In 2008, Dum Dum Girls started out as the one-woman garage-pop project of a California girl who goes by Dee Dee (real name: Kristin Gundred, pictured at left). Speaking about the humble origins of her MySpace page, Dee Dee says, "I just thought Dum Dum Girls was a cool name and I wanted to reserve it."
Since then, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter has recorded and released a batch of punk-smeared girl-group tunes for tiny indies Captured Tracks, Zoo Music, and Hozac, before getting signed by big indie Sub Pop last summer. She also put together a full band to bring her creation to the stage that includes drummer Frankie Rose, who used to play with Crystal Stilts and Vivian Girls. The quartet are set to play a handful of shows in advance of the Dum Dum Girls' debut LP, I Will Be, which hits March 30.
Produced by Dee Dee and industry vet Richard Gottehrer (who co-wrote "My Boyfriend's Back" and produced key albums by Blondie and the Go-Go's), I Will Be aims at a reverbed haven somewhere between bad ass 1960s girl gang the Shangri-Las and 1980s distortion gods Jesus and Mary Chain. The taught attack is highlighted by Dee Dee's vocals, which are both bubblegum and tough. The one-time "square, all-black, straight As, alterna-teen nerd" grew up listening to Hole and performing musical theater, light opera, and jazz before settling on her current leather-clad guise. Click on to read our Q&A with the Dum Dum Girls leader, in which she talks about singing in German, hating sweatpants, and loving Mariah Carey.