Interview with Tania Doko by Markus Hamence – 8 November 2023
Bachelor Girl were the IT band in the late 90’s – they rivalled them all. The proof was in the string of hits that included ‘Buses and Trains’, ‘Permission To Shine’ and ‘Lucky Me’ and their energetic sold-out live performances across the nation. They went on to win awards and become quite the house-hold name in Australia.
The lead singer of the band was (and still is) Tania Doko. With that incredible voice that was real and emotive, the story telling of the songs became anthems to that generation during the late 90’s and early 00’s. While still touring with the band, Tania now releases her own music as ‘Tania Doko’ and the music is getting received very well and gets radio play. I chat with Tania over the phone today and find out what it was all about back then and what’s going on now. Read on my music fans…
Markus Hamence: Tania Doko, thank you for sitting down with me and oh boy do I have a good selection of questions to get through with you. First up, you’re headed back to Adelaide for a show at The Gov with Boom Crash Opera in a few days, excited much?
Tania Doko: Thank you and hello to you. Well I love coming to Adelaide and it does feel like, I’d to say, 10 years since Bachelor Girl’s (BG) last visit their. I’ve popped over a few times to do some of my solo work but as far BG go it’s been too long and very much over due. So we love The Gov and it’s looking like a very good show their in your city, it’s gonna go off like a firecracker I think.
Markus: How long has this tour be running?
Tania: So we’ve been running it since September, now it’s Adelaide turn and then we’re back to Geelong and Melbourne to sign it all off.
Markus: How has the tour been received thus far?
Tania: Oh Markus, it’s been received really great. We go on first then the Crashies come on after us. What I’m really aware of is how much both bands are still getting played on the radio. I was a huge fan of Boom Crash Opera (BCO) in 80’s and 90’s and they’re just been a part of our Australian songbook and thankfully BG still get slammed on the waves too. So if you not totally into BCO or not totally into us there’s still a bundle of hits you’re going to appreciate. Both bands are kinda the radio darlings of the 80’s and 90’s. And I think that’s why the audiences have been leaving feeling really good about the shows. There’s something they’ve been able to connect with.
Markus: Not gonna lie Tania, I was known in the 90’s to be driving along in the car, window down, singing, actually tbh, screaming the words to ‘Buses and Trains’ as it played on the radio. Most likely SAFM at the time haha.
Tania: I love that, gay abandon. Live life.
Markus: Now obviously that period of your success was enormous in the late 90’s, you had hit after hit. Is their a favourite track from one of the albums, perhaps not even one that was a single, that you feel most connected too for one reason or another?
Tania: Nice question. I know it’s a cliche, they all feel like babies, they all have a place in my heart, but you know one of my favourites would be ‘Blown Away’. It was a Clive Davis song, who signed Whitney Houston and Jimi Hendrix among others. We had five minutes in the sun over in America and he chose that song for us to record as well as ‘Permission To Shine’. So if we never met Clive and he never signe us w’d never have some of our classic bangers. So we have a lot to thank him for. But ‘Blown Away’ has that great guitar or really a keyboard riff and it’s just a really great sound that I enjoy and appreciate still and get’s me int he mood. It actually opens our shows.
Markus: Three albums delivered. The first ‘Waiting For The Day’ came out in 1998. When it came out and just took off do you remember that time well and how did it all feel?
Tania: Oh it felt just felt amazing. It’s all artists’ dream to start off that way. I didn’t really know anything else so kind of just went with it. Lucky I come from a good Italian family that very much keep me grounded. They always kept it real for me and I think that’s who I’ve remained all along. I mean don’t get me wrong, you can get swept by the whirlwind of it all, it’s pretty crazy. But let’s be honest life is just crazy atm anyways and we all need to try and hold on to our sanity don’t we haha. I think the biggest challenge is maintaining the success and figuring out what comes next you know. You have to continue to create projects and records that you love and that you feel for because if you’re promoting something you’re not feeling it’s a recipe for disaster.
Markus: Do you still have a connection after these few decades with the songs. In regards to singing them.
Tania: That’s a great question, yes 100%. I actually do and I think having that large break in the middle there from 2005 until 2017. I was in Sweden, James was in the UK and we were working with other producers. We still had a very amicable relationship but we needed to go off and venture into other projects to explore who we were individually, just like any relationship really. And that made us kinda miss each other. So when we do the songs now they probably have more relevance in my life. I mean ‘Treat Me Good’ is such a stance for self respect and the climate that we’re in, and it’s so important to have your voice, so ‘Treat Me Good’ has taken on a whole new meaning for us both.
Markus: Now the tour, you are coming on Friday 10 November and you’re performing as mentioned before with BCO, what brought about the pairing with that band?
Tania: Haha. Well we have always been friends through the years but Maz the drummer used to actually work at the record company that we were signed to. That was John Farnham and Ross Fraser’s label, Gotham Record. We always connected and have been great mates and I’ve been massive into all of their songs, ‘Get Out Of The House’, ‘Great Wall’, ‘Hand’s Up In The Air’ they go on… And Dale’s a scream, the lead singer. I think the fact that we are both still played on the radio is why it works to tour together. Our song is ‘Buses and Trains’ and theirs would be ‘Onion Skin’. It just makes sense, and the people that come along are just really into it.
Markus: So when’s the last time you played The Gov?
Tania: Ooooh, I reckon 12 years. When we did the ‘Loved and Loss’ tour. It’s mad how fast time has gone, so I’ll be fricken gagging to get back on their stage. It’s a fabulous venue. And I’ll be coming out afterwards to sign stuff too.
Markus: Now the tour wraps up in Victoria just before Christmas! What’s next for Tania in 2024?
Tania: A bloody holiday! Haha. I’m then going to continue doing shows with my solo album ‘The Beauty’s In The Broken’ and I’m very much looking at booking an Adelaide gig in with that one too. The album out now so make sure you all give it a listen then come along and experience it live. I’m really proud of it. Then there’s also Red Hot Summer Tour as Bachelor Girl that includes Simply Minds and Ice House, it’s going to be great.
Markus: Well Tania it’s been a blast and I’m super excited to see the Bachelor Girl and Boom Crash Opera show on Friday! Thank you for your time.
Tania: Thank you Markus! Can’t wait to see you in the front row at The Gov.
Tania Doko as Bachelor Girl perform with Boom Crash Opera Friday 10 November 2023 at The Gov (In Hindmarsh SA). Tickets available HERE