Monday, 8 February 2010

Introducing...The Dawnriders

YMC chats to Dan Louch from the West Yorks based band The Dawnriders.

YMC: Who are the band members, how did you all meet?

D.Louch: Hi YMC, There’s my cousin Joe Leach on keys and organ, Danny Teale sings lead vocals, Kieran Troth plays drums and does all the percussion parts, his brother  Matthew Troth plays bass and I play lead, rhythm and slide guitar and sing backing vocals.  We met at Leeds festival. We all ended up camping together through a mutual friend, and just became really close after that.  Me and Joe have played in bands together since being kids and Matt, Keiran and Dan Teale used to be in a band together as well.  We were all on a camping trip in Settle I think when me and Dan came up with the first Dawnriders song. It was something like 3 in the morning and we were sat around our camp fire.

We kept hearing these wired noises and howls coming from the woods. We were really drunk and were just coming up with random explanations as to what could be happening in there.  We made up this weird love story about a man who has seen an angelic women wandering through the village, he follows her to the edge of the woods but she lured him in. she turns out to be a vampire and he goes up there to see her every night for weeks but then he gets caught by the other vampires and gets bitten, he loses his soul but can be with the woman he loves.  The chorus for the song is just the wailing noise we could here, or we thought we could anyway.

After that trip we started exchanging ideas and writing songs, we ended up with 6 or 7 so we played them to the others who all loved them so they joined. Now we all work on stuff together as a group. It’s a really good dynamic, everyone adds something different to the sound and all the different ideas make the songs a lot stronger musically.

YMC: Lyrics are obviously important to you as you base many on your favourite literature, is that where a song starts for you? Do you write the words then add the music?

D.Louch:  It works in a few ways really, all of us love films, books and stories, and after we wrote the first song we set out to write songs that all had some kind of narrative running through them, kind of like little films if you like but set to music. Me and Dan wrote most of the songs for the album together, but we go about writing songs in slightly different ways, we used to meet up a lot and work on songs and ideas we both had, we just kind of gelled and our different song writing styles suited one another other.  I’ve always written songs without a proper lyrical structure, Ill have a story and melody in my head with a few lyrics and a title, then ill record an acoustic version for Dan and he writes the rest of lyrics. Where as when dan comes up with an idea he usually gives me the melody and a poem and I put the music to that.  It depends really what comes first, it’s usually an emotion you feel about something in your life that’s at the heart of a song you write, and the initial lyrics kind of come from that.
YMC: Who are your main influences?

D.Louch:  For me its Jimi Hendrix, there’s elements of him in everything I do, along with all the old blues players like Robert Johnson, Son House and John Lee Hooker.   We all love the classic 60s and 70s artists like The Doors, Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd. That kind of California, summer of 69 acid vibe.  But saying that the last album I bought was Grace Jones’ Nightclub, theres so much music that has influenced us its impossible to really pin it down.   Dan is more into the singer/songwriter stuff from the 60's and 70's, particularly the west coast americana stuff and i think the combination of influences has given a lot to our sound.  I think we sound like the band Butch and Sundance would have been in had they not been bank robbers and got killed.

YMC: You are currently recording an album, how's it going?

D.Louch: It’s going well, we’ve got 8 tracks completed that just need a few tweaks and final mix, then we’ll probably record the last 5 tracks in the next few months.  We’ve been really lucky to work two really talented producers, Daz and Paul at Big Blue Media recordings, they’ve just kind of captured the overall sound that we wanted, they’re really good guys too.

YMC: Will this be a digital release or available on CD too?

D.Louch: Hopefully both, we’re looking to release an independent single first and then release a couple of singles and the album through a label later this year.

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