Dog Day on Dogs, Duos, and Deformer

Interview by Andrew Sisk with illustration by Kristian Bauthus

Nancy Urich responds from Dog Day’s Halifax Homebase about their new album, new label, and new pace.

You are currently promoting your new record, Deformer. Do you guys tour with your dog, Woofy? If so, how much does that affect touring life?

Poor old Woofy doesn’t get to come on tour. He would love to I’m sure, and sometime we may take him. We’d probably have to take an extra person with us to hang out with him during the bar part of the night. We’ve taken him to Sappyfest and he just loved it. He’s got his mutt muffs and really enjoys running around enticing every single person he sees to play. Including taking dirty old plates out of the garbage to offer as frisbees. Woofy stays home with his housesitter-Ainsley, and his chicken sissies.

Now that you are a 2 piece, do you still play any of the older material live? How has that transition been?

Being a two piece is really fun. We still play some of the older stuff live, probably about 3 songs per set. We’ll add more as we time goes by, we just really wanted to get some new songs to play. The crowd at the Pop Explosion were singing along to some of the new ones, that ruled. We will keep learning more and more old stuff for sure. People yell out songs from the crowd and if we can’t play them, we learn them for next time. The transition was and continues to be very exciting. I am finding drums to be the most fun instrument of them all. We still have just as much gear as we ever did.

I have always felt a sort of intangible mysterious character woven into your songs. Is that darkness intentional or does it just end up on the recordings? Is there anything mystical in your approach to creating?

Seth is an alien from another planet and I have reptilian bloodlines, is that what you mean? It could have something to do with Woofy Alexander Cheesebread Grape Juice Seth Jr the 3rd Woof. Or the rooster Crumples? We do attract strange people. This is all a secret.

I know that you recorded some of your earlier releases yourselves, and now have returned to that for Deformer. What lead to the decision to record yourselves again?

It was a pretty simple decision really. Since we have experience recording, we wanted to do it without anyone else and see how it came out. It allowed us to work on it at our own pace, and save some cash. Some songs we had ready and we recorded them the conventional way. Other songs came about sort of spur of the moment from jams we were having that we recorded right away, allowing us to capture the birth of a song, rather than the death. One day Seth came home from work and ran right downstairs to record something he came up with in the car.

What music were you guys listening to when you were creating the new record?

Well overall we listened to the Television Personalities, Real Kids, the Ramones, JTIV, the Wipers, and Rick White. But I did a lot of listening on my own since I’m learning to drum, and that would fall under the categories of Led Zeppelin (x1000), the Ventures, Black Sabbath and Drive Like Jehu.

FunDog is your new label. Why start your own label now?

Kind of wanted to stick to our own timeline, and do it at our own pace. Past experience with record labels was always that you work really hard on making a record and then once its done you have to sit on it for a long time (for lead time or whatever). And that’s how it works but, we are just tired of waiting. Once it was done we wanted it out. Couldn’t really say when that would be, until it truly was done. Then we made plans for it to be pressed and set the release date for 2 months later. We missed a few deadlines (lol) and it was a ton of work but it was worth it for sure. Also, Halifax has so much good music going on right now – it’s time to release some of this stuff. We have some plans to put our a 7″ for Cold Warps in the new year. Recorded them over the Pop Explosion. We have a few other tricks up our sleeve as well for 2012.

You and Seth have been married bandmates for a long time now, how do those 2 relationships affect one another?

We know each other really well that must count for something. It’s been so long that I wouldn’t know the difference. It is part of our daily life. We practice in our basement, thats also where we record. I’m gonna have toast and do some of that jommin’ in a minute.

What are the future plans for Dog Day at the moment?

At this very moment we are taking some time off from thinking about it. We’re going to record these 2 new songs we came up with in the past couple of weeks, but we are truly tired of planning. We would love to do more touring though, especially Europe and the States if we can swing it. We’ve been working our arses off on this since June and we need a mental break. We’d love to go across Canada as well, but winter is really not that great of a time to do it, by van at least. I’m sure we’ll come up with some crazy scheme any moment now.