Although Pam Hogg is perhaps best known as a designer (her body-conscious fetish influenced clothes have been featured everywhere from Skin Two to Elle), she has also been involved in music for many years. Her previous band, Doll, were featured in the Amy Raphael book, "Never Mind The Bollocks", and supported Debbie Harry. She had a demo CD EP available through MySpace with her new band, Hoggdoll, which showcases her unique brand of slinky swampland rock.
Your interview in the Amy Raphael book was one of my favourites in that book. What happened to Doll? Did you ever release any CDs? (I would love to hear some of the songs you're describing in that interview).
We played as Doll until we could no longer stand the strain of trying to find a bass player every few months. It's difficult to maintain that spark unless everyone is committed. We only have rough recordings. Dave Stewart gave us studio time but I was unhappy with the polished result so we never released it. One day we may release our home demos. I'm interested in checking how they sound now.
Could you tell me a bit about the musicians you're working with now on Hoggdoll?
I met Jason (Buckle) in the small music venue, "On The Rocks", about five and a half years ago. He walked straight up to me and asked if I'd like to be in a Cramps type band. I waited and waited for the music he'd promised and eventually after about 3 or 4 weeks a CD arrived with 15 various instrumental rockabilly style tracks he'd written. I immediately chose three, wrote three songs in three days working out the melody on a four track and then we recorded them in his basement in about an hour and half. I sang each song about 3 or 4 times, adding a different harmony and that was it. I just waited.
With "Doll", the guitarist Robe Courtney and I would work out all our tracks together on bass guitar, create a mood and the songs would evolve but Jason and I did all of ours in that manner, although as he got to know my preferences he started writing accordingly. It was pretty crazy. We took such a short time to write and record, but it took about 3 years to extract the mixed tracks from him, and one got so lost I never even got to know how it sounded but we intend to record it again along with some new ones in the near future.
He's a fantastically unusual individual and a great musician but he's only ever played live with me twice as he hates being on stage. When we were asked to perform at a Spanish music festival last summer, although initially really excited, he pulled out and I had to find a whole new band. Rob thankfully was there like a shot to stand in even though we hadn't seen each other in years.
You have a unique sound - what sort of things influence your music/how would you describe your sound?
The Cramps on Valium is how I describe my sound as 75 % of all tracks have that Cramps type rockabilly vibe but I just write as the mood takes me on the very first hearing and run with it. It's always spontaneous.
What's your favourite song on the CD and why?
Probably "Honeyland" as it took me by surprise. I had no intention of writing a heartfelt song but it was exactly what came into my head the first time I played the music. I was scared to let Jason hear it, but it's surprisingly the one that everyone loves. Chicks on Speed put it on their "Girl Monster" compilation last year.
If you could choose to cover any song, what would it be and why?
I do a slow version of Jolene and Iggy's Wanna Be Your Dog --- I have a club called "Pam's Slinky Salon" where myself and special guests get up and sing torch songs and classics at the piano. They fit in well in the set and as Marc Bolan says --- "They're good for my voice."
You're perhaps best known as a fashion designer --- are you still involved in designing clothes? Do you have a current collection that's available?
The artists Tim and Sue sponsored a studio for two months to help me get started in fashion again so hopefully there'll be a collection available next season if I can get some sponsorship or backing.
You've always had an amazing sense of personal style. What's your favourite look/outfit at the moment?
My new press collection is black, gold and silver so that's what I'm generally wearing right now.
In a Skin Two interview I have (issue 10) you describe Joan of Arc as the ultimate strong woman and the inspiration for your Warrior Queen collection. What other women (past or present) do you particularly admire or inspire you?
I have great admiration and respect for the strong willed uncompromising late Frances Farmer. Her story haunts me.
Boadicea or Boudica as she is now known was another great warrior queen and for fantasy, Emma Peel was my first female visual inspiration.
You seem like someone who has a fantastic zest for life and terrific confidence. Do you have any advice for how to maintain your energy and motivation year after year?
Do what you believe in and believe in what you do. I think that's the best advice I can give for maintaining good energy and motivation.
What are your future plans for your music? Will you be playing live/touring soon or releasing a full album?
I'll always be into making music and will always be making clothes. There just doesn't seem to be enough time to be able to do both really well simultaneously. So right now my creative energy is focused on fashion and my desire to get that up and running. I'm constantly jotting down words and flashes of new songs and Jason is at the ready, so a full album is just a matter of time.
THIS E-MAIL INTERVIEW TOOK PLACE IN APRIL 2008.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN MAY 2008.
PHOTOS FROM PAM HOGG'S MYSPACE.