Dredg

We often ask features on PEV what stands out about their current band that makes the music/collaboration/product so much better than material they created in former groups… a question that’s difficult to answer for a band like Dredg. The bay-area based 4-piece (Gavin Hayes, Mark Engles, Drew Roulette, Dino Campanella) have been together since 1993, first grabbing the attention of the nation in 1998 with “Leitmotif”. It’s rare we see this kind of longevity and loyalty, even among the hundreds and hundreds of features we’ve shared here at PEV. But the idea remains the same for Dredg, even as the music around it evolves.

Following up on “The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion”, the band gives us “Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy”, just released this month. And like every other Dredg record, there’s something unique to it: “The resulting album is almost like opening a new chapter of a book. The players are familiar and it still sounds like the work of the same artist, but the tones have shifted and the setting’s changed.” Producer Dan the Automator helped hone in on this “new” sound, described as “a semi that's manned by a very drunk driver. It's speeding down an unpaved freeway while hauling a trailer full of the cutest bunny rabbits and toxic fumes are emanating from its exhaust pipes.” Like I said: unique. Dredg will be on the road early and often, so keep an eye out and pick up “Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy”. There’s more to learn below, so keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Dredg - Singer/guitarist/lyricist Gavin Hayes

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?  

Gavin Hayes (GH): We sound like a semi that's manned by a very drunk driver.  It's speeding down an unpaved freeway while hauling a trailer full of the cutest bunny rabbits and toxic fumes are emanating from its exhaust pipes.  

PEV: Hailing from San Francisco, California, what kind of music where the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?  

GH: We were into all kinds of music - metal, electronic, punk, hip hop, jungle, and on and on. I think our one of our most memorable concerts was Sepultura at Slim's in SF.    

PEV: Tell us your take on the music scene in your hometown and what was it like trying to break into it?  

GH: We grew up in a much different time.  It was all about trading cassette tapes and shows with other local acts and developing a scene that was more focused and regional. Obviously, now with the internet everything has been globalized.   PEV: What can fans expect from a live dredg show?   Honesty.  

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?  

GH: I'm still doing this?  

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?  

GH: Movie scores, other forms of art, and a very wide array of musical genres.  From a lyrical standpoint...stand up comedy, the news, the paper, and conversations and arguments with friends and family.  

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?  

GH: Not so much.  It's cliché, but I think we're more about looking ahead.  

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of dredg?  

GH: We don't sit around meditating and studying philosophy. Although, that does sound somewhat pleasurable.  

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a goal for you?  

GH: When I (my parents) bought my first guitar in 6th grade.  

PEV: Tell us about your upcoming release, "Chuckles And Mr. Squeezy". What can fans expect from this?  

GH: It is a very different record for us and should be viewed as a collaborative (Dan the Automator) effort.    

PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst parts?  

GH: Not bad.  The travel is the best and worst part about it, but in the end...we're just out trying to create great memories for ourselves and hopefully others as well.  

PEV: An adopted child, you recently found your biological family and last year, did some research online and ended up finding your half-sister on Facebook.  Since then you have met about 30 cousins and half-cousins.  How has this experience affected your life and music?  

GH: It was a very surreal and life changing experience.  I think of a lot of those emotions were exuded and documented on this new record.  

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?  

GH: I think they are proud of our devotion to music and its proven longevity.  I know it has been fun for our families and friends to watch us grow and become what we are today as most of them have been a part of it since day one.    

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?  

GH: Dino can be found lifting weights and shoplifting from Whole Foods.   Drew is usually painting and masturbating to Internet porn.   Mark watches a lot of soccer, primarily Arsenal, and likes to play guitar while having a cigarette in the bay window of his San Francisco apartment.   I'm usually glued to my computer working and drinking unhealthy amounts of espresso. Oh, when I'm home, I water my garden every morning as well.    

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

GH: I know he's not a musician, but we could make it work - George Carlin, because he was a genius and is greatly missed.  

PEV:  Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?  

GH: I'm out of the loop but I am enjoying When Saints Go Machine, Eskmo, and James Blake right now.  

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?  

GH: Urban planner or an architect.    

PEV: So, what is next for dredg?

GH: Time will tell but for the time being...touring.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)