Melbourne’s Dregg are easily the wild card band for this year’s Snake Or Die tour, the stacked mixed featuring the aforementioned Dregg, Eat Your Heart Out, Staunch & Stepson. The tour kicks off tomorrow night (September 9th) at Adelaide’s Enigma Bar, so we caught up with Dregg before they hit the road to ultimately bring the grooves & the weirdness.
Mixed bills are obviously the better tour packages and lineups, and with both the Snake Or Die tour and with the band supporting Atreyu next month, I imagine that you’d agree with me?
We aren’t going to disagree with you! Playing mixed bill shows allows us to play with so many different types of musicians and it’s great to be able to experience the way other bands that are different to us, going about the same things we do in their own distinctive ways. It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to play to crowds we may not otherwise get to play too, so we try to take that on board and meet as many of those people as we can. At the end of the day, these mixed bill shows are just like-minded people all there for the same reason.
Right on! With releasing ‘Sorry Daddy (The Forgotten Verse)’, is that something Dregg will do in the future? Have spoken word tracks or non-heavy, hip-hop/rap focused tracks, much like Hacktivists ‘Rotten’ or like how Deez Nuts used to do on their first couple albums?
Yeah for sure, we love the idea of just creating stuff for the hell of it, even if it’s completely irrelevant to all our other music. Whether it be our videos, music, art, photography, we just look at the band as a portal to release everything we love and are proud of through to the listener.
So what is more important to the band: the groove/music itself or the message behind the music? Considering the subject of my previous question, I have a feeling it’s the latter…
It’s definitely a mix of the two, your passion and/or lack of, will undeniably show in your music. Having something significant to sing about inspires our minds to create a musical atmosphere for that thought. We’re proud to speak about our perception of the world but even prouder to do it through our own musical voice.
Dregg’s image seems really vital to the band, and I feel that that may really help your longevity over time. Do you feel that maybe some groups can really underthink their band’s branding and image? Or maybe even over think it?
I think when we started this band we didn’t know what kind of “image” we wanted or what we really wanted to portray. Our ‘Curriculum Critters’ video kind of brought with it “tough band” attitude and we are not those type of guys at all. We couldn’t bash anyone! The whole paint, eye contacts and makeup, I think stemmed from us as individuals just wanting to be an altered state of self on stage and just basically do whatever we want. Macca used to wear makeup and skirts live and I think it just escalated from that. Why not take advantage of an opportunity to express yourself in whatever way you want to, whether it gets attention or not. We do this because we like doing it and enjoy it, not just to turn a couple of heads.
But turn heads it does, intentional or not. With my brother, Matty, and his write-up on the Hellions gig that Dregg supported last month, I wanted to talk about the idea of reviews. As for gig reviews, I find that it can be a great way for people to re-live the show, and for those who couldn’t make it, to see what went down on the day/night. What’s the band’s opinion of reviews or rather, the music press and the media in general?
We are all for music reviews! As you said, it can be a great way to re-live a live show or paint a picture for those that may have missed it, having said that we do see it an awful lot in media today where a piece will be written completely from a subjective point of view and that can really deter the way someone may perceive something. We believe when informing people on a subject you should be clear and direct with your message and try to keep biased opinions aside and tell it for how it is.
Well said. One thing Matty said to me about the gig was that while he didn’t necessarily care for both ‘Sorry Daddy’ and your last EP, he really enjoyed your live sound the energy that the band gives off on stage. I doubt he’s alone in that, and does that maybe add weight to how the band wants to perform? If not to win over fans, but to appease new listeners and put on a show that they’ll remember?
[Laughs] that’s fair enough! Our music isn’t for everyone. The live sound we have is all down to the Prenc Magic, that guy is a wizard so that definitely helps. As far as our energy goes we are firm believers in what you put out is what you get back, it really works both ways. We are a live band. You guys are a live audience. So I don’t think we ever have the intention of trying to win people over. If people dig what we are about and the sort of vibe we try to bring to show then that is enough for us.
Also, the way you guys handled talking about that review was quite professional as well. So props for that.
Now, the last time we did an interview together, you guys said that there wasn’t anything set in stone for a new release from the band. Three or so months down the line, I’m wondering if anything has changed or developed in terms of writing and recording a new EP or full-length album? As I know you’ve been playing a new song live called ‘Weirdo’.
We are sitting on a fair bit of material. What will come next is still a bit of a mystery at this point, but we will say you won’t have to wait too long for whatever it may be.
Either way, I’m really keen to hear it! Finally, does the band still have all of those paper cutouts of Kim Kardashian & Donald Trumps faces from the ‘Sorry Daddy’ clip? If so, which member has them and will we see them again down the road in some capacity?
Chris [Mackertich, vocals] has them locked up in a toolbox at home for safe keeping, along with some other weird shit he collects so we’ll see. Kim’s already made a recent appearance to model some merch!
Dregg are touring with Eat Your Heart Out, Staunch, & Stepson on the Snake Or Die ’16 tour. Dates below & tickets can be found through the Failsafe Collective Bandcamp page.