Bassist and singer Kelly Ogden, lead guitarist Luis Cabezas and drummer Chris Black comprise the Dollyrots, a punk band with "CDs that are very pop," the group explains. With Kelly and Luis playing music together since their college days and friends since high school, the band went through some early growing pains and name changes before growing up to become the Dollyrots. The trio's latest CD, Because I'm Awesome, has the power of rocker Joan Jett's Blackheart Records label behind it. The Dollyrots truly are coming into their own.
Kelly is a natural musician. "I took about five lessons and then figured I'd just learn tab and go from there," she says, adding that joining a band and rehearsing constantly was the turning point that took her playing skills to the next level. "I found it way more satisfying and challenging to play as part of a group. And I'd really like to learn banjo sometime," she reveals, "so I can play 'Rainbow Connection.' And maybe the fiddle. I love Irish music."
Among her inspirations in the industry, Kelly counts mentor Joan Jett, along with Kathleen Hanna, Ronnie Spector, Madonna, Neil Young, The Ramones and folk artist Melanie Safka. "I really look up to people who know who they are and go for what they want in life," Kelly comments.
And speaking of knowing what she wants, Luna Guitars delivers when it comes to distinctive looks and playing comfort, Kelly explains. "Fans -- especially young fans -- ask me about my pink Pandora Double Cutaway," she says. "It sounds great and is pretty too! I love that it's light and easy to play. The neck is just right for my hands, and my back doesn't kill when I put it on. Besides, Luna is a really cool female run company. Whenever I have the choice, I'll support that!"
When asked if she's had to give up other aspects of her life in order to follow her heart into music, Kelly answers with wry insight: "Sure ... I moved 3,000 miles away from my family and friends, live hand to mouth, don't get to see friends or sleep in my own bed most of the time -- lots of stuff. But, I wouldn't change it for anything. I really love what I do."
She continues, "I think I'm most proud when I get an email or MySpace message from someone and they tell me that the Dollyrots inspired them to start a band. That's the best part about all of this. I'm also really proud of and excited about our record Because I'm Awesome. We were really comfortable in the studio.... I finally knew what I was doing! And the songs are more gutsy. We weren't afraid to speak our minds."
Since touring with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, doing Warped Tour dates, and then spending even more time on the road, the Dollyrots have released new CDs, and... spent time on the road. The band's current touring schedule can be found online at blackheart.com.
cover art for dollyrot releases
Kelly's parting wisdom to Luna fans? "You're awesome!" she declares. "Don't forget it."
Luna is pleased to call Kelly Ogden a Luna Artist.