Punk-rock cabaret duo the Dresden Dolls will take their theatrical stage show on the road as the sole opening act on Nine Inch Nails’ upcoming North American tour. As previously reported, the trek begins on April 27 in San Francisco and will run through the end of May.
The Dolls, hand-picked by Reznor to open the dates, are both tremendously honored and mildly terrified, since they’re the only band chosen to open for NIN without Reznor first attending one of their live shows.
“The first inkling we got that something might happen was when Trent called to get on the guest list for our last show in Los Angeles,” the piano-playing half of the Dresden Dolls, Amanda Palmer, tells Billboard.com. “Unfortunately, he was ill and couldn’t make it. It’s a little petrifying that he picked us for the tour without ever having seen us live, but I guess what he heard about our band second-hand was good enough.”
The Boston-bred duo, which also includes drummer Brian Viglione, has already created a strong buzz both in the States and abroad on the strength of its dramatic vocals, electric punk energy and goth intensity. The group is currently finishing up a headlining European tour and will play a few one-off dates during the NIN tour.
The Dolls’ self-titled debut, originally issued independently in spring 2004, will be re-released by Roadrunner on April 26, on the heels the group’s second single, “Girl Anachronism.” A return to the studio is being eyed for July to lay down tracks for a new album.
At its core, the Dresden Dolls is a live band, performing in Weimar-era cabaret-inspired clothes, and allowing audience members to enact impromptu routines alongside the stage. Given the band’s accessibility, Palmer says she’s confident the NIN crowd will receive the Dresden Dolls warmly.
“In my experience,” she says, “it’s easy to like this band. Our music is aggressive but not confrontational. I think there’s a lot of common threads running through [both bands]. One of he things we learned early on that has given us a lot of encouragement is that the vast majority of skeptical people who didn’t know us and hadn’t experienced the band live are usually pleasantly surprised.”
“We love that,” she continues. “I think there’s a real trickster part of me that derives some sort of sick pleasure out of really crushing everyone’s expectations and giving them something they weren’t expecting.”