We might’ve done it sooner, but every song has gone through about fifty iterations.
Despite creating a lot of buzz with their ‘20 Minutes From The Border’ EP, desert-infused leftfield five-piece Goan Dogs have been rather quiet of late. At long last, their brand new AA-side ‘Never Gonna Let You Down / Nothing Like This’ is out this month and it’s our pleasure to chat with them about 2014.
We’re stoked the AA-side is out this month, what the heck have you been doing since ‘20 Minutes’?
Playing some amazing shows. ‘20 Minutes’ gave us some strong material to perform, but to be honest we started road testing new material almost immediately. We even had a great time performing our version of the Edward Scissorhands soundtrack at the Bristol Old Vic in aid of the Cube Freehold, that topped it for gigs – we’ve spent a lot of time at the Cube and we like those guys a lot. We’ve been playing festivals like Green Man and Larmer Tree too, but mostly we’ve been wearing our musical hats and spending a lot of time writing some exciting new material for the forthcoming releases. We might’ve done it sooner, but every song has gone through about fifty iterations – now they’re slamming. It’s all more concise and more immediate than some of our earlier work, but we also think it reflects the energy we’ve got going on. We’re really happy with the production on the record too, Euan Dickinson [Massive Attack] has done a great job mixing the tracks. They sound phat.
And you’re doing doing both a Record Store Day in-store at Rise on the 19th and a Louisiana launch on the 30th?
The Louisiana is a great venue and we’re pumped to launch our AA-side to a home crowd. We’re big vinyl lovers, always have been. As soon as the bank balance allowed, it was an easy decision to ditch the compact disc and release on the old satin pancake. Releasing the same month as RSD was a happy accident but, having been asked to get involved, we jumped at the opportunity. We’re releasing a limited batch of records and playing an in-store show at 6pm, alongside great acts like George Ezra and East India Youth. It’s gonna be a good day!
Relying on a fantasy for inspiration can free you from your four walls.
Your songs seem to revolve around really vivid narratives, where do they come from?
Escapism. Personal experience can fuel great songs but sometimes writing about someone that inspires or interests you or relying on a fantasy for inspiration can free you from your four walls and make you look a little further afield.
Everbody loves a good story as well. Having a character that people can relate to or an experience that’s entertaining can really suck a person in. Talking to people and listening to what they have to say can be inspiration enough. It’s amazing that, if you dig a little deeper, you might find that someone you know was, I don’t know, born on a bus in the middle of the desert or had their house burned to the ground by their mother when they were a kid. Taking an interest in people around you can help too. Observing a man wearing a suit and getting out of his car before going into a hotel could be the start of any number of tall tales.
In the past we’ve compared you to people like Villagers or Local Natives, but you’re pretty hard to pin down. How do you see it?
That’s good, we really rate both those bands. And yeah, we’ve heard that our sound can be a little hard to pin down. For us it comes from a lot of different places. Between the five of us we listen to a wide and diverse range of music and have a massive love for cinema. Combine this with a common goal to create music that drives and rhythmically pounds, that also creates some imagery and makes you want to start moving… It’s these combinations that might best describe what we’re trying to achieve. It’s a sound that, when we come together, just starts to happen. It’s very second nature and organic right now, which makes for fun practices.
The lights used in your live show feel like a big part of your identity, how did they come to be?
When we started playing and writing together, we always wanted a strong visual element to our live set. We also wanted to impress people from the outset, so Dan got creative and made the lights. Fundamentally though, its all about the tunes. We want to make intelligent and well crafted songs but keep the music contagious and fun. And it is – these new songs have been making us move a lot in rehearsal. So the lights are there to aid the songs, the narratives within them and to help create an atmosphere that takes the live set into a more engulfing, head-swirling experience when we play.
Well it’s good to have you guys back – and next up is an EP in September?
Yeah, after April it’s all about September. We can’t wait to release the full EP and share more of our new material. So we’ll be recording some more over the summer and gigging here and there outside of Bristol before September sees us go on tour properly. We’re buzzing about the future and plan to keep it that way.
‘Never Gonna Let You Down / Nothing Like This’ is released on 30th April.
19th Record Store Day / Rise Music
30th AA-Side Launch / The Louisiana
Listen to a special snippet from the AA-side right here: