The Dogs ride wave of publicity, set sights on next album

caitlinhardee

“We’re all kind of living in the moment right now,”  said junior Matt Bachmann, bassist for Chicago band The Dogs, summing up the wave of publicity the band’s been experiencing in the wake of their last album, Free Write.

“We were just featured in Chicaco Deli Magazine,” said Bachmann. “Deli Magazine, there’s eight of them basically, one in Chicago, New York, LA, San Francisco, New England . . . they wrote us up last year and they wrote us up again this year, and we got nominated for Artist of the Month.”

Mobilizing their fans through Facebook, the band dominated the voting for the title, which was conducted by online survey. In the end, they won the prestigious title, defeating other fixtures of the Chicago music scene, including Them Damn Kids and This Is Versailles. Winning Artist of the Month brought the band not only wider recognition, but a number of material perks as well.

“We get some exposure and some free studio time, which we’ll probably use over the summer to track some drums,” said Bachmann. “We got a lot of positive feedback, we’ve been getting a good amount of write-ups: it’s going really well.”

The band’s energy comes out most powerfully in live performance. Vocalist Rivkah Gevinson spoke about the onstage vibe.

“The best part about The Dogs for me is the performing,” Gevinson said in an e-mail. “Chicago Dogs fans know that that is half of what makes The Dogs. It’s great: there is so much exciting energy and just about anything goes at a Dogs show. We’re all drenched in sweat by the end of a gig and feeling so much love for each other and for what we’re doing. We somehow always get put in really tight spaces and our touring band, which includes seven members and two drum sets, can just barely fit on the stage. But it kind of just ups the energy. It’s just impossible to not smile.”

Being separated at college, The Dogs are limited to playing during school breaks. This summer, however, the amount of touring that will take place is still uncertain.

“Last summer we booked a lot of gigs during spring break; this spring break none of us came home, so we don’t have a whole lot planned,” said Bachmann. “I’m sure we’ll play some. We had a really good kind of tour last year, we played around the Midwest and stuff went really well, so I’m sure we’ll be able to get ourselves in with some gigs. And I know our sister band, Leafbird, really wants to go on a tour with us, which I don’t think we’ll be able to do this summer, but maybe after school next year we’ll just go on tour. We’ll see what happens.”

The band will be busy, however. The members are already working on independent songwriting and are in constant communication.

“We’ve been talking a lot about what we want the [next] record to be like. Right now we’re bouncing around 50 or 60 demos,” said Bachmann. “We record every summer. It’s probably going to be even more nuts [than last summer] because Peter, our lead singer, isn’t going to be back until July 5, so we’re gonna have like two months to record the whole thing.”

Band member James Krivchenia, who handles production for their albums as well as contributing vocals, guitar and percussion, spoke over the challenges of the last album and where the band hopes to take their next recording project.

“The first track [on Free Write], ‘In My Room, Not Alone,’ there’s like two hundred tracks on that specific song,” said Krivchenia. “It was a lot of fun to mix, but it taught me a lot. I want to focus on setting certain limitations for us in terms of sound and what we record. Not to put us in a prison, but I want to put a focus on a certain thing so there’s a more cohesive blend to the album.”

Krivchenia was enthusiastic about the prospect of free time in a professional studio, as opposed to The Dogs’ own basement studio, but emphasized that the band maintains their creative perspective and avoids obsessing over production.

“We’re always like, Oh, it’s be nice to have it sound really good when we track it, but at the same time it’s like, fuck it, as long as it has the energy that we’re trying to show people, it’s fine, you know? I don’t think we’re ever going to be studio bitches,” said Krivchenia. “We’re just like, it sounds cool, it has a vibe.”

To check out The Dogs and download a complimentary copy of Free Write, visit their Web site at  thedogsmusic.net, and their blog, at thedogblogblog.blogspot.com.