Growing up and getting older is tough, but that’s something we can all relate to. Doe showcased that quite well on their new album, Grow Into It. We caught up with Nicola, Dean and Jake to know more about their amazing new album, working with producer Matthew Johnson (Hookworms) and how the band changed during these past years.
You guys have been a band for five years now and you celebrated your fifth year together with a sold out headline show at London’s Paper Dress Vintage. What has changed the most for you since you started Doe?
Jake: We’ve all improved as musicians and songwriters I feel. The three of us individually have varying degrees of experience when it comes to playing in bands, recording, touring and everything else that comes with it, but regardless I think we’ve all become tighter and more intuitive as a result of 5 years of continuous practice and live playing. I was listening to live demos from when we first started the other day and the difference is unreal. Another thing that’s changed is the band has turned from something that we did purely for fun into a legit second job, and there’s pros and cons to that in equal measure!
Two years after releasing your debut album Some Things Last Longer than You, here you are now about to release your sophomore album, Grow into It. What were you up two during these last couple of years?
Dean: We all ate a lot of food and worked and slept and wrote songs and played shows, etc. I think we’ve all truly grown as people via the band, which is cool to see. It’s like Nicola, Jake and I are cute siblings and Doe is our parent or god, and it’s really proud of us.
You signed to labels Big Scary Monsters and Topshelf Records to release your new record. How did that come to be?
Nicola: We’ve known BSM for a little while and Dave is a bit of a charmer, before we’d even recorded anything they made it known they were interested in working with us which was very flattering! Topshelf were on our ideal scenario list for US labels, then we played a show for them at SXSW and sent them the album and the rest is dreamy history.
Grow Into It deals with the pains of growing up and getting older that everyone can relate to. Can you elaborate a little about the creative process behind the new album?
Dean: Our creative process always feels very natural to me; I think we know how to bring the best out in each other’s writing. We wrote this album like the last one, with an increased emphasis on detail maybe, and extra non-guitar stuff that felt important this time around. The main thing I like about our process generally is we don’t bring finished ideas to the table, so nothing ever gets underlined until we’ve all worked on it, which often feels like finding the missing ingredient to someone’s recipe.
Nicola: Lyrically, it’s about the pains of the process but ultimately how it can be a very positive thing for women in particular as we finally get some fucking autonomy. As we were writing the album, I was thinking a lot about nearing 30, noticing weird little things like the skin on my arm being less elastic, things that are pretty insignificant but gave me a slight sense of panic. The more the songs and lyrical themes came together, the more I started to change the way I was thinking about ageing and I guess I kind of ‘grew’ with the songs to come to a realisation that the skin doesn’t matter! I mean it’d be nice to have the stretchy skin and the strong sense of self worth but what ya gonna do.
“Lyrically, it’s about the pains of the process but ultimately how it can be a very positive thing for women in particular as we finally get some fucking autonomy.”
Musically, the new album has these great and catchy 90’s rock tunes with pop sensibilities. What inspired you this time around while writing the new songs?
Dean: The thing that inspired me most was probably like, living our lives together. We’ve played so many great shows and completed a bunch of demanding, but ultimately rewarding tours. Our collective experience makes me feel alive, and channeling that energy into songwriting produces very real results.
Nicola: I was inspired by dad rock.
You teamed up once again with producer Matthew Johnson for the new record. What led you to work with him?
Jake: After we worked with MJ on the first album he quickly became one of our favourite people so we were keen to work with him again just based on that! Also his own studio (Suburban Home) fell prey to the horrendous floods that happened in the UK at the end of 2015, so as a result he ended up making Some Things… in a studio he wasn’t familiar with. He did such an ace job though and after he amazingly got Suburban Home back up and running again after being dealt such a shit hand, we were excited for him to do Grow into It as we knew he’d know exactly how to get the best results from the gear, the room etc. It was great to work with him a second time in an environment that is his own, especially as we had more time to play with this time around.
Nicola: All of that AND there’s a place that does great donuts just round the corner.
The song “Labour like I Do” is a really catchy one and the video for it is just super fun. How was it like to shoot the video for it?
Nicola: Thank you! We had minimal time to plan so a few days before filming the video we were like fuck it, let’s run around in some alien masks. It was hard to breathe inside those things and by the end of the day we were all high on latex. We made the video with Andrew Northrop who we’ve worked with a few times, he added some cool ideas and has a knack for very funny edits.
Later this month you will embark on a UK tour with Speedy Ortiz. What are you the most excited about this tour?
Jake: Eating and drinking, same as any other tour. Oh and the fact that Speedy are one of our fave bands and we get to watch them play every night. I guess that’s alright too.
What other plans do you have for the rest of the year?
Dean: We’re gonna be exploring Europe together; our first tour in the band car, which is just Nicola & Jake’s car. [laughs] Then we’re touring the UK with Speedy Ortiz, which is doubly exciting because a) we haven’t toured the UK in ages and b) what Jake said. It’s a lil dream come true!
You guys are fans of horror films, so have you seen Hereditary yet? Such a freaking great film.
Jake: To me it felt like someone had written and shot one really great film and one fucking terrible film and then decided to cut between the two in the editing room! There was great stuff about it but ultimately I had such mixed feelings and think it could have been so much better. Nicola felt even more strongly about it!
Nicola: I controversially did not like that film at all, mainly cos I thought the dialogue was bad and it felt like a bit of a mess tonally… but I always appreciate seeing new horror films in the cinema and it’s cool that it did so well!