Julio Bashmore always wanted a pet dog. Growing up, his aunt had a giant black furry dog called Maisie that he was obsessed with; in 2014, he decided to take the plunge and finally get one of his own. Also giant, black and furry, Bashmore's dog Gryff is a Chow Chow, a pedigree breed originally from northern China, and as you can see from the artist's overflowing Instagram, is outrageously cute.
With Bashmore on the brink of releasing his debut album Knockin' Boots on his own label Broadwalk Records on July 10th, and Gryff on the verge of turning one year old, The FADER spoke to the Bristol-based house producer about how he manages to take care of his best canine friend while also maintaining a globe-trotting schedule. (That's Gryff in the official album trailer via Red Bull, below.) He might be getting up earlier and flashing less cash these days, but it's obvious Bashmore wouldn't swap it for the world.
Get the dog that suits you
JULIO BASHMORE: “I was reading all these books on Chow Chows, and I’d made myself a strict list of things to look out for when I went to see the puppies. But Gryff was actually the last of the litter. I said to my girlfriend, ‘If his hind legs are too straight, we can’t get him, he might have medical problems.’ She was like, ‘When you see the puppy, you’re gonna take it.’ Sure enough, as soon as we saw him, there’s just no turning back. The willpower to say no to a puppy when it comes running at you...it’s just not going to happen. But people should ignore all the stereotypes that surround certain dog breeds. People say [Chow Chows are] really aloof and aggressive, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s the same for Staffies, people say they’re aggressive, but it’s just ‘cause, certain dogs, when they get treated badly they go that way. You kind of mold them into your own shape. As long as you’re loving to your dog and treat it well, I think they mirror whatever you reflect."
Always have someone to take care of the pup if you're on the road
JULIO BASHMORE: “If I’m playing in Bristol or somewhere near there, I can come down and drop Gryff off at my parents’ house. That’s the only place he travels with me. Basically, the biggest sacrifice on the whole partying front has been made by my girlfriend, because I still go away every weekend, she can’t really come with [me] any more. I definitely couldn’t do it by myself, that’s for sure. I genuinely do get sad [to leave him behind]. It’s good though, because I know as soon as I get in the door, he’s going to be happy to see me, that’s like the best thing ever. I’ve tried to Facetime him, but I don’t think he gets it.”
Be prepared to shell out for proper care...
JULIO BASHMORE: “It is expensive, having a dog. Veterinary bills are no joke. So get insurance. And get a trainer, definitely. We didn’t know how to train Gryff, so that’s an absolute game changer.”
...And for the finest cuisine
JULIO BASHMORE: “He eats a ridiculously healthy diet. He eats better than me. I got talked into getting him this raw food mix; I looked on the ingredients list, and it’s basically every single middle class food trend from the last five years. It’s got like, salmon oil and fucking flax seed in it. I’m fully up for him just going to the butchers, but my girlfriend says no.”
And in return, get all the love and inspiration you need to finish that project
JULIO BASHMORE: “I’ve got a little set-up in my living room, where I sketch out musical ideas. A lot of his time is spent in the living room…As a dance music producer, or any producer, you spend a lot of time in isolation. It definitely helps to have a little pal. When I was finishing the album, he was there a lot for moral support. He’d walk in the room, maybe lick my foot, and that might be the pick-me-up I need to finish a track. There’s actually a track on the album about him called ‘Bark.’ That’s dedicated to him. I just thought he needed a shout-out on the album, I felt like he’d earned it.
“I’ve got this wicked sample of him snoring. He’s quite snuffly, so sometimes it’s quite percussive, quite rhythmic. I’m yet to incorporate it in a track to be honest, but hopefully soon. Also, whenever he catches a ball, he makes this perfect sound. That’s definitely going to be used. He might even get some work as some kind of session dog. To be honest, it’s about time he started paying some rent back.”