Based in Toronto, the four-piece Dearly Beloved are striking on writing enthralling tunes with a brutal intensity and dynamism. Admission is their newest record and we caught up with the band to have a deep insight of what inspires the band, how it was like to work with Daniel Rey at Dave Grohl’s L.A. based Studio 606 and much more.
Admission was released October last year via Aporia Records, but just now it will be released in Europe and in the UK. How has been the feedback from those who have listened to the album already?
It’s been positive. Those that have taken the time to dig into the album past the first few tracks seem to appreciate that we tracked live, played our asses off best we could, mixed things up soundwise and were comfortable letting our freak flags fly.
Your new album Admission is raw, enthralling and straight to the point, just like we’re used to get from your music. What was your mindset while going into writing these awesome new tunes?
Admission refers to the price people are made to pay. It’s not all doom and gloom but it is an album that looks at where we are now as a society and how we got here. It’s trying to find some light in all this darkness.
How is it usually your creative process as a group?
Rob writes the songs and together we work at bringing them to life as a band. This time was a bit different as we had another voice in the room – Daniel’s. He certainly helped shape the songs for Admission.
Your album was produced by Daniel Rey at Dave Grohl’s L.A.-based Studio 606. Quoting you, for the recording process you used “the custom built, ’70s-‐era Neve 8028 analog console that gave us Nevermind and more than a hundred-‐certified gold and platinum rock records.” That must have been an incredible feeling to be able to use that. Tell us about the whole experience of recording for Admission.
We feel very grateful that we had the opportunity to work at 606. The drum tones were insane. On the console are signatures from some of the artists that have used it and it’s pretty overwhelming to think about all that history. Some amazing albums have been recorded on that board. The studio made us feel welcome and were essential in helping us navigate all that gear and getting some incredible tones. We are scheduled to go back there again this spring, which we are very happy about. We spent a week in a rehearsal space with Daniel playing him our songs over and over before going into the studio, and that’s where most of the work went into the songs. We were able to track the record so quickly because, for a change, we wrote the songs ahead of time and then worked them out live with Daniel. By the time we got to 606 we had played the tunes so much that recording the beds didn’t much time at all. Two or three takes per song, for the most part, and it was ready for vocals and overdubs.
What were the highs and lows of working on the new album? Anything that stands out in particular?
It was an intense time ‐ personally, we each had lots going on and as a group we had never worked with a producer before… This time around we were and not only that but we lived in a house with him for a month. That kind of process was new to us. We’ve been had to our own devices in the past, for better and for worse. Working with a producer like Daniel was definitely a high. An absolute pleasure, actually. The night before we went into the studio we found out David Bowie died on the heels of Lemmy. That was a low. A definite high, however, was when Dave Grohl and his mom brought dinner over to the studio for us ‐ he smoked some ribs on his new Green Egg. His mom made the salads. Still can’t believe that actually happened. The ‐ sweetest ‐ people.
The album’s cover is pretty sick! What’s the story behind that image?
Our friend Talia Shipman conceived of that! It’s from her series “I Loved Everything About you, Except for Almost Everything”. She had been listening to the album and brainstorming ideas. Nothing felt right until she had a dream that her torso was split open and her insides poured black. Her photo series tries to reconcile those visions ‐ “It was this strange mix of being really dark subject matter, with a light aesthetic and it worked so well with the music”.
I really need to ask this… What are your expectations for the next 4 years with Trump as U.S. President?
It’s insane. It’s fascinating and frightening at the same time. We hope His picks for cabinet are appalling ‐ it’s hard not to feel asense of doom. Here’s to hoping it’s not the absolute shit show that it appears to be.
What can you tell us about your tour plans for 2017?
Well, our current plans have us going to Europe in February ‐ we’ll hit up Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Hopefully we have a couple in and around LA in March before we head out to Japan for April.
How’s the Toronto music scene nowadays?
Toronto has a vibrant music community and it’s a pleasure to be there nowadays. Some venues are starting to close but that’s the cycle. Toronto and Hamilton, a neighbouring city that’s growing pretty quickly, continue to produce amazing talents. Toronto is also fortunate to have some promoters that truly care about the city’s music scene, which goes a long way to keeping it fresh and vital.
Do you recommend any new bands that we should check out?
They’re not exactly new, but we dig Canadians Tanya Tagaq, Like A Motorcycle, Black Mountain, Solids and Vast Robot Armies and American bands like Death Valley Girls, Gateway Drugs, Earthlings? and Russian Circles.
What have you been listening to non‐stop lately?
The new Run The Jewels album. So good. Also the latest from Tribe Called Quest.