“Creativity is something I’ve learned needs to be nurtured like a baby bird,” electronic artist Tara Klein–who goes by the stage name Doll Machine–explains somewhat sagely. “It can’t be forced and it must be authentic. So, keeping my phone or notebook on me at all times to write down and record ideas is vital.” Her music includes a series of spontaneous stand-alone singles, generating well-deserved buzz, including her newest highly-danceable, hypnotic track “Techno Cowgirl” (August 12).
Doll Machine’s natural playfulness branches out into her live shows where she revels in the close connection she seeks and finds with the audience. “The stage is my literal playground and the audience my playmates – it’s all about having fun for me,” she says, also admitting she reads crowd reactions for future songwriting. “I used to get really nervous before a show, but now when I’m on stage I just tell myself that the audience is just like a group of good friends I’m hanging out with and we are all just hanging out together having fun.”
One of the magical qualities of good art is that it can light fires in others to create more beauty. Doll Machine has found happiness in passions that originally felt counter-productive, but are now healthy, deep wells of inspiration.
“I like to paint and work on other art projects from time to time when I’m not really inspired to write,” she tells me. “Doing those things often leads to song ideas. I’ve also allowed myself to enjoy my special interests without guilt. I used to feel so guilty for spending time watching movies and not creating.”
She also paints very surreal imagery with her music, drawing inspiration from jazz (which she grew up around), hip-hop, as well as punk and grunge, all under a simple moniker inspired by her unabashed love for the aesthetics of sci-fi, anime and femininity.
“I’m a sci-fi fan, and I love a good film…especially anime. It would be a dream if [Hayao] Miyazaki, Wes Anderson, or Quentin Tarantino directed my music videos,” she adds with a laugh. (Both her cat and dog are named after Miyazaki characters.)
“I don’t want to be defined by one specific genre,” she says. “I have a strong desire to dominate the music industry in such a way that changes it for the better. I have a story to tell and a message to give, so I want to be heard everywhere as much as possible.”
Here’s a day in the life of Doll Machine.
Date June 13, 2022
Time I woke up 7:00 a.m.
Every day starts with Snuggles from my dog Ponyo and my cat Mononoke or a sparring match between Ponyo and Mononoke.
Breakfast consists of Cold brew coffee…I don’t really eat breakfast, ‘cause I’m doing the intermittent fasting thing. Thank the Lord above coffee is still okay to have on this diet.
To get going I always Drink coffee.
I don’t feel dressed without Something pastel.
Before I start working I must Have a clear mind, be awake, have energy. So, I usually work on songs in the morning.
Currently working on Mixing “Techno Cowgirl” for my release in July, as well as a couple new songs, one that is sample free and all my own creation and one I’m working on with my mix engineer guru, Roman Perry.
But I’d really love to be Doing exactly what I’m doing now, but just in a bigger studio. Or I’d really love to be on tour in Japan.
Book I’m reading TBH, reading is kinda hard for me. I just have to be really interested in the content I’m about to read and it can’t bore me. So, if the first paragraph or page is boring I won’t read on.
I think that’s why I’m also passionate about writing my own story. I want to create something that’s not boring and will be something I would want to read.
I don’t know how anyone ever Thought televised singing competitions were a good idea. They need to be banned. Worst idea ever.
If I had to play one album on repeat, it would be But You Caint Use My Phone by Erykah Badu. Everything she makes is gold and that album especially, pure gold.
The perfect midday consists of Being so wrapped up in a song I’m writing that the day just flies by and I don’t even realize it.
To help get through the day I need Depends on what kind of day I’m having…but sugar free Redbull is great when I have a show that night.
Not a day goes by without speaking to My life partner in crime, Danny Klein.
My daydreams consist of Oh, gosh…lots of things. I can get lost in my own sci-punk faery world sometimes. Lately, I’ve just been trying to work out all the plot holes in my doll machine trilogy.
In a perfect day, in a perfect world No internet. No social media. Just make everything analog. But I will say if it wasn’t for social media I wouldn’t have this opportunity to share my story with SPIN mag. Social media is a blessing and a curse. I hate and love it at the same time. It’s a necessary evil I guess.
I’ll always fight for Truth.
Currently in love with My hubby, my nephew (he’s a genius artist btw so of course I’m gonna mention him) my pets, the Vapor Wave Pastel Skin for Ableton, and the Belle soundtrack.
Hoping to make time to watch Oh, I always have time for movies…but currently looking forward to binge watching Arcane on Netflix.
By my bedside I always have This cute chubby cat in a box night light I got from Giant Robot and my LED string light remote.
To help get through the night If I’m performing, then sugar free red bull helps. If I’m staying home, then movies and snuggles with the babe and pets.
Bed time Usually around midnight… I wish I could stay up later but my animals wake me up at like 7:00 a.m. every day.
When I think about tomorrow, it’s always Exciting to think about what music I’m going to work on or what project I’m gonna start.
For more Doll Machine, listen tothe Hunny Pot Podcast, check out her YouTube channel, and download her recent singles on Spotify. Follow her on Instagram: @doll._.machine.
Visit the DITL YouTube channel for more videos.