One time One Dove chanteuse Dot Allison
has re-emerged as solo artist with the album 'Afterglow', which takes the "best of Dusty, Aretha
et al and puts siren singing firmly in 1999. Freebase caught up with her during her sellout UK
Q: Do you feel a burden of responsibility now that you're a solo artist
rather than part of a band?
NO, in fact the reverseit was more of a burden being in a band.
Not that the boys were a millstone or anything, but it's actually a liberation to be on my own.
I'm not a voice piece for anyone else. With One Dove the other members all had their own
creativity to push forward, and as the vocalist it was done through me. Now everything I express
is me~ I have a bigger arena to work in. The people that I'm currently working with are brilliant
musicians and a very solid band, but it's not permanent, which makes things more creative.
Q: Did you make a deliberate move away from dance? Was there a master
I had a complete plan in a very non-specific way. I knew that I wanted to make an
experimental, psychedelic, dark pop record. But I didn't know exactly what its components would
be. I was drawing on every influence
Q: Did you have any pre-conceptions as to the kind of thing he would come up
No, not at all, I had no expectations. I just felt sure that he would empathise with
the music. I'm very happy with . what he did with it.
Q: How did you feel at The Social, performing acoustically? Were you
grateful to reveal the core melody of your songs? Any more plans for similar outings?
always think that acoustic performance is the acid test for songs. Most of my songs are written
that way, with just guitar, vocal and piano. I enjoyed the spaciousness and rawness of that gig,
and would definitely be keen to do something like that again in the future.
Q: One Dove were around at the right time, fitting perfectly into part of
rave culture. How does what you do now fit into what's happening in 1999?
I don't see
myself slotting in easily to what's happening now, but I see that as a strength in a way. Starting
out again I wanted to be honest and diverse. I didn't want to fill my work with mandatory beats
and so on. 'Afterglow' is more of a soundtrack album than a pop album and in many respects in
quite indulgent. I think it fits in by not fitting in.
Q: Your music often sounds thoughtful and introspective, and yet your posse
of collaborators suggests that you might be a fairly social person. How does this work?
a daily basis, musical and non-musical.
Q: You seem to have lots of top-notch collaborators - are they queuing up,
or do you set out with the purposese of pinning down people you'd like to work with? Who's
I'm writing with Andrew Weatherall again. It's an avenue that is definitely
unexhausted - there is so much scope for creativity in that particular partnership.
Q: How did you pair up with Hal David?
I wrote 'Did I Imagine You?'
at my mum's house at Christmas. It felt like a very emotional song, and I wanted to have someone
else's words to it rather than my own. The feel of the song seemed very much to lend itself to Hal
David's work, so I sent it to him through Warner Brothers. I really didn't expect him to respond
and was really surprised when he called. Although people like Mani and Kevin Shields have come in
as session musicians to work with me, they are collaborating as musicians rather than as
songwriters and the two things work.quite differently. I used to be shy in the studio and not say
what I thought enough, but now I've adapted. I'm not scared to say something's shit. But it hasn't
been that difficult this time round and I haven't had to banter on or manipulate anyone because
it's my record, my vision - much easier than with a band when everyone's opinion is equally valid.
In years gone by I felt as if I had to put my hand up and ask permission if I wanted to speak, but
not any more. I remember an engineer saying to me it was only a matter of time before I would
become more fluent with ideas, and that it was shyness rather than a lack of ideas that was
keeping me quiet. well, now I've reached that point. But I do like co-writing. I learn so much
when I'm co-writing; that's when I really grow as a writer.
Q: What's your relationship with Arab Strap? How did it come about? It seems
[Dot didn't answer this question]
Q: Freebase is an Internet based magazine. Do you use net much? How do you
see it affecting music in the future and what you do in particular?
I'm not on-line at the
moment, but I hope to be soon. I think it's great. As far as music is concerned there almost seems
to be a punk effect growing out of it. There is much more freedom for people to air what they're
doing unhampered by record companies and the media. It breaks down barriers and allows people to
get straight to what artists are doing without it being filtered first. It's really exciting, as
people can make up their own minds and smaller, interesting projects have a platform
Originally appeared atFreebase Internet Music Magazine 1998. Copyright © Freebase Internet Music Magazine, All Rights Reserved.