Bath/Saltford’s I Don’t Want To Know Why The Caged Bird Sings have come a long way in a short time. After releasing a split with Cassus, they’ve bounced around the country, playing in support of the likes of Suis La Lune and We Came Out Like Tigers. Is it the fruits of a perfectly calculated master plan? I emailed them to find that, among other things, out …
We recently got the chance to interview Dowsing and we’ve ONLY JUST been able to put it up on the blog. (tumblr didn’t want to separate our sentences so everything was all jumbled together..lame) anyway, here it is.
Hey, Dowsing! Could you introduce yourselves and tell us what you do in the band?
Erik: Hi, my name is Erik and I am the singer/guitarist for the band.
Gooey: I’m Goo
Delia: Hi, I am Delia. I play the keyboard.
You guys are from Chicago, I’m guessing the scene up there is pretty great. Who do you recommend we check out?
Delia: our friends that we just toured with this summer, the island of misfit toys, are pretty awesome. i believe they are in the process of recording something really awesome as i type this, so hopefully that will be out soon!
Can you tell us about how Dowsing formed and how each member came to join the band?
Delia: once upon a time, over two years ago, myself, erik, and gooey were exploring the city and eating deep dish pizza and whatnot and we decided it would be fun to start a band. gooey suggested we call the band “dowsing” because it is a silly name. we recruited marcus instantly. thus, dowsing was born.
Which has been your favourite release so far and why?
Erik: Our LP because it has an awful picture of my best friend on it.
Any future tours you have set up that you can tell us about? We hear that you’re coming to Europe next year, that must be pretty exciting?
Gooey: We are indeed going to Europe. Though so far that is all we know about the tour.
You’re in the process of a new release titled “I Don’t Even Care Anymore”. Can you tell us about that?
Erik: The new LP is coming along great and we are still writing it as a full band. I think it has some of our best songs. Don’t let the title trick you.
Delia: it is super sad. and pretty catchy. and there is a song about cats. or something.
Can you tell us your musical influences and any bands you guys have been listening to lately?
Erik: Influences would be the Weakerthans and Superchunk. I’ve been listening to In Reverie by Saves The Day a lot.
Delia: the weakerthans and superchunk always, but also a lot of the world is a beautiful place and i am no longer afraid to die, ps eliot, and the firebird band because “gift” on repeat is really the only thing to listen to around this time of year.
Gooey: I’ve just been listening to re-orchestrations of music from Pokemon Red & Blue. What is emo?
What are your plans for the future?
Erik: write more songs and play on the moon. Gooey: I really want to get Dishonored.
Anything else you would like to mention?
Gooey: My other band (The Island of Misfit Toys) have been recording for a bunch of releases we plan on putting out within the next year. I just want to encourage people to check us out. You will be hearing more from us soon.
After being lucky enough to witness their first ever show, I emailed Chris & Mark of Geordie DIY punks Wade to ask them some questions about fresh starts, writing, and the future. This is how it went down:
You guys were all founding members of Sunday League – does this sometimes feel more like a lineup change than a fresh start?
Chris- Actually, that’s not totally right- Nate replaced Mark on bass when Mark left, and Steve replaced SL’s first drummer Joe, when Joe moved to London. But I get what you’re asking, and for me it feels like a totally fresh start. It’s pretty different to SL in most ways.
Mark- Yeah, Chris and I are the only SL originals. I quit because I had other commitments and Nate took my spot. We’ve all played in bands together in the past but never as this line up and never all together actually, so yeah I’d say it feels pretty fresh too. New songs, new ideas, new sound.
Could you talk a bit about Wade’s sound? How would you describe it?
Chris- I would say it’s a pretty rounded sound- some upbeat parts, some heavier parts… I would say it’s pretty energetic? Haha.
Mark- We all listen to a wide range of music and draw influences from a ton of different bands but i’d describe what we have so far as pretty raw, emotional punk. We just throw it all in and see what comes out. Sorry if that sounds really lame.
You’ve written a fair bit of new material in a short time – how do you stay prolific? Is there any one thing that inspires you?
Chris- Nate is a riff machine. He’s always working on stuff, so when we started practicing and writing, it was a pretty quick turnaround on blasting through songs. I’m still pretty aware of the fact that we’ve only wrote a handful of songs right now though so I’m looking forward to writing more.
Mark- Nate is super productive when it comes to writing parts and coming up with ideas for how things should sound, He has a huge bank of riffs and comes to practice almost every week with something new. I think we all wanted to get this band off the ground as soon as possible so hammering out a few tunes to start playing shows together was a priority. We’ve only been practicing for just over a month and played our first show last weekend, so in my experience with past bands i’d say that was pretty quick. Just excited to write more songs and get something recorded now.
I’ve heard that it’s often hard to be a DIY band and make that work around jobs, life, etc. Do you guys ever struggle with that?
Chris- Nah, band/label [Chris also co-runs Get Into It Records] stuff is really what I concentrate my spare time on so I don’t have many other distractions.
Mark- Sometimes it can be a bit of a stress. Usually towards the end of the year when i’ve used up all my holidays to play shows out of town, but it’s totally worth it. I’m quite lucky at the minute to have a job with a regular shift pattern so I know when I can and cant play shows but you can always pull a few strings to get a day or two off if need me. Plus if it’s something you’re into, you just do it regardless of what “The Man” says. PUNX!
What’s the scene like in Newcastle? Who do you recommend we check out?
Chris- It’s pretty okay, it goes up and down sometimes but it’s pretty good at the minute, a lot of good bands starting up. Always recommend Farman, Tide of Iron. Wrestling are pretty close by in Sunderland and they rule. Durham has ONSIND and Martha … Baskin’s Wish stopped playing shows a while ago when Andy moved to Canada but everyone should check their stuff out, it’s all on bandcamp. So great.
Mark- It does have its ups and downs but there’s enough people putting the work in at the minute and making things happen. We have a pretty mixed scene and it’s not unusual for an Indie-esque band to play a show with a hardcore band, Newcastle’s a small city and our scene is pretty close knit. Check out the bands Chris mentioned as well as Control, Grace and Cauls.
What do you hope for the future for Wade?
Chris- Class house shows and playing shows outside of the UK hopefully.
Mark- Jumping in a van, Escaping Newcastle for a bit and having the best time. I’ve always wanted to release something on vinyl and tour outside of the UK. If we can do that you won’t be able to wipe the smile off my face.
Interview by Nick Sadler
Wade will be playing a series of gigs in Sheffield, Leeds, and Manchester this November. They’re still getting it all sorted out, but pay attention to facebook.com/wadediy and wadediy.tumblr.com for more details.
On first listen, the new release from Des Moines songwriter and producer White Flashes is a synth-washed affair, taking varied influence from the likes of Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin. In the former it’s the spacious electronic sound-scapes and the latter, the twin styled scattered drums and polyphonic analogue synth sounds. There were points I thought I was listening to 80’s synth-pop slowed down, but the vocals weren’t as high in the mix, which sounded interesting, but of course we’ve been hearing a lot of that recently. This is a very spacious record. There is a lurking ambience though, harking back to the shoegaze scene of the 80’s that White Flashes very much lend themselves to. The contemporary IDM backbeat is there though, which keeps it fresh. The stand out track s for me are new single February 27, 1974, which sounds almost like New Order at points, which is never a bad thing. White Flashes II features guest vocalist Sarah Downen on both Sketchy Arc and Inacci and Glitter. Her voice works perfectly with the music. On the former, it’s the atmospheric dreamlike soundscape interspersed with Downen’s angelic vocals. On the latter, the hard backbeat takes control and you can see a flicker of innovation. Overall, White Flashes II is a solid EP, it’s worth listening to and it’ll probably be pretty intense live. But White Flashes II is also a record that stands slightly to prominently in the shade of its influences.
Written by Aaron Jolly
The album is available for free download here
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