Brandon and Dee Dee met in 2006 when her band opened for his and she mistook him for a comedian. Realizing how much she'd missed laughing, the pair quickly eloped and then immediately went on separate tours for the rest of their lives. Dee Dee writes, records, and performs as Dum Dum Girls, and Brandon does the same (aided by bandmate and boyfriend Charles) as Crocodiles. They've released one album together, under the moniker Haunted Hearts, but refuse to play any shows outside of Tokyo. They live in Spanish Harlem, have two cats, and generally agree on which episode of Black Mirror to re-watch.
The best road trip you've ever taken?
D: You'd think I'd be sick of holing up in a car and driving long stretches due to a decade of touring, but you'd be wrong. Road trips are nearly the opposite of tours, with time sort of relative to destination. I grew up camping every spring break about two hours south of Rosarito, in Baja California on an isolated strip of beach. My dad would drive us down from Berkeley, California, in his old, green work van; the anticipation always outweighed the boredom. We'd make one stop at Pea Soup Andersen's in Santa Ynez on the way down, then take a whole night off in Rosarito proper on our way home. Nothing has ever compared to the nearly 18 years I made that trip.
B: I've driven through the Swiss Alps into Italy a few times and it's quite beautiful.
Hotel or camping?
D: Camping! Let's compromise, though, and stay at El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas. Brandon can have his real bed and I can have my yurt and cold 7am outdoor shower.
B: Hotel for sure. I've only camped a few times in my life; once with cub scouts when I was small and then another time with my aunt and uncle and cousins when I was maybe 13. We all caught something and spent most of the trip shitting in the woods, it wasn't that great of an experience.
Starry skies or cloudless skies?
B: Wouldn't the sky have to be cloudless to see the stars?
If you got in your car right now where would you go?
D: Joshua Tree, California.
B: To get food, I'm starving!
Mountain or ocean?
D: No need to pick one. My favorite place in the whole world is that strip of the West Coast between San Francisco and Big Sur, where the mountains and forests run right up to the beach.
B: I don't enjoy swimming in the ocean, but I do love to be close to it. Perhaps it's from growing up in San Diego, but I don't think I could live for very long somewhere that wasn't an easy drive to the sea.
Stick or automatic?
D: Stick, unless I'm hung-over.
B: Stick, unless it's hilly.
Your top road-trip necessity?
B: Marijuana and music.
Where do you go to escape?
D: My apartment in Spanish Harlem? I’m finally changing that though. I’m going to buy an old Jeep and start hitting upstate [New York] more regularly. I went to the beach for the first time since moving to New York four years ago, on my recent birthday — to Fort Tilden. I fell in love.
B: When this old world starts getting me down and people are just too much for me to face, I climb right up to the top of the stairs and all my cares just drift right into space. On the roof it's peaceful as can be and there the world below can't bother me.
Photography by Skye Parrott (skyeparrott.com)
Hair by Ian Scott Dorey
Styling by Stephanie Singer