Rock n Roll
The Donnas Interview from Shark Sandwich
The Donnas are an all girl band from Palo Alto, California. They just recently released their latest album, American Teenage Rock and Roll Machine on Lookout Records. It was a co-release with Super Teem Records who also put out their self titled debut. They've been rocking since they were around the age of 14 putting out a bunch of singles on Super Teem and collaborating with Darrin Raffaeli of Supercharger. This interview was done on February 27, 1998 after their show with the Groovie Ghoulies at the Lizard and Snake Cafe in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. BC and Slade from The Mustangs helped me a great deal with this interview with all of the Donnas.
SS: HOW DID THE BAND GET STARTED?
DONNA A: When we were 13 in the 8th grade, Donna R and Donna F
played bass and guitar and they asked, Donna A (me) and Donna C to play with them for a
show called "Damn The Green" which is, you know, just a dumb show.
BC: DID YOU PLAY COVERS? WHAT COVERS DID YOU PLAY?
DONNA A: "Big Mouth" by The Muffs
BC: SO WERE YOU GOOD EVEN THOUGH YOU ONLY HAD A COUPLE OF WEEKS TO PLAY?
DONNA C: Well I could play the cover songs, but I mean it was really hard. We practiced everyday afterschool because we had nothing else to do and we really wanted to sound good. All the boys at school were like, "Oh so you're going to play the drums, huh?" and they would just be really rude about it.
BC: WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST KICK THEM IN THE BALLS?
DONNA C: We're not violent, besides it's cooler to just prove them wrong.
BC: WERE YOU HAPPY WHEN KURT COBAIN DIED?
DONNA R: No! I wasn't happy. It's not like we don't like Nirvana or
that we hate them, it's just that those guys were really unoriginal and played the same
song over and over again.
SLADE: THEY'RE NOT GOING TO SAY THAT THEY HATE ANYONE BECAUSE THEY'RE FROM CALIFORNIA.
DONNA R: No! We hate people!
BC: YOU GUYS HAVE GRADUATED? HOW WAS THAT?
DONNA R: Ya we graduated last year, class of 97. It was really
BC: WERE THEY REALLY RETARDED? BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO SEE THAT!
DONNA R: (laughs) No!
SS: YOU GUYS ARE BIG METAL FANS RIGHT?
THE DONNAS: Ya!
BC: SO DID YOU GUYS LIKE NELSON?
THE DONNAS: Ya!
BC: "AFTER THE RAIN" OR "LOVE AND AFFECTION"?
DONNA R: Both.
SLADE: SPEAKING OF VIDEOS, ARE YOU GUYS DOING ONE?
DONNA R: Well we have enough money to [do a video] right now. MTV called and asked Lookout if we had a video and we said no, because we don't. Technically we could make one, but it would be so low budget that they'd probably only play it on 120 Minutes. So why bother? Because the point of having a video is promotion and nobody really watches 120 Minutes.
BC: BECAUSE IT'S TOO LATE. I MEAN YOU HAVE STUFF TO DO THAT'S BETTER THAN WATCHING TV, ESPECIALLY MTV!
DONNA A: Hey I watch MTV!
SS: SPEAKING OF "WRAP," ARE YOU GUYS BIG FANS OF THE MUMMIES?
DONNA A: The Mummies? We're friends with some of them.
DAN PANIC: ASK THEM WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE CHICKS IN A BAND! (laughs)
DONNA R: (laughs) Ask Panic what it's like to be a fucked up blonde
guy in a band.
SLADE: FETISHES, WHAT ARE YOUR FETISHES? I KNOW YOU'VE GOT ONE, EVERYBODY'S GOT ONE!
DONNA A: I don't have any.
SS: ANYWAY...HOW'S THIS TOUR GOING SO FAR?
DONNA C: Good.
BC: THAT'S DILLUSIONAL THOUGH, OH WELL WE WON'T GET INTO THAT. SO ARE THE DONNAS GOING TO COLLEGE?
DONNA F: We went to college for a quarter. Me and Donna R in Santa
Cruz and she [Donna A] went to Berkeley. Donna C took off and she's going to go to NYU.
SLADE: WHAT ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO DO WHEN BAND MEMBERS GO OFF TO COLLEGE?
DONNA R: We already have gone off to college. Well she [Donna C]
hasn't gone but basically if things keep going really good, she's never going to go.
SS: DID YOU SEE KISS ON THEIR LAST TOUR?
DONNA R: No and you know why? We had tickets and they cancelled the show 10 days before.
SS: DO YOU HAVE ANY OF THOSE KISS TOYS?
DONNA R: Ya, I've got three of the new ones, the action figures. But
they were all out of Gene because Gene is the most popular. And I bought them at Toys R Us
and I didn't get a set you know. After I bought them, I was so mad because I realized that
I should have gotten a set. Now you can only find Gene if you get the whole set and the
set is like $70-$80. So...I don't have all four. I would much rather have the old ones,
but those are worth $200 each.
SS: WHAT ARE THE DONNAS' FUTURE PLANS?
DONNA A: We're going back to our hotel room to party with The
Groovie Ghoulies. We got like 30 more shows straight. Then we're going to watch Jenny
Jones and do some laundry.
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© 1998, 1999 Jon Michaels. All rights reserved.
Donnas Interview." Shark Sandwich. Issue #4, April 13, 1998.
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