Divas to the dancefloor please! It seems all the dancefloor pop divas are coming out of the woodwork these days and it’s no secret that I am a huge supporter of Doe Deere. You’ve been patient with me while I went on and on about her for the last month and chances are you really love her pop gem "One Touch" which has ruled the EQ Chart for almost a month now. So what happens when EQ gets a little touchy feely with Doe’s lovable antlers? Read on to find out…
So Doe – How is New York treating you?
Oh, it’s fabulous! New York loves Doe Deere. <smiles> It’s the only city I know that accepts me the way I am – antlers and all!
Now that I’m done recording, I can finally go out into the world again. The deer’s on the prowl – parties to attend, many a ridiculous outfit to wear… But, contrary to popular belief, I’m not much of a party girl. I don’t drink and rarely stay out past midnight. Gotta get my beauty sleep!
Cool – How is life different in New York, versus your home country Russia?
I grew up in a small town called Izhevsk. It’s nowhere near Moscow or St. Petersburg, in case you were wondering. <giggles> Truthfully, I never fit in. I sort of stuck out like a sore thumb from day one – I dressed too extravagant, thought too different, expressed myself too freely. When everybody was studying algebra, I wrote my first rock opera. <laughs> Teachers told me I was "overconfident". I didn’t know you had to have low self-esteem to be considered ‘normal’! I always insisted on being myself though, even if it meant I wasn’t going to be accepted. Moving to NYC to prove myself was a bold move at 17. I decided I’d rather be a small fish in the ocean than a large one in a puddle.
So tell us about "Supernatural" – what’s been the reaction thus far now that it’s out there.
It’s doing incredibly well. You know, it’s funny -I have yet to receive one negative comment! I know it’s coming though, so I’m ready. <smiles>
I think people dig it because it’s different and it’s honest. A lot of contemporary artists use 80s-inspired productions in their songs but no one has the balls to go all the way! When I told my producer I wanted to make an 80s record in 2007, he didn’t know whether to shit or to go blind. But he loves Tears For Fears, so he went with it. And we had a blast – literally busting up laughing coming up with all these cheesy sounds and ideas. We would watch bad 80s videos in the studio and just laugh our asses off.
"One Touch" is just an amazing song – care to elaborate how this song came about?
Oh, I was just really horny that day (gah! the pun! the pun!). I go celibate when I make records and this song was one of the last – you can imagine the situation. So I start writing and suddenly all this sexual stuff start pouring out. So I’m like, ok let it flow. Jeez, I’m just disgusting today aren’t I?!? <laughs hysterically>
To make matters worse, I think the song has Christian connotations. "One little touch and I’m in paradise" is like finding salvation through the touch of Christ.
Speaking of messiahs – musically, I owe it all to Dieter Bohlen. I re-discovered and fell in love with Modern Talking last year and wanted to mock their sound. And that is exactly what you hear in ‘One Touch’ – a mockery of what was once considered a top-notch pop production!
You’re offering "One Touch" as a free download now and you have a very interesting take on the subject of free downloading. Why aren’t you afraid to give your music away?
Not just one song – I’m giving the whole album away! My goal was to offer a product for every pocket. So I invented something of a sliding scale. First, I lowered the price on the physical CD ($9.50, includes free shipping to anywhere in the world). The price was right, so I moved a good number of units just by selling on MySpace and my website, doedeere.com. Then I released "Supernatural: Digital Edition": a digital bundle with the entire album in MP3 format, plus artwork, lyrics and a personal scanned note from me. 5 bucks seemed like a good price. This turned out to be a bigger hit than I had expected: within the first week alone I got close to 100 orders! On my own, as an indie artist! I think the idea of a ‘green album’ appealed to my crowd as something that’s convenient and environment-friendly.
But then there is a 3rd category of listeners that a greedy artist will NEVER be able to reach. I call them: the Young, the Broke, and the Desperate. These are the most loyal, die-hard fans that want, need, yearn for new music… but can’t pay for it at the moment. These people will stick by me till the end, so it’s only fair that they get my album for free! All they need to do is ask… Bottom line, those who can afford my album will buy it. Withholding the music from the rest is RIDICULOUS!
I like how you phrased your question: "Why aren’t you afraid…?" Fear and the desire to control the customer is the biggest problem with the current model, in my opinion. Record companies are treating their customers like the enemy, suing 12-year olds, constantly afraid to get ripped off… I think that’s stupid. My fans are my friends. Each is as dear to me as the next – whether they can pay 9 dollars for my album, 5, or nothing at all. I just want my music to be heard; the last thing on my mind when making this record was "how am I going to make this money back?". I believe that people can sense that…
File-sharing is not a problem for me. If I had my druthers, all music would be free. It’s totally possible, too – through endorsements (athletes have been doing them for ages). As an artist, I’ll gladly associate my name with a product I actually use and believe in – lipstick, shoes, creme soda, whatever! – if it sustains me enough financially and allows me to share my music with the people. The more endorsements an artist has, the less need they’ll have to charge for their music. It’s a win-win situation for all.
So tell me about "SF Disco". Is it really about a disco in San Francisco?
That song is a straight-up gay anthem (damn, I’m on the roll with those puns today!) I wrote it after visiting San Francisco and falling in love it. The problem with New York is that everything is gray and black, everyone is so serious. When I go to SF, my brain explodes with color! All I want to do is smear glitter make-up all over my face and go to a dance club! Ooh. You actually gave me an idea – pitch "SF Disco" to a couple DJs in San Fran.
Which discos in San Francisco would I catch you at?
Try any gay or tranny bar and you’ll probably find me in the center of the dance floor!
"Mona Lisa" – is that song about you or someone you know? Tell us more about that song.
"Mona Lisa" is an imaginary world based in the reality of celebrity stalking. We all partake in it on some level by reading tabloids and what not. But some people take it a step further, become delusional and possessive. But in the end, who is possessing who? Is it the obsessed fan that’s in control or is it the one he’s worshiping that’s fucking with his head? It’s kind of a dark song, like Sarah McLachlan’s "Possession".
You really have a thing for those antlers of yours don’t you. I must say it’s a rather original trademark. Is it hard keeping your antlers in tip-top condition?
Thank you, thank you. <smiles> I love deers. As for my antlers, they are a symbol of emancipation. Normally, only the bucks have them – but guess who wears the antlers in MY family?! <laughs>
Can you watch "Bambi" without crying? I can’t.
<sigh> Oh, god. Don’t get me started on that. Violence against animals shakes me to the bone and makes me want to spring into action. I remember growing up in Russia where animals being slaughtered and treated like shit is the norm. My own parents tried to get me to grow more tolerant of this, to protect me I suppose… But I never hardened like that. To this day I am an active pet rescuer and advocate neutering and adoption.
So there seems to be a lot of music coming out of Russia and into mainland Europe these days with T.A.T.U, Sergey Lazarev and Valeriya. Are you proud to be one of the cool Russian kids making quality pop?
First off let me just say that I am a big fan of all of the above, but especially Tatu. I identify with and find myself deeply inspired by the artists who have something to say, something to fight for. Rules are made to be broken. I never liked traditional Russian pop for that reason – it’s anti-creative and formulaic. Ingesting it is like voluntarily drinking stale water. I am very proud to be one of the few Russian artists who break the tradition.
Any plans on coming to Europe for some shows? I’d love to get you on stage at Electroqueer in London sometime soon. Actually I’d love to get on down to the disco with you, something tells me you can tear it up proper.
I’ve never been to London and something tells me I’d love it! I am working very hard to be at the stage in my career where I’m traveling all over the world with my extravagant live show! I’ll come to London if for no other reason than to tear it up at a disco with you!
<EQ blushes uncontrollabley…>Well that’s it Doe! Care to leave the EQ readers with some parting words?
3 verbs: Love Me, Loathe Me, Download Me!