An Interview With Anna McCarthy (Dott)

Having recently had Beatles on the brain, specifically the early years of their hysteria-inducing mop tops, I started to think about their early interviews. I started to look up some of those early pressers and was taken aback by just how many times the fab foursome was asked about money and marriage, but there were some gems amongst the clunkers. And so, inspired by the early press conferences of the Beatles, especially their US interviews, I decided to ask some of those very same questions to some of the best and brightest making music today.

Ireland's Dott marries together pops of candied vocal sweetness with some seriously gritty scuzz for a listening experience that's altogether rather enjoyable. The Galway band just released a new record, Heart Swell, on Graveface, a collection of twelve biting, sugared nuggets that speak to love, politics, and the sea (and that's just for starters).

Anna McCarthy (vox/guitar) took a few moments out of what promises to be a busy year for Dott to answer the Beatles-y Qs. Read on and get to know the lady behind the lyrics (and some of those fearsomely fuzzy riffs).


What has been your most exciting moment in the last year?

Supporting one of my ultimate musical heroes, Shellac.

Who are your favorite recording artists?

PJ Harvey, The Breeders, Steve Albini, La Luz, Beverly, Angel Olsen to name the first ones that come to mind.

Do you feel safe riding in airplanes?

Yes, although every time I do, I realise my odds of being safe are being stretched further.

Does every city look the same?

Absolutely not... and I've been to both of the Twin Cities.

What message are you trying to get across, if any?

To try to do things that bring you and others joy.

How would you describe yourself in one word?


Where would you like to go that you haven't gone yet?

Croatia, Costa Rica, and Iceland.

Do you feel that you're setting a new trend in music?

No, but I should try harder to.

What kinds of guitars do you use?

Telecaster true and true. (I've dabbled with Gretsch and Danelectro because I like musicians that use those, but Tele is the one for me)

Does anybody ever ask you for advice?

All of the time. I work with children.

How do you prefer for your fans to act at your concerts?

Like they are enjoying the music.

How do you go about writing your songs?

I try to let a melody come to me, and let it float in my head til it's ready. Then lyrics, then garage band demo. Then email it to the band and we put it together.

What is one question you would like to be asked that probably nobody has ever asked?

Would you like to take all of this money and spend it all on living your life making music and having a good time?

What do you call your sound?

Fuzzy pop.

Have you ever had a mental block-out on stage?

Too many times to remember.

What are your unfulfilled ambitions?

It'll always be the next album, or the next tour, or the next song I'm trying to write. It's never-ending.

What advice do you have for teenagers?

Play guitar and go to gigs, and have a great old time for yourself.

What is the closest you have come to losing life and limb?

Swimming into the path of a barracuda while snorkeling in Belize.

Do you think of yourself more as an entertainer or a musician, or do you think it's more of a combination of the two?

A combination of neither of them.

[posted 6.17.18]


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