MAA : Would you tell us more about your musical past ? Have you been immersed in music since your childhood ?
Stephanie Dosen : I started singing in my attic when I was a little girl. My dad had an old guitar up there and I would sneak upstairs and write songs on it when no one was around. I was very secretive and shy. I used to record the songs on a little tape recorder and make my own little albums to listen to. No one really knew that I could sing at all because I was so quiet. I dreamt of taking my guitar and leaving town and going on the road to sing my songs. I wanted to be like Stevie Nicks. I even asked my family to call me Stevie for a while, because that’ s a nickname for Stephanie, but it didn’ t stick.
MAA : What are your musical influences ?
Stephanie Dosen : I grew up in a small town in the Midwest during the 80′ s so I was surrounded by classic rock like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. When I was in high school I was really into bands like The Smiths, The Cure and Depeche Mode. It wasn’ t until a bit later that I got into female singers like Sinead O’ connor and Siouxsie Sioux. My favourite band of all time is The Cocteau Twins so it’ s a big honour every night to “Teardrop”.
MAA : What do you prefer : be on stage or working in studio ?
Stephanie Dosen : They are both so different. I’ m a perfectionist, so the pressure of being in the studio is way too much for me. Playing on stage is fun every night but my favourite part is the writing process itself. That’ s when I can hide away in secret and work on the magic part which is the creation of the songs.
MAA :What’ s on your decks at the moment ?
Stephanie Dosen : Right now I listen to a lot of modern ambient atmospheric music. My favourites to play daily right now are Colleen and Lau Nau.
MAA : Do you have good vibes towards France and the French audience ?
Stephanie Dosen : Most Americans have a very romantic idea of France and I am no exception. It was the language I chose to study in school and I dreamt of living there someday. I’ ve been to France many times now and am always blown away by the warmth of the people. They really love their music and I enjoy playing to a French audience. My only complaint is that I’ ve been to Paris 4 times and I’ ve never seen the Eiffel Tower ! That is one of the drawbacks to being a travelling musician. You don’ t often get to enjoy the city as much as you’ d like because you are on the tour-bus or passed out in the hotel.
MAA : Where and when did you decide to work with Massive attack ? – How did you meet them ?
Stephanie Dosen : I’ ve been a fan of Massive Attack for a long time. One day last year I was in a charity shop looking at vintage coats and my phone rang and it was 3-D. I had to sit down and take it all in. Of course I was very excited when he asked if I would consider some collaboration work. It has been a great experience and I never take it for granted. I know how lucky I am to work with such a great band.
MAA : What’ s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on stage with Massive Attack ?
Stephanie Dosen : This summer we played a festival that was near a lake. So at night when the stage lights came on, every bug or moth in a 10 mile radius came flocking to the stage. There was a swarming sea of insects on stage as thick as a fog. When Yolanda Quartey came off stage after singing her first number she had bugs stuck in her lip gloss ! When I had to go on I was dreading it. While I was singing and playing my first song a huge 3 inch bug landed on the top of my head and worked its way down the back of my hair and onto my neck ! The whole way I could feel it clawing its nasty little legs but I couldn’ t move because I was playing guitar and singing it was torture ! The guys at the sound-deck said they saw it come out of my hair and walk down my back. It was horrible and disgusting but hilarious.
MAA : Among all the Massive Attack songs you performed on stage, which one do you prefer and why ?
Stephanie Dosen :I love singing teardrop because it’ s been one of my favourite songs for a very long time. It’ s hard being the new singer of a song that is so beloved by so many people. I try not to think of what the crowd might be thinking when I’ m up there. I just sing it honestly as if I were in my bedroom alone. That keeps it real for me and I love every minute of it.