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|For those reading the interview, what is your name and what do you do in Dredg?|
My name is dino campanella. I play drums, piano and all keys in the band
I remember hearing about you guys back in high school and I always wondered what the meaning of the name Dredg was. Is there any meaning behind it?
No. Not at all. It was so long ago that we named it I can't even remember. Honestly, we don't even like the name anymore. We mostly don't like the way it sounds. It doesn't roll off the tongue well. It sounds like we're a heavy band. A lot of people think that at first. But you know, there are a lot of bands with weird names and after a while you just don't think about it anymore.
How long have you guys known each other and been a band?
Weíve known each other since we were 13/14. We started playing music together when we were about 14 or so. Started off doing covers and stuff. Nothing serious. Pretty much all throughout high school we just played for fun, with never any real intentions of doing this full-time. After we graduated high school, we all went different directions to college but still played during breaks and in the summer we made recordings. We made leitmotif in the summer of 98 and after that got out and on the internet, we started getting busier with more and more shows. With more shows, and the internet allowing us to see the reaction of people everywhere to our music, we started considering doing this full-time, working harder and harder, getting busier and busier.
Dredg just released ďCatch Without ArmsĒ on the 21st, are you guys glad to see all the hard work finally pay off?
Yes, very much so and thank you for noticing. We worked very hard on this album. Harder than we've ever worked before. On previous albums, we'd just write a tune and go into the studio and record it. For this record, we weren't going into the studio until we felt we had enough strong songs. We wrote about 16 and put 12 on the record. We recorded every song in cheap studios before we actually recorded them for the record, so we could hear what was going on in the song, what was wrong with it, how we could improve it, or if we should even work on it at all anymore. Iím very proud of the record, especially the dedication we all put forth towards making it. Recording it was actually the simplest part. Writing and arranging was where the work was really spent.
How long had you guys been writing and recording this album?
We wrote the album for about 8 months. We recorded in 6 and mixed in 4.
Now, is there any signifance or meaning behind the album title?
Yes. It is a lyric of Gavinís. We write all the lyrics. Itís really up to the interpretation of anyone, as Gavin prefers his lyrics to be. I think it's an analogy for a situation that he was in. where he felt like he jumped into something he wasn't necessarily prepared for. He was playing catch without having any arms to do so.
Was there anything that was inspiring this album? Or was it just songs that you guys had written over time?
Of course there are a number of things that influence the writing of a tune. Itís every single thing you experience every second of every day that influences the way you play your instrument after, or the way you hear. I would say one of The large contributing factors on this record versus the last record was all the touring we had done. We really hadn't done extensive touring before el cielo. After, however, we did a lot. Playing with bands of so many genres definitely allowed us to be exposed to different approaches to music, which intern Iím sure was an influence. Learning and working on the relationship between playing your instrument and hope the audience whom's listening appreciates it was another. Opening for bands that didn't sound like us was both a bad and good thing for us. We wouldn't necessarily do well at the merchandise table that night, but we would be humbled to realize that what we think great music is not necessarily the view of everyone. Itís good for any musician or artist to get shit thrown at them every once in a while. It allows you to be more grateful when people appreciate your work. Touring extensively was a huge influence on us and when we came home, our first reaction was to write some tunes that sounds opposite of el cielo. The first song we wrote was the tanbark is hot lava, which the quickest, heaviest, most upbeat song we have I think. After that however, we wrote jamais vu so it didn't last very long. Living at home during the writing of this record also helped influence the process. For el cielo we lived in palm desert, which is a very beautiful, mellow place. We weren't influenced by the hustle/bustle of traffic or city life or anything, and I think that helped shaped the songs the way they came out. For this record, mark and Gavin lived in san Francisco while drew and I lived an hour south. Mark and Gavin obviously weren't being influenced by the city life While me and drew were influenced by shitty long drives and the radio. Weíd listen to random radio stations, like old funk/R&B stations that I think influenced a couple of the songs. Mark and Gavin would sometimes show up drunk after the giantís game, which I think, influenced some of the lyrics and guitar parts. Actually I know it did. I have memories.
On the subject. What are some of all of your musical influences?
My mother is my first musical influence. She was a professional accordion player when she was my age and a music teacher after that. I was raised on music since I was born. I started playing piano when I was five and studied very intensely for years. My mom had high hopes for me as a piano player. I was studying at least an hour a day until I was about 15. I had this intense Russian teacher that scared the shit out of me but taught me so much. Everything Iím musically capable of today is because of all that hard work I put in when my mind was young. It molded me into a music lover. Itís deeply embedded in me I think because of the hours of studying I did at such a young age. The reason I can play drums is because of piano. Piano teaches you everything about music. If you can play piano well, you'll be able to pick up any instrument. The only thing that will take time in learning those instruments is the physical parts of actually playing them. As far as understanding dynamics, melody and timing, the piano teaches it all. Besides my mother my musical influences are a wide variety of bands/groups/musicians that Iíve heard and listened to. The doors were the first rock band I ever loved. Which was actually because of the movie, the doors, which floored me so much when I was 12 when I saw it. It made me want to play rock music for the first time. I can't even begin to list the millions of other great musicians/bands/groups Iíve adored. Too many. Even the shitty ones influence you. They teach you what not to do, and teach you what is wrong.
Your last record was a concept album based on "sleep paralysis" and I have always wondered if any members of your band have suffered from these symptoms and if so is it an ongoing thing?
A couple of us have. I myself have not.
What song on the new record means the most to each of you and why?
I love all the songs. I really do. I love zebraskin because it's so different from what ever done and it's so godamn sexy.
There were long-standing rumors about this being your final album, can you confirm/deny?
Iím moving to Italy to start a gelato company. It will be called "dino gelato"
What bands would you like to tour with in the near future?
Iíd love to tour with the red-hot chili peppers. Theyíre one of the greatest bands ever, and I think their crowd might listen to us.
Did you feel any pressure from your record label to make a more accessible album this time around?
No, not at all. Interscope trusts our vision completely. They believe in what we do and have allowed us to totally be ourselves which is a huge blessing. Iíve heard so many horror stories about bands dealing with this "pressure" but it's unfamiliar to us.
What books have you guys been reading as of late? Any you would recommend?
None and I need to start reading again bad. Iíve been very bad lately about reading. Not good.
How was your tour with circa survive? And who are you about to go on the road with?
Circa survive is an awesome band. Everyone should check them out. The tour was awesome. A perfect complement for our tour. We got along very well and had an amazing time. Weíd love to do it again with those guys.
Well, thatís about all the questions I have for you guys. Is there anything you would like to say to all the fans and readers out there in absolutepunk.net land?
I would like to say you to the fans and the readers of absolutepunk.net for listening to our band. Itís very much appreciated. You (the listeners) are the reason why we continue to be able to do what we do, and you are a big part of our inspiration and motivation to continue doing so. Thank you so much.
11:51 AM on 07/26/05
Very good interview, thanks Brandon.
12:05 PM on 07/26/05
I will always be nicer to the cat
I love you Brandon, awesome interview and thx for asking my questions
12:26 PM on 07/26/05
save the drama for wilmer valderama
good interview, i never really got into leitmotif, but el cielo and catch without arms are fucking great records. i also had the privelage of catchin this band live...opening up for deftones and i was blown away.
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