By Ben Doy
American rock/folk band Dawes are heading to New Zealand this week where they're playing as part of The Southern Fork Americana Fest this Thursday night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland.
Consisting of Taylor Goldsmith, Griffin Goldsmith and Wylie Gelber, the band this year released their fourth studio album All Your Favourite Bands.
We had the chance to for a quick chat with Wylie ahead of their trip downunder.
Dawes was created out of the ashes of Simon Dawes and brought a new sound. How did that come about?
With Simon Dawes we were young at the time and were trying to figure out what style of music we like to play. We were a little more modern or a little heavier maybe. But pretty much by the end of Simon Dawes there were songs that you can hear on the first Dawes record. So it was never as drastic, to me at least, as people say it was. To me it was like this band has broken up and we kinda ran with a sound that our old band was heading to.
Where did the name Dawes come from?
Our singer and drummer's grandfather; his name was Dawes. Then when Simon Dawes broke up we thought let's just take half the name... because half of us were starting this band.
You recently released your fourth studio album ‘All Your Favourite Bands'. How long were you working on that album for?
We took our producer on a short tour for us, a couple of weeks before we went to record it. Normally you go into a studio and do pre-production, which is kind of like working through the songs with the producer and get everything ready to go. But with this one we decided to do that kind of like on a little short California tour that we went on, just playing bars. We brought the producer with us, so by the time we got to Nashville we recorded it all fairly quick. We were in Nashville for about a month, but maybe only recording for about 2 or 3 weeks.
And you pretty much recorded it entirely live?
Yeah, and that's the reason it goes so quick. Whenever you record live it there are some songs that are fine on the first take and some that take fifty. And this record was the same, there are a couple of songs in there that maybe we played once and sounded great... maybe did another one just to be safe. And they'd be other songs that we slaved over for 3 or 4 days, recording versions of it over and over again. And then we'd end up going back and using one of the earlier recordings.
How does the songwriting process work within Dawes?
Taylor writes the songs with the lyrics, just the core of it. Like folk songs for lack of better words. Then he'll take that to a rehearsal with us and we'll kind of shape the feel and the sound of what that song should be.
You're heading here very shortly as part of The Southern Fork Americana Fest. Will it be your first time in New Zealand?
Yeah, and I'm bummed that we're only going to be there for like a day or something. We've only been to Australia once, so this is the first time that they've added on New Zealand too. It should be pretty cool.
What are your plans following your NZ visit and then heading into 2016?
We've got a couple more things on the books, just little stuff in the States. Sooner than later we're going to try and record a new record. Whenever we have down time and not on tour, we try to get in to the studio so will hopefully start working on that as soon as we can.
Thursday October 22nd: The Tuning Fork, Auckland
Tickets via Ticketmaster