I wish there were more bands like Dodgy around. There was a time in the mid-nineties when you couldn’t go to a festival, turn on a radio, or go to an indie nightclub without hearing one of their songs. Or, if you went to a gig in Camden, standing next to one of them in the toilets.
Although often tarred with the indie brush, their music had more in common with some of the classic guitar / pop bands of the 60’s and 70’s, than many of the bands around at the time.
Fast forward 16 years and they are back. Tearing up the motorway with brand new guitar strings, and a Full English breakfast in their bellies. Their latest release Stand Upright In A Cool Place is the surprise record of 2012 so far, and has the potential to be something of a classic. They must be doing alright, they have even got a beer named after them.
I spoke to drummer Matthew Priest to find out more..
Are you enjoying things more this time around?
Interesting question. Cuz I can just about remember the 1st time, which of course I enjoyed. This time around, it’s a bit like sha**ing the first girl you were ever with, but with all the knowledge of the last woman you ever made love to.
Were you surprised you have so many fans still hungry for your music?
It’s always a surprise and such a joy. Finding out that some couple in Bolton got married to a song that we wrote on a cold Hounslow afternoon makes me feel very warm.
How pleased are you with how new record came out, was it easy to write and record?
The general excepted idea is that a band can’t make the record of their career after reforming 10 years later, and to tell you the truth, I would be sceptical, but we’ve done it.
It was easy because Nigel has hit a purple patch in his life, and he is writing some of the best songs he’s ever written, plus we are playing better. We are in our peak right now.
Your songs have a timeless quality, were you ever tempted to record a dub-step record or drastically change your style?
We were certainly influenced by a lot of current bands – Holy F*ck, Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, John Grant and a load more. But of course, there’s always been an element of Dub Step to our music. At the end of the day, we make this music for our elves and if anyone likes it, then it’s a bogus.
Is it true some of the new songs are based on ancient legends / stories / books?
Yes, two of the central tracks on the album Tripped and Fell and Raggedstone Hill are based on an old 800 year old myth from Malvern about a monk called John. The story goes that he fell in love with a local lass, which you weren’t allowed to do being a monk and all that, so for his penance, he was forced to climb Raggedstone Hill on his hands and knees everyday to pray and beg forgiveness for falling foal of the bountiful evils of the flesh.
This punishment was bad enough but they also banned him from ever seeing his beloved again, which made him so twisted and angry that he literally got all medieval on everyone’s ass and placed a curse on the hill, the curse being that bad luck would befall the inhabitants of any house that the shadow of the hill fell upon on a certain day of the year.
As curses go, it’s quite an intricate one and one would imagine, a bugger to enforce but it worked, apparently.
Has your music career ever got in the way of your drinking habits?
Yes, it does sometimes, but if it becomes a problem then I just stop playing music for a while.
Were the band ever tempted to hire a stylist ?
Our record company hired one for our first album. Check the jumpers. NEVER again.
A lot of people relate to Dodgy as you come across as down to earth. What is the most Rock star thing you have ever done?
Loads of drugs with the chaps from The Fast Show. Which was nice.
You have know each other for a long time, what is the relationship like between the 3 of you?
Imagine the last three angels on earth mixed with three hungry, angry bulls in a ring. Who love each other.
Where is the ‘coolest’ place to ‘stand up’?
Right in front of what you don’t agree with. F**king STAND UP. We are totally behind the Occupy Movement. STAND UP.
What is the best thing about being in Dodgy?
Someone I don’t know, asking me questions I can’t answer. I love it x
For more info and tour dates visit www.dodgyology.com