Exclusive interview – Dearly Beloved
Candian garage-punk band Dearly Beloved have just finished their support run for Bash & Pop. 2017’s been a busy year for the group as they also released their 8/10 RUSHONROCK rated album Admission.
Their latest record showed a change in production style, with results that should please anyone who comes across it.
RUSHONROCK co-editor Russell Hughes was given some time to chat with the band about their latest album, their most recent tour and throwing axes in the morning.
RUSHONROCK – Admission was recorded in 14 days, was that a conscious decision to get it done as quickly as possible?
Dearly Beloved – Yes. We like to work quickly and we knew we would be going into the studio with finished songs this time that had been helped along by producer Daniel Rey. We didn’t want to make the type of album you chip away at over the course of months. We all lived in the same house in Los Angeles, including Daniel, so it was immersive experience and we had what we had in terms of studio time to get it all done.
RUSHONROCK – You recorded it at Dave Grohl’s Studio 666, what was that experience like?
DB – Amazing. It was an honour and a privilege to record Admission there. The live room is killer, the console is legendary and the staff are dynamite to work with. If we dwelled on how many incredible bands and artists have tracked there or on that console etc we’d probably get lost up our own asses or something!
But we survived making Admission there and we’re in the middle of new sessions for our next thing that we’re feeling good about, so it was and continues to be a positive experience for us to record at 606.
RUSHONROCK – I read in an interview that automation of society is a subject that interests you, what is it about it that interests you and do you think it’s something that people should be cautious of?
DB – The impact on working people. We’re not concerned for the super-rich, put it that way.
RUSHONROCK – I’ve heard Admission described as a dark album obsessed with injustice. What injustice is it obsessed with?
The price of admission.
RUSHONROCK – The songs for this album were road tested instead of being done on the fly, why did you make that change?
DB – We got a manager and he asked us to make a record the way most bands would. In other words, write songs ahead of time and hire a producer. We were into it. It was the most radical thing we could have done for ourselves, at the time, considering the ways we’ve made our records in the past.
They could be described as sociological experiments. Taking risks and putting ourselves into challenging situations is very much a part of what makes us tick, so writing ahead of time and working with a producer was actually a fresh and exciting challenge for us. We wrote something like 27 songs and got that down to 15, then to 12, then to 10 for the album. We learned a lot in the process.
RUSHONROCK – And following on from that, do you think you’ll stick with this approach for the next record?
DB – Yes. And no. We’re already well into sessions for the next album and so far it’s been a combination of approaches. Some songs are getting fine-tuned live and some songs are being written in the studio on the fly. So far, it all feels right.
RUSHONROCK – Throwing hand axes at the start of a day before writing songs sounds like a ridiculously fun way to get things going, please tell me the story behind that.
DB – We had booked about a dozen days of recording time at Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California. The plan was to write a new song every morning and get a good take of an arrangement by dinner. Since we were staying next door at BOC’s place, where items like hand axes and archery gear live, starting our day with target practice over coffee became the routine.
After a couple hours of hanging out together in the morning while listening to records, talking and throwing hand axes, I’d grab this metal hollow body bass that belonged to BOC and write some riffs while wandering the property. We’d convene at the studio after lunch and play our asses off until we had what we thought was a solid take of that day’s new song. No click tracks, no punches. We did that for 12 days and took home an album’s worth of new material to finish up at Phoebe St.
All the credit to Eagle Of Death Metal, Dave Catching, for inspiring us to approach that album that way. Would not have happened if it wasn’t for him.
RUSHONROCK – You’ve just come off a tour with Bash & Pop, what’s it like to go on tour with Tommy Stinson?
DB – Well you should expect to be humbled every night as he rolls out great song after great song, backed by a world class band. You can expect to see some Jack kickin’ around and expect to overhear or participate in the odd conversation about American politics at the hotel bar after the gig. It was a pleasure to hang with him and his crew at hotel bars on this tour, actually … it was where we go to know each other a bit.
He and his gang we very accommodating and they took good care of us, it was an absolute pleasure to tour with Tommy Stinson and Bash and Pop.
RUSHONROCK – And any plans for a headline UK tour before the end of the year?
DB – No. Not yet. We’re stoked to get back there, though. We met some folks on this tour that want to book the band some more shows so you never know … follow @theBeloveds to stay tuned. Love from Toronto and thanks for the chat!
1st class honours graduate in Journalism from Northumbria University. Pen for hire.