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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Taxi Doll
Monday, March 30, 2009

Remember back in the 90’s when pop/rock groups were experimenting with electronica? Some of the music they created was really extraordinary. I felt that same vibe again recently when I gave a listen to Taxi Doll’s just released full length LP, Hear and Now. Taxi Doll is made up of (pictured from L to R) guitarist Matt Emmer, bassist Brian Hendrix, keyboardist/producer Gregg Allen, lead singer Dhana and drummer Jason Graham, and while the men of the band are from LA, their leading lady is from Europe, which has led Taxi Doll to create a style of music that gives pop/rock a much needed kick in the pants. Some of the band’s work has been featured on a number of high profile TV shows, including CSI New York and The Hills, and this week I caught up with both Dhana and Jason to find out what those placements have done for them, how each member of the band stands out on their own, and what kind of stories they have from their time spent in taxis. That's right, it's time for some Taxicab Confessions from Taxi Doll.

Adam Bernard: Start me off by hitting me with the history of Taxi Doll. How did a European girl end up linking up with an LA guy and in what ways did their musical visions fit together?
Gregg Allen: Well, Dhana got an opportunity to go to LA and who doesn’t want to go to LA, right? Once here she was introduced to me by a mutual producer friend who knew we were interested in making the same music, then we just started writing together. We have very similar musical tastes which was conducive to our great collaborative songwriting. Actually, a lot of the music I was inspired by at the time was by UK artists, many of whom were also favorite artists of Dhana’s. We often describe the songwriting process as “finishing each others musical sentences.”

Adam Bernard: You look like an interesting group of unique personalities. Could you go down the line and describe each member of the band and what makes them stand out, both within the group and in life in general.
Gregg Allen: I guess you could say that Dhana and I are the electro/pop element of the band and Jason, Matt and Brian bring the rock element. I guess it’s that combination which defines our sound. Dhana speaks 4 languages. I like to jump the highest on stage. Jason has a different hair color every show. Brian is the shyest of the bunch. And Matt loves to stand on speakers. {laughs} But if we were to break it down yearbook style this is probably how it would look:

Most likely to succeed – Dhana, as she is the most driven of the bunch.

Class clown – Me. I am usually never serious and am always joking around.

Best dressed – Brian. He just has just kick ass style.

Most popular - Jason. He gets along great with everyone… unless you get him mad, then he’ll crush you. He is our band ambassador and peace keeper.

Craziest Hair - Matt. Have you seen his curly golden locks?

Adam Bernard: Why did you choose the name Taxi Doll?
Gregg Allen: Well, it’s named after the bouncy dolls on the dashboards of cabs. I think the first time we said it out loud we knew that name was the one. I think we have a giant list of band name suggestion somewhere that’s pages long. It’s kinda like the process you go through when naming a child, I think. We don’t have any children that we know of.

Adam Bernard: What’s the best, or most interesting, thing to happen to you in a taxi?
Dhana: Probably coming up with the name Taxi Doll. {laughs} In all seriousness, I took a Taxi in Italy once and told the cab driver to take me to the airport “ASAP.” I will never do that again. The guy ran red lights, stop signs, you name it. I never thought I was going to make it to the airport alive. I was rolling around in the back of the cab, like Madonna in that Guy Ritchie BMW short film.

Adam Bernard: Sounds like a great ride to me! Now, from what I hear you were signed to a major label, but ended up deciding to go the indie route. Was this a creative control issue or were there other things that were concerning you, as well?
Gregg Allen: We usually do what feels natural and the indie route just felt right. If and when the major route presents itself again and the timing is right then anything is possible, but right now we are happy writing and releasing music on the Taxi Doll schedule. As an artist it’s great to be able to write, record and immediately release a new song to people who are waiting for it. It’s tough sometimes to be on someone else’s schedule.

Adam Bernard: In addition to your album your music has been featured on a number of high profile television shows, from CSI New York to The Hills. Have you found a way to measure what that exposure has done for you?
Dhana: It has been a great way for people to discover us. As TV and film are becoming a new forum to discover new music and bands, this and the blogs are instrumental in finding new fans/friends. After certain placements we have seen loads comments on our MySpace or emails to info@taxidoll.com and on others, not a blip. The amount of traffic usually depends on the type of placement, or how we were credited in the show or film.

Adam Bernard: What’s the Taxi Doll groupie situation like?
Dhana: We like to think of fans, groupies, etc. all as friends. We just thank our friends for supporting us and are grateful they have the same taste in music we do! We should all get together and make mixtapes someday.

Adam Bernard: In the end, other than gaining you unbelievable wealth, power and fame, what are your goals for your music?
Dhana: We just want people to have fun, forget about their day and get lost in the music with a big smile on their face.

Related Links

Website: taxidoll.com
MySpace: myspace.com/taxidoll


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:36 AM  
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