Interviewed by Marianne Jacobsen (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
Many of us wish we could master one craft in this lifetime. Meet Kim Dylla the multi-talented, super smart and totally fucking funny chick that used to be in GWAR for a sec. Since then, (and even before, for that matter) she continues to pollute our senses with her awesomeness – even when we didn’t know she was there.
Kim was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat with us – so here’s that interview:
MGM: Hi Kim. I just want to thank you for your patience and for taking the time to talk to me. I’m not used to this type of interviewing (Skype/Phone) but I guess I better get used to it.
KD: Yeah, I mean all this band stuff is just phone interviews. Occasionally you have an in-person one at like a venue but mostly just interviews where people aren’t present in person.
MGM: I think that’s a bit of a bummer. I think the in-person interviews are a really important part of the whole experience for everyone to get something good out of it.
KD: It’s cool, I mean, this allows people to do interviews really conveniently and easily which is nice and it’s not like you have to fly somewhere to do it, but it is more personal to do it in person (chuckle).
MGM: I guess it also helps to figure out who is a stalker and who is a “journalist” right?
KD: Right! (laughter)
MGM: How are you feeling? (Kim had to cancel her L.A. performance the weekend before this interview due to respiratory issues)
KD: I’m finally able to breathe; which is refreshing. I’ve got a show at the Whiskey on Sunday with Wednesday 13 and Alexi Laiho. We are doing a cover song for the Children of Bodom album which we will play at Wednesday’s show. So I’m really hoping to be able to sing on that night. I think its gonna happen (cough) as I cough. (laughter)
MGM: Get it out Girl!
KD: Another week of antibiotics and sleep are going to help.
MGM: Tell me about the history of Kim Dylla?
“KIM DYLLA IS A BADASS” – Karl Agell singer COC/KingHitter
KD: I’m a Renaissance woman I guess, I’ve always been interested in almost everything. I want to do almost everything, which leaves me little time to sleep. That’s how I do it!
MGM: Do you have a problem saying “NO”?
KD: Yeah, I’m definitely learning the art of focusing and saying no because I get excited about things. I’m like: “Oh yeah I want to do that! Oh yeah I want to do that!” And then I run myself into the ground and things suffer. So now I’m sort of learning to pick one or two music ventures. Since starting the clothing business (Kylla Custom Rock Wear) full time I’ve had to stop wrestling and I have less time for creating. I grew up in Princeton New Jersey – both of my parents are physicists. My dad just retired from being the head of physics in the country and my mother works for a German physics company. They are scientists but they have always fostered interest in the arts. I started in the arts by painting and drawing they were my first at a very young age and also piano lessons and voice lessons and I did musical theatre. I was never really good at sports. And I never was really good at friends, or relationships so a spent a lot of time buried in comic books and art and Star Wars and beer. Just creating my own world in my head.
MGM: What kind of comic books?
KD: I’m an X-Men person (laughter).
KD: I kinda got out of that world because I realized I didn’t want to make a living that way and I focus more on high art. I attended the University of Virginia and I did sort of a double major in both computer science and art – traditional painting. I started doing these large-scale paintings of physics equipment. Those have been exhibited all over and been sold now so I need to do a series. In my copious spare time. (sarcasm). While I was at college I got into my first band Thismeansyou, which I was in for 10 years and Nick Malakasis who plays with Arch Enemy was also in that band with me and we did a lot of van tours and we have a full length album out and we were just really serious but it never really gained any traction. But it was a great outlet for me and its when I discovered what I like doing most, which is being on stage and performing and being a singer, rather than playing piano or being stuck in the painting studio. So that was sort of how I came to my love for music and through that band and touring and going to shows and playing shows I’ve met pretty much the entire metal world because it’s a small world.
MGM: Is that a dream come true?
KD: Yeah I mean that was cool
MGM: Who was your star struck moment?
KD: Well I’ve only ever been star struck once. And that is Iron Maiden – because they are my favourite band and total religion. I’m friends with a lot of people in bands that I love so it’s not weird for me. However, Iron Maiden I don’t want to be friends with. I’ve met them two or three times now and every time I just go “hubububububub” (loose translation). I was very fortunate that most of the other musicians I met instead of being creepy with me which is unfortunately still a problem within the music world. I think they treated me more like a brother and that was great to have some of these rock star guys that have been around the block as my big brothers and really supportive and kind of like, telling me how it is. And also when I started making clothes, they would wear my stuff and promote it on a higher level than I could. Like right now Arch Enemy are wearing Kylla Custom Rock Wear in their new video.
MGM: So what is the most profound thing that a famous entertainer has said to you that has resonated with you?
KD: Um. “Don’t ever get famous”. (laughter)
MGM: And who said that to you?
KD: Joey Jordison.
MGM: The guy who vomits before shows?
KD: I think that most of Slipknot vomits a lot with their masks but he (Joey) was a very close friend of mine for many years and he was the first person who wore my clothing line. Through him I met a lot of my close friends now. Joey was sort of instrumental in starting this whole thing. (chuckle)
MGM: So it’s all Joey’s fault?
KD: Yeah, it’s pretty much Joey’s fault.
MGM: Have you ever designed anything for Joey?
KD: Joey wore a jacket of mine with Murder Dolls and with Rob Zombie when he played with them.
MGM: What’s the funniest rated G Road Story?
KD: You know this is funny because I have all these great road stories and they are incriminating someone or another so you can’t really…. (laughter) My road stories as Vulvatron are far more interesting. (laughter)
MGM: Come on there has to be something. I know you must have been having fun. You were on the road with my favourite band Corrosion of Conformity (COC).
KD: COC is awesome! I absolutely love them and Reed (Mullin) is one of my really good friends and we had a blast. Reed and his tribute to COC invited me on 70000 Tons of Metal and I got to sing with Cavalera Conspiracy.
MGM: They seem like a lot of fun to be around.
KD: Yeah, it was good because GWAR is a different band. They don’t like to party as much. I mean Brockie was one of my best friends in the whole world and he was on 11 (Spinal Tap reference) all the time. So without him and what happened (untimely passing of Brockie) I feel like the production with GWAR was just so huge that everyone had to do 12 hours of roadie work essentially for each show so there really wasn’t much time for crazy partying. I’m still trying to think of a good road story that you can print…(laughs). It probably has to be a story that makes me looks like an idiot.
MGM: Yeah well you take a lickin and you keep on tickin from what I see Kim.
KD: Well I always ask myself, “What would Brockie do?”. He would take like the worst things people said about him and own them x 1,000. He’d be like “Yeah I was drunk. But not only was I drunk I did all of your PCP and heroin and it bankrupted the band AND you had to explain to your girlfriend about the STD you got because I fucked a groupie in your bunk. SORRY ABOUT THAT!”
MGM: Tell me about the wrestling.
KD: I was wrestling Richmond Lucha Libre for about 6 years. They are completely awesome. I knew nothing about pro wrestling except for maybe 80’s wrestling. I did martial arts a lot in college and things like that. I was on the Kendo team like a Samurai. I have always been interested in combat. My friend started wrestling with Richmond Mucho and I went to one of their shows and I thought it was THE coolest thing I had ever seen! ‘Cause not only do they just do pro wrestling matches, but they had this whole like video story promo setup and they are putting each other through tables and it was great. And actually Brockie got in the ring with them too. So I was like “Hey, I notice you don’t have a girl. I don’t really know anything about wrestling but I wont quit. Will you train me?” and they were like, “OK”. So they basically beat me up in a park for six months trying to get me to quit and I didn’t and then they let me wrestle.
MGM: That’s becoming the story of your life. People keep knocking you down and you keep getting back up and being better.
KD: Well yeah the best part about wrestling is learning to fall down very well. When you fall down, it hurts, but learn to let it not hurt you.
MGM: Or your pride.
KD: Yeah. I mean if you cannot laugh at yourself falling down something is wrong. Falling down is always funny in any respect.
KD: Still thinking about that Road Story…
MGM: Well I just want to say that I only saw GWAR because COC was opening. I’ve never seen GWAR before and I have to say the fans walking out of that show looked so elated even though they were covered in crap. It was amazing!!!
KD: Yeah it was a lot of fun being up on that stage. We had a blast.
MGM: What are you up to these days?
KD: I am looking for a new band and I’ve got a few side projects going on. I’m also going to be on a TV show – I’m not really supposed to really say anything about that but it’s going to be a reality show (MGM LOVES REALITY SHOWS if edited responsibly). So that’s going to be really fun.
MGM: For sure!
KD: …and then I’m working on the clothing business (Kylla Custom Rock Wear) full time. My goal this year is to get a manufactured line out to the rock and roll stores around the world. Right now we are doing custom orders. I’m working on some stuff for WWE. We did Wrestlemania. We have a full wardrobe touring the world right now with Machine Head.
MGM: YESSSSSSSSSS (MGM loves Machinehead)
KD: Those guys are awesome I love those guys. I don’t see how they can go out there and play every night that intensely. I mean, they all just kind of lay on the floor afterwards. (laughter)
MGM: Ok so back to the road story…any one…
KD: One is a Kung Fu Dyke’s story – I got roofied at our merch booth once.
KD: It was not like The Hangover. It was funny because it was actually the one of the first times I brought a date with me to the show. So he doesn’t know what to think. Whenever I’ve sat at the merch booth before I’ve accepted drinks from our fans. You know? That’s part of the thing. I had never had a problem. I had in general found metal people to be very trustworthy. Like a family. There’s not a lot of sketchy things going on. So maybe I was naïve in thinking that.
MGM: I hope not.
KD: Hey at least I didn’t get any Mike Tyson face tattoos or marry any hookers or anything like that. (laughs)
KD: And I think this goes back to what Joey Jordison said about not getting famous. It brings out a lot of crazy people. And a lot of fake people. And a lot of people trying to use you. It’s like people who have money. It’s a tractor for false people. But there’s a lot of great things that come out of it too. I get to do cool things like play on stage with COC because people know who I am. And I’ve met a lot of people, not just crazy people and for me to sing – being a woman in the position of Monster Queen or Metal Rockstar is seeing just that thirst of other girls/women out there for women in that position. These girls don’t want to see women just as backup dancers; they don’t want to see the guy’s girlfriend. They want the women to be out there in positions of power and strong female role models that they can look up to. Every time I’ve walked on that stage in any band I’ve been in the majority of the females in the audience totally lose their shit. Its empowering I think and women need to see that.
MGM: Do you want to start a new band?
KD: No. I don’t want to start something from the ground up that is way too much work. I would like to join an established band that needs a singer. It would be really cool if a band that was usually with a male singer and wanted a female singer. Kinda like what we did with Brockie – I thought that was really neat. Side projects are fun because its not like you have to start something full time, you can just have fun with it and make music.
MGM: So where do you see yourself looking forward.
KD: Id like to see myself working on the clothing line 8 hours a day 5 days a week and then have time to paint and sleep.
MGM: Making sewing cool…right on.
KD: Yeah you know, making something with a very traditional stigma of a 50s housewife skills and quilting which is not very metal. Integrating that with my passion for live music.
KD: As far as a band goes, Id like to join a band that is already established and needs a singer that is Road Ready. I’m a Road Dog. I go insane staying in one place. But I do think it’s a really hard lifestyle to sustain, mainly financially. Because most people unlike me don’t have a job they can continue on with while they are on the road and it doesn’t really make you a lot of money playing metal. So maybe you have two months where you are sleeping in a van and no time off.
MGM: Is it worth it?
KD: I love it. And if you love it – that’s great. If the reason that you are doing it is to make a living, it’s not always the best means to an end. So usually some people come home and they have not made enough touring to keep them until the next tour. So they get another job and they can’t quit that or they have a partner and children – life doesn’t always set itself up so that you can just randomly leave for months at a time. It’s hard to find people who can do that.
MGM: However Kim, you are for sure one of them!
THANKS FOR THE KOOL AID REV. KIM