Although they might be a square peg in a round hole, Stolen Babies may just fit somewhere within this heavily hyphenated description: Quirky-Prog Pop-Art Rock-Avant Garde-Cabaret Metal-Horror Punk-tinged with Industrial, Goth and Dark Wave.
The band’s mythology began back in 1997 when Dominique Lenore Persi, the Sharones and keyboardist Ben Rico were part of a 12-member-strong ensemble called the Fratellis. The group garnered a reputation in the Los Angeles area for productions that included puppets, performance art and a stellar level of musicianship.
Rani Sharone’s and Persi’s keen interest in special effects, animation and ’80s fantasy films helped inform the band’s aesthetic. Rani had a stint as a machinist at the legendary shop Chiodos Bros., working with stop-motion animation and armatures on installations at Disneyland, as well as major motion pictures (“Team America”), while finding time to design props for the Fratellis’ live shows. Persi became versed in the realm of theatrical makeup, working at SOTA FX and bringing those visual techniques into both the Fratellis and Stolen Babies.
Naught (out on No Comment Records) shows a retooling of the Babies’ vision, influenced by all of their individual experiences during their break while raising the level of the group’s virtuosity.
Producer Ulrich Wild gave Naught a greater sense of clarity, allowing many of the subtleties (especially Rani’s genre-hopscotching and Persi’s come-hither-so-I-may-stab-you delivery) to shine like halogen searchlights across a night sky.
STOLEN BABIES is:
Dominique Lenore Persi – Lead Vocals/Accordion
Rani Sharone – Bass/Vocals
Gil Sharone – Drums
Davey Oberlin – Guitar (touring member)
Bassist / vocalist Rani Sharone answered our 5GB Interview questions to promote the Tabernacle show April 24, where Stolen Babies open for Coal Chamber and Sevendust.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
Lollapalooza ’93 was the first “real” gig I ever went to. My brother, Gil, and I were pretty sheltered so never got a chance to see some of our favorite bands play in town at the Palace or Palladium so when most of them, ie. FISHBONE, PRIMUS, TOOL, ALICE IN CHAINS, were on one bill we knew we weren’t going to miss that show. Having never had a club going experience and being dropped off by our parents at Santa Fe Dam was pretty overwhelming. I remember thinking uhhhhhh there’s just way too many people here, but that day pretty much solidified that being in a rock band is what we wanted to do with our lives.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
So many variables contribute to a best gig. Everything from the band’s energy and performance, to the sound on/off stage, lighting, crowd, venue, overall vibe and feeling in the room, etc. To me it’s when all those variables alchemically align and create magic. With that said a couple shows stick out. Playing Mera Luna Festival 2010 in Germany is among my top 3 for sure. It was our first massive festival experience and shared the main stage with the Sisters of Mercy, Laibach and Nitzer Ebb. The other best gig that sticks out to me is on the opposite side of the large scale show spectrum. After our hiatus we booked a two week northwest run last year to test drive our new material and to get back out there. With little or no expectations we played a show in Colorado that sold out and was very surreal. The crowd would sing so loud they pretty much drowned out the band! After that night we knew people really missed us and were paying attention to us, so that was a nice kick in the ass for us to keep going!
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
It’s a tie between Oingo Boingo’s Halloween ’95 Farewell concert at the Universal Amphitheater and Mr. Bungle at the Palace in Hollywood in ’95.
Gig you would most like to play?
Some kind of show at Disneyland would be nice, preferably inside the Haunted Mansion.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Stolen Babies opening for the one and only “WYLD STALLYNS” featuring Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan!