Arguably the best-dressed band signed to Seattle record label Sub Pop, California rock group Dum Dum Girls plays a particular style of music that could be described as bubblegum deadpan. Their music follows the example set by The Ramones and The Jesus and Mary Chain, and perhaps above all, Richard Gottehrer—their producer, and the songwriter responsible for retro-rebellious classics like “My Boyfriend’s Back.” Below, the all-girl quartet’s frontwoman, Dee Dee, test-drives some Topshop and answers a few questions:
MEN’S SHOP DAILY: Is it true that Dum Dum Girls were partly named after the Vaselines song “Dum Dum”? Is that your favorite act signed to Sub Pop (besides your own)?
DEE DEE: “Yes, indeed true on both accounts—although Nirvana, Dead Moon, Beach House, Male Bonding, and David Cross are also favorites.”
MSD: What attracted you to working with producer Richard Gottehrer? Can you give an example of something he did in the studio that you felt changed your sound for the better?
DEE DEE: “I recorded the entire first album (I Will Be) myself, and it would’ve sounded like my first EPs and 7-inches without his initial ‘intervention.’ Aside from all the obvious reasons he’s a good match for me, I most value his lifelong enthusiasm. I don’t believe there’s a jaded bone in his body, which is saying a lot, considering how long and varied his career in the music business has been.”
MSD: How strict is the wearing-all-black part of being a member of the Dum Dum Girls? If someone wears blue jeans, do you kick them out?
DEE DEE: “It’s a non-issue at this point. And for my band, it doesn’t have to be anything more than an on-stage aesthetic. One hour of darkness.”
Nordstrom Men’s Shop was proud to co-sponsor Sub Pop’s 25th-anniversary Silver Jubilee celebration. Watch for more Sub Pop posts coming soon—and catch up on Silver Jubilee Street Style and our Q&A with King Tuff.
[Text and interview by Andrew Matson. Andrew writes about music and culture for publications including The Seattle Times, NPR, and The Stranger—follow him on Twitter here. Photos by Robin Stein—see more of Robin’s work here. Styling by Ashley Helvey and Margaret McMillan Jones. Videos © Sub Pop and Dum Dum Girls.]