Dip Road Dogs are back with some of their finest music to date. Lazy is exquisite Americana folk rock from the fun loving Aussie country boys. For fans of The National and The Church, haunting cello, and mesmerizing, deep vocals will entice the listener, but it's the unassuming emotional force that will sock you right in the feels and keep you coming back for more. Contrastingly, Lazy is a song about a relationship where one partner is not pulling their weight with the household chores and the other becomes fed up with this behaviour and finally leaves for greener pastures. "It's a warning to everyone to make sure you mow the lawns and do the dishes or you will end up alone!" Jests lead singer and songwriter Dave Chirnside.
Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee between The Amber Sound Studio, The Secret Genius Studio and producer Josh Frigo's home studio, and mastered by John Davis (The Killers, Gorillaz, Royal Blood, The XX) at Metropolis Studios in London, the EP is a real mixed bag, with all six tracks working as a commendable package that showcases the band's diversity and capability. "The EP title Shakshuka is a very apt analogy for the EP as it is a delicious tomato-based dish that can be served at dinner or breakfast and you can throw nearly anything in to make it work. Our EP is a collection of old and new ideas that have created quite a variety of genres and sounds, so it's a bit of a mixed bag but we think the songs gel well together," explains Chirnside. "Once we had recorded the demos we got in touch with Josh Frigo in Nashville and set a date in June 2019 to head over and start recording. Josh's time was very tight between touring so I locked in the dates without asking Matt, Ollie and Jack - better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission, Jack had been travelling around Australia and was in Rockhampton when I called him to ask if he would come and record in Nashville, he had to put his trip around Australia on hold, but there wasn't a whole lot of objection!"
Dip Road Dogs are a group of friends who once shared a house on Dip Road in the Mallee – now living miles apart from each other all around regional Victoria, they are one of the few bands that haven't been hugely affected by these bizarre Covid19 times. "We have been practicing isolation all our lives, so we feel we are well placed in these interesting times. There are a lot of challenges living so far away from each when it comes to live touring, but it doesn't affect our writing, as long as our internet doesn't cut out! And we have a studio in Appin where we can put our collective ideas together - demos for the next release are well underway."
Dip Road Dogs is Jack Pay, Dave Chirnside, Oliver Close and Matthew Close.
Lazy is out now and Shakshuka will be released on May 21.
Question: How would you describe your music?
Matt Close : We find it pretty a little hard to describe our music as ranges so much. It has elements of folk, psychedelic, rock and Americana. It's been described as 'farm rock' too which we kind of like.
Question: Can you tell us about your upcoming album Shakshuka?
Matt Close : The songs from Shakshuka draw on a range of sounds from psychedelic to folk and country. We enjoy a wide range of music and enjoy bringing that flexibility to the studio.
Question: What is the story behind the band name?
Matt Close : We have all lived in a farm house on Dip Road. Jack is there still now. It's where we first started jamming together and when we got our first gig we needed a name fast. Dip Road Dogs was mentioned half-jokingly as our name for that first local pub gig and haven't thought of a better name since. I think we are proud of our origins in what is a pretty isolated modest house. It has good memories and it's where we started.
Question: How did the band come together?
Matt Close : We were hanging out and jamming a lot and eventually decided we should do a gig. The local pub was good enough to give us a go and wasn't a complete disaster, so we did a few more. It is a typical starting point I guess, it happened pretty quickly and soon enough we decided we wanted to make our own music.
After a whirlwind trip to Nashville to where we recorded with producer Josh Frigo, our first EP was on the way!
Question: Who writes your songs?
Matt Close : Dave our vocalist is the main song writer on Shakshuka. He brought the raw songs to the group and we built on them collectively. I think we enjoy the collaborative part of working on songs as a group the most out of the whole process.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Matt Close : The Sheepdogs. They're a Canadian rock bank. I think after the initial sniffing of butts, we'd get down to writing some sweet canine based tunes.
Our producer Josh Frigo has shown us the benefit of a having an amazing producer on the team also. So, Rick Rubin or Andy from Black Cab would be ok too!
Question: Was there a moment any of you contemplated throwing in the towel?
Matt Close : We haven't been in the industry long to enough to become jaded by the process and business side of the things. At this point we are still in the honeymoon period I guess. I don't think it will ever become a chore for us, more of a side hustle purely for the fun.
Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a band along the way to your musical success?
Matt Close : I think the industry as a whole is facing huge challenge at the moment with Covid 19. We feel pretty lucky in that we are from farm backgrounds with day jobs largely unaffected. We are also pretty good at isolating in our normal lives.
Question: What's a typical day like?
Matt Close : Working from home at the moment makes the days quite uneventful. Countless cups of tea and coffee get me through… Groundhog Day.
Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?
Matt Close : Getting excited about a new song and working on it as a group. Then seeing it come to fruition and eventually sharing it with the world. The recording experience in Nashville was also pretty special.
Question: What's next, for you guys?
Matt Close : When COVID-19 blows over, we will aim to reschedule some gigs, including a Shakshuka EP launch. Beyond that we will get back in the studio as soon as it is safe to do so!
Question: Can you share your socials? (links please)
Matt Close : Instagram
Interview by Gwen van Montfort