Wow Olga's reading my e-mail. I wrote a song, just lyrics because your too good on the guitar for me to create anything. So the song is cheesy and a bit pointless I hope you like it and if you use it in anyway i would be honoured. Also if you can do a "Modern Schools Of Motoring" tutorial, tab or chords that would be great. I love that song. One final question: Are you planning on going another album or single? Thank-you very much Paul Hutchinson UK
Paul Cheers for your song! Nice one! Will keep it on file! I think I
saw Modern Schools of Motoring somewhere on the internet, will check!
I may do it on a guitar lesson too, good idea! As for a new album, yes
just putting the final touches to it now, recording in the summer! No
plans for a single just yet.
It's Alex from Moscow again! Thank you very much for your answers for
my previous letter, I was really glad when I read them! It's been quite
a while since your 30th Anniversary but anyway I would like to congratulate
you with such achievement and I'm sure you'll do another 30 years and
even more! I'm so happy that you're going to visit Russia in September,
I'll definitely be at your Moscow show, may be I'll even make it to
St. Petersburg. And I wonder if there's any chance that you could bring
with you the book about Toy Dolls "From Fulwell to Fukuoka"
so that your fans here can buy it? I'd really love to read it. I don't
know whether a lot of people would want to buy it because it's in English,
but I definitely would, and it is impossible to buy it in Russia and
I don't want to order it from Amazon or something like that because
it's also difficult in Russia and I don't trust our post service! So
it would be great if you have some spare copies and you could bring
it with you.
1) Do you think that good lyrics are necessary for songs to be great? Or can a song be good but have stupid words? You see, in Russia a lot of people think that lyrics are the most important part of the songs and they won't be listening to songs if they are in foreign language "because I don't understand what they're singing" or don't have very meaningful lyrics. And most of Russian rock bands are very concerned about the contents of their songs about the messages they'd like to deliver to their listeners and stuff like that. And this concern about lyrics often influences negatively the quality of music itself. May be that's one of the reasons why Russia has never had a really great rock band. When I was a child and didn't know English at all I listened to The Beatles and didn't understand a single word but this didn't prevent me from loving their music. The same was later with Toy Dolls - I didn't know what you were singing about, but your music was (and still is) absolutely brilliant. So what do you think about that?
I take a long time over lyrics, (even though it may note sound like it!) It's the most difficult part of songwriting for me, its easy to write rubbish and take no pride, but I really feel its important that lyrics are of quality. Having said that, I guess the most important thing in a song is the melody to be honest, its internationally appreciated (or not!). Not sure if this has answered your question!!
2) Do you often give interviews? Do you feel the interest from musical press to your band? There are only three articles about Toy Dolls on your site from some journals or newspapers and I could found several interviews with the band over the Internet but they all were made until 2004. And there are no video interviews at youtube at all! I think Toy Dolls deserve better press support. Here in Russia there are almost no articles in the musical press about you. I remember your interview to the journal "Rockmusic" which doesn't exist anymore in 2003, and there was a short (but positive) review of you concert in "Classic Rock" journal in 2006 and that's all. Did you give an interview to any Russian journal since 2003?
Occasionally we do interviews, not very often however. The music press in UK totally ignores us. Most press is from central Europe or Japan. We did do a press conference the last time we came to Russia, and TV appearances, and were all were very positive. I never read reviews in the press anymore to be honest, I have been to great concerts and read terrible reviews of the same concert, and vice versa!
3) May be it's a stupid question but anyway I'll ask it. What do you think the punk is? Is it a genre of music or a way of life? And whom can you call a punk? Should a person wear some particular clothes or listen to punk music to be called "punk"? Some basics of punk philosophy (if there is a philosophy) are that one should do what one wants, listen to and wear what one likes. And basing upon this theory a punk can listen to Britney Spears, wear expensive lounge suit and work in the office if they really like it. So I'd like to know your opinion since Toy Dolls are the part of punk scene.
There are punk bands, playing punk music, and also musicians/bands playing totally different kinds of music, but they could all still be “Punk People!” Punk, for me, means doing as you like/wish without compromise. Most of the early UK bands wear the Punk leather jacket/spikey hair thing, One Way Sytem, GBH, Exploited etc, I think its fine, especially for the show and the music, we wear outfits too, it compliments the show, but not necessary to be a Punk at heart. A Punk can listen to Britney Spears if she or he wants to! If he or she is dressed as a Punk and likes Britney Spear but refuses to listen to her because he thinks shes “not Punk music” then he or she aint a Punk! And someone in lounge suit, in the office, could be more of a Punk than some Spikey haired guy in Punk band.
4) I think a couple of years ago you got yourself a new red Telecaster. Why don't you use it now? There were only few guitar lessons when you used it and that's all I think. So, don't you like it? Was it like with the proverb "an old friend is worth two new ones"?
Good question. I Used the Red Telecaster on our last tour of Norway/Sweden in 2006. Even tough I had the frets filed and pick up changed to match that of the Yellow Tele, it just wasn't the same sound, too thin and weak. I am still gonna try to get a another Telecaster that sounds like the Yellow one, of course that one has had 30 + years of sweat, smoke and beer poured on it, I am sure the sound as been enhanced because if this!
5) Some kind of music business question. You see a lot of long-lived
bands like Toy Dolls have now such a huge discography with a lot of
albums, singles etc. And for new fans it's really difficult to get all
that stuff let alone the fact that it is also very expensive. Of course
nowadays almost everything can be downloaded from the internet but that's
not beneficial for the bands. I wonder why no popular band has ever
made some kind of a collection of all their albums on CD in mp3-format?
Let's take Toy Dolls as an example. You have 11 albums save the live
ones and singles. All your albums could be put onto a couple of CDs
of good mp-3 quality. Why don't you produce such a CD or double-CD officially
so that your new fans can buy it? Or going further you can cram all
your albums, live albums and singles onto a DVD and also add there,
for example, your live in Japan VHS Video and produce it and sell. I'm
sure that a lot of people not only new fans would like to buy such a
To answer this in a nutshell, all the albums are owned by various different record companies, so it would be really difficult to get all of them to agree on a release such as you mention. I am sure this is the case with lot of bands who have been playing together for 25 years+. I guess this is one of the main reasons.
6) How on earth do you produce split harmonics??? I feel myself stupid asking it since I've watched your guitar lesson about it and the other one dedicated to Toccata where you also explained them but I still can't understand how to produce them on the guitar. I looked for lessons on split harmonics over the Internet but couldn't find any. Are they the same thing as pinch harmonics? Will I be able to produce split harmonics using ordinary pick? Or is a secret in the fact that you don't use ordinary pick? What should I physically do with my right hand? Please, please help me!
Split harmonics add colour and feeling and contrast to guitar playing, though they can sometimes be overplayed, as hi-lites they are great, but I wouldn't worry too much mastering them, occasionally they may just happen. Some guitar players never use them. If you are adamant about learning them just keep watching the guitar lessons on the website and zoom in! Pinch harmonics are the same thing! And yes you can use an ordinary pick, no problem! Difficult to explain in words, but only the very tip of the pick should pinch the string, your right hand fingers should be just behined the tip! I will show in Moscow if ya there!
Well that's it with the questions. Since many people are asking you about the guitar tabs I thought I could send you a link to probably the best guitar site on the web and there are quite a few of decent Toy Dolls tabs and chords. Here it is: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/toy_dolls_tabs.htm I made several tabs of your songs myself including Alec's Gone (many people are asking about that song) and Toccata and they can also be found by that link.
Cheers Alex, yeah I have seen that site, a good
Hi Olga! I'm Sofia from Argentina, i read here and in some web pages that Toy Dolls probably will come to Argentina this year (i really wish it), but my question is... there are probabilities that you visit us in the first semester? or the rumors that are certain that the band will come in September, anyway we are wainting for Toy Dolls!!!! I only want to calm a little my anxiety to see you for the first time... Thanks :) Grettings to you and the band
Sofia! Yes we will be there on Buenos Aries on 26th of September, really
looking forward to it, full details are on the tour dates page! Hope
to see you there!
have been a fan for about 25 years. I just recently found out you were
still together. On your web site I could not find any dates in the states
past or future. Do you ever make it over here, and do you have any plans
to play in the Detroit/CHi Olga here asier from San Sebastian
in Basque Country. I asked you several months ago about a vinyl pressing
of LIVIN LA VIDA LOCA single and you answered me it was a labels thing.
So i would like to contact them as i'm interested in making some copies
in vinyl, i think it's RECEIVER records, but i don't find any contact
in internet, can you help me? do you have any email of them? Hope it
can go ahead, many thanks in advance and all the best!
yeah, all the dates are on our website!, been to the States a few times!
Had a wonderful time! Detroit rocks! Receiver Records are now called
Secret Records Limited, details are on my MYSPACE site! Good luck!
Olga, I would like you to be honest and tell me and all your friends from the U.S. why you havn't performed out here with the Toy Dolls for about 15 years. Sorry to say but thats pretty lame. Whats the problem man? dont you like it over here? Hope to hear back. CHEERS 20 BEERS!!!!!!
There are loadsa places countries we haven’t been for a number
of years, cant wait to get back to all of em! Especially the U.S! The
States rock! Really! Hopefully our management will sort something soon!!
Hi Olga, really looking forward to the new album with some great riffs etc. Was browsing youtube the other day and came across the "dueling banjo's" clip, such a laugh and a great tune. Was wondering if there was any chance of including it in a live show? Would be awesome!! Cheers james
James We may bring back Drooling Banjos at some point! Though we did
play it live for a number of years! Sorry ya missed it!
Hey Olga! How come you play so few concerts in the UK? I had to go to Paris to see you play. How's about playing down here in Hastings or Brighton? Bet you'd sell out no probs.
Hope you enjoyed Paris!, and hopefully we will be back in the UK at
some point! All our crew, van/equipment are actually based in Germany,
so it doesn't make it so easy!
I hope all is well! I just read The Toy Dolls will be in Belgium August
19-21 this year. Please please please also come and perform at Lowlands
festival, which is in the Netherlands that same weekend (August 20-22).
You would make my boyfriend's day/year! He used to go to your concerts
back in the good old days (when I was about 5 haha).
Anna All is very well thank you for asking! We will be in Czech Republic
on 20th, Belgium 21st, so I guess theres always a chance of Lowlands!
Keep checking those tour dates!
Hi Olga, you've just got to forgive me, but I've only just become a fan of Toy Dolls. I was 16 when Punk first hit the streets back in the early to mid 70's, and the commen concensus then was that it was just a passing phase. How wrong they were! I enjoy just about any music genre from classic through to electronica & dance (apart from some of the crap that's been pushed out from the factory belt over the past 5 years or so), and although I enjoy Punk, I would't actually call it my favorite. However, The Toy Dolls are just, I dunno, IT. You are just bloody marvelous, Your Lryics are funny and intuitive and how anyone can play a guitar that fast for any length of time, I dunno.... I don't know what you're using, but I'd like a bucket of it! :) My absolute favourite, though just has to be "Florence isn't Deaf". The first time I heard it, I nearly went into hysterics! Unfortunately I was driving down the Autobahn at the time. I had to pull over onto the Hard Shoulder coz I couldn't see anymore, through laughing! Bloody germans were blasting there horns at me as they sped past & that just made me worse :)) It still makes me smile now when I hear it. Anyway, to my question: I recently saw a YouTube recording of the "Dualing Banjoes". From which Concert was this and is there DVD of it? I'd love an answer, coz if there is a recording, I'll buy it.
to Toy Dolls world! And THANK YOU! That Banjo clip will be from our
video “Live in Japan”. You may be able to find it on the
Mike from Holland here. Being an avid guitar player, you are one of
my top three influential guitar players. The others being Jon Schaffer
of Iced Earth and James Hetfield of Metallica. I wonder who are your
biggest influences? Thanks, can't wait to hear your new album.
Mike Wow, I am flattered! Cheers! Biggest influences for me include
Wilko Johnson (Dr Feelgood) Chuck Berry, Steve Jones, and a thousand
hi my friend, im writting from argentina, i see u everytime that u come here, please come back again!!! are you thinking about going back this year??? PLEASE TELL ME YES!!! well my best wishes 4 u and 4 all band stay mellow! pd: i add a file, that is my leg
to you in Argentina! YES we will be in Argentina in September, check
the tour dates page for full info! We are really are looking forward
to coming back! Great leg pic!
Hi there, can you tell me how much the Toy Dolls charge for a gig please? It's for a rock bar in South Shields. Thanks, Charlotte
Charlotte South Shields eh!? My home town! You need to contact management/booking
on our website for live shows, theres also information on my Myspace
for arranging gigs.
Hello Olga, I have one quick question for you. How do you play lead and rhythm guitar at the same time so well on your recordings and live. Do you have any tricks? Sean
Hi Sean Recording is easier, I can play the rhythm and lead parts separately!
As for live shows, I am essentially a rhythm guitarist, and I also try
to write guitar parts/solos that sound fine with just one guitar, most
of the time! Not much help eh!?
Hello Olga! It's Kane from Nottingham! Didn't get the chance to see you this time so hopefully you will come to Notts on the new tour? Here's a question that has really been bugging me! Do you have Asthma?! Haha! Cheers! Kane
Kane, Sorry you missed the Nottingham gig, twas very enjoyable! Yeah
I have Asthma,it sucks, but what can ya do!? since I was 21 (about 3
Just wondering what is your favourite line-up in the Toy Dolls?
There has been some changes over the years! Also wondering: What is
your favourite beer :-) Hope to see you soon in Norway!
Daria Yes, there have been many line ups! My favourite must be the present
Line up of Tommy & Duncan, and I really mean it! Beer, that's a
lot harder question to answer! Probably Japanese Asahi
Hello again, Thank-you for reading my first e-mail and replying :) I commented on how I loved your music in all it's glory. I was wondering if there was anyway of me getting involved with the new album (30 Years of Toys) in anyway. I do play guitar (never going to be good as you but I do try :) ), piano and I would try to sing along side you like Turtle Crazy (one of my favorite songs along side My Wife's A Psychopath! and Spiders). I know am dribbling on a-bit but I really want to get involved but if I can't I understand. Ill carry on letting my mates know about you and try to advertise you as much as I can. Good Luck with the new album :) Best of Luck Paul Hutchinson
Paul, thanks for the offer! Will bear you in mind for anything on the
new album! Cheers for your support.