Dodie Clark, known as Dodie to her legions of fans, is a British singer-songwriter, YouTuber and author who has just released her third EP, titled Human. Felix Rackow had the chance to sit down with her and discuss everything from cheese toasties to tattoos, before she played a sell-out show at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom on the 15th March 2019…
Hello Dodie! So, this is the third night of the tour, how do you think it’s going?
(Dodie counts on her fingers) Wait, Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow… yes! It’s going really well! Bristol; the first show, was really good, it was so fun… Birmingham I was having a few technical worries, and giant career doubts… I don’t know… it just happens when you’re facing it every day, but then playing the shows it’s… it’s so, so good.
And how was playing in Europe – was it different to the UK?
The shows were a teeny bit smaller, but honestly it’s a very familiar vibe – I think I’m a bit more patriotic than perhaps I first thought… (we laugh) because it's always nice to play in England, but I think the crowds have a very familiar vibe…
It must be a big adjustment being on tour, I’m sure – are there any things that you’ve learned to deal with, any tips and tricks that you’d give?
Yes! It’s hard to find a place by yourself on tour, because you’re constantly surrounded by people; and I do love that because I’m someone who feeds off of other people’s energy and my friends’ energy – but sometimes I just need some time alone. So yes! Find a secret spot for a secret cry!
I know you do ‘Tour Court’ every morning on the bus…
Well! Not every morning – we’ve been a bit slack lately but we are due one quite soon!
Can you remember what the worst ‘fine’ given out at ‘Tour Court’ was?
I’m probably going to get one soon because I recently made myself a delicious cheese toastie – we have a George Foreman, but we call him the George ‘Tourman’ (we both roll our eyes), and I opened it up and it slid right out onto the floor, so I might get one for that soon. But I can’t think of a really bad one – probably when Ross couldn’t hear the click in his ears (we have a click track) and he was signalling like ‘please, I can’t hear the click!’ and then he picked up his cable and it just wasn’t plugged into his pack…
Moving onto your EP, which the tour is obviously based on – it’s had a really big reaction and you even did a Radio One Piano Session, how have you found that?
I mean, that’s amazing, that’s so so cool and I really appreciate all the support that Radio One have given me – it’s insane. To be honest though I don’t really mind so much about the outwards things – obviously it’s really nice if I get a good review or if ‘mainstreamy’ people pay attention to me, but I think today I’m thinking more about the negative side of that – for example the mainstream take on coming from YouTube is a little… different…
And I was going to say as well – I don’t think that mainstream pop necessarily ‘likes’ the topics that you talk about – how have you found that; has that been difficult?
Yeah – I got a review today that said something about my set being ‘bleak’… (we laugh) and honestly I have had that worry! I was thinking that perhaps I write too many sad songs but whenever I say that to my friends or my fans they say that that’s what they like, and that’s why they’re there – they connect to that. You just have to ignore other people’s perceptions and write what you know.
You’re known for being very open and very honest, which is fantastic, but it’s surely a very one-sided dialogue with you and the listener/audience – are there any difficulties with that? Do you find that difficult to navigate?
Yeah. Yeah, I mean… I don’t know… I guess it is kind of two-sided because you do get to hear other people’s opinions. I mean, obviously I think when I’m talking about these kinds of topics people want to also talk back about their own struggles… For them it’s like one person talking to them but for me its thousands of people talking to me about their ‘bad brains’ and I can’t take all of that! I don’t know, we just kind of work it through as best we can… I read letters when I can, when I’m able, and social media…
You’ve got to close yourself off haven’t you…
Coming back to the EP! There are loads of great collaborations on there – you’ve got Lewis Watson, Tom Walker… Is there anyone else you want to collaborate with in the future?
I don’t know! I’d love to work with some female musicians… I’m the biggest Emily King fan and I’d love to work with her… I think I’d probably cry and just want to bow at her feet!
And Orla Gartland – how is it working with her?
Amazing! She’s awesome! Oh my god we should totally do a track together! That’s just hit me – oh my gosh! No, she’s awesome, she’s just the coolest person I know and her song-writing is amazing… I’ve said it before but if you get someone to support you who you’re a fan of you just get to watch your favourite person play every night which is awesome.
So finally, your song Party Tattoos is one of my favourites and you’ve got some brilliant tattoos already, but if there was one more that you could get what would it be?
I don’t know! We have a tour tradition of doing a tattoo on every tour – we didn’t do one for Europe but I think we could combine these two tours together… I don’t know – I think I might get one of a full moon… that might be really lame…
Surely that would just be a circle?
(We laugh) Yeah… I know… But I saw the blood-red wolf-moon that happened recently – I got up at 4AM to go and see it with my friends and I walked outside and it creeped me out so much… It was just so round, and there, and it just looked like a planet in the sky which was really strange… It just freaked me out but in a good way… It reminded me that I’m on the Earth and I thought that was really cool.. So yeah! Maybe a moon – who knows!
That would be cool! Thank you so much Dodie!
Dodie is currently touring the UK, culminating in a sold-out show at London’s Roundhouse on the 24th March. She recently toured Europe, and will travel to the US to play 22 dates in the Autumn. Her book, ‘Secrets For The Mad’ was also released in 2017.