An Interview with Bryce ‘Lipz’ Mileto of Sisters Doll

Header image credit: Porter & Davies

By Andrew Daly
andrew@vinylwriter.com

Image credit: Around The Sound

Recently, I caught up with Bryce ‘Lipz’ Mileto of burgeoning throwback rock outfit, Sisters Doll. Among other things, we touch on Bryce’s origins on the drums, the formation, and evolution of Sisters Doll, touring with Bruce Kulick, the band’s KISS fandom, their upcoming run of US dates, sharing the stage with Peter Criss, and a whole lot more.

If you would like to learn more about Sisters Doll, the link to the band’s webpage is here. Once you’ve done that, check out this interview with Bryce. Cheers.

Andrew:
Bryce, thank you for taking the time. As a young musician, what was the moment which first sparked your interest in music?

Bryce:
So, I started playing drums when I was four or five old and grew up in a music-loving family. From a young age, music took total control of my life. I’ve always had a big passion and love for music since day one.

Andrew:
Who were some of your earliest influences that first shaped your style?

Bryce:
My old man was always blasting some sort of music growing up. I was listening to everything, from KISS and Van Halen to Mötley Crüe. A lot of 70s, 80s, and 90s sort of stuff. Earlier on in my younger years, I was heavily influenced by a lot of glam rock. Over the years, I’ve gravitated to a lot of new music. I’m not one of those dudes who love one genre and that’s it. I love all kinds of music. As long as it has a cool beat, something to groove to and get me going, and is a melodic tune. I always give music a chance in this day and age, anything new is a cool thing. Although my influences over the years with bands like KISS and Crüe are still the same and I wear those influences on my sleeve, some of my favorite artists today are; Post Malone, Bring Me The Horizon, Yungblud, Machine Gun Kelly, Drake, and Lil Wayne, just to name a few.

Andrew:
What were some of your earliest gigs where you first cut your teeth?

Bryce:
I grew up in a small mining town in Western Australia called Collie, where unless you played footy or were a working-class man, it was hard to fit in. There is some crazy stories dude, especially early in our career, where me and the boys would rock up to play at a place called Kalgoorlie. We were all glammed-out wearing our mum’s make-up and there’d be dudes there wanting to kick our asses for the way we looked…until they heard us play. Then they’d walk out wearing our merch. [Laughs]. Their girlfriends liked us though. Maybe that’s why we pissed them off.

Image courtesy of Sisters Doll Facebook (official)

Andrew:
Take me through the formation of Sisters Doll. How did the band come together?

Bryce:
Similar scenario. Western Australia is a very laid-back place, especially Collie, which isn’t a bad thing. But with music in our blood, we have always dreamed big and had high hopes in life, which is why we kick-started the band. My brother Brennan used to play drums in a band in town, and when they were on their final stretch of the band. There was a gig they couldn’t perform at, meanwhile, me and my bro’s had been jamming in our back shed, and had a couple of songs together, so we got up on stage and blasted a few songs. There was instant magic. From that point on, we never looked back.

Andrew:
Welcome to the Dollhouse was a bold statement in terms of a debut. How did that album come together?

Bryce:
We were playing a few band competitions locally around Western Australia, and from the very first one, we won. We recorded a three-track EP, but it was very raw, and very few people have heard it, to this day. We then entered a bigger band competition, which had a grand prize of $10,000 and five days recording in a studio in Perth. We ended up winning, which was incredible because, at this point of our career in late 2011, we were writing a heap of new songs, and couldn’t wait to get into the studio to record them. So, we rounded the $10,000 up to $20,000, and recorded our debut album, Welcome to the Dollhouse. This album is so special to us because it felt like it was our first big hit-out to the world and the start of something really big.

Andrew:
From a songwriting perspective, how have your collective experiences affected the music leading into 2017’s All Dolled Up?

Bryce:
When you listen back to Welcome to the Dollhouse, you can hear we were very young. I was seventeen when we recorded that record. Early on in our career, Brennan wrote all the lyrics and the majority of the music. As time has gone on, the process is still the same, except Austin and myself have had more input with the music. There was a huge five-year gap between recording Welcome to the Dollhouse and All Dolled Up, and the reason for this was our move interstate from Western Australia to Victoria. So, when it came time to record All Dolled Up, Brennan had a lot of songs he had already written over the five years, and what we had all worked on collectively and musically as a band. Half of the songs recorded on All Dolled Up are tracks we were performing, and road testing at shows since day one.

Image credit: Bunbury Mail

Andrew:
As a band, there are many benefits to staying indie though, right? Do you have a trust in the music industry to properly marked you, or would you rather keep it grassroots?

Bryce:
100%. We own all our music. All ticket sales go to us. We make the music we want to write, and are currently working with a top producer we want to work with. To be honest though bro, we’ve lost a lot of trust in people in this industry. There are a lot of sharks, and it’s safe to say we’ve been bitten a few times, with broken promises and false hope. But I guess that comes with the territory of being in this industry. However, we feel with our new music, this will be the time for our legacy to shine, and if the right label and the right opportunity come along, and if the time is right, who knows? The stars could align.

Andrew:
Some would say that heavy rock music has been forsaken. With that being said, what does Sisters Doll need to do to stay both relevant, and viable? 

Bryce:
I truly believe rock has never died, it’s always been there. Sure, it’s not on the radio every day, but it’s always been there. I truly believe music does come full circle, and that there will be a big resurgence one day. Just like mullets have come back into fashion. [Laughs]. Who knows? You might see dudes with hair down to their asses, dressing like chicks again, wearing make-up like they did in the 80s. [Laughs]. Although I guess in this day and age, rap artists are the new Rockstars. But I love seeing all the artists bringing it back like; The Struts, Maneskin, MGK, Yungblud…Sisters Doll. [Laughs].

Andrew:
To that end, what led Sisters Doll to pursue a glam rock direction?

Bryce:
We don’t brand ourselves these days as glam rock per se. Sure, in the first five or six years we did, especially on Australia’s Got Talent in 2016. Our influences growing up and to this day are; KISS, CRÜE, Queen, Van Halen, etc. So that’s how it started. But it’s not just the look, but it’s the show aspect, dude, and the music. Give the people what they want. To be entertained and give them big anthems and melodic chants to sing to. We’ve always tried to be the band we want to see on stage, with every member giving it their all. Pyro’s and confetti going off, drum solos, giving people an experience. We do all of that, rather than being just a band on stage. That’s what Sisters Doll has always been about. The key to this though is you gotta be able to play too. If it’s all looks and no hooks, and your music sucks, you’re in trouble. 

Image credit: TB Video & Photography

Andrew:
I wanted to touch on your time backing Bruce Kulick up in 2015 and 2017. How did you come to meet and work with Bruce, and how critical was that journey to your overarching success?

Bryce:
That was an incredible part of our career and a huge turning point for the band. A promoter we knew was bringing him out for a tour and Bruce needed a band. We worked our asses off learning all of KISS’s back catalog out of make-up, to learn songs in Bruce’s era. We grew up knowing and loving all of KISS’s music, of course, but there’s a huge difference between knowing the songs, and actually performing the songs. It was a huge success, and then we got the opportunity to perform alongside Bruce again as his backing band in 2017 in Australia and will catch up with him again at Creatures Fest in Nashville this year. We pinch ourselves to this day to be able to now know him not only as a friend, but on a professional level and same goes for our dear friend, Peter Criss.

Andrew:
On the subject of Peter, it’s been recently announced that you’ll be sharing the stage with him for one night only in New York City at The Cutting Room. Take me through the genesis of the event.

Bryce:
Huge news! Our entire US tour coming up this year in May of 2022 wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for our dear friend Peter Criss, and his incredible wife Gigi. They have been involved with the entire process and planning for this upcoming tour, and have helped us secure a heap of shows to make this one big promotional tour for Sisters Doll. Including a Sisters Doll headlining show in New York City at The Cutting Room, with very special guest Peter Criss. This will be Peter’s warm-up show, before hitting the stage again in Nashville for Creatures Fest, sharing the stage once again with Ace Frehley. We are all huge KISS fans, so to be even saying all of this to you is blowing my mind. KISS were our superheroes growing up, and KISS was the first concert we ever went to. Peter was and still is my idol, and the reason why I play drums in the first place. KISS is a big part of how and why Sisters Doll began, and are a huge inspiration to us to this day.

Andrew:
As a lifelong KISS fan myself, I can relate. Last one. What’s next for you in lanes, Bryce?

Bryce:
Our nine-date US promotional tour. I cannot wait! We hit the stage the stage in LA at The Whisky A Go Go and perform in Vegas the night after, then the Whisky again, then New York with Peter, then Nashville. It’s going to be insane. When we get back, we plan on finally releasing new music, and cannot wait to show the world what we’ve been working so hard on. We wrapped the new music video the other day, and this new single will shock some people. So keep an eye out.

Image credit: Paul Miles

Interested in learning more about Sisters Doll? Hit the link below:

Be sure to check out the full catalog of VWMusic Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Inspired by the likes of Hunter S. Thompson, Lester Bangs, and Eddie Trunk, coupled with an immense passion for music, and a disposition for writing, freelance journalist Andrew Daly moved to found VWMusic in 2019. Over time, VWMusic has grown into a bustling music outlet harboring a staff who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles, interviews, and more. In addition to running VWMusic, Andrew is also an accomplished freelance journalist, currently writing for Copper Magazine, as well as a drummer, and lover of all things guitar.
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