Why I love Brody Dalle by Becky Blomfield from Milk Teeth

Brody Dalle performing live
Brody Dalle performing live in 2014 (Image credit: Will Ireland)

I picked up a guitar when I was 13, and I first heard The Distillers when I was about 14. I was learning a bunch of stuff by bands that I like, most of which had male members, and I remember seeing a picture of Brody come up on MySpace with a quote next to it that said ‘I don’t play my guitar with my vagina so what difference does it make?’ I was like, ‘Who the fuck is this girl? That’s sick!’ I didn’t really know there were any girls out there playing guitar and I backed what she said. I did some research and I found the City Of Angels video and it took off from there.

I felt refreshed because she was literally the first girl I’d seen in that kind of scene. I knew there were girls in rock, but not doing straight punk and looking like Brody did. I just loved the vibe, the attitude, the gruffness in her voice, it was very much her own.

It gave me hope that there were other people out there doing it, and it didn’t matter that nobody gave a shit about me thrashing around on a guitar in Gloucestershire because I enjoyed doing it, and somebody else was kicking ass doing it.

The Distillers were a gateway and I went back through certain bands. I heard Drain The Blood on a compilation CD. There was one years ago with a magazine where Billie Joe from Green Day put a compilation CD together of his favourite punk bands and Drain The Blood was on there; I really really liked it and that was that. Then I found out about other bands like Operation Ivy and fell down the punk trap.

When I was 14 I cut all my hair off and dyed it bright red, which I was thought was very cool at the time. I think I was way more shaped by that kind of scene – image-wise, music-wise – nowadays I kind of do my own thing, but that’s part of it, having the confidence to be yourself.

Brody gave me confidence. I have a unique voice, and it’s not traditionally a perfect singer’s voice or a typical girl’s voice, and I think having somebody else like that gives you a little bit of a boost. It doesn’t matter that I don’t sound like X, Y or Z because someone else is out there doing their own thing and it’s working for them.

I think The Distillers’ attitude sets them apart from their peers. She really really doesn’t care, there is no censorship, which is another thing I really back. There’s not enough people telling it how it is – I land myself in far too much trouble doing that as it is. But she was one of the first people that was really like ‘You’re not going to tell me what to look like, you’re not going to tell me that I sound wrong because this is my band and this is what I do,’ and I really respect that.

I’ve never seen her live, but that would be a dream. I’ve that they’re coming back to do something this year, and if there’s a tour happening I’d like to think we’d get on a support slot.

Milk Teeth’s latest EP Be Nice is out now. Becky was speaking to Luke Morton.

Milk Teeth 2018 UK tour dates

Mar 13: Bristol Exchange
Mar 14: Oxford Bullingdon
Mar 15: Liverpool Buyers Club
Mar 16: Huddersfield Parish
Mar 17: Edinburgh Mash House
Mar 19: Manchester Deaf Institute
Mar 20: Birmingham Mama Roux’s
Mar 21: Milton Keynes Craufurd Arms
Mar 23: London The Underworld
Mar 24: Bournemouth The Anvil
Mar 25: Plymouth The Junction

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