In the continuing task to bring the latest bands, we could no longer ignore one of London’s hottest new bands The Dogbones. This may be the first time they’ve got the attention of With Guitar’s readers, but it will not the last, Stephen Janes steps up to the plate and discovers more about moss, loud music and burger sales people…
The Dogbones are a post grunge garage punk band formed in the capital, from a number of great bands including queenadreena, Daisy Chainsaw and other highly rated bands that stormed and staggered from the South East of England across the UK and beyond. The Dogbones are Nomi Leonard on Vox/Guitar, Johnny Orion also on Vox/Guitar and Bass, Vince Johnson on Drums, Bambi also on Drums and Michael Vikalis on Bass.
As for their influences they are easier to chart bands that have had an influence include Iggy Pop & the Stooges, The Cramps, Sonics, Nirvana, Hole, Daisy Chainsaw and lots of others.
Anyone who’s seen their full tilt live performance walks away from any of their recent gigs – happy. It is nice when a band does ‘what it says on the tin’ and as Nomi explains from the early days The Dogbones took shape, “
So was it easy to find the sound for The Dogbones? Michael continues “No, it was as distorted as possible”. I can only conclude that it must be easy for bass players! I turn to Johnny for the answer “” I leave Johnny still reflecting and still empty handed I turn to Nomi, “Yeah. “ Now, I know its early days but have you heard a better quote today?
The Dogbones know what they are doing and they do it very well. I played ‘The Whole World Is Weird’ track at a rock night in Newcastle, and it went down a treat. How, I now wonder, would they describe their sound to someone that had not heard them, Michael jumps in “Mango chutney on Bombay mix with a drop of Tabasco?” Jonny adds, “I wouldn’t try and describe our sound. People always have very different opinions or descriptions of the same thing so even if I said it sounds like this or that they probably wouldn’t agree after they’d heard it.” So, dear readers we would at this point ask you to email us with your opinions of the tracks, we are hoping to get them a few gigs around the country, so if you want we will keep you
“We work hard in our live shows. We’ve been playing some pretty random places but we’ve never had a bad reaction…which is a little disappointing as I like to have something to kick against.”
Actually, people seem to be genuinely surprised by us, like they’ve never seen a band actually really express themselves before… because so many bands just fucking stand there and wonder why their audience is cold” Nomi further expands on one of London’s bad habits, “
“Yeah, we wanted loud, primal, sneering excessive punk with a choke hold on pop.”
The look of the band, natural or borne of your stronger influences, I’m thinking The Cramps meets Daisy Chainsaw? I wish I had not mentioned The Cramps or Chainsaw, it was lazy, unprofessional and bad journalism, still I live to bat another day and I am pleased that Johnny has recovered from his reflections, “We’ve never sat down and said let’s look like The Cramps or something else. If any of us looks like anyone from The Cramps or Daisy Chainsaw it’s completely unintentional but I don’t think Nomi looks like Poison Ivy or any of the rest of us look like Lux Interior or Nick Knox etc. Anyway, as much as I like The Cramps, The Rolling Stones or The Stooges are more of an influence for me.”
Nomi adds “Yeah, Daisy Chainsaw was never really an influence on me because I was never that aware of them, certainly not at the time. I was too busy climbing trees, giving my dolls bad hair cuts and being the fucking carnival Queen. The ‘look’ of the band is relative to the connection between the people in it and not tied to a particular premeditated concept. We are what we are and there’s no sense or reason to it so I don’t really think about that stuff. Although having said that, Vince does wear the worst pale green old peoples jacket you’ve ever seen, which is a shame, but that’s ok, I’m not going to tell anyone what to wear, I have no right to, I look like I live in a skip.
Just as this writer contemplates life in a west end skip with Nomi, Michael brings me to my senses and I must remark that he is the first bass player ever to bring me back to earth but hey-ho, “Johnny and I wear Cramps T-shirts but I don’t think Lux Inter
ior or Poison Ivy would be caught dead (No Lux pun intended) wearing a Cramps T shirt, or Johnny wearing PVC trousers and heals, for that matter. Last time I saw Poison Ivy she looked surprisingly normal in her jeans and shirt until she turned around and her ass was completely hanging out. I am not planning to scare any Dogbones fans with that look until the second album!”
I’ve heard the following tracks, so far on my iPod, ‘The Whole World Is Weird’’, ‘Give Us A Kiss’,and ‘Hey Chihuahua’ . All three songs are really strong tracks – have I just listed your strongest crowd-pleasers when you play live?
Johnny answers, “I wouldn’t say they’re necessarily the strongest live tracks. I think all the songs we play (which is most of our album, can come off live; it depends on how well we play them on the night. So far anyway, we don’t have a song where I think “oh Christ not this one.” I dare say we’ll get bored of all of them at some point though, that’s just par for the course.
‘Hey Chihuahua’ is about a previous manager I had who was a real bastard. He really thought he was something but he was just a hamburger salesman. He should be working for McDonalds.
‘Give Us A kiss’ is just about other music ‘industry’ people, which is a subject that’s quickly becoming old fashioned. I guess they’re a bit of a dying breed these days as the whole music biz is really collapsing.
‘The Whole World Is Weird’ is pretty much what the title says…
I don’t write very complicated or poetic lyrics, my lyrics are in “see the dog run” territory.”
Nomi continues, “That’s what I like about Johnny’s lyrics, they’re easy to remember, people have started singing along now at gigs especially to ‘The Whole World Is Weird’ and ‘Hey Chihuhua’, which is great. It opens up another level of interaction between the band and the audience so for me those two songs are a lot of fun to do live.”
Before we bring things to an end I curiously enquire is there a strong Post Grunge scene?
“Always has been in my world.” Nomi states “I keep saying it’s gonna come back, it .has to eventually, as everything does. I notice flannel shirts are back right now, along with re releases of ‘Bleach’ and the Reading gig. Nirvana are on bill boards again, which is nice, maybe it’s a sign. People are bored enough with their lives and the UK’s ample selection of castrated, colourless M.O.R. bands. Maybe it’s time again for something fucked up, unscrewed and loud. It’s like growing mold though, I suppose, conditions must be just right… who knows, anyway, I live under a rock, I have no idea what the fuck goes on out there in the ‘real world’.”
Michael offers. Post is the new ‘nu’” ok right, before Johnny joins in, “I have no idea if there’s one at all, let alone a strong one. Even if there is I’m not aware that The Dogbones have anything to do with it. I don’t think flannel shirts suit me.”
And on that bombshell we leave The Dogbones, but not without further whetting your appetites…
The Dogbones will be releasing their warmly anticipated debut album pencilled in for a October 24th 2010 release through Buzzsaw Records. Who dat? I hear you cry. Nomi explains that it’s not a label run by former Pistol Steve Jones, “…we just made it up, i guess you could call that our own label, because we made the record ourselves and licensed it to Cadiz Distribution.” Nomi reveals “we did it with Teo Miller (Daisy Chainsaw ‘Love Your Money’) at ‘The Cow Shed’ London, in five days including mixing.” Which by the way hard work, a full album, at least a dozen tracks and mix all the sessions into workable songs, is no mean feat.
Any of you that want their debut album that bit sooner, check out Japan’s 51 Records, where The Dogbones album has been available for a few weeks now due to the wonderful distribution demands of overseas; Not only could you get your paws (sorry) on it earlier, you will also find an extra track, I best let Nomi tell it, “…the bonus track on the Japanese release is a bedroom demo done on a shitty busted 8 track.” The Dogbones will feature all of the tracks mentioned in this interview in addition to ‘All Your Friends’, the video of which is below for your viewing pleasure. Finally I ask The Dogbones vocalist if the band are happy with their debut, “Yes, thanx. We ran out of time and money, but f**k it – nothing ever feels finished – does it?”
The Dogbones is released by Buzzsaw Records on October 24th.
Dogbones To Release Welsh Spilt Single With Kinski
The Dogbones have also just released a 7″ split single with Kinski through Ankst Music. Both songs are in Welsh, as Kinski and Angst Music are both a Welsh band and Welsh label respectively; ( Angst have knocked out some great music since the early nineties, at least that’s where I first came across them).
For their part, The Dogbones recorded a Welsh version of ‘All Your Friends Are Going To Kill You’ or ‘Mae Du Ffrindiau I Gyd Am Du Ladd Di’. Thanks to Nomi for the translation, the lead singer of The Dogbones also rates Ankst as “an excellent Welsh label dedicated to breaking unusual bands. My old band Wendykurk used to be on them”. Can’t say fairer than that.
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