Scene and Heard – Dredg

Interview with Gavin Hayes from Dredg

Dredg is an alternative/progressive rock band from California that was formed in 1993. The band includes: vocalist Gavin Hayes, guitarist Mark Engles, bassist Drew Roulette and drummer/keyboardist Dino Campanella.  Dredg has recently completed their fifth album, which is due to be released in the spring of 2011. They are currently on tour with Circa Survive, Codeseven and Animals as Leaders, and are scheduled at the House of Blues in Lake Buena Vista, FL on October 22, 2010.  If you missed their show go to their website to catch up with them at one of the other scheduled venues.   I was able get an interview with Gavin during his busy schedule and this is what he had to say:
OB: Dredg has been together for about 17 years with all the same original members, how have you guys been able to keep it together after all these years, what’s your secret?

Gavin: Lack of options,. lol. We have been friends for so long, and for us we try to keep it as a business with the mix of the friendship.  We just have a lot of fun together. By keeping the friendship alive we get a constant feeling of progress.

OB: You guys have just finished your fifth album and it is due to be released in the spring of 2011 what can we expect from the new album?  Have you come up with the Album title?

Gavin: Well, we’re looking at late February or early March.  We haven’t come up with a title for the album yet, that is always hard for us, when you have four people doing equal parts. As far as what to expect, well we recorded this album with Dan the Automator, so it is going to have a different sound.  It is rhythmatically more concise.  The drums were done in two or three days, three of the tracks were written by Danny.  Some aspects are more mellow and have less rock sound to them. There will be two or three base songs.  It’s very spontaneous. I’m happy with the writing and overall sound. This album will have a unique sound that is different than the last four albums which is the goal we were going towards anyway.

OB: Where did the inspiration/influence from the new album come from?

Gavin: From a lot of different areas, it’s pretty personal at least from my point of view. There are a few songs about sister, Songs about biological family, see I was adopted and I just got to know my biological family, and some songs are based on articles I’ve read.  The approach of this album is done differently than before. See I live in the Seattle area, and the rest of band lives in the Bay area of California, so when we recorded this album it wasn’t four people stuck in room, it was all done on the computer, which I think worked out better, and helped up record it faster.

OB: What was the chemistry like in the studio with Dan the Automator?

Gavin: Danny and I have very good chemistry. Even outside of music business we hang out and collaborate. We go out and have drinks and just have a good time, and we don’t always talk about music outside of the business. I have toured with him a few times, and have done random shows with him. That’s why record it was so easy to record it was just a bunch of friends together doing what they like and not over thinking anything.

OB: You just started touring last week with Circa Survive, Animals as Leaders and Codeseven, what can fans expect from this tour?

Gavin: Going really well, the shows have all sold out.  Two of three bands all know each other, and we became bus mates with Animals of Leaders so that has been pretty cool.  The first day was a little nerve racking because we recorded the new album all the way up until the day we left, so we didn’t get much practice in, but as the tour moves forward I think we’ll do alright. As far as what to expect, we are only playing a 45minute set but we will have at least one song within that set.

OB: What is the funniest thing that has happened to the band on tour so far?

Gavin: We were pranked in Germany.  Drew our bassist and our promoter hired two actors to play Berlin Police. While we were on stage these actors came up and told us that unless we give them 2000 euros the show was going to be shut down and we would be thrown off the stage.  The only people that knew about the prank was Drew and the promoter, the fans started booing, and it wasn’t until they started laughing that we realized it was a prank.

OB: Whom would you like to tour with in the future?

Gavin: I don’t really know, that’s a tough question. I guess Bob Marley, maybe Pink Floyd or even Zepplin.  I can’t really think of anyone right now.  It’s like being in a record store like Best Buy or something you want to buy a CD but can’t quite pick just one.

OB: Your song Savior was just released for Guitar Hero, which is very cool, what is that impact like for the band?

Gavin: I’m glad it’s out there, at least for our fans. I haven’t looked into the specs yet to see what kind of impact it has on sales, but any kind of exposer is good.  It helps us because the more people that hear the song the more familiar they will get with the band and our music.

OB: If you could give any advice for the upcoming local bands that are trying to make a go of it what would it be?

Gavin: Get a college degree, to fall back on. A degree can also help on writing and stuff. Also, play live as much as you can, use as many avenues to promote yourself, use many influences as you can and don’t stick to one genre, bring different styles into your music at least that is what has helped us.  Try to be your self, honesty always shines more.

Thank you Gavin for taking the time to talk with, I wish you luck tonight at the House of Blues, and we hope you have a great tour.

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