NOT only does their name intrigue me…
that music gets into the head and fascinates the senses! I have been chatting with Goan Dogs about their new single, Passing Through, and what the story behind it is. They tell me about that unique name and what we can expect from their upcoming E.P., Roll the Dice.
I discover the music and inspirations that drive the band; how the band got together; how a typical song comes together for them; what it was like filming the video for Passing Through – they provide helpful guidance for artists coming through.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Very good; very cold.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We’re five Bristol boys, born and bred, making delicious psych-infused Rock-Pop.
Passing Through is your new single. What is the story behind the song?
It’s about passing through life. The feeling that life is short, even if it doesn’t feel it sometimes - so don’t waste it, you idiot. We can’t all be lucky enough to have a ‘nice life’ but, if you’re able to recognise the things that will make it richer, then you should bloody well make an effort to seize them.
Talk to me about the song’s video. Whose concept/idea was it? Was it interesting shooting it?
We’re lucky enough to have a talented film-maker in Sam Powell. We all contribute ideas but he and Theo Mackie (who directed this one) are the driving force who actually get it done. Then, our friend Adam Stocker comes along with a lush camera and even more great ideas and makes us look like professionals.
We, basically, came up with images that fit the lyrics (literally) and images that fit the vibe and mashed it together as raucously as possible. We wanted to have even more fun than we usually do making videos - so we didn’t choreograph that much this time. A lot of it was on-the-fly; turning up at people’s houses, putting them in fancy dress; shouting ‘action’ and moving on.
The song is taken from the E.P., Roll the Dice. What sort of things do you discuss and cover in the course of the E.P.?
Throwing phones in the sea, minor misdemeanours; inappropriate thoughts and living.
How did Goan Dogs get together? Was the bond quite an instant one?
We’re a mix of primary school friends, or secondary schools friends or college friends; overlapping in some complex way we can’t quite remember. We love d*cking about together and love playing music – so, it was probably always just going to happen.
PHOTO CREDIT: Alex Rawson Photography
Is there a reason for that name at all?!
Mangy, stray dogs on beaches. In Goa. It’s a thing: they’re everywhere.
Do you all pitch in when it comes to songwriting? How would a typical Goan Dogs song come together?
We’ve settled into a pretty comfortable pattern where Luke comes up with something, brings it to the band; gets torn apart and put back together again. Sometimes, they’re nearly good to go but, usually, they get reworked a lot by all of us. The best feeling is when we’re on all on the same page and just excited to get it out there.
Which musician did you all grow up on? Can you each remember the first album you ever bought?
I don’t think we all share a single musician growing up, but you can draw your conclusions from our first-ever music purchases with our own money. Beat It by Michael Jackson, Return of the Mac by Mark Morrison; Who Let the Dogs Out? by the Baha Man, The Bends by Radiohead and Praise You by Fatboy Slim.
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
Yeah, you can - and you should! In March, we’re playing the Boileroom in Guildford on 28th; 60 Million Postcards in Bournemouth on 29th; Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen (London) on 30th and Thekla on 31st.
How important is it to you, as a band, to get your music on the road? Is the stage somewhere you all feel comfortable?
Very important. We’ve all been in love with bands growing up where the show is what it’s all about. We’re also big fans of studio wizardry, so we have a great time during the production process. But we found out, very early on, that we like to dance around on stage, get sweaty and put on D.I.Y. light shows. Give the people what they want.
T-shirt cannon anyone?
What do you all hope to achieve in 2018?
An album under our belt would be the bee’s knees. We’ve got plans for more E.P.s, though, because we keep writing tunes that we’re incredibly proud of (and feel like singles to us). So, maybe just worldwide recognition in 2018. That would be nice.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
It’s a bit local, but the Cube Cinema in Bristol put on a fundraiser a while back to buy itself - and we joined the line-up at Bristol Old Vic. As a band that has been on our fair share of tiny, grotty stages it was amazing. Also; achieving our major ambition of playing Glastonbury Festival in 2017.
Our next ambition is to play it again.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Make sure you love doing it so you can press on in times of dire financial straits. Also, people in the industry are all-talk but some mean it; so try and figure out who’s genuine and romance them. Lastly, expect totally contradictory advice from industry insiders if you ask what your next steps moving forward should be. Everyone knows everything and nothing.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
We all like to unwind by going to a nice relaxing day job.
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).
Rum and Coca-Cola by The Andrews Sisters
My Best Friend’s Girl by The Cars
Strangers by Sigrid
Lying Has to Stop by Soft Hair
Move On by Charlotte Dos Santos
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