It’s that time of year again. The nights are closing in, the air is getting crisper, and Christmas songs are probably knocking on the front door as we speak - but 2019 is a-coming.
From 27th-29th November, The Great Escape’s First Fifty series is showcasing the first acts confirmed to play at the new music shindig in Brighton next year.
Dork's jumping aboard for all the fun, hosting a night at The Old Blue Last on Tuesday 27th November, featuring lo-fi mover Ed The Dog, Welsh favourites Himalayas and Blossoms-tipped newcomers, Fuzzy Sun.
Before it all goes down, we tackled Ed The Dog for a catch-up.
Hey Ed, how’s it going? Had a good 2018 so far?
Hello there Dork Magazine. Things are going rather well indeed thank you. Personally, 2018 has been a bit of a tough year for me. Music-wise however, it’s been absolutely mind-blowing! Frankly, I’m dumbfounded by all the support an album I made in my parents' attic has had.
What prompted you to have a bash at this music lark solo then?
My old band ‘Fish Tank’ died a death in 2016 sadly, so I was a bit down and bandless for a time. I’ve been in bands for years in various roles, but it occurred to me that I’d never done anything on my own outside of a couple of uni songwriting assignments. I think it was also around that time I read an article by one of my all time music heroes Darwin Deez called ‘8.5 Reasons Why I Record At Home and You Should, Too’. I’ve never considered myself an engineer or producer before, but the idea of ‘complete autonomy’ outlined in the article was really exhilarating. “Maybe I could just do everything?” wasn’t something I’d ever thought before because I’d only ever seen making a record as a purely collaborative (and expensive) process up till that point.
Did you have a musical upbringing?
To be honest, not really! That’s not to say my family doesn’t have some excellent musicians / records knocking about though. My dad is an accomplished classical pianist and an avid vinyl collector and my older brother James is an absolute monster of a drummer and just generally a very natural musician. I myself, however, didn’t have the faintest interest in music or taking up an instrument till I was about or 13 or 14. I was much more into art, making little stop-frame animated films with my microcassette camcorder, and just being generally odd.
Your debut album seems to have gone down crazy well, what is it about the record that everyone likes so much do you think?
One word I keep hearing back at shows is ‘honest’. I really appreciate people saying that because it’s something I really strived for in the lyrics and production. Not to get up on my soapbox about this but I think now more so than ever it’s important, to tell the truth. I’m not a natural musician. I’m not a production whiz kid either. I’m struggling to do something I love doing, and it’s really bloody scary! It’s very easy to sell an image of a fantastic and problem free lifestyle. I guess I’d like to be the antithesis of that (in a way…).
Have you found yourself getting more opportunities and stuff since its release?
Oh yeah, it’s been mad! Annoyingly I can’t say a huge amount about some of the very exciting stuff going on behind the scenes, but my grandma made me a cake the other day to say well done which was very nice of her!
On the reverse, however, my Tinder profile has suffered considerably since becoming a ‘professional musician’... The ladies of High Wycombe and the surrounding area clearly don’t take kindly to Harry Potter lookalikes with pretend jobs and a penchant for terrible chat up lines.
You’re playing the Great Escape’s First Fifty showcase, what’s the best thing about an Ed The Dog live show?
David Kelly, Charlie Lashmar, Zak Tozer, and Ben Wall. I feel so lucky to be in a band with these guys. They’re my best friends, and they’re all amazing musicians. I really wanted to make the live show an entirely different beast because the record is so robotically edited and sampled and the band have really embraced this. Prepare for loudness essentially.
The Circa Waves tour sounds fun, are you already pals with the band? How did that booking come about?
I’ve known Joe and Sam for quite a bit now, though I haven’t seen Sam in yonks. I’ve met Colin only once a few years back when I visited them at the studio ‘cause Joe was giving me his PS1 and all his games for free (sucker born every minute amiright?). Kieran, however, was nowhere to be found.
Joe came down to watch our first ever gig at The Old Blue Last in August because he’s a good, nice person and after the show offered us the tour. Naturally, we said yes! Perhaps now that we’re touring together, I’ll meet the elusive Mr Shudall and complete the Circa Waves collection, just like the time I collected all The Simpsons couch magnets from Kellogg's cereal packets when I was a kid.
Do you have much on the agenda for 2019 yet?
More albums. More art. More tours. More countries. More fun.
What are you working on at the mo?
I can’t say really. What I can tell you, however, is that it rhymes with ‘Schmalbum Too’ and something from it will be with you very early next year.
Anything else we should know?
I’m starting a podcast with Marika Hackman’s drummer Jess Batour. It will be an even mix of by-the-slice Pizza reviews and general music chat. We’re still trying to come up with a better name than ‘Jess and Ed’s Podcast About By-The-Slice Pizza and Music’ so if your readers could tweet us some good names I’d be very appreciative.