Q+A: Dr Dog Offers Freedom

Dr Dog and yellow dog from F44 by Anna Bauer

Dr Dog keep doing things to make us love them more this year like touring crazily, putting out awesome albums and jamming on Letterman. And now they’ve decided to give away their music starting July 2nd:

Every Monday we’ll post another song, none of them have ever been released, maybe they never will. On your end, all there is to do is listen. Go to weallbelong.net and before your very eyes there will be buttons to click (as per current internet trends) to display the tracks before your very ears.

Just good dudes those Dog dudes. We camped next to them at Bonnaroo and ended up getting a great interview about ghosts and battling skinheads that didn’t make our coverage, but funny is timeless so it’s after the jump.

You guys excited to play tomorrow?

Toby Leaman (Tables): Yeah, especially after seeing the Cold War Kids today. That place was packed. There were like 4,000 people there, probably more. That’s what’s cool about this festival, man: You have a lot of bands that are sort of at our level or above playing to thousands and thousands of people.

Any nerves?

T: Nah, we’ve played so many crappy shows that were total embarrassments. I’ve made a fool of myself on stage so many times that it just doesn’t matter anymore. The worst is when there are 20 people there and you fuck up.

I’m excited for your set. I saw you guys a long time ago in Berlin.

T: You saw us in Berlin? With Clap Your Hands?

Frank McElroy (Thanks): Was that the time we played in the train station?

Yeah. Postbahnhof.

F: THAT was awesome.
T: Man, get a load of this and I’m not a bullshitter and I’m not a dude that just makes shit up: A ghost. Seriously, A GHOST. I’ve never had any experience with ghosts; I don’t particularly believe in ghosts. But I was in that old train station and I was upstairs all by myself. I went into this big, gigantic old room and I’m sitting there looking around for people. I feel something behind me and it sounded like breathing. So, I turn around expecting someone to be there and there’s NOBODY there. What the fuck is that? Why does that happen?
F: It was real cool, man. We played in a big room there.
T: I don’t think you’re fully appreciating how freaky that is, man.
F: I’ve heard it before. But yeah, no, it’s fucked up. It’s real fucked up.
T: I didn’t like it at all. I got to be honest, not very happy with that situation.

Do you believe in ghosts now?
T: I guess I have to, right? My wife’s grandmother is clairvoyant.

For a living?

T: She just has a bunch of stories about seeing the future.

Did you tell her your story?

T: Actually, I guess I didn’t. But she’s not like heavy into it. She just has anecdotes. This is a crazy one: her brother was a horrible drunk, a sailor in the 30s and 40s. He went missing and no one could find him. She had a dream one night, he came to her and he said, “I’m at so-and-so address.” And then he walked into another room and he opened up a drawer. She wakes up the next morning and opens up the same drawer. Underneath the lining of the drawer are bonds he had written out to her. She’s like, “Oh SHIT.” So she goes to this address — it’s in Baltimore — and they go driving down this pier. The road stops and they talked to these people that work there, tell them they’re trying to find this address. This guy’s like, “No, that part of the pier has been covered up for twenty years. That address doesn’t exist anymore.” The next day they pull her brother’s body out of the water where that address used to be. Weird fucking story.
F: Wow. That’s crazy.

Jesus Christ.

T: Yeah, man. It’s weird.

How come you guys haven’t decided to move up to Brooklyn like everyone else?

T: I hate New York City. I hate it.

Really? Why?

T: There’s just too many people, man. I love Philly. But New York is obviously the best place in the world. There’s more to do on one given night than anywhere else. There’s just too many people. Every time we go up there we have to drive, so it immediately puts you in a bad mood. It’s like, Fuck the Holland Tunnel, Fuck the Lincoln Tunnel, Fuck the George Washington Bridge, Fuck Verrazano, Fuck every… Then you finally get one block where you need to go and you still can’t get there. The fact that we’ve gotten to that point in humanity that people put up with that on a daily basis is insane. INSANE. It’s like the equivalent of the atomic bomb. It’s unbelievable. I could never live there.

An elderly man in a large hat approaches us. He’s a fan of the band and wants to say howdy.

Old Dude: Hey guys, enjoy your work.
T: Thanks, brother.

OD: I’m one of the few people that turned his kids on to you guys.
T: You’d be surprised, man. We get a lot of those!

OD: Yeah, I just tell them, “It’s sort of like the Beach Boys on acid,” and they kind of understand.
T: Except the Beach Boys were on acid!
OD: And then half of ‘em turned into Republicans! Good seeing you guys!

Who was that?

F: No idea.
T: No clue.

How has the tour been coming along?

F: It’s been really weird. We had a great show the first night in Tampa. The last night before this we had this terrible show with skinheads in Mobil. Alabama. It was crazy. I really thought we were going to get killed. There were like six people there to see us and they stood up front. At the back of the bar there was this pack of skinheads.
T: There was a lot of heckling and yelling go back and forth. Then it got to the point where we were going out in the crowd and playing right in their faces.
F. I wasn’t doing that! I thought he was going to be killed.

What did they say?
T: They didn’t say shit. The vast majority of people do not want to throw punches, man.
F: There was just this underlying feeling of—
T: Of aggression.
F: Of danger and DOOM.

The Old Dude returns with his wife on his arm. She is also wearing a large hat.

Old Dudette: Hey! Ya’ll are great! We saw you on the TV.

F: Nice! Which one?

Old Dudette: On Letterman!

F: Oh yeah? That was fun! Thanks!

The old people leave.

F: I’m sorry, man. What were we talking about?

Ghosts?

F: Ghosts!
T: Ghosts!

Who are you guys excited to see?

F: I want to see the Black Keys and Ornette Coleman.
T: I really wanted to see Ralph Stanley.

What about the almighty Police?

F: I am going to kick Sting in the nuts when I see him.
T: I used to be a fan and I’d definitely like to see them, but it’s not something I’m ecstatic about. I’m real curious to see Tool tonight.

I’ve heard it’s the best live show EV-ER.

T: Ever?

Ev-er.

T: I’m going to kick Sting in the nuts when I see Tool.

POSTED June 26, 2007 10:37AM IN MUSIC

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