Courtesy of Dot Allison


FRED JUNG : What lead you to become a musician?

DOT ALLISON: Well, I've always been a musician, because the music just came about from family. In 1991, I joined this band called One Dove. There, we had this critical acclaim and some success. We had quite a lot of success in the UK with that. That was a good experience. I stayed around until 1996 and then I left, because it kind of ran aground. We had some problems with our label and things like that. Everything kind of lost it's magic which was a shame. Then, I set up my own studio in London, and this was to go solo. It was here where I started constructing Afterglow, by the end of 96, or 97, after I moved and got settled in. Since then, I enjoyed some success of Afterglow. I just seem to be growing very much at the right time, and I'm very glad that I can continue you know?

FJ: So you knew you were going to be a musician?

DOT ALLISON: Well, I think it was more of a fantasy-based aspiration. I actually went to study applied bio-chemistry.

UNKNOWN CALLER (BRITISH TELEPHONE LINES): Hello Justin? Justin? Is that you?

FJ: I'm not Justin.


DOT ALLISON: Who's that (laughing)?

FJ: I have no idea. Fucking AT&T.

DOT ALLISON: Oh yeah, don't worry, that must have been one of those phantoms in the light (laughing). But anyway, I started a degree in applied bio-chemistry in Grad School, which I left in the second year to go full time with music. But, that was my reality based aspiration. I came from sort of an exam oriented, instead of a skill oriented environment. That's why I didn't think that music was a practical type of choice, although I always loved music, and played piano. So, instead of keeping that one going, I had a safety net in a starting degree. But musically, I managed to turn it into a profession, even though I know that it isn't the easiest thing to do sometimes. But that's what it was, and it was very fun.

FJ: Speaking for myself, I am glad things turned out the way they did.

DOT ALLISON: Oh, that's so great. Thank you, that's so encouraging.

FJ: Any influences?

DOT ALLISON: You know what, I had a few favorites. I always liked Blondie, I had a quite eclectic taste even from when I was quite young. I liked a lot of the girl group stuff when I was about 14 or 15. When I was 14, my aunt gave me a huge collection of sixties pop music, and I got really into that. I have quite an eclectic taste, it's not just one person that I explicitly like. I have quite a taste. There are also things that my brother actually got me into. I learned several different bands from my twin brother, things like Iggy Pop. Yeah, so that was great, I discovered lots of different things from him.

FJ: Was your family supportive?

DOT ALLISON: Well, I think that when I left my degree that second year, my dad was kind of like, "What are you doing?" I mean they always have been supportive though. I've been really fortunate that my family has always been like, "If it makes you happy, then do it." (Coughing) Excuse me, you're going to have to forgive me, but I have this really bad cold.

FJ: I hope you're not too sick, that's never a pleasant thing. What particular person or group influenced your music the most?

DOT ALLISON: I think Brian Wilson influenced a bit of my song writing. I like how there is this type of sweet nature to him, and his work. Also, if this isn't so cold, I think that I inspired myself.

FJ: Would you say you have been more successful as a solo artist?

DOT ALLISON: Well, I think that the answer is to be yes and no. I think that One Dove was pretty successful in the UK, but it didn't really pass that. But in France, things exploded, in a way that they never did for One Dove. And also, being in the top five of the college charts in America ,with the album (Afterglow), that was amazing. We never got anywhere near that with One Dove. So I guess in America, we sound much better. So, kind of yes and no I suppose. Yeah, sometimes it's yes, and sometimes it's no.

FJ: What is your musical goal?

DOT ALLISON: Hmm. That's an interesting question. I think that I just want to grow in the right turn. I mean, I like the success, but obviously, that's not what I want. I just like to write what means something to me, and of course there is honesty in that. My goal is to never compromise that, to be able to communicate with lots of people, but of course that means that I won't be able to communicate with all of them. It's quite dementing at that point. I just want to be successful, and lead a normal life I suppose.

FJ: When you first experienced stardom, did you find it difficult to adapt to the new lifestyle?

DOT ALLISON: No, because I'm quite oblivious to that. Yeah, I don't really get like that I suppose. Even when you were saying that, I was thinking that I'm not really a star. No, I don't really get like that. I think that I'm slightly more of an adult, a bit more mature than that. I have somewhat of an intellectual foundation. You know, people might recognize you, so that's not too bad.

FJ: Do you ever feel that your musical career takes time away from your personal life?

DOT ALLISON: No, I don't feel like that at all actually, because that's the way I want to live my life. I like to be busy doing music. It's more like if I have time off, that's exactly what's holding me back from my music. I get enough time for my family, and friends, and that's where I have time to sit down and recharge my batteries. I still do communicate with a lot of them, and that's the only other real commitment that I have. So, it's not really like that. I have a good balance. I could imagine though if you have that kind of success, that type of global domination success, that's when your life becomes not your own.

FJ: What do you like to do when you're not working on your music?

DOT ALLISON: Actually, I wish that I had more time to go to the cinemas. That's one thing. I enjoy watching films. And I've done a bit of acting actually. I had these small parts in film, you know, nothing much, just a start up. But it was all really fun. It came out okay. Well, it's more of a hobby I guess, but I would like to do more of that.

FJ: Yeah, I tried that once. It didn't go too well.

DOT ALLISON: Well, it is quite difficult. It's just another way of expressing yourself. It's a completely different arena.

FJ: In your second song, "Tomorrow Never Comes," you say, "With a little courage, and time, you might forgive me." Are those lyrics written from a personal experience?

DOT ALLISON: Yeah, it is a personal experience. Well, it's about me kind of not living up to somebody's expectations. In that, I didn't reciprocate a situation in a way that they wanted me to. And, it's also about forgiveness taking strength, more strength than it takes to be angry. And courage, it takes courage to forgive someone I think. I think that it's easier to just dis someone, and to dismiss something. It can be painful to forgive someone. It's an emotional kind of thing. But I think that it's only forgiveness that can help you move on from a situation. So, it's kind of that. It's about somebody, and he's holding himself, over something, that didn't be. Cause it wasn't ever like I didn't think entirely wrong, or anything, but it was just like me needing closure from someone, if that makes sense.

FJ: Would you say that all of the songs you write are personal?


FJ: What is your favorite song on this album?

DOT ALLISON: "Tomorrow Never Comes." I wrote that one first. It's kind of a benchmark song

FJ: It's a beautiful song.

DOT ALLISON: Thank you.

FJ: Would you say was the high point in your career so far?

DOT ALLISON: Well, I think that reaching the top five in the American college charts (CMJ Charts) has been the best part of my career. That was a big deal. Cause for having been a student, I know that music has been an important thing to me in that time.

FJ: If you could address one issue to your fans, what would that be?

DOT ALLISON: It would definitely be about prejudice. It's just mindless. You know, whether it's racism, sexism, or whatever, I think that the chains got to be broken between circles, triangles, and squares. I used to work at this place, on this specific street, and every Saturday afternoon, this group of people used to march through. Well, that was all these protistants, that were like really extreme, marched through the Catholic area whistling their pipes, and banging their drums, singing their songs, and just upsetting everybody. Then you have these Catholics, and Celtics, and Facists, and then there would just be so much violence. There is just so much hatred that comes from history. But in their lifetimes, it really doesn't come from anywhere. And these people would just march along side of these other marchers, and just start picking these fights. And this was absolute insanity. I mean, where does all of this hatred come from? I would like people to see beyond the color of someone's skin, or where they're from, you know, just things like that. It's just mindless, all that pain and anger.

FJ: What do you want your listeners to take away from your music?

DOT ALLISON: I suppose that this is somewhat of a big aspiration, but I would want my listeners to feel somewhat enlightened about themselves. Cause I know that sometimes I listen to music for a backdrop, just subconsciously opening doors for me. I think music can be some sort of a vector that can take someone someplace else. The music can take you to this space, where you can go to, and just come back cleansed. Something like that (laughing). Well, that's how I feel, and I would like to give something back, that I've gotten out of it. And that would be that.

FJ: Let's say that you had the opportunity to meet your biggest fan face to face. What would you want to say?

DOT ALLISON: Well, I would tell them to be true to themselves. That would be the big one. It's sometimes painful to be true to yourself. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but so everybody is in denial of themselves in so many aspects of their lives. Yes, that would be it.

FJ: Any tours in the States?

DOT ALLISON: Well, I'm hoping to go back in February at some point, maybe early March.

FJ: To California?

DOT ALLISON: Yes, I'd imagine so. Yeah, sure.

FJ: It's warm here.

DOT ALLISON: I'm there!

Fred Jung is the Editor-In-Chief and is fighting on. Comments? Email Him