The Aquadolls are a band that never fail to impress me. From their catchy melodies and relatable lyrics, to their laid-back beach vibes they always seem to be bringing something exciting to the table. I recently spoke to Mel, the front woman – lover of pizza, feminism and all things kawaii- about her and the band. Here are the results of that rad conversation!-Sophie
Can you tell me a little bit about each band member?
Hi, I’m Melissa Brooks. I’m a vegetarian and a singer. Ryan Frailich is our guitarist. He likes Charli XCX and long walks on the beach. Josh Crawford plays bass in our band. He’s an avid gardener and a closet banjo player. Colin Moore is our drummer. He has a cat named Peekaboo and loves Lou Reed.
How did you meet the other members of The Aquadolls and what lead you to form a band?
I met Ryan at a music festival, and Josh and Colin are his friends from high school. We had our first “jam session” together in the fall of 2013 by playing a song I wrote called “Whoa Man” in Josh’s garage. I had a bunch of songs that I wrote and recorded with Ryan, and once we put it online and started getting show offers, we asked if Josh and Colin were down to play a couple shows! A couple shows quickly turned into many shows. That’s how it started.
What was your inspiration for the Wander video? Did it turn out how you hoped it would?
When Ryan and I decided to do a music video for Wander, he brought up shooting on the Santa Monica pier, and then I thought how fun would it be to sing along to the song while riding a roller coaster? So that’s what we did! I never really know how videos will turn out as we film as we go along and didn’t really plan much ahead of time. I like it though! 🙂
How does your creative process differ between The Aquadolls and your solo project?
I’m co-writing with my producer Aaron Greene and Ryan for my solo project. The Aquadolls songs I made up on my own and then jammed them out with the rest of the band.
Is it important to you to express your views on subjects such as social justice in your music?
Of course! A lot of current music contains lyrics that are degrading, disrespectful, and just straight up lame. My older songs are more on the silly side having to do with boy crushes and aliens, but my new songs have sprinkles of feminism and female empowerment in them. I want to create music that has lyrics that you can really feel and take something from.
In what ways has feminism helped you grow as person?
Feminism has helped me grow up. It taught me not to be afraid to be myself, to express my opinions, and not care about what others think. Most importantly, it’s helped open my eyes towards the disgusting standards society has created for women, as well as women being less respected than men. Feminism has given me the courage to be a stronger person and not stand for any bullshit.
Have there been any interactions with fans that have surprised you, either negatively or positively?
Totally! I feel blessed that more and more people come out to our shows in the past few months, and I also feel blessed to have such awesome fans. It makes me all happy inside when someone comes up to me after a show and they freak out on me because then I start to freak out. It’s like this crazy cycle of trippiness and good vibes. Don’t know how to explain it. I wanna hug you all.
Who are some musicians that are inspiring you right now?
Haim and Grimes! All of the girls in Haim are incredible musicians. I just saw them in concert last week and I knew they were gonna rock, but Danielle Haim sure shreds on guitar, and Este Haim’s bass face is pretty fantastic. Grimes inspires me because she does all of the music herself, even in her live shows! She’s a one-woman-band-mystical-faery-goddess.
If I were to summon your spirit what are some objects that I should use?
Pizza and many vanilla scented candles in a circle around the pizza box. Chant “Oops I Did It Again” over and over until my spirit arises.
If you died tomorrow what would you want on your tombstone?
RIP Melissa Brooks. She was super kawaii.