I’m here with Dawes, who just rocked Outside Lands. Great musicianship, amazing harmonies, beautiful lyrics – the first time I heard them on the radio, I had to run to my computer to find out who these guys were. Luckily for us, I know you’ll be out on tour again – headlining. Could you talk a bit about that?
It’ll be in late October, when we head out. It’ll be the second headlining tour that we’ve gone on. We’re going out with some really cool bands – Vetiver, Moondoggies, Romany Rye, and Peter Wolf Crier – at different points, not all at once. And we’re playing rooms that we’ve never played. We’re playing Webster Hall in New York City, First Avenue in Minneapolis, and El Rey Theatre in L.A. – headlining rooms we’ve always gone to, and wished we could fill up. So, if we could get enough people in there to make it a fun night for Dawes, that would be one of the greatest things that could happen for us. We’re very excited about that tour.
Dawes has a unique, instantly recognizable sound, but, at the same time, your music has a familiar feel to it. What would you say is the inspiration behind Dawes? Who were your influences?
In terms of the songwriting, the guitarists that I’ve responded to are sort of the most traditionally based. There are obvious people, like Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, and John Prine. People who put out a well rounded song that could be played on just an acoustic guitar, as well as with a really great band. That’s always sort of been my standard – that a song can stand on it’s own two feet before bringing in the band – which helps it get pronounced appropriately, or presents it. Yeah, as a band, what we’ve always listened to, what we’ve always been drawn to, is good musicianship. In a time when it seems to have more to do with vibe, and style, and personality, rather that what a guitar player, or drummer, or bass player, or keyboard player is technically capable of, as a musician. That’s something that we miss in contemporary music, and we’re trying our best to get a little bit back to that.
So, could I ask each of you, individually, to talk about where you’re coming from musically – what got you to this point?
I think where we’re all pretty much coming from, is that playing music is the best part of what we get to do every night. So, the more skilled musicians we can all become – it’s gonna make it a better show for everyone who’s coming out and watching it, you know? And hopefully the people coming out to our shows are the kind of people who appreciate that. That’s all you can ideally hope for – is for a lot of those guys to come out.
We all kind of see eye to eye, I think. It’s about playing and being as good at your instrument as you possibly can, and that doesn’t necessarily mean technically efficient. I try to play what’s appropriate – what brings the song out. And you also cater to a live show – high energy.
I agree. I think that wherever your limits are technically – they’re gonna hold you back from being able to express an emotion or something. If you’re struggling – it’s not gonna be as natural and real.
Everything that these guys have said are important to me – things that I think about often. With the songwriting – one of my favorite parts is always meeting the people who feel spoken for. Like – “Oh man, I’ve been there, and I didn’t know anyone else had been, and now I’m happy to know that it’s not such a lonely situation.” It’s cool, because, at that point, it doesn’t matter that they didn’t write the song and I did, it’s just sort of – we found communion through a song. Be it mine, or theirs, or someone else’s – it’s just cool to be able to get to a deeper, a more private part of someone that’s not normally shared, and be able to realize that it’s something everyone’s lived through.
I want to say thank you so much to all you guys, and I look forward to seeing you really soon.
Thank you, yeah.
Taylor Goldsmith: Vocals, Guitar
Griffin Goldsmith: Drums, Vocals
Wylie Gelber: Bass
Alex Casnoff: Piano, Vocals
For more information go to: http://www.dawestheband.com