Mathew Priest of UK Brit pop band Dodgy kindly took a few minutes to answer a few questions from our interviewer Deirdre on reformations, the new album, touring and influences.
Dodgy play the Turks Head on Friday 13th May and tickets are €13.50 from Tickets.ie
So, the original line up reformed back in 2008, what had taken you so long to come back to Ireland?
Yeah, sorry about that but we really didn’t have a grand plan when we reformed. We love coming over to Ireland so as soon as someone asked us we jumped at the chance. Simple as that really, we weren’t asked until this gig.
What prompted the trio to get back together?
We forgot the reasons why we split up in the first place. Also, not to sound too dramatic or morbid, it was the dying wish of our old lighting tech, Andy Moore. He was always right. x
After ten years apart do you feel you get on better now?
I think we’re more relaxed around each other and certainly more respectful of each others lifestyles now. We care about each other, we’ve been through a lot together.
How does touring and the music industry as a whole, compare now to 90s? Has it changed for the better?
It’s difficult to judge as we’re not in the same position we were 15 years ago ie: a priority band on a major label but it certainly feels quite different. Obviously there’s not as much money slopping around for the newer bands, which is tough. If you think that in the 90’s, there was no YouTube, downloads, getting top 40 seemed to matter and we all wanted to get on Top Of The Pops. The Internet has changed the music industry completely. I love it now though.
Your first studio release since reforming is out at the end of the year, what type of sound can we expect from it and does it have title yet?
We’ve really focused on our harmonies and lyrics and general feel of the album. We’ve been playing loads of acoustic shows this year, so that’s where a lot of the songs are coming from. Nige has been listening to a LOT of Townes Van Zandt.
Can you tell us a bit the recording process of the album?
Nige has a studio in his back garden near Worcester, Elgar country, that has a vista of the Malvern Hills, it’s incredibly inspirational. It’s a rickety old place with no sound proofing but it’s got such a great vibe. The studio has become a instrument itself with creaking doors, birdsong and wooden floors. I can’t imagine a proper professional band would like it much :-)
Would you say you’ve been influenced by any new artists?
We all adore the new Fleet Foxes record and the John Grant record from last year, in fact Matt Pence, who mixed it and the Midlake album is mixing our record in Texas in July. He heard the demos and loved them. Simon Raymonde from Bella Union put us in touch with him. Nige is partial to a bit of Holy Fuck and Dirty Projectors and we all like Animal Collective. Incredible.
Do you reckon there is another hit in this album to help you shake the “One Hit Wonder” tag?
Nobody has ever called us one hit wonders to tell you the truth, we had 12 top 40 singles in the UK :-) Every song is a cracker on the new album, it’s the best stuff we’ve done.
For the album release you’ve organised an intimate performance and dinner for 60 fans at River Cottage, where did the idea for this come from?
Our little Northern helper, Dek. Since we got back together we realised that we all love cooking. People have really taken to the idea. We’re just trying to give our fans something a bit special. People are fed up with the stranglehold that the O2 Academies are having over the gig going experience. £4.50 for a fucking pint! Behave.
There’s a lot of controversy on the Internet about the Olly Murs single, “Thinking Of Me”, and the strikingly similarities between, “Good Enough”. Were you asked permission for the sample or is the Murs camp claiming it was just a coincidence?
We were going to leave it be but we had so many people contact us about it, other musicians mainly. Clint Boon from the Inspiral Carpets left me a message saying “I hope you’re gonna sue the little prick, brother”. So we looked into it and realised that Olly Murs is on the same publishing company that our publishing has ended up with, Universal, so we knew the cards were stacked against us. We decided that it wasn’t worth it, let it go. I just hope the little cockney chimp digs deep and buys us a pint when I see him.
What is the dodgiest thing that’s happened to Dodgy on tour?
Oh god, there are countless experiences. I remember we all took a trip before playing at the Paradiso in Amsterdam in the early 90’s because we thought it would be cosmic and we’d sound like Jimi Hendrix. We were fucking awful, I think we actually stopped playing we were so shite. That’s the last time we did that.
What can fans expect from the Dublin show and what does the future hold?
Oh man, we can’t wait. We’re borrowing all the gear so it’ll be the usual seat-of-the-pants Dodgy gig. We’re gonna play some new stuff and as many of the older songs as we can. If the crowd keep cheering we’ll keep playing.
As for the future, all I know is that we will have a finished album by the end of July and it’ll get released soon after that. I can’t wait for people to hear it.