From her bedroom recordings to her MySpace profile to the world, Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls assembled a black-clad band of badasses and the cult following to match with three studio albums and four EPs over the span of eight inspired years. It was a movement formed without haste or calculation, while swelling feminist songwriting charisma and unapologetic gauzy garage-rock melancholy ushered in its own creative wave, granting her power-outfit international recognition and support from Sub Pop.

But after nearly a decade, the woman behind the rebel alias began itching to shed her artistic guise and punk persona to offer a new, more deliberate project, without the safety of anonymity and the immobility that comes with painting yourself into a sonic corner. With the eventual support of her label, inspiration from an email address and a more matured musical palate, (welcoming surging '80s pop ballads and vibrant power-rock on her forthcoming project,) Kristin Welchez has re-emerged as Kristin Kontrol.

Congrats on the album. You're welcoming X-Communicate, your first album as Kristin Kontrol, on May 27. If you could put into words what this album means for you personally and professionally, where would you start?

I think on both pages, it started with really just a seed of knowing that I had to do something, not just different, but more indicative of the whole picture. I felt very much that I had painted myself into a corner and that I had outgrown the Dum Dum Girls thing. Not outright but just based on the last couple of years, how I felt I could be putting out music with that as the vehicle. It started feeling like it was dictating what was possible, which I didn't like. So ultimately, it was quite a liberating thing on both fronts to just be like, 'you know what? I'm going to ditch this thing that I've made my whole world and peel it back and just kind of drop the façade and try to put out something that was honest'.

Everything evolves. Especially when you're a creative, your mission is to evolve. So how are Kristin and Dee Dee different people and artists and different personas?

That is actually part of it, Kristin is not a persona. In the simplest terms, it's the getting rid of the alter ego that I had created sort of out of preservation and punk ethos for Dum Dum Girls. I took it as far as I could until I realized that it was working against me. The Kristin Kontrol thing is just me.

What comes with that? Now that you're really showing us who you are, and things you weren't able to present before, what would you say you're able to release? And is there a fear attached to that?

Oh, for sure. Although I always try to be honest and vulnerable with my songwriting with Dum Dum Girls, there was definitely a barrier that was probably most obvious in terms of people's idea of Dee Dee and how we came across live, that towards the end of touring the last record, I was sort of actively trying to thaw out a bit and it was weird. It was like a growing pain of like, okay after all this time of built up stoic vibes, now recognizing that that is also working against what I want to be doing. Can I change within this very archetypal thing that I've established? It was too much work to try to re-orchestrate the infrastructure of Dum Dum Girls. And so, the Kristin Kontrol thing was risky in that, I can count on a certain thing from Dum Dum Girls in terms of the music and how it's received. We have amazing fans and I know we're a precious thing to them so I was definitely concerned about doing something different. But I was more concerned with dismantling Dum Dum Girls. That lives and breathes on its own at this point and I don't want to fuck with that. I hoped that people would understand that it's still me and if what they liked about Dum Dum Girls is what I brought to it in the form of songs, that it wouldn't be a huge slap in the face or abandonment. Just follow me. It's been almost ten years. I've grown up and I'm not a girl. I definitely took advantage of not having a set template and nobody is expecting anything in particular. I really just opened up and felt very free to do whatever musically, which was just fun. It was really fun and really rewarding from the creative side of things.

Out of all of those things, what was the most difficult, the process of trusting yourself or the process of getting others to see the vision?

I think it was really just sticking by the internal feelings that I had that this needed to be something new and different. It's something that I felt vaguely for a while. When I started working on this album, which I started writing songs for in January of last year, I knew. I knew it was going to be so different and the whole thing. But I didn't want to waste the mental energy of worrying how to deal with that. Instead, I just focused exclusively on the music part and I hoped that when I finished, I would have something that translated and it would make me, not leverage or lobby some big argument, but just a tangible example of why this needs to be something new. And ultimately it was. But it was a little bit daunting. Like, I need to share this and I need to really hammer in why I think it's vital to put it out in some other way.

I heard the name Kristin Kontrol is also your first name but it also came from an insult and you flipped it. I love that narrative around the whole thing. It propels the empowerment you hear in the music and your process of putting it out. It goes with the theme. So how are you in control more now than you were before?

In a lot of ways, but also in the most basic way, when I started Dum Dum Girls, it wasn't with a lot of direction or a lot of intent. It was like "I'm learning how to write songs" and I made a Myspace and then, oh shit, it has a life of its own. Thank god for that. But this was much more calculated. I'm re-establishing myself. The name, oddly enough, it's been my email address for like twelve years. I never realized what a perfect name it was for what I was doing. Because at the time, it wasn't. I didn't want to be something that was me. I wanted anonymity. I needed some sort of protective buffer when I started. It was as simple as, this Christmas, I was back in Southern California visiting friends and family and sort of mulling over what my next move was, because I had finished the record and was sitting on getting it mastered, because I just didn't know how it was going to come out. And I was sitting there with an old friend who used to do a DJ night called Skull Control and somebody had sort of poked fun at me making new friends and being part of this new social circle and they referred to me as, "Oh, you're so cool Kristin Kontrol." And I was like, that's a stupid insult and an incredible email address. My dad's been emailing me as that forever. And then it dawned on me that I've been sitting on my project name for years and it never made sense. I was kind of at my wit's end, trying to plead my case with Sub Pop. And we were going down this unfruitful line of, "it could be this, this or this." And I was getting a lot of, "we're nervous about this, we think it should just be Dum Dum Girls." And so, at the end of this, it was like "P.S, what do you think about Kristin Kontrol with a little winky emoji. And the head of Sub Pop he immediately squashed everything else we were talking about, although it didn't elevate any of the concerns that we knew would come up, it was very quickly the obvious answer.

How far do you want to take this, in the context of how far you were able to go with Dee Dee?

I want to go forever. That was part of the reasoning. For me, it was about coming back with something that has intimate room for growth so that on my next record, maybe it will be something really different from this one. There's no established template in my mind.

And when it comes to this project, now that you've taken this leap and gotten here and done it and you’re ready to release it, what are you most proud of?

I'm proud that it's so different. I'm proud that I trusted myself and that I made what I consider to be on point. I'm just glad that I took that risk.

X-Communicate is out May 27 via Sub Pop.