TOY DOLLS – The last interview
Olga is the mastermind behind favorite tunes such as Yul Brynner Was A Skinhead, Poltergeist In The Pantry, Lester Fiddled The Tax Man, Howza Bouta Kiss Babe??!, Carol Dodd Is Pregnant, Dig That Groove Baby and the very special version of Nellie The Elephant to mention but a few old classics. Much like AC/DC and Motörhead, the list goes on longer than you could be bothered to read.
What goes inside this mans head? Let’s ask him!
ET – First of I have to ask: Don’t you get tired of playing Nellie the Elephant?
Olga: Ha! Good question! We are a little tired of it to be honest! We have kept it in the set at most gigs, as not to disappoint a few people, though we have arranged in various ways, to keep it feeling fresh. Having said that, I can’t promise it will always be in the set forever, it has to go eventually! We didn't play it at a few shows in 2006, actually.
ET – What goes on inside your head?
Olga: God knows! At the moment, worrying about how I am going to pay the electric bill!
ET – What incident drew you to music?
Olga: To be honest, it was through being bullied at school, I wanted to prove I could do something! And then, all the glam bands, Slade, Suzi Quatro, Sweet etc, flowed by Dr Feelgood, then PUNK!
ET – What inspired you to start the band?
Olga: I think I just wanted to be a performer, I love playing the guitar, though I am not keen on singing, I guess that's one reason I can’t sing properly!
ET – Could you describe your music in case there is somebody reading this that actually hasn’t heard about The Toy Dolls?
Olga: I am sure there are millions of readers who haven’t heard of The Toy Dolls! Though it’s heavily inspired by Punk, we just call it Toy Doll music, whatever that is!!
ET – Why do you hate guitars with foot pedals?
Olga: I just prefer the natural, unprocessed sound to be honest.
ET – Are you still 17 years old?
Olga: Of course not!! Now 18.
ET – What do you do to still look/act so young?
Olga: Thank you! I eat lots of fruit, drink litres and litres of mineral water, train everyday etc.. Boring eh!!?
ET – You are playing in Sweden in August, which is very close to Norway. Is there a possibility that you will do some shows here to? Remember: You played a sold out show at Blaest in Trondheim on your last tour…
Olga: Yeah, Trondheim was very nice! Though I don’t think we will return this time around, we have to get a new album written and recorded; THEN we will be back!
ET – What are your top 15 Toy Dolls songs?
Olga: oh! Difficult, these are in no particular order:
Glenda & the test tube baby
Fisticuffs in Frederick st.
Her with a hoover
Ernie had a hernia
Sod the neighbours
Ive had enough o magaluf
The Death of Barry the roofer with vertigo
Shell be back with kieth someday
Im a telly addict
Dez the Demon Decorator.
ET – What has motivated you to keep the band going for almost 30 years?
Olga: To be honest, I really love every single part of the band thing, touring, meeting people, recording, playing live, rehearsals, writing… etc etc! I am completely happy doing this, and always have been! I guess that's what motivates me!
As soon as I am sick of it, then I will finish, but after 30 years, I don't think its about to happen! 30 years, God you make me feel old! Next question quick!..
ET – What is the biggest difference between “Dig That Groove Baby” and “Our Last Album?”?
Olga: Dig that groove is a much better album, I am being honest! And it sounds fresher!
The songs on Dig That groove a better, that's the biggest difference, apart from Barry the Roofer, that belongs on an early album!
ET – Are there times you wish you were doing something completely different?
Olga: Yes of course, especially when we have been in the back of the van for 15 hours, tired, hungry and cold! But, I wouldn't swap this life for anybody’s!!
ET – Why the frequent line-up changes?
Olga: Not usually my choice! However, after 30 years, you can expect people to come and go, long tours get to people, musicians wanna settle down and get a normal job, get married and have kids etc. We wish ‘em all the best of luck.
ET – What do you do when you are not focusing on The Toy Dolls?
Olga: Ha! When am I not focusing on The Toy Dolls!? I eat , sleep, And dream this band! I will let ya know if I ever focus on anything else!
ET – What music do you listen to?
Olga: Classical mainly and opera.
ET – Is there any plan that to release any new material sometime soon?
Olga: Yes, but not soon, I have just begun writing another album, will take a year or 2 to complete, I am really enjoying it.
ET – Do you feel that you and the music have grown since Dig That Groove Baby or is it only the crowd at the gigs that are growing?
Olga: The crowd at the gigs has remained the same! Always around 600 on average, nice small close contact crowd, just what we prefer! I can’t really say that the music has grown that much either, what do you think?
ET – Are the lyrics still real events taking place in the neighbourhood, as it was in the beginning, or are you using more and more artistic freedom in that aspect?
Olga: The lyrics are 90 percent about events in the neighbourhood, or about events in the past, in the neighbourhood. I think most songs are inspired about real life happenings, its loads easier to just write down the truth, fact, rather than having to invent stories!
ET – You have often been described as one of punk’s most original guitarists, how do you feel about that?
Olga: Flattered indeed! But, there loads better, more original guitarist than me! Del from the Test tube babies is the greatest ever, and East Bay Ray is fantastic, and 1000s more!
ET – Is it true that you are completely self-taught?
Olga: It is true; though my older brother taught me a few chords and how to tune up, then I bought a book and taught myself. And I am still learning!
ET – You started up The Toy Dolls, a punk band with a lot of humour, in a time when all the punk music around you were political and angry, did you ever think that The Toy Dolls would last as long and grow this popular?
Olga: Yeah, we like to look at the brighter side of life, though we are all very serious people. No way did we ever think we would last this long! I really can’t believe it! Thank you to everybody out there! Cheers