Seeing Dog Day live in Prague was a hap. Never ever heard the band before, I had seen a flyer with their name and a pretty vague description (“post rock”) only. Still, I went to the show and at first I was not too optimistic to see a good one. The gig took place in an art gallery, placed in a dusty cellar, where the ridiculous height of the stage and the overall feeling of being in a tomb added an absurd touch to the evening. Also the room’s bad acoustics promised not too good starting conditions for all kinds of music consisting of subtle undertones. But nevertheless, Dog Day accomplished to compensate the bad conditions with a unique show. Rock star poses and hipness standards were disawoved and replaced by a sympathetic down-to-earth indie rock show that was still thrilling and frentic. The band from Halifax/Nova Scotia (Canada) propelled through fascinating songs, combining heart felt guitar and synth melodies with propulsing drumming and bass playing.
On their latest album “night group”, released on Tomlab, Dog Day succeed in playing beautiful, sometimes introspective, sometimes uplifting pop tunes just as well as they did in their outstanding live performance. Impelled with feverish energy, the band’s origin in the punk scene is always clear, which soars them above contemporaries while recalling the golden days of american indie rock. As the music is always energetic the lyrics are a dark affair dealing with lost direction, absent pep and dead end jobs – an obvious contrast. But still, the band doesn’t loose themselves in self-pity, and address these serious issues with ironic laconism both in content and form.
At the end of their tour through Europe I found time to ask Seth Smith, singer and guitarist, a few questions to evaluate his band’s trip abroad and about touring in general.
Your euro tour is in it's last throes. I assume that it is your first tour with the band Dog Day, so I would like to know how you experienced Europe for the first time.
Yeah, this was our first European tour and we were stoked. I spent the first part of the tour in a shivering fever. It made me sing like Joe Cocker unfortunately. After that broke, I got into being a tourist and taking pictures again. We tried to take a little time in each city to look around and suck it in. We spent most of the tour in Germany. We got hit by bikes, loved cheese again and got to hang out with the peeps at tomlab. France reminded me of Quebec. I had crepes and could kind of make out what people were saying. Italy looked vintage and people cheered a lot. Belgium seemed to have a statue for every person. Czech Republic was where my grandma was a princess... I think we played in a tomb there. Norway was expensive and looks kinda like our home Nova Scotia. People here go crazy at shows. Most all of the dates were really fun and people were nice and enthusiastic. We also were lucky enough to have a guide named Noel that drove us around, protected us and talked for us, and taught us curse words in different languages which made things a lot easier.
What was your favorite place on the tour and why?
My favourite place we played at was probably Ravenna in Italy. We performed on a beach next to the sea like the Beach Boys. I felt like we were having a double fantasy.Trondheim, Berlin, Paris and Prag were really great, too.
You are going to continue to tour just a week after your arrival back home - Isn't it super stressful being on tour all the time in a row? Don't you have jobs back home?
At this point we still like touring. It’s an adventure and cooler than a 9-5 job selling peanuts. When were not on tour we have to think of interesting ways to make money that are still cool man. I mostly do yorodeo, nance does statistics for the government, crystal sells smokes and magazines and casey calls people and asks them for their old clothes.
When you are staying home - how does living in Halifax affect your band's sound?
I don't know how much Halifax really rubs off on us. We are definitely influenced by our friends and sister bands like The Hold, Be Bad, Play Guitar and other east coast players. Halifax is cold, rainy, snowy and windy 75% of the year which makes you wanna stay home and jam all the time... maybe that affects our sound.
Dog Day’s album “night group” is available through Tomlab.