The Wind Up Dolls

The Wind Up Dolls

BandRock

Great rock bands turn up in the most unusual places... like an Australian town of around 1900 people. When recording their current album the band had to break from production after a highly venomous red-belly-black snake slithered through the control room mid-take. Such were the humble beginnings of this world-class debut, mastered by George Marino of Bon Jovi, AC/DC and Coldplay fame. Now they’re touring Australia to promote the album.

Biography

Great rock bands turn up in the most unusual places. Go searching and you’ll find terrific music being made beyond the fringes of big city life. The Wind Up Dolls hail from the Lockyer Valley where they’ve recorded a stellar debut, Death By Misadventure.
At the heart of the band is the creative hub of Rachel and Marty Smith. The Wind Up Dolls recall the urgency of The Baby Animals and the Divinyls as they drag classic Australian rock into the new millennium.
“I think that’s where we’re really aiming to go with it, ” confirms front woman Rachel. “Marty and I both come from different places musically. But, because we gig so much, it’s all about the live experience for us.”
The band conceptualized and arranged much of the Death By Misadventure while touring. You don’t get away with sub-par songs and shows if your living depends on it.
“The album was written over a couple of years,” confirms Rachel, “there’s a huge pile of songs we drew from. Some of them are quite recent.”
Highlights on the album include the first single ‘Ready To Burn’ as well as ‘The Leader’, ‘Prisoner’ and ‘Angel’. Rachel composed the songs on either piano or bass. From the outset, there was always a clear vision that the music would be brought to life by a rocking band.
“At the end of the day we’re both live musicians,” she explains, “and we wanted a really good sounding band album. We didn’t just want session players coming in and out; we wanted to keep that energy of a live band. I write with a view to live performance.”
Both Marty and Rachel find it hard to ‘pin point’ influences, but take one listen to Death By Misadventure and you’ll spot the caliber of their work.
“As a writer I really resonate with John Hiatt, Drew Womack, Tom Petty, Don Walker – real singer songwriter geniuses,” reveals Rachel. “I like the early Elton John Trio stuff when he was really rocking out. Marty, in terms of arrangements, has a real rock history. Both of us, at the same time, were listening to a lot of classic Aussie rock, we kind of met in the middle with that.”
Wind Up Dolls are committed to being independent artists. So much so that the pair built their own studio, which they’ve fittingly dubbed, El Rancho.
“Both of us have a clear idea of what we want to do,” admits the singer, “Producing the album made us ‘own’ that idea a lot more. We did all the instrumentation on the album, apart from the guitars, so you’re really thinking through what you want and how you want to arrange it.”“We own it a lot more, even down to distribution. We wanted to create a band sound. We love playing live, we want to be on the road, selling it on line or out of the back of the van at gigs”.Marty Smith has earned a reputation as a ‘go to man’ when it comes to session drumming. He’s also got a savvy head for production. After the album was mixed by Jason Millhouse (THD, Josh Arnold) Marty set his sights on securing one of the best mastering engineers on the planet, George Marino from New York City’s Sterling Sound. Once contact was made, ‘tapes’ were shipped to Tenth Avenue for Marino to weave his magic. Marino’s CV is impressive, going back to the early 1970’s through to now. He’s mastered work for the likes of Coldplay, The Offspring, Bon Jovi, AC/DC and The Arctic Monkeys.
“I didn’t know a lot about what they’d done,” begins Marty, “but I looked at George’s credits and then looked at the rock CDs in my personal collection and he had mastered around half of them; things like Guns N Roses Appetite For Destruction and Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood. There was ground breaking rock albums and then more current things like Dresden Dolls, Dream Theater… lots of things that sonically I really liked.”
As a rhythm section, the pair are impressive. Marty’s playing reflects a broad palette, with influences ranging from 50’s jazz players through to more contemporary rock players. “The minute Rachel picked up the bass she had a great technique and her feel was an instant thing,” explains Marty. “[Playing bass] really frees Rachel up to front the show. Apart from Suzi Quatro I can’t think of too many front people, female wise, that are playing bass, singing and really rocking out.”
Talk to Marty and Rachel and you’ll find a love of classic albums. That’s what the band aimed for with Death By Misadventure. The pair are prepared to take the listener on a journey. Death By Misadventure is an album you’ll want to hear in its’ entirety.
“Some people upload a song or two and move onto the next thing,” considers Marty, “whereas I buy an album and want to hear the context of the album. Some albums you have in your car for a year and then they’ll click and the whole concept of the album sits.”
“We weren’t worried about putting on a piano pop song, or a detuned, dark metal song on the album, because, for me, that’s my playlist. You get in my van and you’ll hear Ben Folds and Dream Theater sitting beside each other. “
That’s exactly what Wind Up Dolls have achieved; they’ve cre

Discography

Debut Album -Death By Misadventure

Current Single - Ready to Burn
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHvDA2v2Gi8
Featured on national programs including ABC's RAGE, Southern Cross Ten's Landed Music and more.