Household Dogs – Interview

We recently had the chance to chat to all the bands headline the upcoming all day Leeds festival Rifffest. Our next chat was with Household Dogs, and you can see how it went below!

By Jane Howkins

How was your 2018? Any particular highlights you can tell us about?

2018 has been a wild one for us. We released our third single Fallen Yet, acquired some new members, and wrote a ton of new material but mostly we have been playing shows. The main event for all of us was definitely Reading and Leeds. Each of us attended one or the other in days gone by so it was an honour to play. People really did turn out, rain or shine. That being said we’ve had some strange moments, travelling down to London only to play one song and head back at 3am is just one of the more left field experiences. It’s all part of the ride.

Is there anything in particular that you’re looking forward to in the coming year, either in your private life or as a musician?

We are all just looking forward to getting some new music out there. A lot of gigging in 2018 meant we didn’t have much time for releasing new material so that is top of the agenda.

You’re playing at Rifffest soon; are you excited for that?

We are definitely excited for Rifffest. It will be our first show of 2019 so we are ready and raring to go.

How will Rifffest be different to a normal show, and what can people expect from one of your shows in general? Were you already friends with or fans of the other bands on the line-up?

Rifffest is going to be a real showcase of what is happening within the Northern music scene at the moment. It’s a kind of cross section of a movement. It definitely won’t be your average night. As for what to expect from our live show; my pet hate is watching a great band or artist and them not engaging with me. I’m not after skin on skin contact or some kind of have-a-go dance routine, I just want to feel part of the experience so that’s what we try and do with Household Dogs. It’s all about reaching out and pulling people in. We have known Brooders for a while and love what they do so when we got the call from them to play Rifffest we weren’t going to miss it. Adam from Brooders knows his shit when it comes to the music scene up here so, of course, he has picked some stellar acts.

Do you have any other tour dates coming up, or any other festival shows? And which are your favourite festivals to go to, either as punters or as performers?

We are in the process of planning dates and venues for a tour this year so you’ll have to keep an eye out for that. We already have Live at Leeds booked which is going to be a ball. There are so many good acts confirmed, so I think we will be shooting around Leeds after our set to catch as many as possible. My favourite festival has to be Bestival. I haven’t been for a long time but our bassist Matt and I went when it was still on the Isle of Wight and it was incredibly loose. Any festival where you can do yoga in the morning and watch Brian Wilson in the afternoon is going to be something to experience. Obviously, we all have a soft spot for Reading and Leeds. For most of us, they were our first festivals and you can never shake that romantic reminiscence.

Have you released any new music recently? Do you have any plans to release an EP or album this year?

It has been a while since our last release but we have a lot planned for 2019. We will be releasing our debut EP in a few months time and an album will definitely rear its head in the near future.

And do you have any singles planned for release in 2019? If so, what can you tell us about them?

Aside from an EP we have two singles that are ready to go. Our fourth single, Lonely Lover, will be released on 25 January which, of course, conveniently coincides with Rifffest. We’ve got a video ready for release and the Brooders boys were kind enough to lend their acting expertise so keep an eye out for them. Lonely Lover has been a real labour of love. We have had the song for quite some time but the arrangement and recording didn’t really click until recently. It took some time to work out what direction the song wanted to take but we figured it out in the end. It’s aggressive at its core but still has the vulnerability I love in music. The single is the last of a whole stock of songs we wrote quite some time ago so after this it’s onto another single in February with a slightly new sound.

What sort of things influence you most as musicians; and which bands and artists have you been listening to recently that you can recommend our readers to check out?

Influences can really come from anywhere. As a lyric writer, I tend to take a lot of influence from what I’m reading. I’m a sucker for a well-constructed sentence so any good writer will inspire me. Musically you’d probably be hard pressed to find five people who play together with more differing tastes but I think that does us some favours. We have our shared loves but it is probably our differences that make our sound. We draw a lot from artists like Nick Cave, The National and King Gizzard, but ultimately anyone who writes a good song. Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Elvis Costello; he has this strange, almost show-tune way of writing that attracts me. I know our guitarist Alex has been listening to Ruston Kelly lately. His album Dying Star is pretty spectacular. Apart from that we would all have to recommend The Blinders. We were lucky enough to support them at Leeds Brudenell Social Club a while ago and they kill it in every way.

What is the writing and recording process like for you? How do you start out on a track? And how have things changed in this regard since you started out?

The writing process for us is pretty fluid. Most of the time someone brings an idea to the table; it could be a melody, a chorus or a near complete song. Usually Matt and I will take that and work on it together before bringing it to rehearsal and hammering it out. If I haven’t finished the lyrics by then I’ll take it away and work on them. Once we have a song we will put it in the set, that’s the way we iron out the creases and solidify our parts. There isn’t any set way of us doing it, it just tends to flow. We are lucky enough to have Matt who records and mixes all of our music. It is his work that really defines our sound on record. Doing it all in-house gives us complete control of what we are doing and where we are going. It’s easy enough to pay someone else to do it but that isn’t us. We are after something specific that I don’t think anybody else could give us.

Any last words for your fans?

Just thank you. If you have come to a show, bought a T-shirt, streamed a song or had a drink with us, thank you. We will have some new music out real soon, so sit tight.