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LOLLAPALOOZA interview: Surf-punk trio The Aquadolls



Powerful surf-punk trio The Aquadolls have had a busy summer, supporting Jimmy Eat World at Chicago’s Metro on July 31, and playing at Lollapalooza on August 1. The Aquadolls are in-your-face and good vibes all at once, with energetic performances that leave you anticipating the next show.

The band packs a punch with tongue-in-cheek lyrics, hard-hitting licks, and soothing vocal harmonies that will guarantee a head-bang from anyone listening. With upcoming shows at Beachlife Festival on September 11 and Ohana Festival on September 25, we caught up with this dynamic group at Lollapalooza in Chicago for a quick chat.

the aquadolls


1) Formed in 2012, the bones of The Aquadolls have seen the music industry landscape change quite a bit! What has been the most surprising?

Melissa: I’m happy to see the music industry putting more rock music back in mainstream! Artists like Olivia Rodrigo charting in Billboard Hot 100 for a rock song with a strong female vocal is so rad to me. The mainstream music sound has shifted so much since the band started, and with more rock music in the charts, I think it’s a great chance for more bands to get noticed and heard. 


2) The new era of The Aquadolls began in 2018, how did you all meet?

Keilah: Melissa and Jackie knew each other because Mel had previously recorded one of Jackie’s old bands! We were all sort of in the same music scene so I met Mel by going to shows and also had seen Jackie’s band play a few times. I was formally introduced to Jackie through Mel in the spring of 2018! 


3) What made you choose “Take Me Away” to cover in 2020?

Jackie: We actually introduced the song in our live set in 2019! We all love the Freaky Friday movie growing up so it was super nostalgic to cover the song. 

Keilah: Over quarantine, we were trying to figure out content ideas and figured we should just record the cover on GarageBand and post it online. We never thought it would blow up the way it did! 



4) Have you played Lollapalooza before? How does it compare to other festivals you’ve played before?

Melissa: This was all of our first time attending and playing Lollapalooza, however, I have been dreaming of playing it since I was a kid. I’ve watched the videos of Babes in Toyland playing Lollapalooza over and over, manifesting that someday my band would get to make it up there! I think this may be the biggest festival we’ve done, size-wise! I walked from the T Mobile stage to the Bud Light stage and it took me almost 20 minutes due to how big the festival grounds are! Everyone was so kind to us and welcoming, which felt so great after not playing since the pandemic began in March 2020. 


5) What kind of pre-show prep do you do before a festival?

Keilah: Lots and lots and LOTS of rehearsals. We probably practiced 3 to 4 times a week for a couple hours at a time for the whole month leading up to Lollapalooza! I have been trying a bit harder to unplug from my phone for a while before we play just so I’m not so overwhelmed by social media or any sort of online distractions. 

Melissa: Yup! We rehearsed our show over and over back at home, get all of our gear scoped and fixed up, and try to get as much rest as possible.

Jackie: As for pre show rituals, I like to listen to pump up music just to get my energy up. 


6) What festivals would you like to play in the coming year?

Keilah: I would definitely love to come back to Chicago for Riot Fest!! A lot of my favorite bands have played so I think that would be sick. 

Melissa: I’d love to play Lollapalooza again hopefully next year! Austin City Limits is also really sick, we got to play it in 2019 and I’d love to go back to Texas as well!

Jackie: I would really like to play Outside Lands, that’s my goal for the next year!


7) Can you tell us what you’ve got coming up in 2022?

Melissa: Look out for some tour dates and plenty of musical surprises from us!



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