March 7, 2011 — May 3 is going to be a special day for dredg, with the launch of the first round of headlining tour dates (along with The Dear Hunter, Balance and Composure, and Trophy Fire) and the release of their Dan The Automator-produced CHUCKLES AND MR. SQUEEZY on Superball Music.

The songs on CHUCKLES AND MR. SQUEEZY are largely based in rhythm, some of them heavy on loops, an influence clearly drawn from Dan, clearly evident on tracks such as “Upon Returning,” “The Thought of Losing You,” and “The Ornament.”  Although the tones and pacing shift as the album progresses, the songs all fall under the category of what singer Gavin Hayes calls “dark pop.”  “The Thought of Losing You,” driven by a surging guitar riff, achieves emotional depth through simplicity rather than over-complication while “Upon Returning” pairs rough-edged guitars with Gavin’s ambient vocals that soar in juxtaposition with the grinding instrumentals.  A shadowed mood hovers under the music, lending a sense of pensive introspection to the songs, but in the end the album emerges as a beacon of optimism.

For nearly eight months, beginning last winter, the band members—-Gavin Hayes (vocals, guitars), Drew Roulette (bass, samples), Mark Engles (guitars) and Dino Campanella (drums, keyboards)–sent songs back and forth over e-mail, allowing the tracks to slowly build and layer under individual microscopes. Producer Dan the Automator was brought into the process early, imbuing the entire development with a distinct sense of collaboration that married dredg’s signature style with Dan’s visionary approach.  “I had a deal with them,” Dan says.  “I said, ‘I’m going to make a bunch of tracks for you guys and whatever you do has to be better than these tracks or they’re going to be the album.’  I felt like setting a bar for them. dredg has been a band that’s been around for a long time and they’re comfortable with each.  I wanted to shake them out of familiar habits and patterns.”

Part of this fresh approach arrived during the recording process, a relatively short period of time that forced the band to feel the sensations of their music rather than spend too much time perfecting them.  The group spent two days at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco and one day at David Chloe’s art studio in Los Angeles. recording in September and did the rest of the work at Dan’s home studio in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.  The sessions were casual, focused on urging emotion from the music, with both spontaneity and rawness in the recorded takes.  The band even used sounds from the demoing process on the actual album tracks, an extraordinary new method for them.

“For me this a renewal kind of record,” Gavin says.  “It feels different and in some ways it feels like a new band.  That was my goal when working with the band and with Dan was to make something we’d never done. Hopefully people can see the band in a new light.  We can mold to different things and there is a future for the band when it comes to creating.”

Check out dredg at any of the following stops:

DATE               CITY                             VENUE

With The Dear Hunter, Balance and Composure, Trophy Fire:

Tue 5/3             Los Angeles, CA           Roxy
Wed 5/4            Los Angeles, CA           Roxy
Thu 5/5             San Francisco, CA        Great American Music Hall
Fri 5/6               San Francisco, CA        Great American Music Hall
Sat 5/7              Sacramento, CA            Ace of Spades
Tue 5/10            Salt Lake City, UT          Avalon Theatre
Wed 5/11          Denver, CO                   Marquis Theatre
Fri 5/13             St. Louis, MO                The Firebird
Sat 5/14            Chicago, IL                   The Bottom Lounge
Sun 5/15           Pontiac, MI                   The Eagle Theatre
Mon 5/16          Cleveland Heights, OH   Grog Shop
Wed 5/18          Boston, MA                  Paradise Rock Club
Thu 5/19            New York, NY               Highline Ballroom
Fri 5/20             Philadelphia, PA            The Trocadero
Sat 5/21            Baltimore, MD               Bourbon Street
Mon 5/23          Atlanta, GA                   The Masquerade
Wed 5/25          New Orleans, LA            House of Blues
Thu 5/26            Houston, TX                  The Studio @ Warehouse Live
Fri 5/27             Austin, TX                     Emo’s
Sat 5/28            Dallas, TX                     Granada Theatre

dredg Online


Amanda Cagan

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