There’s nothing particularly mechanical about Boh Doran‘s “Robot Girl”. Nothing that feels pre-programmed and automatic, on the contrary, the EP feels lively and organic, almost like it’s running headlong at the summit euphoria, but just shy of it, it tempers itself with a bit of the good ‘ole common sense – a certain clear-headedness that comes from many teaching moments woven into the human story of its conception.
RoBoh Doran arrives from the future- the sound of a nearby tomorrow is the earnest preservation, retooling, and championing of the 90s-2000s. The residue of Gen-X’s acerbic sarcasm dwindled in the face of Y2K -undecided between optimism and abject terror. Boh has her hand on the pulse of it, she knows it’s coming back again, she trailblazes the forgotten path and cleans it up for further use. Everyone after her now is just that, a follower-behind behind her stroke of genius.
Basically: It’s hella good stuff. Don’t miss it… anyway, here’s our interview with Boh.
You’ve said that it took two years of writing to put this EP together plus another ten years prior to help define your sound. How does it feel to have this EP out in light of that?
It feels like I have come so far and have such a long way to go. The number of hours that go into finding and sculpting something that I feel like is just now “ready” is kind of insane.
You have to be so patient and also prepared for it to be only the beginning. The amount of time and releases it took to get here has prepared me to understand that releasing something should just feel like a 5% better version of any day. When you commit to the creative process as your LIFE then basically you put something out, enjoy the feeling for a few moments and move on to the next thing.
Do you want to bask in the afterglow of releasing this EP or do you want to jump right back to the studio and keep recording?
I’ll be working on something every day the week of the release, and after.
I’m awfully curious about the name. Why Robot girl? Who Robot Girl? Where Robot Girl?
Haha, well – it definitely was a “words falling out of the sky” situation. I sampled a break beat and wrote that guitar/synth melody in the intro and literally just sang “She’s a Robot Girl.” There was something about that instrumental melody that felt so mechanical + machine-like to me. The Robot Girl is the perfectionist voice that lives in my head.. And honestly, I think everyone’s. But it takes on a double meaning in a world that is becoming even more technical and machine-oriented
I can really hear all those late 90s indie rock influences shining through. Almost felt like Dolores O’Riordan (RIP) was singing right behind you a lot of the time. Beyond the fact it’s the sound that shaped a lot of your (our?) youth, what is it about that era of music that is so worth keeping alive in this way?
Great question, I ask myself that all the time. The lack of rigid/machine-made/auto-tuned music is exactly what is worth keeping alive for me. Music made with a band in a room, knobs you can turn, people hanging and talking. Imperfection and human-ness.
I still haven’t decided if my favorite song is “Anwer Machine” or “Cat’s Cradle”. Can you tell us what’s yours? or at least which song you feel proudest or most satisfied with and why:
I mean that’s literally like asking who is your favorite kid lol. I love those songs and think there was a special symbiosis from a production standpoint, that can sometimes be hard to achieve.
The EP is a mix of Songs you produced yourself and songs you brought John Spiker along to help. I Paid a lot of attention and it all feels very seamless to me like it was just one hand producing it. Do you think maybe this could be the way forward for you from now on? maybe taking care of the most personal tracks by yourself and hiring someone to take a crack at the other songs?
Well, that’s cool, I was hoping that would be the takeaway feeling! Yes absolutely. Both processes are invaluable to me. One is very insular, and can be extremely creative, but also frustrating because I don’t have a super dialed studio and I’m not a whiz at instruments…Also, I used to obsess about “if I should be a solo producer or a collaborator” and then I was like… wait you can do both. As a female producer, I think it was hard for me to let go of doing it all myself because people sometimes assume the guy does everything. And the truth is, when you go to someone else’s studio, they do end up physically doing more than you. But showing up with a solid demo/flushed out pre-production, being a clear communicator, and picking the right people ends up shaping the whole thing. I loved working with John because he completely got the vision and we like a lot of the same music. I also started this process by producing releases on my own and then moved into collaborating… which was great because I had a lot figured out already.
Are you taking this on tour? Please take this on tour, everyone’s gonna love it!
Ahhh I would love to! Played my first show since the pandemic last month and I am definitely itching to get out again. An actual tour would likely be a 2023 situation. I had this random idea to play vibey motels across America… Can’t say it would sound great but I will sacrifice that for neon lights, bad floral wallpaper, and questionable cocktails. I’ll either do that or MSG.
What’s next for Boh Doran? Where are your energies set right now?
Jk, I don’t think I fully know what that means but it definitely scares me. While I have adopted the world of Tik Tok and like to be on the lookout for new technologies + more efficient ways of doing things – I hope we can find a stronger sense of in-person community and events again. So – alongside continuing to make music and videos, I do hope to really get my live show dialed and perhaps even organize DIY shows in interesting places with friends and a creative community.
Story: LADYGUNN Photos: Angela Izzo
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