Self-Love and Other Fun Stuff | A chat with rock n’ roll mermaids The Aquadolls

w/ Incubus and Sublime With Rome | 7:00pm | Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 14141 Riverport Dr. | All ages | Tickets from $25

The Aquadolls—singer, guitarist, and founder Melissa Brooks, drummer Jacqueline Proctor, and bassist Keilah Nina—have a very ‘60s vibe reminiscent of The Honeys mixed with ‘90s alternative rock, the latter a perfect fit for their tourmates, Incubus and Sublime With Rome. The southern California trio’s harmonies are distractingly good, making you forget to listen to the lyrics, so you have to listen to the songs over and over to get all of the meat out of them. We spoke to Brooks right before the band comes to our fair, humid, oh-god-so-humid city.

The Arts STL: Where did the name Aquadolls come from?

Melissa Brooks: One of my friends from high school made it up and it comes from rock n’ roll mermaids.

I love this. How many of the band members have a rock n’ roll mermaid tattoo?

Not yet, but we’ll hopefully get that sorted out. We’re only a week or so into our tour so we’ll have to get that taken care of.

When were the Aquadolls born?

I was personally born in 1994 and started singing from grocery carts about a year and a half later to anyone who would listen. 2012 is when I started the band.

A decade – that’s so impressive! When was your “fuck it, I don’t wanna do it anymore” stage of the band?

We had a rough patch I kind of got my shit back together, but since then we’ve been the best we’ve ever been. Not everyone is always on the same page, and it’s hard to find people who want to do this lifestyle. It’s not easy, you don’t sleep a lot and it’s very stimulating. It’s hard to ask folks to do. It took me seven of those ten years to find Jackie and Keilah.

I’m so glad you kept at it. This is joy-based music. What do you want me to feel when I’m listening to your music?

It’s really all of our feelings rolled into our albums. Self-love, breakups, body image, and empowering songs, but also silly songs that are about fun stuff, pizza, and vomiting in people’s cars.  Life in general has so many ups and downs and I feel like our music takes the same ride.

I’m so excited for the show because YOU – three women – are fronting for Sublime and Freaking Incubus. Please tell me how the fuck that happened?

Oh, our manager is amazing. He goes surfing with the guys from the bands. We got to meet Incubus backstage at Ohanafest and they were great. And then our manager called and said that he landed us the perfect gig, and he was right.

That’s the kind of thing that people dream about happening – how wonderful for you.

What is the song you’re proudest of writing and why?

Our new record is coming out in the fall, and we have a new single coming out called “Beachy,” but this is the first album that we’ve done as a trio and we really, truly put our entire heart and soul, our whole selves into the nine tracks on this album. They’re all brand new songs, focusing on body self-love and relationships with people, romantically or otherwise. It’s very ‘60s meets ‘90s, inspired by our first record and a piece of all of us is in it. We all wrote songs for it. It’s going to be called Charmed and have this mystical, fairytale energy around them.

This is so exciting for you. Remember to stay hydrated in St. Louis and be present in the moment. Don’t forget that this is such a big deal for you guys. Remember to own it. I’m so proud of you and I don’t even know you.

Have a good concert, AquaDolls. I’m delighted that you’re coming to our town. | Melissa Cynova

Aquadolls on tour with Incubus and Sublime With Rome

08.12 Bonner Springs, KS Azura Amphitheater

08.13 Maryland Heights, MO Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – St. Louis

08.14 Tinley Park, IL Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Chicago

08.16 Rogers, AR Walmart AMP

08.17 Dallas, TX Dos Equis Pavilion

08.19 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

08.20 Austin, TX Germania Insurance Amphitheater

08.22 Phoenix, AZ Ak-Chin Pavilion

08.24 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheatre

08.26 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre

08.27 Irvine, CA FivePoint Amphitheatre

08.28 Chula Vista, CA North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre

09.01 Ridgefield, WA RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater

09.03 Bend, OR Hayden Homes Amphitheater

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