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Interview: dredg

Questins Answered By Gavin (Vocals), Dino (Drums).
February 02nd, 2002
Interviewed by Brian Webb

Related Links:
Official Website

PRP: You recently completed work on your major label debut which many have high expectations for. What can we expect in terms of sound and direction?
Gavin: In comparison to the last record, we are that many years forward of maturing, as you would expect in terms of song writing, playing, and everything.
Dino: Expect a lot of scene changes. It will be really very varied and cinematic.

PRP: You tracked it at both the Skywalker Ranch and Longview Farms, two studios that are quite scenic. Did the locations at all inspire you during the processes?
Dino: Really completely helped, its just a beautiful atmosphere, Skywalker Ranch is amazing and has all the facilities.
Gavin: No distractions, nobody could come into the studios really and they are hard to find for one thing. It's a lot nicer too, coming out of the studios into a more chilled area rather than the city.

PRP: Its not often that a band is able to record at Skywalker Ranch, how did this come about?
Dino: It's funny how everyone is scared of it likes its too expensive or something, when in fact its the same price as all the other studios in L.A. I guess the labels are paranoid and want all their bands to record in L.A. When you mention Skywalker it's like you're making a movie or something for a million dollars. Don't get me wrong, It's a really nice studio but the price is the same. I think its been built up because not many bands go there, its mainly for scoring but the room is just unbelievable and the stuff there is great.

PRP: You worked with Producer Ron St. Germain on the album, how was the experience?
Gavin: Really good, he was everything we were looking for. He was really open minded and with us on our vision. Exactly what we wanted, we didn't want someone to come in and totally control the whole thing.
Dino: Every single idea he worked with us and he's always behind the board, which isn't like most producers, basically he's an engineer. He calls himself a director because he's more than just a producer which is true.

PRP: Your last outing, "leitmotif", was conceptual in nature, will the new album continue this trend?
Gavin: Yeah it will be, but as a band I'd like to see people figure it out but I can say it is based on one idea and an almost tangible thing as well.

PRP: Live bootlegs of your newer material has become quite a hot commodity within the internet community these days. Will any of the songs you guys have been performing live lately show up on the new album?
Dino: Almost all of the new stuff we have been playing live has been recorded but whether it will be on the album or not is yet to be seen. We have around seventeen songs but only fifteen look likely to make the record.
PRP: Will the new album feature any instrumental styled songs?
Dino: Yes, a few will be in that vein. We recorded about 6, so probably 4 or 5 even could make the record.

PRP: The new material seems to be perhaps a bit more commercially oriented in terms of progression and structure. Would you say this is a natural evolution of the band or a factor of the pressures of a major label now being in the mix?
Dino: Uh....yeah I guess, its more focused.
Gavin: If you're talking about the "2001 Demo" though that isn't a very great representation. A couple of those songs we don't even play anymore and are pretty much gone for good. Back to your question, I'd say its natural because most of the songs were written before even the record label was after us. I think we wrote them in the same state of mind as we did "leitmotif".
Dino: The thing is with our label, even though they are a big label they are never telling us "you guys need to focus your songs", they didn't take any of our demo songs and try to cut them at all. So basically it's our choice how the songs come out now.

PRP: During recent live performances many different instruments have been introduced. Will such instruments show up on the new album and would you describe their inclusion in the shows as planned or spontaneous?
Dino: When we first started playing them yeah sure. Gavin plays a trumpet that he bought in a furniture store for like 60 bucks and that became a song. Sometimes a song will come out of buying a weird world music instrument. A lot of the time inspiration for new songs come when we go out and buy, even like a guitar pedal or a trumpet, it inspires us to go write a new song and its based around that new toy. For the new album we use a dulcimer (A narrow, often hourglass-shaped stringed instrument having three or four strings and a fretted fingerboard, typically held flat across the knees while sitting and played by plucking or strumming) and also the violin and cello and percussion shit.

PRP: Has a title or release date been selected for the new album yet?
Gavin: No title yet but we are working hard on getting it out simply because its been so long since we've had something but it's looking like summer possibly so it's a little delayed.

PRP: You recently chose to re-release your independent album, "leitmotif", how was the response to the album on a national level?
Gavin: Pretty good, very consistent with lots of e-mails.
PRP: What was the main factor behind your decision to re-release the album? Was it to buy time for a new record or perhaps simply give people the opportunity to easily get a hold of the record?
Gavin: More so that everyone has access to them.
Dino: A lot of people wanted to buy it and we just couldn't keep up and with touring all the time we didn't have time to just be shipping them out ourselves. Distributing is great, we don't have to do anything.

PRP: Is there any possibility of the ever hard to find "Orph" EP seeing a re-release anytime in the future?
Dino: I'd never say never but looking back it sounds immature and it takes a long time to look back on it and then enjoy it again. I'm just starting to listen and think yeah you know, I see my youth in this and enjoy it again.

PRP: Your music is quite unique in contrast to the bulk of what's out there today, yet a lot of the heavier music crowd seems have embraced you. Do you ever worry about what kind of bands you tour with, perhaps have any preferences?
Dino: There isn't really a place for us. It's an advantage for us in a lot of senses because maybe we can play with different types of groups. Bottom line is that we will tour with anyone that we like. Queens Of The Stone Age would be great as they are our label mates and everything but really there's tons of bands that we would love to tour with.

PRP: Although your music isn't necessarily as heavy as that of the more commonplace bands today, many fans still choose to mosh and what not during your live performances. Does this bother you at all?
Dino: It doesn't bother us but we don't really understand why. Sometimes it feels like they are just doing it to do it and not that it's music driven or something.
Gavin: So that sometimes feels a little unfocused.

PRP: Are there any touring plans in place for this spring / summer yet?
Gavin: We actually may be back out here or in Germany in May for a month doing smaller venues. As of now the focus is just on getting the record done, although we will probably play on the west coast a bit while that's happening.

PRP: It's rare that a band in this day and age can integrate art and imagery so seamlessly into their music, yet you guys manage to do it quite gracefully. How important is it to you, to be able to express yourselves through a variety of mediums aside from your music and do you have any vision as to where you would like to go with such avenues?
Gavin: It's a big part of it and I'd like to see it head towards movies.
Dino: I'd love to score a movie.

PRP: Its been said that Gavin has an extensive background in making falafel's. With the band now being a full time gig, have his skills in making them suffered?
Gavin: Hahah its kind of a joke, nick 2k. I worked at a middle eastern restaurant in San Francisco and everyone jokes about it. It was at least a year ago since I made one but I'm still pretty handy at it. I run a little stand out of the tour bus sometimes. My skills in sleeping have got a lot better if anything.

PRP: It's been said that "leitmotif: the film" is still in production. Will it follow the conceptual ideas laid down by the album?
Dino: I believe its still in the works, its been postponed a little so that we can concentrate on the record at hand but it will follow the conceptual ideas of "Leitmotif" exactly. It's going to happen I'm sure because it's already had a lot of work put into it so to stop now I don't think that would happen.

PRP: Some of your supporters view you as a band that will change the face of music as we know it, how do you feel about such claims?
Dino: Well that's very nice you know but sometimes we don't believe that or what they say haha. I don't think we can look at ourselves like that really. We are not cocky or pompous you know, so, if people say something like that we tend not to believe them.
Gavin: I tend to think we have a lot of work to do.
Dino: Yeah we suck haha.

PRP: Has anyone in the band ever considered keeping a carrot for a pet?
Dino: Actually Drew did once.
Gavin: No Drew had a cucumber, that's close.

PRP: The internet has always been a key point for you guys in keeping touch with your fans, not too mention an extension of your art form through creative website designs and galleries of your paintings and such. You've also recently even gone as far as asking for poetry from your fans on your official website. Do you find such an exchange of creative ideas inspirational, perhaps a way to bond with your fans?
Gavin: Definitely, its beautiful. It works for us and the fans. It's like a show, its got to work both ways for it to really happen.

PRP: A lot of your fan base thus far has also been established through the internet. Do you guys often keep tabs on the scene through the various websites out there?
Gavin: Not recently but we used to all the time though. I haven't had a computer in a while either, but otherwise we used it mainly for research and stuff. We didn't have a computer in the studio and now we are on tour a lot so it's really not possible. Any chance we get though we do.

PRP: Are there any goals you hope to achieve in the long run?
Gavin: I hope our fans outlive us.
PRP: Timeless music like a Pink Floyd record perhaps?
Gavin: Sure, its hard to say what will be like that, but that's an ultimate goal.

PRP: Looking a bit more short term now what can we expect from dredg in 2002?
Dino: A record out, and a lot of touring. Looking forward to see the response. See how the fans we already have react to it and see how new people react.
PRP: Because you are held in such high esteem by the fans do you feel any pressure?
Dino: Not really but people think that major label and indie stuff is so different and that its going to be that much better but we did "leitmotif" in 10 days you know and it's not always about how much money you have to make beautiful music.
Gavin: For the upcoming record we were unprepared really, we had some songs that were pretty solid and we just went in and we even wrote a song in there and just had fun and did whatever came out.

PRP: That's about it, any shoutouts or shameless self promotion?
Gavin: Thank you guys, because you guys have been a huge help. We've actually had some kids out to our shows because of your website.

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