Dredg released one of my favourite albums so far this year with "The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion". It's an amazing album that constantly crosses over into different genres but always sounds like a Dredg album. If you haven't already checked it out, you definitely should because you are missing out! Here's an email interview we did with lead singer Gavin.
PRT: Congratulations, you’ve released one of the best albums I’ve already heard this year! But how come it took you guys over two years from when you announced the new album to the actual release?
Gavin: There were some personal reasons, the label change ate up some time, and there were a lot of trial and error delays as well.
PRT: “The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion” marked your departure from Interscope… what exactly is the story behind that parting?
Gavin: There really isn't much of story other than the fact that we got dropped because we didn't sell enough records and didn't really fit their business model anymore. When we were signed in 2001 the music business was a whole different world.
PRT: Do you like having matters back in your own hands? And how do you plan to use that newfound freedom?
Gavin: Honestly, I believe that if there is a good time to be independent that time is now. That being said, with independence comes more work and less resources so we still have have a lot of stairs to climb.
PRT: The new album is inspired by a Salman Rushdie poem and comes with something of a religious theme… I’m just curious about how the creative process works with you guys. Could you tell me a little bit more about that?
Gavin: This time around we weren't really focused on making a strict concept record but a lot of the lyrical content seemed to parallel an essay that Mark found by Salman Rushdie called "A Letter to the Six Billionth Citizen". From there we used it as a template for the rest of the writing and for the artwork. I think it's influence is most apparent in the artwork and packaging.
PRT: Or maybe I can see it myself when that Making Of DVD of “Catch Without Arms” finally comes out… what happened with that one?
Gavin: That succumbed to harsh realities of a poor economy and a lack of funds. It is on ice for the time being. We may combine the footage from that dvd with footage from all of the records. Kind of a making of our whole catalogue, if you will. Or maybe we will just post it on our site. Not sure...
PRT: You’ve always been a band that doesn’t stick to one specific genre musically and the visuals have always been a big part of Dredg as well… other bands that try that sorta thing sometimes seem to lose themselves and forget to write actual songs (*cough* Mars Volta). How do you avoid that pitfall?
Gavin: I think first and foremost we are most focused on writing quality songs - songs that can be played with an acoustic guitar and a voice. I think our collective input and individualities are what create our eclectic sound. We are a very democratic band when it comes to decision making and the creative process.
PRT: You have a treasure hunt going on over at your site which is a pretty cool idea… how did you come up with it? And how important is it for you guys to stay in touch like that with your fans?
Gavin: We had a treasure hunt with "Catch Without Arms" as well. The winner of that hunt was able to name a song on the new record which ended up being "Long Days and Vague Clues". Drew has spearheaded these treasure hunts for the past 2 records so he would be a better member to ask but I know he feels and we feel that fan interaction is very important to us and our listeners.
PRT: Suppose Dredg ever calls it a day… what would you like to be remembered for? And are there things left on your to do list with the band?
Gavin: There are always things left to do and things to better. That is what keeps us going. I know we are a band that focuses on change and on progression. This is what keeps it exciting for us and hopefully for our fans. I hope we are remembered for being an honest band that never really fell into any bullshit scene or category but my greatest hope is to have our music outlive us. That would make it all worthwhile.
PRT: Quick one… is it true that you actually don’t even like the name Dredg anymore?
Gavin: That couldn't be more true but apparently, we are stuck with it.
PRT: What’s up next for you guys? I saw that you are going on a co-headlining tour with RX Bandits… anything else in the works as well?
Gavin: We are doing that tour with RX and then we are back overseas in the fall. I know we are working on playing a show with Salman Rushdie in NY sometime in October. Details to come.
PRT: Any last words for our readers?
Gavin: Be positive, relax, learn, and enjoy the universe.