Sunday, October 05, 2008

the future of the dresden dolls

thank you all for your many recommendations of "wicked".
read it. loved it. haven't seen the musical. any good?

i'm holed up in the wonderful brighton home of the author and musician rohan kriwaczek, making teas and toasts, stealing his internet and trying to catch up on life.

a bunch of you asked about the band thing.
here goes, as honestly as possible.

there was a foibley chain of events that went down about a week ago when brian posted a comment - to a youtube clip - saying that the band was "over":

the video is kind of lame - it's obviously a journalist's attempt to get some traffic by posting something sensational, especially the way it's cut together and subtitled,
but since you're all off searching for it anyway because of my last post, here it be:

a bunch of people responded in a "WTF" manner, and brian and i both went over to the shadowbox and posted comments trying to explain what's going on.

the long and short of it....?
life in this band is not easy.
never has been; never will be.
there's never been an easy, crystal-clear channel of communication, it's always taken lots of work and translation, and heaps of understanding from both sides.
and it's one of the reasons that brian and i sort of drive each other nuts.

for better or worse, as you can tell from this blog, i am an over-communicator.
i like to talk feelings into the ground, chat until 5 am or later about something if it's a problem.
this is not brian's style. for those of you who have met brian in person, he's a totally sociable and insanely nice in extremely warm-hearted guy.
but when conflicts arise, he and i have very different ways of dealing.
mine is (typical chick) to bang on the door and demand a conference and make-up session.
his is (typical dude) to unplug the phone until he's ready to talk. sometimes (as i learned last year, with bated fucking breath) this can take months.
this has made our relationship difficult at best, for years.

brian posted on the forum that we've decided to leave things "open-ended" and that's pretty much where we're at . . . we've been touring and making records for enough years and dealing with our own personal conflicts that we're BOTH happy to spend some time away from the band. very healthy. very normal.

on that note...i could tell you about the first time the dresden dolls broke up, back in 2001. before anyone on the internet cared.

tears were shed. discussions were discussed. things changed. we re-formed. nobody was around to notice.

i could tell you about the time when the dresden dolls almost broke up for the second time (in new york, 2003, after a show at tonic). or the third (boston, 2004, in the attic of my house). or the fourth (london, 2006, in the lobby of a hotel. i think it was 2006. somewhere around then. check the date of the avril lavigne karaoke. it was that week).

this band has gone through SO MUCH SHIT that we could fill a 22-volume novel called "the pain behind the punk cabaret" and make millions on the mini-series.
love, sex, betrayal, jealousy, violence, silence, all the juicy shit. honey, it would take a decade.

this is not the stuff i blog about. this is the stuff that stays between the four walls of the band. as it should.
we go through the pain we go through with each other, and always have, because WE LOVE WHAT WE DO.
the bullshit? mostly we've considered it WORTH IT. the same way that touring is worth it.
brian states in the interview that i hate's not really true.
i hate conflict.
touring, for a long time, bred conflict with brian.
and i hated that.
i'm very, very happy touring right now, even with a broken fucking foot in the coldest, ghetto-tastic venues in europe . . . because there's no conflict.
there is no doubt that the touring lifestyle is weird. but when we play shows, and hear people talking about how much they're moved by our music, it's worth any amount of impossible interpersonal bullshit, conflict and discomfort. it's WHY we did it, it's WHY i do it, it's why we didn't break up in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006 and why we are not breaking up in 2008.

so i repeat: the dresden dolls aren't broken up.
we're just taking a BADLY needed hiatus.
this is, to date, what the band has decided, and the wording we've agreed upon.

on the contrary, we are expanding the empire. it really pisses me off to see people feeling the needs to take sides as they comment pissily on boards and on youtube ("amanda's better off without brian!" "brian's better off without amanda!" "why is brian in this other band?" etc. etc.). what's good for the goose is good for the gander, ladies and gents, and if my solo record brings more attention to the dresden dolls (and hopefully it will) than fabulous. if brian's work with world/inferno does the same, awesome. we love our band. we want it to grow. everything feeds everything. and it all comes back.

while we work on other projects, get perspective and travel the world doing god knows what (i'm overdue for a ten-year retreat at an ashram in india, i also want to learn to surf, and write a book, and learn to play piano) we will continue to live in the ears, souls and minds of all who discover us anew, with your help. and more than likely, we will return to kick ass on the vast stages, speakers and other exciting platforms of the future. i am still praying for a mass teleporter, so we can do shows on the moon.

like i said in that interview: i love making music with brian viglione way too much to imagine that we won't do more.

in our own way, brian and i really, really love each other. our relationship has, i think, been one of my life's greatest teachers.
we've committed a huge part of our young lives to each other.
we speak music together perfectly. it's the rest that's hard.
but any relationship is like that.
right now we're pretty firmly entrenched in our projects (me in my solo record & tour, and brian in his new kick-ass band, world/inferno, who you should go see, because they're awesome and old friends of ours).
and if nothing else happens, i'll be super fucking bummed.
and if one of us dies, that'll suck too.
and if the world collapses, then ... nobody will be around to give a shit about one little punk cabaret band.
but, for now, let's be optimistic.

with as much strength as i can muster, i say to you:
long live the punk cabaret.

can i get an amen.




toaster mcmuffin said...

I didn't even know there had been rumors of a new breakup, but this is really great to read. There is that tinge of longing for a time before everyone's drama became magnified through the computer screen across all venues of unending social networks, but without it, there'd be no way to build these really powerful (cyber) emotional connections to people we wouldn't have the chance to connect with otherwise.

I've seen three of your shows and l love your music, but this blog is still my favorite part of the Amanda Palmer/Dresden Dolls experience.

Alice Bag said...


C xx said...

*nods* Amen.

Stella Was A Diver said...

amen :)

Colin Morris said...

Long live it indeed. Sensible breaks sounds a good plan - much better than the strain-it-till-it-breaks approach.

Kate said...

Thank god. A hiatus I can understand. I can deal with that, and more importantly, completely empathize with that.

As childish and needy as it probably sounds, I wouldn't have been anywhere near the realm of ready for the actual demise of the Dresden Dolls. I've made the band too much an inseparable part of me to lose it just yet. An actual, final, non-negotiable break-up would feel, I think, very much like the death of a friend.

Jazzy Stardust said...

Thanks for this...reassurance. I knew you guys could never be split up for sure! I understand its nice to try other projects and such.
Long live the punk cabaret!!

Halo33 said...

everyone needs a break sometimes..

absence makes the heart grow fonder..

everything happens for a reason..

and all that junk...

just keep doing what you are doing.

Jo said...

good luck to the both of you

hope the hiatus doesn't last too long

Blackbeard said...

Sounds like you both need to read Men Are From Mars.

:-D The shit y'all go through doesn't sound that much different than any married couple . . .

Lyra and Will said...

When I first heard the Dresden Dolls, I thought it was just you and a drummer. The more I listened the more I heard the Dresden Dolls, *band*, sounds trite, but it's true, it's more than the sum of the parts. So I hope we see you back.

I remember a quote from one of the Attractions who said that after about 20 years of mutual hatred they realised that they just had loads of great songs they wanted to play and they didn't hate each other not to. So fingers crossed.

I was at the Brighton gig, loved it - I just want to avoid saying the word "awesome" because I'm too old and too English for that. Half Jack with Zoe Keating was, well, awe inspiring, chill inducing, utterly brilliant. In fact don't think I've been at a gig for years where even the support acts were completely part of it.

But you're much so much smaller in real life than on the internet...

muruch said...

I wasn't exactly surprised by the "announcement", as I knew you'd broken up unofficially in the past and were both busy with new projects this year. But it was still a sad thing to read, particularly because of the way it was handled.

I've commented here a few times over the years and communicated with Madison House and your new manager Emily a few times regarding reviews, but realize I'm just part of the fray. I first heard of The Dresden Dolls back in '04 from author Caitlin R. Kiernan, and have been one of your many rabid fans ("enthusiasts"!) ever since. I was happy to see you branching out into a solo career, but was hoping it would not adversely affect the future of the band. I still hope that you two will reunite again after time has passed, but I also expect that the success of WKAP might be pulling you in a new direction (great for you, but a lil sad for us Dolls fans:). Anyway, whatever happens, I appreciate all of the truly unique work you and Brian have done both together and separately.

I've been waiting for some special occasion to give away my extra copy of the "In Paradise" DVD to another Dolls fan...this isn't exactly what I had in mind, but somehow seems appropriate. I won't spam the link here, but the DVD contest is going on at Muruch until the end of the month if anyone is interested.

Julia said...

Sounds like a break is definitely necessary. I look forward to hearing you guys together again whenever that happens.

(Wicked the musical is very much disney-ified, I suspect you would not enjoy it if you liked the book a lot.)

My Logic Is Techno said...

I wish you both the best of luck and hope things turn out the way you want them to.

Dresden Dolls has always been who I turn back to when I want to love music again. I have a lot of respect for you guys.

Have fun

Elise said...

drama llama.
all you say makes sense.
people shouldn't be freaking out.
you guys are both adults.
take a deep breath and press on.

Caroline said...

amen, yo.

Len Tower Jr. said...


i'm happy for each of you,
when you are each happy


emma said...

Long time listener, first time poster...

Just got your solo album yesterday, very much loving it thus far. Been a fan for several years. So you guys together in the (then) Temple Bar Music Centre in Dublin with a pile of people ten years younger, and infinitely kooler *lol*, than me - quite an experience!

Erm, ramble muchly... just wanted to HIGHLY recommend the Wicked musical. Yes, it's a bit fluffier than the book, but I think you'd (hah, like I know you personally!) love the hyperbolic quality of the music and lyrics.

St Martin (The Bald) said...

Of course we would all love to think that all is ALWAYS well in DD land but life's not perfect and sometimes ugly but that is what makes it beautiful. Your music together has touched me and I would be sorry to see you part ways after seeing so many great shows and listening for hours on end. I hope there are more great Dresden Dolls shows to see but no matter what - I will always support both of you in your artistic endeavors!

sunshinereavis said...

no you must read 'son of a witch'...

sunshinereavis said...

that's suppose to say 'now'...and another amen for ya lady!

periculum said...


thank you for addressing this, I was really upset when I heard about the "breakup" :( I understand the whole hiatus thing though, I really do--a lot of times a band needs a break in order to start seeing things in a different light and make even better music. I've got faith in you guys!

In the mean time, I'll be very content enjoying your solo project. I can't wait for November 21st!

springkuikentje said...


andy said...

I'll bet you can get several men.

King Baby Duck said...

Don't worry. The Dolls are for life. I wouldn't even dream of them breaking up. If they did, the world would explode!

Amanda: if you want to read another good book, I highly recommend "Sock" by Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller). It's fucked up, but awesome at the same time. (I wish Satoshi Kon would adapt it into a movie.)

Innocence said...

I totally freaked out when I saw a throwaway comment on a youtube vid: 'RIP Dresden Dolls'.
I was sad. And then I read this and wasn't.
And you do that for me every time, Amanda. Love! <33

Innocence said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abi. said...

amen amanda!

an 18 year old fan from Argentina whose life you've totally changed

jj said...


Me and my two daughters are looking forward meeting you on the 24th in gent, Belgium.

Long live punk cabaret


Paul said...


Everything thinks. said...

Dear Amanda fucking Palmer;

I'm a nobody brazilian fan, who you probally will never meet, a country that probaly you never met, and it's so funny how what happens to your band and to your lives affect us. I know a lot of people who spends a lot of time with your band, with you. And most of the times they never are recognized. Well, i just want to say that would be great if the DD don't ends. But i'd like to say too, that we all great brazilians want the best for the both of you. We just want to see our fucking idols happy. You've always been my example. You've always looked so great to my eyes. Dear Amanda, when i grow up I want to be as isnpirational as you. Our admiration for you is very large, people think it's stupid, wasting time. For us it is a hobby. For us it's just Punk Cabaret, but we like it. If each of you follow a different way, we wish good luck, we'll just keep this kind of punk Cabaret playing in our ears forever, because it has taught us much, because everything is in our fuckin' hearts . If DD continue on the road, then we will continue with the Punk Cabaret, anyway. Therefore, it is done the better for both. Our best teachers, the only legitimate Punk's cabaret. I do not know if you will read this, but could not stop saying, we Brazilians, we will be forever with the fuckin' Dresden dolls.

Caroline. (And all the brazilians.)

Can I get another Amen?


AnaBanana said...

I'm so glad to hear this! It would be terrible for me to lose the magic of the music you guys make.

By the way, Amanda, just wondering but do you guys still accept the gifts and trinkets and letters at the address listed in your FAQ section?


thefracturethatwillbreaktheman said...

Some friends and I caught your show Friday night in Koko, you were spectacular. The support, the songs, the everything, Amanda you're amazing! I took like 2million photos and some came out kind of ok if you'd like them maybe drop me an email if you get a chance. I know you're incredibly busy.


Stefan said...

As a visual artist who has sat in with a few bands while they've made music: I honestly don't know how any band stays together. All the stuff I do in my head, the whole creative process, now has to be decided by a group. That's personal stuff! I don't get how every recording session or any attempts at songwriting doesn't dissolve into a fistfight.

molly said...

You are both unbelievably talented so I know whatever you do will be amazing! With that said, I really love you two together! I mean you're brilliant! It's refreshing! I'm using exclamation points just so you know how enthusiastic I am about your band, which I am. Plus, I've never seen you in concert and I feel like it's a very important life goal of mine. Also, Amanda I love your boots!!

babpacih said...

wait you broke your foot? when did that happen?
that sucks. but the being able to walk again is one of the coolest feelings ever. its like your a baby but this time u can enjoy it!
get better!!!!!

weirdspirit said...

You can't disappear! you're my life!

e said...

Thanks for easing my fears before I even knew I was supposed to be upset about the Dolls being broken up!

More to the point, I wish you and Brian HUGE success at everything you each choose to do. It's not like you have to be chained together every minute until Armageddon!

RickWyld said...

Your story is very human. Many years ago I learned that there is absolutely no relationship between friendship/shared values & the ability to travel together. Two people can be soulmates and yet drive each other freakin' crazy when they travel together. Conversely, you can often find a perfect travel companion in someone you don't particularly fancy. Some people have a need to plan, organize, and be at the train station 1 hour in advance. Others of us are always running through the station, jumping on a train as it pulls out and sweatily praying it is heading to the correct destination. Some folks need the constant stimulation of a TV on in the hotel room, whereas others need quiet and a tub full of hot water.

The best art comes not from a partnership where both parties are the same in every way, but when differences create a spark, exploration, and bring two creative visions into a common purpose.

I look forward to the next period of detente and the creative flowering it will bring! In the meantime, peace to you both!

jess said...

Hi Amanda - thanks so much for your time last night (interview from Melbourne) I totally loved talking to you and would love to interview you again when you come "down under" - so many questions and sooo little time. I will scan and e-mail you the write up if you are interested. Really amped to see you perform - I just know it is going to be totally rock! Hope the foot isn't too much of a pain in the arse and champion you for performing with it!! Love what you do and how you do it - Jess

EstHetica said...

Oh ok, good news then.
I am almost desperate, i was looking forward to see you in Milano from such a long time.
Unfortunately, the public transport is on strike on friday, and i Just don't know how to reach MusicDrome.. I'll try something... But it will be hard.
This is so frustrating

Jess said...

I ran to get your cd. You leave people breathless, what a gift! We look forward to seeing you in Utah

NarukoChan said...

oooooh, a million times AMEN.

love on you, Amanda.
(heeeey the show in Paris was SO GREAT ! thank you a dozen billions times !)

Owen said...

Dear Amanda Palmer,

A while back you wrote here about a horrible experiene when you were younger with a lost tampon. Thought you might like to see this funny video with lots of real advice for women who get in this predicament.

JackOfHearts said...

Something happened and I must have missed it...

When did fame run away with you, Amanda?

The Rogue Scholar said...

It's a relief to know the band isn't broken, since I'd lose my main source of musical inspiration and dust would likely collect on my ivory keys and composition books of lyrics would lie in some forlorn corner of my room.
Though I must say I think I've finally found a blog that I can read without gagging on pretension or bullshit. =)

(P.S *insert gratuitous amount of gushing here*)








Nmx! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nmx! said...

*sheding a tear*

good luck. get back together and come play in argentina you fuckers!

love you both, in that sick and bizarre fan type of love!

rainbowcarnage said...

Amen :)
I just recently discovered you guys so this is really great news!