dolores haze are the new rebellious queens of stockholm's punk scene
Truly great performers don’t come along every day, so you’d better embrace this Stockholm lot hard and fast.
Catch Dolores Haze live and you'll be struck by four brilliantly intimidating young women (aged 18-20) blending, in their own words, goth sex and diva culture as they furiously serve up a delicious blend of grunge meets girl power punk pop. With animated frontwoman and bassist Groovy Nickz singing, shouting, and dragging the show along by the hair, Lucky Lollo and Groovy Fuck bring the noise on lead and rhythm guitar, while Foxy Sagz rules the drums.
The group's youngest member, Lucky Lollo, is still in school with just a few weeks to go before she is officially free to wreak musical havoc on the world. Two years ago they released their "Fuck the Pain Away"-featuring debut Accidental EP before following it up a few months back with The Haze Is Forever, an impressive full-length out on Woah Dad Records that screams girl power. Accompanying videos came in the form of a slow-moving debauched party soundtracked by 90s grunge number "Touch Me" and shiny new title track visuals that open with a conversation from Godard's Pierrot le Fou between Groovy Nickz and a boy on a supermarket floor. "Why do you look so sad?" she asks. "Because you talk to me with words and I look at you with feelings." She turns, as anyone would, to champagne and Pocky and her and her riot grrl gang proceed to set themselves on fire.
With their strong looks and alter-ego names, they seem like either superheroes or extra-evil exes from Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. Either way, they're powerful characters making powerful music. Iggy Pop picked up on it too. After playing their records on his radio show, the 69-year-old had them open for him at his Stockholm show last month. Ahead of their Great Escape show, where we would later fight our way into the red-lit sweatbox of a show space at Brighton's The Green Door Store, we cornered the band in a car park to talk it out. Peppered with laughter from all parties, the girls discussed the Stockholm music scene, their future selves, and getting drunk.
Firstly, great names. Where did they come from?
Groovy Nickz: They came to us in a dream!
Groovy Fuck: Me and Groovy Nickz were going through a very 70s phase. We liked paisley shirts and everything was groovy.
Groovy Nickz: Yeah, everything was groovy. We were listening to, like, Led Zeppelin and… well, she was listening to Babyshambles. But I became Groovy Nickz, because I'm Nicki, and she became Groovy Fuck because, I dunno, she likes fucking!
Groovy Fuck: That's true.
Groovy Nickz: And we needed names for those two, too..
Foxy Sagz: My name is Saga and I'm obsessed with foxes so I became Foxy Sagz.
Lucky Lollo: And Lucky Lollo just sounded good, plus my name's Lovina so…
Are you particularly lucky?
GN: She has good grades in school!
So giving yourself these other names, is it coming from a Spice Girl kind of place?
LL: Well, we have our names and our personal styles and hairstyles so I guess it is a typical girl band kind of thing.
GF: But the names are like alter-egos.
You're my superheroes. Do you remember your first impressions of each other?
GF: Actually, me and Lollo met for the first time six years ago today. She was an emo and I wasn't and I was quite sure that she thought I was a nerd.
LL: No, I thought she was quite nice. She was my emo friend's girlfriend. Maybe a little bit nerdy. And the first time I met Nicky I thought she was a... basically the Swedish term for "basic bitch."
GN: But I wasn't basic! I dunno, I was in the first grade of my high school and I think I was more hipster than basic bitch.
FS: When I first met you I thought you were really cute cause you had flowers on your flared jeans and a lot of festival bands.
GF: Nickz, I thought you were the coolest. You had dip-dyed hair.
GN: Aw, you too! You had long red hair and undercuts. Good times.
What does the Stockholm music scene think of you?
GN: They think we're hard to place cause we make such different music. We've met some people who are kind of upset because we came from a really underground scene and just started climbing our way up. Some people think that our music has changed and think that a major label has got involved, but that's just the way that we're developing.
GF: We were just underground because we had no other choice.
Do you care what people think?
FS: Sometimes we burn articles about ourselves.
GF: I just wanna know what everyone thinks.
GN: I think we'll always get upset when someone says something negative about us.
LL: Yeah, it can be the most irrelevant person that we don't know or have any connection to but one comment and we can get so upset.
GN: It's just some dickhead writing some shit about us. I wish I could say that we don't care but we do.
And what do you think about the rest of the music scene in Stockholm?
LL: There's a lot of indie-pop boybands...
GF: ...shoegazey stuff with a lot of guitar pedal. But we have some good punk bands that I like, like Psykofant.
GN: Last year a lot of rappers rose to prominence, like Silvana Imam. Lots of people are rapping about politics, which is a hot topic in Sweden right now because the Swedish democrats are a racist party.
What do you think about Yung Lean and his crew?
FS: I love Yung Lean!
GN: It's admirable that they went with their own style and created such a huge movement on the internet.
GF: Yeah, it's really impressive.
LL: It's almost hard to understand how big they've got actually, because it's so close to home.
FS: Yeah, they went to the same school as me and Nicky.
GN: I think they're bigger outside of Sweden. In Stockholm some people make fun of them because I guess they can't see… I mean, they're very ironic with their style and people aren't used to that.
I think that's how they started out, confusing people. And what makes you different to the rest of the scene?
GF: We're basically a rock band but we also like everything that is popular and on the radio. So we mix that up a lot. Also with our style… most rock bands seem to be down to earth and so casual.
GN: They don't like dressing up or wearing make-up but that's everything that we love.
GF: We wanna be Spice Girls as well as being a rock band.
What's the best show you've ever performed?
GF: I think the release party for our second EP, that was early 2015. I was really drunk and laying on the floor amongst the audience with a broken guitar. That was my favorite.
Can you perform when drunk then? I guess not if you were lying on the floor with a broken guitar…
GF: I'm always drunk when I perform.
GN: Our manager told us last week to slow it down…
GF: Yeah, so apparently not so well.
You've got to get the level right. Do you get nervous?
GF: No, because we're drunk.
GN: On May 1, we played on this really big stage at this political movement event and I got nervous.
GF: I got really nervous too. I got all red and sweaty on stage.
Why do you think you got nervous at that show? Because it was something a bit different?
GN: Well, we weren't drunk and it was during the daytime.
GF: Yeah, everyone could see everything!
Do you think you have a typical fan?
LL: I think there are three types; the old rock guy, the 19-year-old boy with long hair who likes rock and the 90s, and then the 15- or 16-year-old girl with pastel chair and glitter on her face.
GF: Those are my favorite ones!
What do you know now that you wish you had known at 16?
GF: Maybe that all the hard work would eventually pay off.
GN: But maybe then you wouldn't have worked so hard!
GN: We always asked ourselves, do you think we'll get signed this year? Maybe next year? We just hung around waiting to get signed. And then we did!
So it was all about getting signed?
GF: Yes. Because I guess to us, getting signed meant that we would get famous the second we signed the paperwork… It wasn't like that but…
But it's certainly a step in that direction. What do you guys think you'll be like as old people?
GF: I think I'll be a great old person!
LL: Oh, I love old people. Old ladies are my favorite type of person!
FS: I'm gonna be planting seeds and going around my garden.
Will you all live together in a big old house?
LL: No, hopefully not! I'll read a lot of books and go out for walks and drink coffee and have lots of old friends.
GF: That sounds like me now! I'll just ride my bike around.
GN: I'll be so in love, it's disgusting. I will have a huge house with a huge bathroom and a room full of pillows. But mostly, I will be married and disgustingly in love.
GF: With lots of cute grandchildren.
FS: I wanna age like Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead and just never age.
How did the Iggy show come about?
GF: He played us on his radio show and it went from there I guess.
GN: Yeah, and then he asked us to open for him in Stockholm
And obviously you said yes.
GN: Obviously! We met him briefly and shook hands.
GF: But you were quite excited about that handshake…
GN: I know! I was taking selfies of myself licking my hand and then I accidentally washed it…
That's a very good point. Were you big fans beforehand?
GF: Yeah, we've been to his shows before.
GN: I have Raw Power on vinyl at home.
It's really cool that it all came full circle and you ended up supporting him.
GF: Yeah, that's what I would have liked to know when we started out!
GN: Three years from now you're gonna be opening for Iggy Pop… I would've died.
GF: I would've planned my outfit back then.
Which movie do you think your music would be the best soundtrack for?
FS: Donnie Darko.
GF: No, it's not weird enough…
GN: Maybe The Runaways or another movie about girls fucking shit up.
GF: Thelma and Louise, that's girls fucking shit up. You know, two girls and they accidentally murder a guy and end up on the run from the police. It's really cool.
FS: Or maybe Heathers!
GN: Or Spring Breakers.
GF: Definitely something with young people doing weird shit.
GN: Or Sharknado.
Why did you watch that?
GN: It's the worst movie ever, don't see it.
Finally, what's the best advice you've ever received?
GF: This one is a classic in Sweden, something that everyone hears from their parents: don't get drunk because you will fall asleep in a pile of snow and you will die. I think it happened a lot in the 80s.
FS: Yeah, all parents seem to have one friend who died in a pile of snow.
Text Francesca Dunn
Photography Céline Barwich
Styling Carl Gustaf von Platen