Interview with Dan Aid of Wiredogs
It’s Denver band love week!
Recently I chatted with Dan Aid, lead singer of Wiredogs about their upcoming album and accompanying release show at The Marquis Theater. As always, he was candid, smart and funny.
If you have never seen them, please get down to the show. They are incredible live. I know I always say that, but it’s true. And not just because their drummer is my best friend‘s brother.
Background on the band for those who don’t know?
We’ve been a true band for about a year and a half now. I say “true” because we changed our name from The Hate to Wiredogs and really started to hone in our sound around that time. We call ourselves a punk band, but I think with this new record we’ve morphed into more of a rock band (whatever that means). This past year we got to play with a lot of kick-ass bands like The Bronx, Fucked Up, Authority Zero. We also got asked to be part of the Future of Music Policy Summit out in DC, and to play Riot Fest. There were a lot of great opportunities for us and also some growing pains, but I think we’re finally turning into the band we all want to be.
Tell me about the new album, “Kill The Artist, Hype The Trash.”
Definitely our biggest undertaking as a band. This is a five song EP that we recorded live in about 4 days, which was certainly a challenge. But I think as listener, you can feel the ups and downs in the recording. The name of the record came from an interaction Stefan had at Riot Fest 2013 when he was driving Iggy Pop to DIA. We’ve talked about this a lot recently, but basically Iggy was talking about the record industry and how the whole mantra has become about “Killing The Artist and Hyping The Trash.” This become our theme throughout the recording process. I don’t want to say it necessarily dictated how the songs turned out, but it was just a constant reminder of what we didn’t want to become… A song making machine catered to commerce… Rather, we wanted to learn from our creative successes or failures. It was a constant questioning of where our ideas and inspirations were coming from. In the end, I think we accomplished what we set out to do, and we’re fucking stoked with how it sounds.
The EP was funded by Kickstarter. How did that go?
It was exciting. This was our second time using Kickstarter to fund one of our records, and it’s always anxiety inducing, but we’ve been fortunate enough on both occasions to go over our goal… So yeah, it’s been great. We were attempting to raise $3,500, and ended up receiving well over $4k. I think our favorite part about the Kickstarter process is that every time we’ve done it, we end up meeting new people and building new relationships with folks who want to be involved with what we do.
How will the sound be different than previous Wiredogs music?
Dynamically it’s much heavier than our last two EP’s. There was a lot of writing done by each member which I think translates into a more energetic album. Like I mentioned, we did this record live in just under 4 days. Most tracks are single takes that we didn’t really mess with.
Guilty pleasures of the band? Musically or otherwise.
Richard Linklater films.
Stefan now lives in Chicago, how is that going?
Despite being a pain in the ass at times… It’s made our time together very intentional. We don’t fuck off as much. It’s pretty common that we have our whole week scheduled, down to the hour when Stefan is back.
You and Stefan work for WESTAF, tell me what what they’re about.
WESTAF is an arts nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts in the West. Stefan and I both work on multiple projects for them. It’s been very eye-opening working in the nonprofit sector as a musician; there are a lot of opportunities and a lot of money out their for artists, if you know where to look.
You also do stuff with SpokesBUZZ, right?
Yeah, we were chosen to be part of the SpokesBUZZ class of 2014. We represented them at The Future of Music Policy Summit this past year. They’ve helped us record and promote this new record. They are pretty much just a badass group of people who want to help hard-working musicians spread their message and their music.
Who are some of your favorite Denver bands?
In no particular order… Wire Faces, In The Whale, Miles To Mountains, Slow Caves, Allout Helter, The Gamits, and Reno Divorce.
How was it working Riot Fest in 2013 and then playing it in 2014?
It’s way more fun to play… Working festivals is hard fucking work. I really came to appreciate that lifestyle. You never know if you are going to be working a show or playing it. It was amazing getting the opportunity to play, but also just to witness how a festival on that scale operates. Everyone we encountered was super cool, from the crew to the other artists. We were there all three days, and I think we definitely took advantage of our time there.
What is everyone’s musical background and training?
We’ve all been in a bunch of bands in the past… Some regrettable… I think being in Wiredogs is a sort of a musical ‘cleanse’ for us in that regard. There’s some choir/band/theater geek graduates in our crew, but we all came to punk/rock music pretty much on our own. I wish I’d had teachers playing The Clash in 3rd period algebra, alas, no such luck.
Who would you love to go on tour with?
The Bronx, Fucked Up, Foo Fighters, Queens of The Stone Age, Rise Against, Against Me! … to name a few.
Give me some Wiredogs dirt. There are only three of you, so there can’t be much, right?
Come to our show, and we’ll give you the dirt.
What can someone who has never seen you expect for the CD release show on January 24th?
It’s going to be a fun night. We’ve got a bunch of killer guest artists and friends that we’ll be bringing out to do songs with us throughout the set. We’ll be playing the new record in its entirety as well.
Plans for the rest of 2015?
After the CD release show, we’re headed out on a little west coast tour. We’re playing in Scottsdale on the 28th, Los Angeles on the 29th, and Tarzana, CA on the 31st. It’s our first real tour, so we’re keeping it quick and easy. We’re already working on our follow up record to “Kill The Artist Hype The Trash” and maybe even a Basement Tapes Vol.2. Whatever we end up doing, it’s going to be a busy year.
We’ve added our good friend Steven Beck as our live guitarist. Steven and Stefan have played together in a bunch of bands in the past. He’s such a talented fucking guitarist. He learned all of the songs in just a couple of days and he has really stepped up our live show. We’re stoked to be headed into 2015 with a lineup we’re really comfortable with.
There you have it. Be sure to follow Wiredogs on Twitter and Facebook.
Thanks to Dan for taking the time to chat and see you all on the 24th!
Awesome! Can’t wait to hear the new stuff. They are a great band. Too bad my little ones keep me from ever going out.
He is awesome. Will be checking them out!
You should’ve asked him if he has seen Boyhood!
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