Straight from the heart of London, The Dash ( http://www.wearethedash.com) will release their new single “3 times more” on the 10th of June (Tin Pan Recordings).
In this interview the band describes the passion for the music, the punk scene of London and the upcoming gig on the Camden Rock Festival.
RYL: Leather jacket, white t-shirts and tight jeans….it comes straight to our mind one of the best punk band ever existed: The Ramones…..how much have you taken inspiration from them?
The Dash: (Marc Hayward – Vocals, guitar): I love The Ramones because at heart they are the masters of writing three minute (or less) pop songs and then scuzzing them up and scuffing up the tune’s shoes and feeding it cigarettes. When I write a song I always try to strip it down to the skeleton of an idea which can be led into any genre and then Dash it up. I’m obsessed with how tunes can hit you right in those places which make you fall in love, comfort you at five in the morning and make you want to take on the world. They also looked like the last gang in town which is always a good look…
RYL: Who are your favorite punk bands?
The Dash: The Stooges’ ‘Raw Power’ and Television’s ‘Marquee Moon’ are at the same time so poles apart but intrinsically writing from the same pen, and are two of my favourite albums of all time. The name The Dash is taken from the line ‘I belong to the ‘blank’ generation’ by Richard Hell & The Voidoids which means that you fill in the blank (the dash) to make your own scene… Again a perfect pop song with a swing. There is a poem called The Dash which refers to the dash that is inscribed between the year you were born and the year you die on your tombstone. The dash is the only bit you have control of and you can make it as beautiful or destructive as you like. The Clash proved a massive inspiration especially Joe Strummer when I was finding my voice, The Sex Pistols, New York Dolls who had glam by the bucketloads… then there was the genius of The Modern Lovers….
RYL: Your first EP is dated 2010 and called “Notes from the Bunker”, why you choose this name?
The Dash: It was what we called my bedroom which is in a basement in Whitechapel and where we recorded the EP. Me and an old friend used to also have an email back and forth whenever we were in different parts of the country, styled as a bulletin war-time telegram which was headed ‘Notes From The Bunker’… It has a nice ring… It sometime feels like you at war with the world playing in a band so it all meshed together…
RYL: Part of the album is also the song “Return to Broomhouse Road” selected as part of the soundtrack of the movie called “Pulp”; why Broomhouse?
The Dash: It’s about the kind of thought that ‘nostalgia is better with hindsight’. A mate of mine’s grandparents lived on Broomhouse Road and it was a place of security for him. However the verses are about being plainly dicked over and the chorus is trying to get back to this perhaps over-stylised and over-romanticised idea of happiness where perhaps all along the road was never that good anyway? ‘Take me down, down, down to the overgrown grass, save some memories to me, To the boy on the wall, scuffed shoes, kicking broken glass with a graze on his knee, terraced houses of love and hate, gossip and pair of black eyes…’ Your mind plays amazing tricks when your back is up against the wall. Is the grass greener or is it just a car park?
RYL: “3 times more” is your new single that will be released the 10th of June by Tin Pan Recordings, it is a love song……, but why “3 times more”?
The Dash: ‘3 Times Mores’ I always liken to a shark feeding frenzy… I was sat at home and started messing around with the riff and then about three hours later the song was complete and demo recorded. How all of the bits came up remains a mystery… It wrote itself, that and a bottle of red wine. I think if I had sat down and thought about it too much I don’t think I would have managed to squeeze the word ‘reciprocate’ into a verse… To me songs are an expression of an emotion, you don’t plan to fall in love it happens in a second, you don’t get angry after careful thought and you don’t sit down perfecting your anger for hours on end. That’s kind of how I write – it has to be felt and expressed in a short burst otherwise it becomes a laborious process and you lose why you started hammering out that chord in the first place.
RYL: We love your music, it is so unique, you can mix in the same single a fantastic guitar rhythm as “3 times more” and mixing it with a much more punk song on its “side B” ( definitively not a love song ) “Fell in love (with the back of my hand)”…
The Dash: Thank you! Glad you liked it… ‘Fell In Love’… was written even quicker – maybe ten minutes? It’s basically about Stockholm Syndrome where a group of hostages became emotionally attached to their captors in 1973 and refused help from officials trying to free them and even at one point defended them. It’s quite an interesting behavioural trait that occurs occasionally in these situations and I think it affects a lot of people in a minor level during personal crisis, whatever your ‘attacker’ might be… Anyway, I then started thinking what sado-masochists would fall in love with and it was the back of their hand which is knocking their teeth out… So you get lines like ‘First time I hit me well it felt like a hit, and now I can’t stop doing it, It’s got four fingers and a cute little thumb and now I can’t explain the damage it’s done..” and “they say that scars are tattoos for the brave, well think about the money I’ve saved.”
RYL : Are the two songs somehow connected? J
The Dash: They’re on the same single haha… They were written a good time apart so maybe subconsciously but not actively… I love writing about the beauty but ultimate fragility of relationships so you could say they’re both broken love songs..
RYL: You are going to be present at the Camden Rocks Festival this upcoming June, the line up is impressive, are you planning anything in particular to surprise your fans?
The Dash: Well it wouldn’t be a surprise then would it. We’re aiming to debut some new songs which is always exciting. The amount of times one of us has left the stage bleeding for some guitar related injury is always unplanned. I threw my guitar in the air at one show and miss it on the way down because of the stage lights which split my nose open.. right at the end of the first song so I was swallowing blood for the whole set… I definitely didn’t write that into the setlist. But we are all really excited to be playing Camden Rocks and it’s a week before the single hits so we’ll be having a bit of party… come and find us…
RYL: We saw some videos of you live, great energy! We are sure it’s gonna be fun! What is the best thing you like on a live show?
The Dash: No matter how many gigs we have played it always feels fresh and exciting to be playing the songs with your best mates… We like to keep it unpredictable. Like I was saying about the songs being bursts of emotion, you have to deliver them with the same passions and frustrations that bore them otherwise they’ll fall flat. It takes you out of yourself for half an hour or whatever. It’s almost primal…
RYL: How important is the punk scene nowadays in London?
The Dash: It has always been important. It has so many sub-genres so it’s constantly refreshing itself, like those jellyfish who have sex and all of their genes revert back to their birth state, so in theory they can live forever, unless they get eaten. Punk will never get eaten. As long as people have something to be angry about or feel frustrated at, the music will keep coming.
RYL: Punk is not only a musical genre, it is also a lifestyle, “Do it yourself” is still the way the things are getting done?
The Dash: It is a way of getting things done but there is no right or wrong way to do this whole music thing, otherwise I guess everyone would be at number one. The advent of the internet as a means to distribute music means that everyone can record stuff at home and release it on a global platform within half an hour. That’s something that I’m sure Thomas Edison couldn’t have imagined when he first made a phonograph…When you think about the history of mankind and the amount of time we have actually been able to record our voices it’s a speck of time… However that allure of vinyl has also been important to us… it’s a dark art and this single needed to be on record as well as digital. ‘Notes From The Bunker’ we recorded in my room and suddenly at one point it was number 8 in the Amazon download charts. That was quite mind-blowing.
RYL: “Alone no more” is our favorite song, can you tell us about how you wrote its lyrics?
The Dash: I was living on the Camden Road and started writing it my head as I was walking around. It was done between Camden Town station and finished by the time I hit York Way… I guess no-one wants to be alone… in whatever sense that is.
RYL: How important is Terry Edwards contribution in producing your music?
The Dash: I’ve known Terry for a few years and I am proud to count him as a friend. He has worked with so many awe inspiring artists (Tom Waits, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, Madness, The Blockheads) as well as producing classic work with The Scapegoats, The Higsons, Gallon Drunk and his own solo stuff. He lives one street away so we’re always bumping into each other (especially in the pub)… I asked him to put horns on our track ‘You Can’t Please Everyone’ and he in turn asked us to play with him on a track by The Nightingales called ‘Let’s Surf’ which he released through his Sartorial Records label on vindaloo coloured vinyl…
He is a true gentleman in the truest sense and we always have such a laugh working together. Funnily enough we were talking the other night about a project we’re going to do at the end of the year so we’ll hopefully be able to announce that shortly so keep on to www.wearethedash.com. It’s so perfect I’m finding it hard not to say…
RYL: “You can’t please everyone” released as a single not included in your initial EP ia addressed to whom? Music business executives?
The Dash: It’s not about music business executives no… The person who it was addressed to knows it’s about them I imagine and that’s enough for me…
RYL: When you will release a new album?
The Dash: We are currently writing loads of new material and were in the studio last week doing some demos which might turn into the next single… It sounds very very good and we can’t wait to get it out there but now we are concentrating on the ‘3 Times More’ single which hits on June 10 through Tin Pan Recordings… If everyone goes out and buys it we can afford the London Philharmonic for one of our tracks which is crying out for strings so it’s in your best interest…