Long-dormant rock/metal/psych/whatever outfit Dredg made fans very, very excited in December when they announced they’d be recording and releasing a new album in 2019, eight years after Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy, their controversial 2011 effort. The post was brief but sparked joy the likes of which Marie Kondo would be very proud.
Now frontman Gavin Hayes has gone into much greater detail in a new chat with The Barnshow Podcast. The PRP has gone through the trouble of transcribing some of the most interesting portions, including Gavin’s thoughts on the band’s lengthy hiatus, the fan reaction to Chuckles, and how the band is approaching writing this time around. Most fans will probably be delighted to know that Hayes says the new album will be more rock-oriented, whereas their previous effort ventured into electronic and pop territory.
On Dredg’s eight-year break from releasing new music:
“We love to play music together—that’s kind of the main thing. It’s just one of those things where I don’t ever really see us stopping. It’s just everyone kind of does their own thing for awhile and then we want to write again.
“So, I think it was always in our minds that we were gonna do something else and a lot of people were saying ‘Oh, are you getting back together?’ or whatever. But I never really—and I don’t think any of us, to speak for the band—ever saw it as us breaking up.
“It was just, everyone go live their lives and do their own thing. Mark started another band [Black Map] and everyone kind of branched out and lived their own separate life from the band, which I think is very healthy and down the road, I think, is best for longevity; even if we do have extended gaps between records and so on.
“I think the goal is to get one out this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if we put another one out after that. Who knows, maybe that will be eight years from now, or ten or four. Who knows.
“That’s I think just kinda how we’ve been. Obviously we’re not young anymore, so there’s a lot of other things that get in the way. But I don’t foresee… I see us as four people that love playing music and I don’t see why we would stop doing that.
“There’s no reason to stop, it’s what we love to do and I think that we’ll continue to do so as long as we can.”
On the fan backlash against their last album:
“Our last record was, you know, a lot of people disliked it. But, that was kind of a result of us having some music laying around that were b-sides and that was more from the mindset of that like ‘Hey we have our friend Dan The Automator who wants to take these b-sides and a few songs we have laying around and just making something out of it for fun.’ And that’s what happened.
“And this record, at least so far, is a pretty big turn from that. I don’t know if you want to call it us reverting back. But I think it’s maybe some middle age angst involved in it, it’s definitely more rock oriented or whatever. Maybe some people will be happy to hear that, maybe others won’t.”
And on the writing process for new Dredg material:
“I think from a direction standpoint it was just us wanting to write as a band, be in the same room. I mean, I think the great thing about where we’re at now is there’s really no, I don’t want to say expectation—I know we have our own expectations for what we want to do—but it’s very loose.
“And that kind of is reminiscent of when we were young kids playing music and just doing it to do it. Because we loved it. And it has that feeling again of us just being in a room because we want to be, because we like playing music together and we like each other as friends. So I think, in the end, that will result in better material—or at least that’s my hope. Because I think we’re gonna make the record we want to make.
“We met with some producers and people that are in the business that all kind of gave us the same advice. It’s not that we’re out there searching, but we’re talking to people about ‘hey would you be willing to work with us’ and talking to people that we have worked with in the past and they all pretty much said the same thing: ‘Make the record for you and make it for your fans and just have fun.’
“And that was kind of what we were already doing, but there was a little reassurance there… it’s a no pressure record, which I said once again, I hope will result in a beautiful piece of art.”
Gavin also said the band hopes to record the album this summer, but no studio time has been booked yet.
I interviewed Gavin back in 2010 and he shared a bit about his mindset going into the release of Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy at the time. Try not to cringe at my opening question.
I’m also still dying to know about that Dredg yard sale.
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