Monday, February 05, 2018

Sing & Tell :: Household Dogs

A Little Indie 'One To Watch 2018, Leeds four-piece Household Dogs meld elements of Americana and alt-rock with a gritty pseudo-country sound. After the release of their debut single 'Basement 7' in April last year, they followed with ‘Is This All’ in November. Their third single has just been released.

Who are you? 

I’m Declan Newcombe, lead singer and guitarist in Household Dogs. Here’s the rest of the gang; Matt Fogg on bass, Henry Chatham on lead guitar and Josh Hagan on drums.

Tell us something about yourself and how you came to be where you are today? 

Matt and I actually went to primary school, secondary school, college and university together so we have known each other a long time. We met Henry at uni in Leeds and shared a house. We all played and wrote music but never together. It wasn’t until I moved to London after graduating with the dream of getting some stupidly well paid creative job (that doesn’t exist) that we realised we just wanted to be making music together. I moved back to Leeds and we formed The Dogs. Josh has just joined in the last month after a long search when our old drummer left.

Amazingly our second single, ‘Is This All’, gained attention from Tom Robinson who featured it as his Introducing track of the week and played it on his BBC 6 Music show. Since then we have just been writing, recording and playing shows in Leeds and London. We did a live session for BBC Introducing West Yorkshire. It feels great to have people listening in.

Give us an idea of your musical style and influences
Most of the time we use the phrase pseudo-country to describe what we make. Basically elements of Country and Alternative Rock welded together. Most of the riffs are pretty country to us but it’s the lyrics that really connect it to that. Lyrically I try to create desolate landscapes, brooding characters and descriptive stories started by country greats such as Hank Williams. Nick Cave is also a huge influence on the lyrics. The modern influences come from the likes of The National and The War On Drugs. We are all into such different music but have shared interests which I think really comes through the music.

Explain the production and writing process behind your songs.

Most of the time we tend to come together and work on an idea that someone has bought, maybe a riff, bass line or a set of lyrics. Often it flows organically from the idea, we will start building the rest of the song around it. Once all the music is done I’ll take it and finish the lyrics. We’ll usually play a song a lot and gig it before recording it in our basement at home. Matt is great at recording and mixing. The ability to do this all on our own terms means we can take our time without worrying about paying for a studio. It also means that our music is all us. No one else has a say on how things sound or how things are done.  

Tell us a little about your new single.

It was released on January 19. We’ve had ‘Fallen Yet’ pretty much from the start. We practiced and gigged it but it didn’t quite click when recording so we had to move some things around, arrangement-wise. Matt worked really hard on the mix. It was kind of like pulling teeth but we are happy with it now. ‘Fallen Yet’ is an example of us trying to create a backdrop and a story. The lyrics create the story and the riffs and rhythm creates the space and the backdrop of the world that the story teller inhabits. It’s kind of a bitter love song but also the story of obsession. It focuses more on the obsession and infatuation of the narrator rather than just being about a lost love.

Can we catch up with you at any forthcoming live shows?

We are supporting Catholic Action at Oporto in Leeds on February 28. We are also supporting Giant Rooks at The Lending Room in Leeds on March 22.

How's the rest of the year looking, plans-wise?

We are planning a lot this year. We have another single release scheduled for this summer, some live sessions, a tour and will be releasing our debut EP. Nothing we can announce just yet but hopefully, you’ll be hearing a lot of us this year.

Where can we hear more of your music?

Soundcloud and Spotify.

What social media platforms can we find with you on? 

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