Pussycat Dolls to release Doll Domination
After opening our eyes to the collective inadequacies of girlfriends everywhere on their debut album smash "Don't Cha," the dolls have re-formed like Stiletto Voltron to take over the globe with their recent sophomore release, Doll Domination. Catching assists from industry hitmakers like Missy Elliott and Timbaland, it's a good bet that they just might spread their dominion from one end of the planet to the other. Always quick to throw our lot in with a winner, we caught up with group member Melody Thornton for an exclusive interview. She talked to us about lessons learned, group dynamics and the gears that turn the Doll machine.
To me, you guys sound more confident coming in on this. Do you feel more confident attacking this second record?
Definitely. We were very blessed with the first single. I think we were going for something, more graduated. It's definitely done with our original Pussycat Dolls sound, but definitely more grown up.
Artist: Pussycat Dolls
Title: Doll Domination
Release date: 09/23/08
Label: Interscope Records
Buy at: Amazon
Pussycat Dolls interview - continued
Between the first and second album, were there any lessons that you've learned and took into the studio with you?
I think I've learned a lot since the beginning of this situation-all of this Pussycat Dolls madness. I was 19 years old when I got into the industry with the Pussycat Dolls. You can say that I've learned a lot. I've learned about people, about the industry, friendship, and what's business and what's an exception to all of the above.
Is there anything you've learned about this business that you haven't been so happy with?
Yeah, the music industry is probably the toughest. I think music is a universal language, and a lot of people love music. There are a lot of people that want to be in the music industry, so it's a lot more cut throat than the entertainment industry in general. The music industry is not as friendly as you would think. It's hard to come across people that you think are lifetime friends. You just can't be naïve thinking that everybody you meet that is nice to you is going to be a great friend to you. That's probably the biggest lesson that I've learned.
You talked about how your sound was more seasoned this time around. Did you have any ideas about sounds you wanted to experiment with this time or did the new sounds just come about on their own?
I think what we accomplished on the second album was what we tried to accomplish on the first album. Although, most people say it was straight up pop. That's pretty much what the first [album] was, but I think we kind of executed the hip hop approach this time with songs like "Takin' Over the World," my favorite song on the album, and also songs like "Elevator," that have a kind of Destiny's Child appeal. We did that song with Rodney Jerkins, so it makes sense.
Do you think that has to do with your successes the first time around and the label giving you a little more room to spread out and try these things?
The best way to answer that is that, The Pussycat Dolls is a machine. It's a huge brand, and there's a lot of people who work in the factory. Everything that we want isn't necessarily the last word. We give our opinion, but it's not the final say. It's run by people who' have been doing this their entire lives, like Jimmy Iovine and Ron Fair. We have to just trust that, and trust what their opinions are.
You mentioned Rodney Jerkins. You've also got Timbaland on here. Those are some heavyweight producers. What's it like getting into the studio and working with cats like that?
Well, I had the pleasure of working with Rodney in the studio. A lot of the songs are recorded by Nicole beforehand, and if there are any parts that I can fit in on, then I just go in. It just depends. For the song "Whatcha Think About That," I recorded with Ron Fair. So you know, it's one of those things. Of course they're all talented and fun people to be around. Especially Rodney. We were so blessed to work with him on this record. Nicole works hand in hand with a lot of the producers, but for me it worked out the way it worked out.
I know on the Deluxe Edition of the album, you've got your solo jam, "Space." What was that like?
We all got to do songs on the Deluxe album, so that was good. It's definitely good for the fans to get their share of all the Pussycat Dolls and get to have sounds from everybody. On the Deluxe album, we all got to do our own songs, and I did a song called "Space," with Ron Fair. I've got responses that it sounds like SWV, or it sounds like JoJo. But luckily all the responses have been good.
Speaking of getting to do your own thing and working on solo stuff, you lost a member earlier this year. How did the group react to going from six to five?
It's tough to spend years of your life with people. It's not just people you work with, it's your family. You're on the road with them, and you're working with them. It's not like somebody who works at Starbucks with you and they quit. It was definitely a hard blow because she and I were very tight. She had a lot of ambitions and aspirations that she thought she wanted to pursue, and we support her one hundred percent. I still talk to her. She's doing great actually. Of course it's a toll, because they are people you're used to being around all the time.
I've seen some TV shows and heard some tales of other groups that don't have that same familial bond. How do you guys keep it all love, when you're working hard and everybody's stressed, and everybody's got ambitions and goals?
I think because everybody did it together. Everybody put the Pussycat Dolls on a platform, and it's a great one. While the train is moving, we're going to stay onboard. Obviously, it's what the fans want. We wouldn't be here without them. For the most part, we all support each other. It just wouldn't be fun or worth it to be here if everybody was catty and it was all about competition, cause that's all bad. We each have a real connection, and we each have loyalty and respect for one another.
Do you have plans to do something totally solo down the road?
Yes. We all have plans, but I'm going to sing. That's what I'm going to do.
As far as the upcoming tour, what can fans expect to see visually? Is there a theme we can expect?
Well, that is something we'll have to discuss with all of the Pussycat Dolls camp, but as of right now, the fans can expect things that the Pussycat Dolls have produced. We're definitely trying to take over the world, in a sense, considering the title of the album. We're just trying to dominate.
Pussycat Dolls biography
Let us begin by setting the record straight. When The Pussycat Dolls grow up, these ladies want a lotta things -- among them, to be famous, to be a star, to be in movies, to see the world, to drive nice cars. But one thing they don't want -- or, let's face it, need -- are "boobies."
So how come pretty much the entire population of the pop radio-listening world has got it wrong, that every single gym-going, car stereo-pumping, iPod-carrying person discovered chirping along to the PCD’s latest smash "I Wanna Grow Up" seems to think they're singing "I wanna have boobies?"
The PCDs, for their part, have no absolutely no idea.
However, as they prepare to storm the charts with their sophomore disc, Doll Domination (on sale September 23), the singer-dancers would like to take this opportunity to clear their good names, apologize to those who were unintentionally offended, and come clean once and for all about the often misheard lyrics. The Pussycat Dolls -- Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta, Melody Thornton and Kimberly Wyatt -- hereby solemnly swear that they would never, ever be so crass as to publicly profess a desire for "boobies." Groupies, on the other hand? Now that's more like it!
Dismissing them as a quintet of Frederick's of Hollywood models with mics would be a major mistake. Almost immediately upon its 2005 release, their super-catchy first single, the global smash "Don't Cha" (altogether now: "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?! Don't cha?!"), proved that these post-feminist Pussycats were a Fancy Feast for the ears as well as the eyes. And we're talking a lot of ears! Since it's release three years ago, The Dolls' debut album, PCD, has sold over three million copies in the U.S., and another three million abroad. It was certified at least gold in an astounding 36 countries. Its success surfed the wave of four more international hits: the top-five ballad "Stickwitu"; the teasing "Beep" (featuring will.I.am); "Buttons" (in which Snoop Dogg may have been the first to pronounce vocal wonder Scherzinger "the lead Pussycat"); and "Wait a Minute" (featuring Timbaland). The album found them nominated for numerous industry accolades: MTV Music Video Awards (for which they won their first Moonman, for “Buttons”), American Music Awards, Billboard Awards, Soul Train Awards – and “Stickwitu” earned them the sweetest nomination of them all, a Grammy nod for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
In addition, PCD was the launch pad for the decade's number-one girl group franchise, racking up the sales of over 5 million singles downloads, over 4 million ringtone downloads, over 400,000 video downloads, and over 150,000 copies of the PCD DVD Live from London.
Now, three years later, prepare for continued domination – Doll Domination, indeed! Their second act is off to a sizzling start. First single, the Rodney Jerkins-produced smash “When I Grow Up” has reached the Top 10 in 16 countries…and counting, and The Pussycat Dolls just picked up their second MTV VMA Moonman for the scorching-hot Joseph Kahn-directed video.
With the October 2008 Blender cover featuring the PCDs proclaiming, "The new album is hot!" Domination boasts another army of A-list guests and collaborators: Rodney Jerkins leads the production credits on "When I Grow Up" and "Elevator", Snoop Dogg returns to rap on "Bottle Pop", and Timbaland sprinkles his Mosley magic on a tune called, appropriately enough, "Magic", as well as "Halo", "In Person", and "Whatchamacallit." Missy Elliott, meanwhile, appears on second single "Whatcha Think About That," and R. Kelly joins Polow Da Don on "Out of This Club."
Thanks to vocal maestro Ron Fair, (also Geffen Records head and mentor to Christina Aguilera and Fergie), Scherzinger displays impressive new range. Cue up the mid-tempo future hit, "I Hate This Part," and fans will find a shot of perfect pop, as the Hawaiian-born vocalist mood-swings from sadness to frustration to fear as she prepares to pull the plug on an already-dead relationship. In the same way as "Stickwitu" became determined young women's ode to keeping relationships together, "I Hate This Part" will become their break-up anthem. Meanwhile, album closer "I'm Done" is a sweet and soaring ballad in which Scherzinger delights in finding The One, even if she wasn't looking for him.
Inside every woman is a Pussycat Doll. Scherzinger has insisted that the line “Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me” is meant to be empowering. Now, if that seems like eye-roll inducing stuff, then you haven't witnessed a five year-old singing this chorus with her hips cocked and beaming with supreme confidence. Love them or hate them, you can't deny them: The Pussycat Dolls have taken their rightful place in the girl-power pantheon next to the Spice Girls, TLC and Destiny's Child. The Pussycat Dolls are taking over the world. Prepare for domination...Doll Domination.
"Doll Domination" by Pussycat Dolls - release date: 09/23/08..