Sammi Doll,Professional photographer as well as live Keyboardist and backup vocalist in IAMX!
(formally in My Satellite)
1) Who are your musical inspirations?
Sammi Doll: As an individual, I’ve always been inspired by strong female musicians. My first CD was Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. I was maybe 8 years old haha. Amy Lee was a huge inspiration for me growing up throughout being a teenager, she had a great attitude about the industry regarding superficiality and was in it for the music. These days I’m really inspired by the individuality of artists such as Liz McGrath of Miss Derringer, Lzzy Hale of Halestorm of course, Skyler Grey, and Emily Haines of Metric. Another huge artist inspiration that is really responsible for opening my eyes in many ways, mostly to a new appreciation of … life, music, sex, and love … Chris Corner of IAMX… I’ve listened to his music for years, even dating back to the Sneaker Pimps era… he definitely has a gift that I have yet to see anyone emulate properly…. that’s something to be admired in itself.
2) When did you start playing/writing music?
Sammi Doll: Both my parents were in a band together. My mom is a brilliant songwriter, I had no idea until recently. Everything really was set up for me without any pressure from anyone. I was always allowed to make my own decisions, and was supported in most anything I wanted to do .. even if it was different every week. I got my first keyboard the christmas of 5th grade. I taught myself how to play Fur Elise and The Entertainer by ear within the first week of having it. In high school, all of my friends were musicians… So it was easy for me to pick up a guitar, watch and learn how to play. A friend taught me 3 chord punk songs, and I suppose that was the start of that. Shortly after, I formed a band that went on to win many local awards and talent shows… Performing has always been something I’ve enjoyed, and there’s a sense of happiness that I have inside me that can only be achieved when I’m performing for people.
3) My Satellite already has an ever growing fan base, if you could go anywhere in the world on tour, where would you go?
Sammi Doll: Oh goodness. I believe this answer is different for everyone. I would say … anywhere outside of the US. Fans seems to be into music at a more extreme level when you travel further outside of America. I remember going to a show in Madrid when I lived in Spain, it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I’d of course, LOVE to play anywhere that someone will listen to us - and that includes the US :)
4) What can the fans expect from My Satellite in 2012?
Sammi Doll: Hmm. This is why doing these sort of interviews alone gets me in trouble haha! I’m not sure what I’m allowed to release or not! This is a good year for us. We have built an amazing amount of momentum and we’re ready to take it to the next level. I would say - definitely new music. The new things we have been working on is pretty intense, Expect some upbeats! There is rumor of a pretty decently sized (completely self funded) tour in the next few months - keep your ear out for that … an also an acoustic album that has been long awaited.
5) Top three all time favourite bands?
Sammi Doll: Damn. I blew my load on the musical inspirations question. Alright. IAMX always … it’s even my god damn license plate haha.Incubus circa S.C.I.E.N.C.E - Morning View.My Satellite . I know that sounds cheesy, but I mean it with all my heart. I wouldn’t be a part of this if it wasn’t one of my favorite things in the world to dedicate my time on this earth to.
6) Any chance we can get some more details on the musical collaboration you mentioned on facebook between you, Jinxx and the special guest?
Sammi Doll: Yes! I just released a little tid bit about it on my Tumblr page - It’s basically a song that my mother wrote when she was my age about her soul mate, back when she lived in London. This was 1981. It’s an amazingly well composed, beautiful song called “You Are” . For christmas, My sister, Jinxx and I re-recorded it in our little studio and gave it to her. We are still finalizing the mixes and it should be available by the end of this month for purchase through iTunes. All the proceeds of the money made will be directly donated to her animal charity - Cat Connection of Sherman Oaks, CA.
7) Tons of people look up to you and you inspire them everyday, what advice would you give them when they are faced with a huge challenge?
Sammi Doll: You know, I feel most every situation that arises can have the same formula of a solution. Sometimes what a lot of these people need to hear is that they are important. They are beautiful and unique. They are weird. And it’s totally OKAY! Truth is, people go through some shitty situations. The way to deal with it is not by sitting in a corner feeling sorry for ourselves, but learning from it and growing into a stronger person because of it. I find myself thinking a lot - “If i knew then what i know now” … but it’s a silly thought, because if I actually did know then what I know now … there wouldn’t be any progress. Life is about progress and figuring it out. It’s exciting! Our entire life is ours to mold and make our own… why waste it on trivial matters that aren’t going to matter in the end. The best advice I ever got was basically - don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. ever.
8) You are involved in some pretty cool projects right now, such as the Metallica Art Show and Hollywood Waste, how is everything going with those?
Sammi Doll: Oh man, where to start! The Metallica “Obey Your Master” Art Show is a HUGE honor to be a part of in general, let alone having it be my first gallery piece that I’ve ever submitted. To even be considered next to all the senior artists -Shepard Fairey, Nicola Verlato, Chad Michael Ward - who I continuously look up to artistically … Gerard Way, who was a major influence for me in high school … and, oh yeah, lets not forget the biggest deal - METALLICA … who are the god’s of metal itself. The pressure was definitely there - but I knew in my head once the song was selected, exactly what I was going to do for my piece. Everything fell together too easily, I can’t believe there was little to no stress organizing and creating the entire ordeal. Richard Villa III has been a huge mentor to me in many ways - he’s always encouraging me to create, and I have been ever-so-lucky to be able to collaborate with him a few times as well. He made this opportunity happen for me out of his sheer belief in me and my talent. There are no words to thank him. The event happens January 20, and is open to the public January 23-March 2012.Hollywood Waste has been another great avenue of reaching out to people who wouldn’t otherwise know who I am outside of the little bubble I live in . They are a very dedicated and fun group of people who I am also thrilled to be able to work with. New things to expect form me through there is I’ll be starting up my vlogging again in their series called FLIPPED that premieres every Friday.
9) Photography is another huge aspect of your life, your photos are stunning! Do you remember the very first camera you owned?
Sammi Doll: Thank you! I do. I started out with the same beginner kit that I recommend for everyone who ever asks me what they should learn on … It was a Canon Digital Rebel XT … they’ve since upgraded 10x since that model was produced, but the series price has always stayed the same. the kit comes with a standard 18-55mm lens that is perfect for beginners and it’s very user friendly.
10) You talked about being a photographer at Warped Tour in some of your stickam chats, what years where you there and what bands were playing?
Sammi Doll: 2007-2008 I don’t think i’m going to get the years and band correlation correct haha I might even mix up Inland Invasion when I shot that in 07 - Paramore, Circa Survive, Chiodos, Katy Perry, Angels and Airwaves, Every Time I Die, New Years Day!!, New Found Glory, Gallows, Pepper, Circle Jerks, Bad Religion, All Time Low, Chris Cornell, Killswitch Engage, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Velvet Revolver..l. there are so many bands at those types of things haha it’s impossible to name them all.
here are some silly ones, you dont have to answer these if you dont want to:
1) Best and worst first date you can think of?
Sammi Doll: Oh damn. haha. Well. Worst date -I remember having coffee with this one dude and he would not shut up about himself and how he was a race car driver and he drove his porsches around the track … every time he would ask me something about myself i would open my mouth to say a word and he would interrupt me with talking about race cars again.
Best Date - oh I’ve had a few, all with the same person. I do remember one - My fiance’ kidnapped me and took me to a drive in to see a double feature, and he packed a little picnic with champagne and healthy snacks. He’s such a romantic :)
2) You already have an adorable hedgehog, snakes and cats, but if you could have any animal in the entire world what would it be?
Sammi Doll: Don’t you think I have enough animals?! haha. My dude wants to get a husky in a few years. He’s a sucker for them.
3) Any crazy fan experiences you would like to share?
Sammi Doll: Hmm… on many occasions, people are afraid to come up and say hi to me. I don’t know why, i swear I don’t bite, and i usually smell decent hah! I’ve had a few people completely break down and cry… that is pretty intense when that happens, I never know what to do other that pet their head and tell them everything is okay!
4) one of the worlds most asked questions: Vanilla or Chocolate?
Sammi Doll: Vanilla … mostly because i can’t handle things that are too sweet, and most anything chocolate is loaded with copious amounts of sugar.
5) A funny childhood memory?
Sammi Doll: I was expelled from a christian pre-school because I slapped a girl name Charlene for stealing the happy face lego from my train tower I built. Bitch went down.
6) I have had some questions in regards to fanmail for My Satellite, where can the fans send things?
Sammi Doll:We don’t have anything set up for that YET - but we are definitely working on it :)
7) First concert?
Sammi Doll: Laugh all you like but I’ll always be proud - The Spice Girls :D
You can check out My Satellite on Facebook
Sammi Doll’s Facebook fanpage