I have been setting time aside to speak with Dry Reef…
as they tell me about their new single, Start It Up. I ask what the story behind the song is and whether there will be more material coming along - their album, Daychange, is also out and a good chance to investigate the band in-full. I ask how the guys got together and what sort of music they were inspired by growing up – they recommend an approaching act to watch out for.
I wanted to know if there are any tour dates booked and which albums mean the most to them; how their music has evolved since the start and what Philadelphia is like as a base.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
We are pretty excited, honestly. Our week has been busy but fun busy.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
I'm Pat, bassist and vocalist; I'm Collin, lead guitarist; I'm Charles, guitarist and vocalist; I'm Joey and I play drums.
Start It Up is your new track. What is the story behind the song?
Start It Up is the first single we recorded for the album. It is mostly about a feeling of excitement for the future, while reminding ourselves to enjoy the present moment along the way instead of only focusing on the finish line. I try to put reminders in a lot of my songs in case I lose my way one day.
Will there be more material coming next year do you think?
We are absolutely coming out with new material next year. I think we all agree the most important part of all this is creating something new for everyone.
How did you all find one another and start Dry Reef?
Well. Collin gave me (Pat) my first guitar lesson in middle-school. In high-school, we started playing outdoor parties for our friends; then it was parties and venues in college and, when we realized we all had similar goals for our careers, we decided to really go for it in 2016 after college.
In terms of music; what did you all grow up around and idolise when young?
We came together as a band in high-school and played a lot of Classic-Rock and Reggae covers just for fun, so I guess that was a big influence. But, the more we grew together, the more we wanted to push ourselves musically. Pat began to love Post-Rock bands like Sigur Rós and Explosions in the Sky. Charles brought a Disco-Funk sound to the table; Joey loves Umphrey’s McGee even if he won't admit it and Collin just got so crazy-good at guitar - we were like, ‘alright; time to make something completely different than we've ever heard’.
What is Philadelphia like as a base? Is there a strong music scene there?
Philly is an amazing place to be a musician. There are some of the most unique and comfortable venues we have seen on the entire East Coast and all of the local artists look out for each other.
How do you think you have developed and evolved since the start of your career?
The biggest change since 2016 has been seeing a lot of our friends and family quit jobs because they are unfulfilled. Seeing that has made us so much more grateful to have a job that we don't want to quit and maybe one day we could even inspire others to find fulfilling careers.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
We would love to get Joel Embiid in a music video, honestly.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
One time, we booked an Airbnb in Maine and the owner of the property was a fan of ours from our show the night before. They stocked the house with all sorts of extra goodies for us. It was a really cool moment for us to see our music reaching people and it felt like a reminder we were on the right path.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Pat: Take Care, Take Care, Take Care by Explosions in the Sky
It showed me how much energy can come from two guitars a bass and drums. No vocals, little production; just pure emotion and light. It's an album I listen to that grounds me in the present more than anything.
Collin: Wildflowers by Tom Petty
It came out the year I was born and I can remember my dad playing it constantly over the years. Petty became the first concert I ever saw and inspired me to learn music from an early age.
Charles: Axis: Bold as Love by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
It was the first album that really inspired me to get better at playing the guitar and to start writing my own songs. It also has one of the most iconic pieces of album artwork in music history.
Joey: Teen Dream by Beach House
I found this album when I had just finished high school and I had never heard something so ethereal and honest before. It was a time in my life when everything was changing, and it felt like this music could protect me from any harm.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Dr. Dog is an obvious pick for us. They are from Philadelphia and their sound is so wholesome and energetic. We really relate to their ability to create such a new form of Alternative-Rock. Their live show is a great time.
As for the rider…we'd love to have a baby goat to pet.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I think we would say that nobody in the industry really knows what's going on right now. Everything is changing every single day and there is too much conflicting advice out there to keep your head straight. I think what the scene needs now is artists that do whatever feels right.
IN THIS PHOTO: Ritual Talk
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Please check out Ritual Talk. They are a super-creative band from N.Y.C. with an airy, Synth-Pop sound.
Do you both get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
We haven't needed to get away from music yet: it's where we are the most comfortable and we are so grateful every day to be able to be doing this.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Blue Magic (Waikiki) - Son Little
6 Years - OddKidOut
Zebra - Beach House
Impossible Germany - Wilco
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