Come to Dolly: New Zealand's Hidden Gem
One of the true hidden gems in the rock and metal scene, Come to Dolly may be on the other side of the globe (depending on where you live) but they are one of the most talented and refreshing bands to emerge in the last few years.
Originally making waves in 2008 with their debut album ‘Dolly Grip’, the New Zealand quintet fused infectious electronics with a hint of nu metal power on tracks such as ‘Tonight We Fall’ and ‘Patterns of You’, however it was only at the beginning of 2017 when the Napier natives came roaring back with their incredible sophomore release, ‘Desire’- via Sister Lung Productions.
Again containing subtle and at times haunting electronics with an even more mature alternative metal sound, the artistic genius of Deftones comes to mind on more than one occasion which definitely aint a bad thing.
‘Desire’ is easily one of the best records released this year, and HFTB caught up with guitarist/vocalist Nick Blow to find out a little bit more about Come to Dolly, and why it took so long to put out album number two.
Releasing the great debut album ‘Dolly Grip’ in 2008, it appeared to contain quite a few nu metal elements- what bands influenced Come to Dolly’s early sound?
“We all grew up listening to some pretty diverse bands before getting together in 2006, but there would have been some pretty heavy influences from the likes of Korn, Marilyn Manson, Tool, Deftones, Mudvayne and Incubus; perhaps too many bands to mention.”
Album artwork for ‘Dolly Grip’
With a strong record behind you, did you manage to tour with/support any notable bands in New Zealand?
“After the release of ‘Dolly Grip’ we were only able to do a few gigs before the band moved to Melbourne, Australia. Our intention with the move was to be playing in front of potentially larger audiences at more varied venues, however, with the recession that hit the world in 2008/09 it became difficult to hold down any solid day jobs to make ends meet between gigging.
After a year of frustrations, we ended up heading back to our stomping ground (Napier, New Zealand) to regroup and get back into gigging and recording.”
Fast forward to 2017 and your second album ‘Desire’- why did it take so long to bring out the record, and how did the band come to the decision to regroup and return to the studio?
“There are many reasons it took so long- babies were born, marriages separating, surgeries, passing of immediate family members, serious illnesses, just to name a few. All these events seemed to happen one after another, and inevitably this led to band member changes. At the risk of all these sounding like excuses, they did take their toll and in the end delayed our timing and productivity.
There is an album that was written and recorded in-between ‘Dolly Grip’ and ‘Desire’ that has never seen the light of day.”
There appear to be quite a few Deftones influences throughout ‘Desire’- was this intended?
“Although Deftones are an inspiration to all of us, it was definitely not our intention and took us by surprise that people heard the resemblance. We were really just purging all of our built up emotions and when the 5 of us got together- that’s how it sounded.”
How different was the writing and recording process compared to when you went in for ‘Dolly Grip’?
“’Desire’ was quite a different approach due to the fact that we had a bunch of songs written before Luke (Tither) joined. The instruments had already been tracked so Luke and I would have weekly sessions spending time on a track at a time, making any changes to the arrangements where we saw fit. Luke has a pretty amazing gift at finding the emotion or character he needed to become, to fit each track.”
Highlights on the new album include the title track, ‘If I Lead You to the Moon’ and ‘Are You Human?’. Do you have a favourite track on ‘Desire’ and what has been the overall response to the record since its release?
“‘Ghost in Space’ definitely has a sentimental element for us. Every now and then you come up with a song that just seems to fit a time and place in your personal journey through life.
The reception ‘Only the Nameless’ has received has surprised us all. That was very unexpected.”
What is the New Zealand rock and metal scene like, and how hard is it to get your band exposure and get on good tours over there?
“NZ has a strong music scene in general, but it is difficult to be playing to new audiences and new venues. This is probably due to our relatively small population and our country’s fairly isolated location on the world map.”
What comes next for Come to Dolly, and if there is to be a next record- will it follow quicker than the long gap between the first two?
“Our goals for the short term are touring the ‘Desire’ record in New Zealand. We are 9 songs into our next record which we start recording in the early months of 2018.
Our long-term goal- a European tour. Not an easy task to get 5 people who are self-funded from the bottom of the Southern Hemisphere to the top of the Northern Hemisphere, but, fingers crossed.”
Artwork for ‘Desire’
Come to Dolly is-
Luke Tither- Vocals
Nick Blow- Guitar, Keys, Vocals
Ben Persen- Guitar
Teiki Utiputona- Bass
Chris Smith- Drums
Go To Tracks- 'Tonight We Fall', 'Patterns of You', 'Desire', 'If I Lead You to the Moon', 'Are You Human?'
Both ‘Dolly Grip’ and ‘Desire’ are available via Spotify and various other digital platforms. Physical copies can be obtained from the bands website or through them directly.
Go to www.cometodolly.com for more information.