14 Jul 2013

Q & A with Dodson & Fogg's Chris Wade

Following up on last week's review of  Dodson & Fogg's new album "Sounds of Day & Night" (read the review here) I had a bit of a chat to Chris Wade about what it takes to release four albums in a year, and more...

"Sounds of Day & Night" seems to be going in a much more psychedelic direction. What's caused this? 

Well the psychedelic sound wasn't consciously done really. I've just got more confident and used to the home set up and also with all the instruments as well, so I can pick something up and add it in and it seems that these things combined can often give it all a bit of a dreamy sound. I always start a song the same way with a vocal and guitar and just see where it ends up. This album just seemed to develop into something more what people might call psychedelic.

I sense that you've got to the point where you're relying less on the sound of albums and bands that you love, and trying to do your own thing more. That you're more influenced by yourself than others now, if you prefer. Is this a conscious effort, or a natural evolution from spending so much time writing and recording in the last year? 

Again I don't think you can plan that kind of thing, but it might come more natural. I never purposely set out to recreate my favourite bands on purpose but must have done that by accident, and I think now maybe, like you say with writing and recording nearly constantly, I must have developed a way of writing a song, and hopefully my own style as well. I know that it is getting more fun to do, that's for sure.

Tell us a bit about what you see as the highlight tracks on "Sounds of Day & Night". 

I am really fond of the instrumental two part title track, I think that opens and closes the set nicely and I really enjoyed recording those songs, putting layers of sounds over each other and playing the flute and the guitar on the second part. I think they like maybe represent the new day and the night as the sun goes down and maybe the other songs are everything in between. I am really happy with it as a whole but my highlights are maybe Night Train, which I loved getting some keyboards on to. Also Hear it in the Morning Still is one I am proud of. But I am also happy with Lonely Little Bird and the more acousticy ones. The whole album kind of drifts around, like little short stories and scenarios, it follows characters and then it sort of buggers off to someone else. I like that element of it, so it almost seems like, dreaded phrase here, a "concept album." People have given me the total opposites as their stand out tracks so I like that it has a lot of mixed elements and might appeal to folkies, prog fans and anyone just interested in songs.

There's been mention of a American label planning on releasing your albums on vinyl - what can you tell us about this so far? 

Yeah I cant wait. I won't say too much in case it doesn't happen or if the floor boards crack now and I fall into the abyss and am never heard from again, but they are planning on releasing the first album on vinyl first and then hopefully the other two after that. It's a dream of mine to have my music on a record, so I am ridiculously excited about it. So is my dad actually, he'll be the first to get one, the sod!

Tell us a bit about the side project album "Moonlight Banquet", (which I somehow missed.) 

I didn't promote Moonlight Banquet at all because it was just a little side thing. There were instrumentals that didn't really fit the sound of Dodson and Fogg so I released them on my site. They were things I had on the side that I tweaked with and added some guitars and stuff.

So, including "Moonlight Banquet" you've released four albums in less than a year. Are the song ideas becoming more difficult to come by? Knowing your drive, I imagine you're already thinking about the next album. What have you got lined up next for us? 

Funnily enough it seems to be getting easier because I do it so much and there are quite a lot of ideas that I think are horrid so I never used them, I would say half of the ideas never turn into proper songs, so luckily I always have fresh ideas all the time and I am able to get the bad ones out and work on the good and interesting ones. For now at least. I come up with a tune in my head or a chord and then I often map it out in my head while I'm doing the pots or the hoovering or whatever, then rush into the office (sometimes my jamas fall down in the hurry) and get it down on the microphone before I forget it, then work on it after, or maybe right there and then. I'm lucky to be in the position to be able to record any time of the day as well. As for the next album, I have some half written ideas, a few full tracks ready to record and other ideas swimming around. I'll start recording it soon, and hopefully this time I will get Celia from Trees on board and maybe some others. But Sounds of Day and Night seems to be doing better than the other two and I think maybe the name is starting to seep out there a bit, so I've got to keep going and keep the interest up. I am really enjoying it, ridiculously so at the minute, so I can't wait to record some more music for next year!

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