LA quartet Dawes are just about to head back downunder for Out On The Weekend festival and we got the chance for a quick Q&A with outfit, talking all things new album All Your Favourite Bands and their experience with crowd-funding.
Music Feeds: Returning to Australia on the back of your fourth album All Your Favourite Bands, would you say there is a different feeling this time compared to your last visit?
It’s hard to know before we get there. But we hope so. This record and its reception have been feeling good for us in general, so hopefully that extends to how people are feeling about it in Australia.
MF: The album itself has been out now for almost 5 months. Has time affected how you feel about your creation, and if so, how?
It always does. But I feel like the songs and the performances were designed to be improved upon by taken them on the road. We are not an overly precious band. Anything we learn after this record being out for a while won’t manifest as any sort of regret, but rather something we’ll just know for the next time we make a record.
MF: The albums overall vibe seems to be incredibly laid-back and less regimented. Was this the intention in the recording process?
We wanted it to reflect our relationships as players. And for us, a lot of that means forcing ourselves to think on our feet and react to each other rather than work out parts we had to memorize. We tried to keep it as open as possible and to never play the song the same way twice.
Listen: Dawes – Right On Time
MF: Overall, the album also has a very live feel. I read a quote, where Taylor Goldsmith said, “If you go to a Dawes show, what you see has always been a little bit beyond what you hear on a record. And for the first time we were like, ‘This is a really great example of what we sound like on stage.’ With this in mind, were you at all worried that you had compromised your live shows by this approach to the records sound?
Not at all. There will always be a gap between record and show. Even just for the sake of sheer volume. And that goes for any band. And any band worth their salt is gonna be better live than on record. No one wants it the other way around. We’re proud of our record. But we’ve still found ways to take it further at the concerts.
MF: I read that you had a very positive experience with crowd funding in relation creating the record. Does this reflect how you felt going into the process, and did you feel any added pressure knowing that people had invested in your work prior to hearing it?
The crowd funding was just a means of us being able to sell fans non-traditional items like drum heads, the handwritten lyrics, a guitar I played…stuff like that. None of that money went towards the recording of the album.
MF: “Your favourite band can identify you, express how you see yourself,” – With this quote in mind, who are some of your favourite bands that do this for you?
It’s always changing but when I tell someone that Steely Dan or Dire Straits are favorites of mine….or that I’m a Stones-over-Beatles man…I feel like that has a lot to do with what makes me me.
MF: Are you a band that enjoys the hard yards of touring around and what are some of your strategies for remaining on each other’s good side?
We love playing shows. If it wasn’t for the need to get into our own houses once in a while, we could do it year round. We’re lucky to be really close still. And when anything is up, we address it immediately. That’s really our only strategy in terms of getting along.
Watch: Dawes – All Your Favourite Bands (Acoustic)
MF: Are you familiar with any of your fellow artists on the Out On The Weekend line-up and do you plan to catch any particular sets?
Shelly Colvin, Robert Ellis, Sam Outlaw and Jonny Fritz are all good friends of ours. Dawes was the band for a lot of Jonny’s last record. I wrote a song with Robert for his. And I played some guitar and sang on Sam’s. So it feels like a real family affair for us.
MF: The All Your Favourite Bands Playlist on your website is another great way to reach out to your fans. Were there any tracks added to the play list that you weren’t quite expecting?
I was actually surprised at how consistent it feels with our own tastes. I guess the most unexpected addition so far was POWER by Kanye West, but I love that song.
MF: Where did the concept for the video for Things Happen come from and will we see any of those costumes broken out on this tour?
Kevin Hayes, who designed our record cover is who came up with the idea and also directed the music video. It’s all thanks to him. Unfortunately we don’t have those costumes anymore, but that wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Watch: Dawes – Things Happen