We will be away from the 13th of May until the 6th of June. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

We will be away from the 13th of May until the 6th of June. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

We talk to Alley of the Dolls, a transatlantic duo exploring their rebellious rock roots

  • 4 min read

From the gritty soundscapes of New York and London comes Alley of the Dolls, a hard rock duo fuelled by the raw energy of the 90s. Built from the shared passion and musical talents of cousins Jacob Stephenson and Adam Pickering, Alley of the Dolls delivers a potent blend of old-school grunge. Echoing legends like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, infused with the fiery spirit of Guns 'N' Roses and the introspective angst of Smashing Pumpkins, they’re a force to be reckoned with, and we couldn’t wait to meet them.

Having already received favourable reviews from outlets like Click Roll Boom and End Sessions, the band’s impact is already undeniable. Now, with their upcoming EP ‘Urethane’ set for release in just a few days, all eyes are firmly on Alley of the Dolls. To help celebrate the upcoming release, and to get to know the band a bit better, we were lucky enough to catch up with Jacob to talk about the highly anticipated EP.

Amazing to catch up with you, Jacob. Thanks for making the time. Let’s dig deep for the first question – how did Alley of the Dolls start?

“We are cousins born just a few weeks apart, so we grew up very close and both developed a love of music from a very young age. Spending what money we did have as kids on CDs was a big part of our introduction and finding out about bands that maybe didn't get airplay on the 'Top 40'. As we got older we both have been in and out of bands and projects independently but when I was diagnosed with cancer a year ago was when we took that tragedy and made it into a positive.”

“During my recovery, I started writing new material and Adam and I just started passing ideas back and forth across the ocean (I now live on the East Coast of the USA and Adam is in London). We really liked what was coming out of this process and that's what led to us putting the band together officially.”

You’ve been inspired by some real grunge legends, but how would you describe your band’s sound?

“Definitely rock in its most root element. But we try to let each track evolve into whatever it needs to be. There is an underlying mood and dark ambience to everything we produce.”

You spoke about your battle with cancer, is it moments like that that have inspired your music? Are there other moments or experiences that have influenced you?

“I always start my writing process from a place of realness. Every track has an element of a true-to-life story at its core. Our first-ever track ‘13:55’, is written about my own first-hand experience waking up from surgery and being given some really heavy news. For obvious reasons, it is one of our darkest tracks. But every other track has some kind of life experience tied to it, either my own, ours as a band or as a friendship duo of many years, or of something we have educated ourselves about.”

“I have always appreciated a lot of the harder rock and punk bands of the late 80s and 90s as regardless of the speed and attitude of the songs they were generally rooted in real-life scenarios.”

A huge moment, the EP is coming out soon. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

“Our ‘Urethane’ EP is released later this week [April 12, '24]. The whole EP is about punching upward against the tyranny and abuse of the powerful and on behalf of all of those engaged in the daily struggle to survive and thrive. It's about freedom: the freedom to be yourself, but also the freedom from the cruelty of others.”

What’s the most important thing when you’re writing a release like that?

“Just to be enjoying what we are doing. Myself and Adam made something of a pact when we first put the band together, that we would keep producing tracks along as we were enjoying doing it.”

I know it might be a little early to think about, but what’s next for band?

“I am really not sure... more of the same I guess! We worked really hard on the EP and want to see how that is received. But we already have a couple more tracks in the works, and we will just keep producing!”

A last question before you - what advice would you give to bands and artists who are just starting and trying to find their sound?

“Just enjoy what you are doing. The point of producing music should not be about fame and money...it should be about enjoying the process. If others want to come along for the ride once you start putting on gigs and making records... that’s a bonus!”

With the new EP set for release later this month, it’s clear that Alley of the Dolls are set to make their mark. More than just a passion project, the band is an exploration of musical roots, with two big talents colliding to create a sound deeply personal and nostalgic. The unique bond, strengthened by both musicianship and blood, bleeds into their music, ensuring Alley of the Dolls delivers an electrifying experience, and a modern echo of music that was always about rebellion, raw emotion, and finding your voice.

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