5 Questions with Barb Wire Dolls

By: Brent X Mendoza

Grecian imports the Barb Wire Dolls have taken The Sunset Strip by storm, building an exponential word of mouth buzz after their stunning debut performance at The Roxy Theatre.

“Discovered” by legendary tastemaker Rodney Bingenheimer at KROQ radio, the band relocated to The States hoping to capitalize on their momentum and revamp the classic L.A. punk scene that so inspired them growing up.

So the legendary Rodney on the Roq at KROQ sort of discovered the band, helped you guys get over. Can you tell us the story?

Cindy Kona, his assistant, emailed us and let us know that we should send a CD to Rodney. This came at a point where we were fed up with the Greek rock scene because when you sing in English and play rock music, unless you are signed to a major label there, you will not get airplay on commercial radio stations. And of course, the majors that wanted to sign us wanted rights for the whole world to our music and they offered no money and they couldn’t even assure us that our CD would even be released anywhere outside of Greece. To us, this is the major reason why Greece has not produced a rock band to the masses. Even Sweden with the same amount of people has given the world so much.

And back to Rodney, one day Queen Isis called him live on his radio show and he told her that he really liked our songs “Street Generation” and “California” and that he was about to play it in a few minutes. We immediately said to ourselves, “If he actually plays us, then we are selling everything we have and moving to Los Angeles.” Moments later, he played us and we reserved tickets on-line. It wasn’t until he had played us for a few weeks straight and had invited us to play an official KROQ show with him presenting, that we finally had the money needed and the tickets were finally bought. On the first night in Los Angeles, we met up with him at Canters Deli and the rest is history.

What’s the deal with this Myspace boycott? Will we be seeing a hunger strike anytime soon?

Hah! After they switched formats, and almost everyone’s computers couldn’t handle the flash, we said “forget it” and took to Facebook accordingly. Facebook is all we need right now as long as we continue to get to the street and meet people in front of venues we are playing. Isis is great at handing out flyers on the Sunset Strip, we even have that in the song “ California ”!

As for a hunger strike, I think someone must have bought Myspace and sabotaged it. We don’t even check it anymore. No songs are up either. Only Facebook is needed today as far as a band site; we have all the songs for free download, videos, upcoming shows, etc – you name it.

What’s the music scene like in Greece? Lots of techno/house music?

There is everything and the big pop stars make millions of dollars a year. Music in all genres is available, but only the punk and rock scene with English lyrics remains totally underground. Which is also fine; this way the bands can really write and perform the music they love and not be told what to play and what not to play. It is never about the money. It is all about creative expression and freedom.

They are totally independent from the commercial side of things there but things are changing fast now. They already want us back for a tour. We’ll see how things unfold; right now we are just focusing on kicking ass at each show and finding the right company to take it to the next level.
It’s all about the music and freedom to us too even in the biggest music capital of the world. We stand strong and believe in who we are and what we play. And Los Angeles seems to be noticing and joining us in this musical revolution that has begun starting with our first show at The Roxy back in December last year.

Found any good Falafel places yet?

Right now we are not going out to restaurants unless biz people or rich friends take us out. We eat basic pasta with no cheese or PB&J almost every day. This is our dream and the luxuries of fine falafels can wait.

What were your impressions of The Sunset Strip growing up? Has it lived up to your expectations?

After watching “The Decline of Western Civilization” (both parts) and all the docu films on the L.A. sub-scene with The Germs, X, The Go-Gos, Black Flag, etc made us fantasize nonstop about The Sunset Strip. In Greece, they don’t care if you have played to thousands in the US, but when you say you played “The Sunset Strip” and “The Roxy” they go nuts!

Everyone in the music scene in Greece knows of the venues and the history of The Strip and we also feel it is the most magical energy center for music. As soon as we start cruising in our van on Sunset Boulevard and we are getting close to The Strip, we catch the vibe, the energy, and the electricity. And our music is made for this place ‘cause we are bringing back a type of music that once was here and has been forgotten for a little too long. The time is now and things are changing. The new wave of punk is here and we are rocking, rioting, and ripping it up with every show. Just come to one and you’ll get it. It’s happening right now. NOW!


Barb Wire Dolls play every Thursday in March at On The Rox. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Admission is FREE.

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