Toronto’s Dearly Beloved has certainly learned the value of putting its collective nose to the grindstone during the two years since it unleashed the striking Stoner / Shoe Gaze / Psych / Prog / Goth / Punk / Pop Opus Hawk vs. Pigeon upon the world. That’s all Dearly Beloved has been doing: working. Then working a bit more, sliding in some more work on the way home and topping all that hard work off with a little extra hard work, just for good measure.
We hooked up with the band and chatted to them about orgasmic guitar riffs, album cover artwork and classic tracks, here's how we got on....
Please introduce the band and your music in one sentence....
Hi, we are Dearly Beloved - chaos, tempered with love and delivered with great fury.
You’re called Dearly Beloved how did you come about choosing this name?
I started the band as an outlet, really, around the time my father was battling cancer. The idea was to simply write and play music with my friends, whoever was around.
Which guitar riff gives you an orgasm no matter how many times you’ve heard it?
'Sweet leaf' by Black Sabbath is as timeless a riff as i can think of, at the moment. Gets me every time.
You guys have toured many places including the UK, have you had any ‘spinal tap’ moments? If yes, please share!
Oh, we've had many. Where to begin? How do i pick just one? Getting chased out of a Portland, Maine hotel in the middle of the afternoon may be our most 'tap' moment. I mean, we're talking three cruisers pulling up front while we escape out the back with luggage a van and a trailer … how were we supposed to know they'd be having a manager's meeting in the room next to ours? And those windows opened so conveniently, too … almost trap-like … admittedly, not our finest hour.
‘Enduro!’ is your latest album (due for release on June 9th), where was this recorded and what can your fans expect?
We wrote and recorded the album in two locations ... Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, CA, where we did most of the writing after mornings of shooting bb-guns, throwing axes and working on our archery skills … and also Phoebe St. in Toronto, our own studio, where mornings are usually spent filling our stomachs with darkhorse coffee and maybe playing ping pong to get the blood flowing.
Who designed the artwork for the cover of ‘Enduro!’, who is on the bike?
My ex-Tristan Psionic bandmate, Sandy Macintosh, designed the cover for us. It might be me on the bike. It might also be Niva … we've ripped up so much dirt these past couple of years it's hard to be sure anymore.
In your opinion, what is the best album/record ever released?
Best, ya i don't know.... that's such a tough question to answer … 'Exile on Main St.' is incredible for many intangible reasons but I can't say it's the 'best' … 'wrong' by Nomeansno is as perfect as it gets, really, but is it better than Sgt. Pepper's? … better than Paul's Boutique? … 13 songs? Electric Ladyland? Trout Mask Replica? Sabbath's vol. 4?? … if I had to pick one I guess I'd go with 'London Calling' by The Clash … 19 songs, intelligent, visceral, and made during less than perfect times for the band. As Joe Strummer once said, "we felt that we were struggling, about to slide down a slope or something, grasping with our fingernails."
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
'All You Need is Love' by The Beatles. A lovely idea.
Would you rather live with a dog that sings lullabies or a gorilla that can do sign language? Explain your answer
The gorilla. He or she sounds like a much better hang.
First gig you ever went to?
The first gig I ever paid to attend (well, someone else paid - I was just a little kid) was The Clash at Maple Leaf Gardens. My aunt's boyfriend at the time had to escort my friend Pete Cook and I since we were just munchkins. That concert was the first time I ever smelled pot, too.
Three words that would best describe the band?
Chaos. Love. Fury. (also, 'Flatulent')
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as party guests?
1. Nikola Tesla - the conversations alone, wow! Greatest party guest ever.
2. My dad - he's been gone since 2006. I miss his bad jokes and he'd love the chance to hang with tesla, too.
3. Jimi Hendrix - the late night jam of all late night jams! Him dropping by would rule. Question is, who plays drums? Hmmmm ...
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
Eamon Mcgrath, Palindromes, Vast Robot Armies, Die Die Die, Cancer Bats, Brendan Canning, Mike Watt, Lite, Letters to Pettibone. If I could, I'd encourage your readers to look out for bands that are coming through town. Good music loves you back, especially when it's made live by folks that mean it.
Who would you like to know has your music on their ipod, mp3 or cassette walkman?
Rob Wright, Mike Watt, Edward Snowden, Terry Gilliam, The Sea Shepherd, Patti Smith, Wendel Clark, Dave Catching, Alex Cox, Jack Bruce, John Paul Jones, Scarlett Johansson, a Canadian booking agent, Nick Kroll, Bill Burr, Elon Musk … of course, extra-terrestrials (preferably the kind ones) … anyone from the bands Mogwai, The War on Drugs or Hot Snakes.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
A fictional character … hmmm … i want to say the Prime Minister of Canada, or the president of the USA, but I'll go with something more appropriate: Kurtz from 'Heart of Darkness' by Joseph Conrad
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
No. The civil liberties of chickens have been eroded to the point where simply crossing the road at all is a victory. Motives will always be questioned - especially by petty and jealous chickens.
What are your plans for what remains of 2014?
Survive to see 2015. In the process, play more shows. We've been having a blast with the songs from 'Enduro' so we'd be happy to spend the rest of the year doing that and that alone. It has been said that if you're not playin' you're payin'. True that, watt, true that.
Prior to leaving the band and consider their views on the civil liberties of chickens, we threw in a few quick fire questions...
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Coke or Pepsi? Neither. Both are evil
Drum machine or the real deal? Real deal
Mac or PC? Mac
Taco or burger? Taco
Bovine Sex Club or Massey Hall? Massey hall
Lemmy (motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)? Lemmy!!!
CD or Vinyl? Vinyl
Car or motorbike? Motorbike
Acoustic or electric? Electric
Shower or bath? Shower
Tattoos or piercings? Tattoos
Robert de Niro or Al Pacino? De Niro
God or Google? Google
We'd like to thank the band for taking time out of their busy work schedule to answer our questions, we wish them all the best for the release of their album on June 9th and look forward to welcoming them on UK shores in the future....
Interview by Mark Wincott