ in Mo Pop. I like Serge Gainsbourg, I bought ‘ Melody Nelson’ in a little Parisian market and was blown away by the string arrangements. Beck seems pretty influenced by them on ‘ Sea Change’ .

-  You collaborate with Massive Attack, Death in Vegas, arab strap, slam ….does it interfere a lot in your personal career? How do you deal with it? (Jamaïca Aroma)
Dot Allison : It is pretty enriching to work with other artists and to see how their process comes together. There is something about the chemistry when there is more than one human and they brainstorm on ideas. It takes you both/all tangentially somewhere completely different and that is quite magical. I do find it can interfere with schedules and that sort of thing however I just judge each situation on its own merit. If I feel inspired I will make time to include a collaboration. I am lucky that I have been a bit of a free agent and could decide to pop off on the road with Massive….for almost 18 months all in. I would go tour with them given the opportunity because I love the music and 3-D is one of the funniest men I have met so it is great fun.

-  Working solo or with a band… what do you prefer? (Dissolved Girl)
Dot Allison : Mme, that’ s a hard one. Both situations have their positive points. Being solo means you never have to worry about decisions being a comittee scenario, so it can be uncomplicated and artistically you can do what you like, however it is bloody petrifying on your lonesome sometimes.

Being in a band can be amazing as you feel part of a gang with your group manifesto and in some ways protected or insulated from the inevitable stresses. But it can be hard to incorporate everyone’ s ideas and not offend if you just don’ t ‘ feel’ a track or lyric as it is all so personal at the end of the day…

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Massive Attack…

The meeting :

-  Where and when did you decide to work with Massive attack? – How did you meet them? (Jamaïca Aroma & Dorothy_Wave)
Dot Allison : I first met 3-D in Orinoco studios where he was working on a track with Liam Howlett and I was remixing St Etienne. We got talking in the lounge and he commented on liking what he heard of my mix. Then his manager approached me with a bundle of CDs from Melankolic explaining that after Orinoco D had got my solo LP ‘ Afterglow’ and loved it. We did some sketching in the studio and then stayed in touch. He asked me to tour with them and we will work on future projects together. We recorded ‘ Aftersun’ for the movie, ‘ Danny the Dog’ .

-  Why did you decide to work with them? (Dorothy_Wave)
Dot Allison : Because I was always a fan of their music.

-  What is it like to work with Massive Attack?, what did you learn from working with MA during the last 2 years? (Richard & Aurélien aka 3D)
Dot Allison : I learnt that I have really come of age as a singer. Filling Liz Fraser and Sinead’ s shoes on stage feels like quite an accomplishment.
Also I am very shy really so to go into the studio environment with them was quite a big deal for me being used to working alone a lot. I learnt how much I have grown and yet still feel I have not yet reached my potential at the same time. I was a great inspiration to push myself further and further.

On stage :

-  What’ s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on stage with Massive Attack? (Carole)
Dot Allison : Probably in Budapest when under the lights being blonde, I got attacked by about 10 preying mantices. They are big, mean looking fuckers and they just started landing on me during ‘ teardrop’ . There was even one staring at me on the tip of the mic i had to calmly brush off! The guys were pissing themselves when I finally got off stage still pulling them out of my hair. Somehow I managed not to drop a note!! That’ s adrenalin I think.

-  Were there any unforgettable anecdotes while touring with MA? (Dorothy_Wave)
Dot Allison : Oh yes, Many many mostly involving vast quantities of rose wine. Ask Angelo about Don C. his alter ego..

-  How do you feel when you perform with Massive Attack? (Dorothy_Wave)
Dot Allison : Very relaxed actually. Except when I got Laryngitis and had to sing to the best of my ability. It was petrifying as I had no idea what would come out when I went for a note.

-  Among all the Massive Attack songs you performed on stage, which one do you prefer and why? (Dissolved Girl)
Dot Allison : Teardrop without a shadow of a doubt. It is inordinately beautiful and an honour to sing.

-  Will you be part of the next tour? (Aurélien aka 3D & Unknown_user)
Dot Allison : I do hope so.

-  What cities did you remember best while touring with Massive Attack? (Dorothy_Wave)
Dot Allison : I remember Tokyo , Moscow and Verona . We played the Verona Amphitheatre which was humbling. Mostly the 3000 year old amphitheatre in Lebanon . Singing under the stars surrounded by the energy of such history….amazing.

-  What cities do you like most – big ones (like Moscow etc) or little ones (like Riga etc)? (Dorothy_Wave)
Dot Allison : It depends upon the charm of a place and I love a sense of history I must say.

Collaborating with Massive attack :

-  What was you participation to Danny the Dog? What do you think about the final result? (Angelina & DG)
Dot Allison : I co-wrote and sung with the guys. To be honest I would prefer to work on a track where there is not a film production company in the background. I reckon we will make an astounding track with the right time and energy. We love aftersun as a song, but we would like to hear a different mix.

-  Massive Attack seems to be working on their next album. Will you be part of it? If so, did you already start working on it? (Unknown_user & Dissolved Girl)
Dot Allison : Not yet. I hope so it would be cool to get involved and throw some ideas around.

-  Any word about LP5? (Richard) – Could you give us a hint about guests on LP5? (DG)
Dot Allison : Sorry no clues,

-  According to you, what is the best Massive Attack album? (Angel68th)
Dot Allison : my favourite LP is Mezzanine.

-  In a few words (4/5) how would you describe 3D, Daddy G and Horace’ s personality? (DG & Dorothy_Wave)
Dot Allison : 3-D very smart, funny and warm. G is smart and a lovely man it took me a little longer to get to know him. Horace is such pure soul and very funny also and so down to earth.

-  I’ d like to have your opinion about the different changes among the band ( tricky and Mushroom’ s departure, Daddy G taking his distances…) (Axekiller)
Dot Allison : I cannot comment on those changes as I was not part of those processes

About you… again

-  What do you listen at the moment? What kind of music do you like the most? (DG & Future Proof)
Dot Allison : Carter Burwell, Gene Clark, Iron and Wine, Nick Cave , Elliot Smith.

-  Which bands did you listen in the 80′ s? Did they influence your work? (DG)
Dot Allison : New Order, Soft Cell, Joy Division, Iggy Pop, Jesus and Marychain, Buzzcocks, bit of Depeche Mode, Early trax records, Mr Fingers, The real Roxanne, Salt n Peppa early (I’ ll take your man etc) Zapp, Maceo and the Macks, Hamilton Bohannon.

– If you hadn’ t become a singer, what other job would you have done? (Angelina)
Dot Allison : Maybe I’ d have tried to become a published writer. I was doing a degree in Biochemistry with a view to doing Medicine but I have a feeling I’ d have tried something else creative.

– What do you like to do in your spare time? (Angelina)
Dot Allison : Writing poetry/prose. Films and friends.

– Do you have a diet and exercise programme to stay fit? (Angelina)
Dot Allison : Lots of vegetables, not too much caffeine or sugar. Bikram Yoga.

– What ambitions do you have for the future? Personal & professional (Angelina)
Dot Allison : Enlightenment and to publish some poems or prose…

Thanx Florence aka Maiz for her help.

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