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Exclusive Interview: Tides are Turning for The Aquadolls

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Although their recent tour dates have been canceled, vocalist/guitarist Melissa Brooks is keeping the creative content going during these strange times.


(From left to right: Keilah Nina, Melissa Brooks, Jackie Proctor) Photo by: Sydney Wisner


Formed in 2012, the Aquadolls have become a staple in the DIY scene around the LA and OC areas. Over the years, Brooks has carried the band into a realm beyond the underground. From the get-go, her wavy tunes added some much needed positivity into to the youth culture of the early 2010's. Having released albums on Burger Records and playing with the likes of Weezer and the Growlers, the Aquadolls steadily ride their wave of "mermaid rock n' roll" into the sunset.

From bedroom demos to studio quality recordings, the Aquadolls have polished up their sound and are ready to play bigger shows. With a new manager and booking agent, they had a solid plan for they year; however, the global pandemic has cast an air of uncertainty for what's to come. In the meantime, Brooks is staying creative while sheltering at home.

Gotta keep the hustle going, right? Brainstorming ways to keep up with the demand of her fans, Brooks came up with a few new projects to work on including a series of Youtube videos, solo recordings, and a livestream DJ set for her birthday.

Curious to learn more? I had the chance to catch up with Melissa this past week while she was cleaning out her closet.


Photo by: Rob Loud


Here's what she had to say:

Q: You started releasing music as The Aquadolls in 2012, how’s your journey with the band been these past 8 years? 

A: Well, it’s definitely been a journey. When I started the band, I was still in high school. First of all, I wanted to do it because I wanted my peers to think I was cool and I’d always talk about being famous one day. You know, what’s a better way to do that than to start a band. So we ended up playing our first show at my high school talent show and they made us change the words to “We are Free” because I couldn’t sing about getting high. I had to change up a bunch of the lyrics which was pretty funny. After that, we played a lot of DIY shows. I had a tough time finding band members that wanted to be permanent and wanted to do the band as a living. 

Then we started gaining traction online, especially on Tumblr. Back in the day, we were really popping on there and that’s when we started working with Burger Records. They put out our first EP in 2013 and our other album in 2014. It wasn’t up until almost two years now that I found Jackie and Keilah, who’re my band members now. I love them, but yeah it took awhile to find them and the people who’re down to just spend the rest of their life playing shows and recording. Doing all that, it’s a tough gig. 

Q: So you’ve kind of labeled your music as mermaid rock n roll over the years?