The Dollyrots

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The Dollyrots
The Dollyrots 2012.JPG
(L–R) Kelly Ogden, James Carman, Luis Cabezas
Background information
Genres Pop punk
Years active 2000–present
Labels Blackheart Records, Lookout, Panic Button Records
Associated acts Bowling For Soup
Members Kelly Ogden
Luis Cabezas
Past members Mike Benbow
Frank Beasley
Josh Valenti
Amy Wood
Chris Black
Alicia Warrington
James Carman
Aixa Vilar
Mel Funk
Mickey Richards
Rikki Styxx

The Dollyrots is an American pop punk band composed of Kelly Ogden (bass, vocals) and Luis Cabezas (guitar, vocals). They have released six studio albums and are currently under their own label, Arrested Youth Records. In July 2013, Cabezas and Ogden announced they were expecting their first child. Their son River Ogden Cabezas was born on November 25, 2013. They have played almost 1,000 live shows throughout their career,[1] and have released albums under Panic Button/Lookout! Records, Joan Jett's Blackheart Records, and their own label. Their most recent album Family Vacation: Live in Los Angeles achieved a #15 chart debut on Billboard Magazine's Heatseekers Chart,[2] which follows a #7 chart position for their 2014 LP Barefoot and Pregnant.[3]



Singer/bassist Kelly Ogden and guitarist Luis Cabezas have known each other since meeting in the 8th grade in Land O' Lakes, Florida. They both attended New College of Florida where they formed a band called No Chef with friends Josh Harrold and Mike Benbow. Ogden and Cabezas played the guitar while Harrold was the singer/bassist and Benbow was on drums. Cabezas described the subject matter of their songs as being "about ninjas, zombies and Charles Manson."[4]

After being disillusioned with the results of the 2000 US Presidential Election,[5] Ogden and Cabezas decided to make the band full-time. As Ogden recalls:

"We were watching the 2000 presidential election results, and at four o'clock in the morning, when we found out that George W. Bush had won, Luis and I were like, "The world's probably gonna end anyway, and I don't want to go to med school," so we thought, "Let's just do the band," says Ogden. "So that's when it happened. We had no future anyways, so let's just be in a rock band!"[5]

Josh Harrold did not want to become a full-time musician so left the band. Ogden took over his duties on vocals and bass. Mike Benbow left and was replaced by Frank Beasley. The band then changed their name to The Dollyrots. The band soon left Florida and embarked on a road trip to find a new home to accommodate their musical aspirations. In January 2002 after visiting various cities they finally settled in Los Angeles. Ogden described Los Angeles as having "everything we needed—record labels, venues, other bands. It seemed like the right place.”[6] Beasley left the band and was replaced by Josh Valenti.

Eat My Heart Out and Panic Button/Lookout! Records[edit]

In 2003 the band self-recorded and released an EP Feed Me, Pet Me. Responding to a blind audition call The Dollyrots were selected to appear in a Hewlett-Packard advertisement featuring the song "Feed Me, Pet Me" which led to signing a publishing deal with Windswept-Pacific (later acquired by BMG). After meeting producer John Fields at the commercial recording session the band recorded their debut studio album Eat My Heart Out soon thereafter at Capitol Studio B with Fields at the helm. Initially self-released, the album was put into rotation on L.A.'s Indie 103.1 along with spins on Rodney Bingenheimer's show on KROQ. This attracted the attention of labels, and ultimately The Dollyrots signed a deal with Panic Button Records/Lookout! Records in July 2004[7] to widely release Eat My Heart Out.[7] Josh Valenti left in early 2004, replaced by Amy Wood of Get Set Go. Eat My Heart Out was released by Panic Button/Lookout! Records on September 28, 2004.

The Dollyrots spent the majority of 2004-2006 touring the U.S., headlining dates and playing alongside Groovie Ghoulies, Shonen Knife, The Breeders, The Queers, Soul Asylum, Paramore, Bang Sugar Bang, The Soviettes, The Shocker, and Teenage Bottlerocket while also playing the Lookout Records 2005 CMJ showcase.

The band co-starred in the "Stuck On You" episode of CSI: NY in February 2006, with the entire band appearing on-screen and Ogden playing a role involving murder with a bass guitar.[8] The Dollyrots also played two of their own songs in the episode.

Blackheart Records and Because I'm Awesome [edit]

The band started work on their second album at Seedy Underbelly Studios in Los Angeles with producer Jacques Wait in February 2006 but were forced to find a new label due to problems with Lookout Records. Kelly Ogden stated: "We started recording and then had everything ready. Then Lookout went out of business for all intents and purposes. They had troubles with Green Day and financial problems, and so they pretty much told all of us that we had to go find a new label."[9] This collection of songs, at the time titled More Biting Please, was never released although several tracks were eventually included on the ensuing album.

The band reentered the studio in Spring 2006 and finished what would become Because I'm Awesome at The Doghouse Studio with John Fields as producer. While on Vans Warped Tour later that Summer Ogden gave a compact disc of the band's music to Joan Jett, the co-founder of Blackheart Records who had taken a liking to the band while on the tour. Ogden also gave copies of the disc to NOFX's Fat Mike and Tom Gabel (now Laura Jane Grace) of Against Me! but did not receive a response. Drummer Amy Wood left the band shortly thereafter. Wood suggested that Ogden and Cabezas ask mutual friend Chris Black to replace her.[10] With the album already tracked and mixed, Blackheart contacted the band a few weeks later and signed The Dollyrots in December 2006.[11]

Their second album, Because I'm Awesome, was released on March 13, 2007 through Blackheart Records and coincided with an appearance at South By Southwest where the band played "I Love Rock & Roll" on stage with Jett. A review in the webzine PopMatters noted that "the Dollyrots' sound is the same as it ever was, with clever, catchy lyrics running around a track of straightforward, chugging pop-punk"[12] while the title track was described with the words "A hit song is what separates one band from thousands of others. The Dollyrots gained acclaim with their song "Because I’m Awesome". It's an appropriate tune for the sardonic pop punk band from Los Angeles to gain entry onto music’s national stage." (Tim Parsons, Tahoe Daily Tribune, 2008).[13] "Because I'm Awesome" went on to be featured in a Kohl's commercial during the fall of 2007 where the band made an appearance and was replaced by teenagers at the end.[14] The Dollyrots appeared as themselves on the ABC Family TV show Greek, playing "Because I'm Awesome" on screen in the "Multiple Choice" episode. The band also guested on Fuse TV's The Sauce and embarked on a long series of live shows throughout the United States including Los Angeles Pride, Hudson River Rocks, the Del Mar Fair, and Warped Tour. The band opened for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Adolescents, The Methadones, Peelander-Z, and labelmates The Vacancies during this time.

Winner of the 7th annual Independent Music Awards Vox Pop vote for best Pop/Rock song "Because I'm Awesome".

Winner of "Coolest Song In The World 2007" by a listener vote on Sirius XM's Little Steven's Underground Garage.

2008 saw the band continue to tour the United States extensively, opening for TheStart, Shonen Knife and Paramore while once again playing Warped Tour along with Summerfest and the BMI showcase at South by Southwest. The band also recorded a cover of Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" with John Fields for the Endless Bummer movie soundtrack.

A Little Messed Up [edit]

In January 2009 the band began pre-production with producer Chris Testa for their third album, A Little Messed Up. The majority of the album was recorded between March–June 2009 in Los Angeles at Stagg Street Studios and featured Chris Black and Amy Wood on drums. It marked the first time Cabezas assumed production and recording duties, contributing elements to many of the tracks. Kim Shattuck from The Muffs sang backup vocals on the song "Some Girls".

A Little Messed Up was the band's third album, and the second to be released on Blackheart Records. In addition to Testa and Cabezas the album featured mixing and production by Sylvia Massy and Fred Archambault along with co-writes by Evan Frankfort, Dave Bassett, and Tina Parol.

The Dollyrots toured with The Action Design in the Western U.S. in May 2009 and on their own throughout the rest of the country for the rest of the year. These dates included support slots for The Donnas, Kay Hanley, and The Muffs along with appearances at South by Southwest, Girls Rock Camp, and Long Beach Pride.

Having met comedian and TV host Drew Carey in late 2009, The Dollyrots were invited to debut their Matt Wallace produced 7 inch single "California Beach Boy" with a feature performance during the Showcase Showdown on the CBS game show The Price Is Right airing on January 15, 2010.[15]

The band supported Bowling For Soup's Eastern and Texas U.S. dates in mid 2010 and were selected to open for Buzzcocks on their 22 date North American tour in May/June 2010.[16]

After some delays A Little Messed Up was released by Blackheart on August 17, 2010. The album gained favorable reviews, with AbsolutePunk calling it a "Blow Pop of flavors with a crunchy, delectable casing of pop-punk and a heart of bubble gum poppy lyrics."[17] This was followed by supporting a reunited Screeching Weasel in Los Angeles on September 19, 2010 at Club Nokia and opening for Bowling for Soup on their Just Can't Get Rid of Us UK tour in October 2010.

The band was presented with an award for "Best New Breakout Band" by the American Society of Young Musicians in Los Angeles on October 27, 2010.[18]

After a headlining early 2011 U.S. tour the band went on to support Bowling For Soup on their Spring 2011 U.S. tour and played six dates supporting The Go-Go's on their Ladies Gone Wild Tour in May/June. In August, they again supported Bowling For Soup on a West US tour and played a handful of dates on the Vans Warped Tour.

A video for the single Rollercoaster made its debut during a show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles and was released on April 25, 2011.[19]

The Dollyrots left Blackheart Records in July 2011 with the intention of establishing their own label to release future work.

The Arrested Youth EP[edit]

On August 9, 2011 the band released an EP, "Arrested Youth", on their own label, Arrested Youth Records.[20] The EP was produced by American hip-hop producer Neal Pogue and marked a departure for the band stylistically and, according to Ogden, had "a rawer sound."

The Dollyrots [edit]

The Dollyrots decided that their next album would also be released on their own record label. On September 12, 2011, the band launched a crowdsourcing campaign on Kickstarter[21] to raise money for the production and release of the album[22] in which they received their goal within one day and went on a month later to make almost five times the goal of money raised, supported entirely by fans. The album was produced and recorded by longtime collaborator John Fields with significant engineering contributions by Cabezas and featured co-writes with Kay Hanley and Martin Harrington.

On November 30, 2011, it was announced that drummer Chris Black was parting ways with the band.[23] In a YouTube video on December 11, 2011, Kelly introduced Alicia Warrington as the band's new drummer.[24]

In May 2012 the band's song "Because I'm Awesome" appeared in the TV trailer for Disney's Brave.

In June 2012 The Dollyrots contributed a new song, "Super Mega Ultraviolet" to the compilation Crappy Records Presents: Have A Crappy Summer. The album also featured songs by Bowling For Soup, Nerf Herder, Allstar Weekend and MC Lars.

In August 2012, Ogden revealed that Warrington had left to drum full-time for singer Chris Rene.[25] The Dollyrots released their self-titled album, The Dollyrots, on September 18, 2012 as a duo along with a music video for the first single "Hyperactive".[26] The band launched the release with shows at The Troubadour and Bootleg Theatre in Los Angeles[27] and an IAMA on Reddit.

For their forthcoming tour of the U.S with Prima Donna and U.K tour supporting Bowling For Soup the band enlisted drummer James Carman from the band The Images.[25] Prior to the tour the band entered the studio with producer Linus of Hollywood to record three songs for One Big Happy, a split album featuring The Dollyrots, Bowling For Soup, and Patent Pending.

In November 2014 The Dollyrots were asked to create a theme song for the The CW show Gallery Mallory. The resulting intro song was described as "catchy as hell and fits the show perfectly".[28] The show debuted on CW seed in October 2013 and renamed Very Mallory.

Following extensive touring and appearances at both the 2013 Winter NAMM and South by Southwest Music Conference and band revealed Ogden's pregnancy through a YouTube video.[29]

Barefoot and Pregnant and the birth of River[edit]

The Dollyrots launched a PledgeMusic crowdsourcing project[30] for their fifth studio album on September 19, 2013. The effort, later titled Barefoot and Pregnant, was written and recorded while Ogden was pregnant. Again enlisting John Fields to co-produce and mix, it was primarily tracked by Cabezas at the band's home studio. "The album is called ‘Barefoot and Pregnant,’ because that’s what I was," Ogden said. "We wrote and recorded almost the entire album in our bedroom while I was pregnant. It was amazing and trying and crazy at times, but it definitely pushed us to learn new things and perform in a different way."[31] Stacy Jones of Letters to Cleo and Miley Cyrus provided drums for eleven of the tracks, while former drummer Amy Wood contributed to the remaining two.

Despite Ogden's pregnancy The Dollyrots played a short acoustic set at The Satellite in Los Angeles on August 8, 2013 to celebrate the premier of In Heaven There Is No Beer, a film starring the duo and documenting the "Kiss Or Kill" local rock scene the band emerged from a several years prior.[32]

The couple's first child, River Ogden Cabezas, was born November 25, 2013 in Los Angeles. Cabezas and Ogden announced the birth on Instagram.[33]

The band released a digital-only acoustic album Love Songs, Werewolves, & Zombies exclusively to Pledgemusic supporters in late 2013. A public CD release followed in early 2014.

Barefoot and Pregnant was released through the band's own label on February 18, 2014 with a #7 debut on Billboard Magazine's Heatseekers Chart. Popmatters gave the album 7/10 stars, describing it as having "more variety and nuance here than ever before; jokey hardcore runs seamlessly into mid-tempo stomps and bad-girl anthems, all powered by Luis Cabezas’ satisfyingly fuzzy guitars and delivered with an economy that would have made Dee Dee and the boys proud."[34] The Dollyrots followed up the release with a West Coast run supporting Black Flag, an appearance at South-By-Southwest, and more headlining dates through 2014. Little Steven's Underground Garage named lead single "Come And Get It" the Coolest Song In The World for the week of April 13, 2014. Aixa Vilar from Go Betty Go played drums on these dates.

In August 2014 Kelly Ogden began a personal blog detailing her experiences as a mother in a rock band. The focus of the blog is the unique experiences faced when bringing a toddler on the road and raising a child as working musicians.

On July 28, 2014 The Dollyrots announced an October UK tour supporting Buzzcocks. Drummer Mickey Richards of People on Vacation joined the band for this 3-week run.

The music video for single "Get Weird" reached #1 on's Top Ten Video Countdown on December 24, 2014.[35]

Live In The USA PledgeMusic Campaign and U.S./U.K. Tours[edit]

Following an early 2015 solo U.S. West Coast run, the band announced a full U.S. tour with Bowling For Soup[36] and PledgeMusic campaign to create their first live concert album and film tentatively titled Live In the USA.

On July 29, 2015 The Dollyrots were announced as main support for Bowling For Soup's How About Another Round 2016 UK tour.[37]

Live in the USA was retitled Family Vacation: Live in Los Angeles and filmed as a single concert film at the The Roxy Theatre in Hollywood on September 19, 2015. The resulting 40 minute film was directed by Ian MacLeod and features cameos by former Dollyrots band members and Bowling For Soup's Jaret Reddick.[38] The concert's audio was recorded multi-track for the purpose of releasing as a live album, engineered by Cabezas and later edited, mixed, and mastered by Linus of Hollywood, Jay Ruston, and Paul Logus.[39] Following a successful PledgeMusic Campaign whereby the band exceeded over 150% of their initial goal[40] The Dollyrots signed with MVD Entertainment Group to distribute the 2-disc CD/DVD set.[41]

Later in 2015 the band provided main support for Lita Ford at the Northern California Women's Music Festival and appeared at the 2015 FEST in Gainesville, Florida.

The Mama's Gonna Knock You Out EP[edit]

The Dollyrots recorded the 3-song Mama's Gonna Knock You Out EP in Van Nuys, California with longtime producer John Fields[42] in October 2016. The EP was released January 29, 2016 both digitally and on CD[43] to coincide with the beginning of the "How About Another Round" UK tour.

Family Vacation: Live in Los Angeles [edit]

Following a February 2016 tour of the United Kingdom[44] The Dollyrots released their first ever concert film and companion live album, Family Vacation: Live in Los Angeles on March 11, 2016.[45] The double-disc set reached #15 on Billboard Magazine's Heatseekers Chart in its first week of sales.[46] Punk News rated the album 4 out of 5 stars and made it a "Staff Pick", writing "The Dollyrots not only accomplish everything they did in the studio, they take it to the next level" and that the concert film and audio album "both not only work in standalone form, they work even better as complementary pieces."[47]

Whiplash Splash [edit]

While expecting their second child in November 2016, Kelly and Luis started another PledgeMusic campaign to raise funds to record their sixth studio album. They returned to the studio with producer John Fields in early September to record Whiplash Splash. Kelly gave birth to Daisy Moon Cabezas on November 15, 2016.

Whiplash Splash was released on March 24, 2017,[48] with PledgeMusic supporters getting a digital download of it on February 24, 2017.[49] A tour to promote Whiplash Splash, with The Two Tens as supporting act, started in Chicago on March 16, 2017.[50]

Other work[edit]

The Dollyrots recorded a cover of the song "There's A Barbarian in the Back Of My Car" by Voice of the Beehive for Snake Oil Supercharm, a 2003 tribute album to Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction. The band recorded a version of "Santa Baby" for the 2009 album A Blackheart Christmas and also recorded a cover of "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett for the film Endless Bummer. In July 2011 the band announced that they would be teaming up with Bowling For Soup to release a split 7".[51] The Dollyrots vs. Bowling for Soup 7" featured both bands covering one of the others songs.[51] The band has released a number of cover singles, including "Punk Rock Girls" by The Queers, "Let's Turkey Trot" by Little Eva, "Dream Lover" by Bobby Darin, and "Happy Together" by The Turtles. The band also released a version of "Come Out And Play (Keep 'Em Separated)" by The Offspring with Jaret Reddick from Bowling For Soup on guest vocals. The Offspring's Noodles described it is "very cool"[52] and that the band was "truly honored."[53]

Uses in media[edit]

Songs by the Dollyrots have been used in films, TV shows, and commercials.


The Dollyrots are endorsed by Gibson Guitars, Mesa-Boogie, Monster Pro Audio, Sennheiser, Daisy Rock Girl Guitars, Clayton Picks, and Iron Fist Clothing.


Studio albums[edit]

Album Release Date Label
Eat My Heart Out September 14, 2004 Lookout Records
Because I'm Awesome March 13, 2007 Blackheart Records
A Little Messed Up August 17, 2010 Blackheart Records
The Dollyrots September 18, 2012 Arrested Youth Records
Barefoot and Pregnant February 18, 2014 Arrested Youth Records
Love Songs, Werewolves, & Zombies February 25, 2014 Arrested Youth Records
Family Vacation: Live in Los Angeles March 11, 2016 Arrested Youth Records/MVD
Whiplash Splash March 24, 2017 Arrested Youth Records/MVD

Split albums[edit]



Official Singles[edit]

  • "Because I'm Awesome" (August 27, 2007)
  • "My Best Friend's Hot" (April 15, 2008)
  • "California Beach Boy" (2010)
  • "Rollercoaster" (April 26, 2011)[58]
  • "Because I'm Santa" (cover for "Because I'm Awesome") (2012)
  • "Satellite" (2013)
  • "Twist Me To The Left" (2013)
  • "Get Weird" (2014)

Other Singles[edit]

  • "Kick Me to the Curb" 2004
  • "New College" 2004
  • "Promised Call" 2005
  • "Watch Me Go (Kissed Me, Killed Me)" 2007
  • "Brand New Key" 2008
  • "Come And Get It" 2014

Music videos[edit]

Year Name
2004 "Kick Me to the Curb" [59]
"New College"[60]
2007 "Because I'm Awesome"[61]
2008 "Brand New Key"[62]
2008 "Out of L.A."[63]
2011 "Rollercoaster"[64]
2011 "Playing with Fire" (photoclip) [65]
2012 "Hyperactive"[66]
2013 "Satellite"[67]
"Twist Me to the Left"[68]
"Starting Over Again"[69]
"I Saw Mommy Biting Santa Claus" [70]
"Hyperactive" (acoustic, lyric video) [71]
2014 "Barefoot and Pregnant" [72]
"Get Weird" [73]
Other videos
Year Name
2002 "Feed Me, Pet Me"[74] (ad for Hewlett-Packard)
2010 "Messed Up Xmas" (Holiday Single)[75]
2012 "Because I'm Santa" (Holiday Single)[76]
2013 "Love Ya, Love Ya, Love Ya" (Kelly Ogden feat. Jaret Reddick) [77]
2014 "Anarchy and Disney" [78]

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • Stranded In Stereo (volume 5) – includes "Because I'm Awesome"[79]


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  70. ^ "The Dollyrots - I Saw Mommy Biting Santa Claus". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  71. ^ "The Dollyrots - Hyperactive (Acoustic)". YouTube. 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  72. ^ "The Dollyrots - Barefoot and Pregnant". YouTube. 2014-02-17. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  73. ^ "The Dollyrots - Get Weird". YouTube. 2014-02-17. Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  74. ^ "The Dollyrots - HP Ad - "Feed Me, Pet Me"". YouTube. 2006-04-29. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  75. ^ "The Dollyrots - Messed Up Xmas". YouTube. 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  76. ^ "The Dollyrots - Because I'm Santa". YouTube. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  77. ^ "Love ya Love ya Love ya". YouTube. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  78. ^ "Anarchy and Disney". YouTube. 2014-08-14. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  79. ^ "Past Volumes". Stranded In Stereo. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 

External links[edit]