By Arne Sjostedt
Recording their epic sounding EP Shakshuka in Nashville last year, Victoria’s the Dip Road Dogs have plenty to offer.
The EP’s name derives from an age old egg and tomato dish, and indicates the mixture of sonic flavours within. With a sound that sways between low down Americana and something more akin to the stylings of our own The Church, having focused on guitar prior to this band, this was lead singer Dave Chirnside’s first outing as a lyricist.
“I’d never actually done that, which as pretty daunting. Especially when you are releasing it to people,” Chirnside says. “It was a whole new experience sitting down and trying to put words out on a paper instead of just writing a riff for a song.”
Spending his time on a farm in rural Victoria, Chirnside says that his lyrical muses often visit him while working the land.
“Probably too much time to think on the tractor when I’m farming would probably be the main reason behind it. There’s plenty of time to think,” he says.
Though it isn’t just time in the tractor chair that has inspired him.
Saying he needs a bit of pressure to get the creative process started, Chirnside found the plane to Nashville an ideal environment to get the juices flowing in the right direction. Like toward the microphone he would be singing into after touching down in the country music capital.
“A couple of the songs I wrote on the plane over to Nashville. And one of them I finished off the night before we tracked vocals,” he says. “I got on the plane and probably had a minor panic attack that I hadn’t written any of the lyrics to a couple of the songs. It actually was a pretty good writing space.”
With Shakshuka kicking off with a coupe of massive tracks, “I’m always trying to build it up into a big heavy sound,” drops Chirnside.
Moving into recent single Lazy, most of the remaining songs on the roving six track release see some of the influences of other band members Jack Pay, and Oliver and Matthew Close grab hold, who Chirnside says have often tried to reign in his tendency to wind the power up.
“Jack loves his old music. Credence, and Cosby, Stills and Nash and things like that. So we probably used a lot more of those harmonies and influences when we were were making this record.”
With Chirnside listing bands like Tool and Deftones among earlier influences, his mum doesn’t mind the change up much either.
“She enjoys the quieter music. I think she’s happy to not have to listen to Chino Moreno on repeat,” he says.
A warning to people to do their fair share of the chores if they want to keep their other half happy, Lazy follows a relationship where one person is not pulling their weight. “I was getting into trouble with my girlfriend, and the lyrics came to me pretty quick,” he says. The resulting track is a hypnotic meditation on getting things right.
Celebrating the work of producer Josh Frigo, who also recorded the track’s cello part, “It was a bit of an upbeat, poppy tune there at the start, and once he bought the cello out in the studio and we played it just along with the acoustic and slowed right down, it became pretty melancholy,” he says. “But it had a really good mood about it.”