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INTERVIEW - THE DOGS: LONG LOST LP TO RELEASE IN 2024

 


These Dogs are not from Rouen, France, but from Michigan, USA. Their lead singer and guitarist, Loren, has kindly agreed to answer our questions. Interview.

Your last album, Hypersensitive, was first released in 2012 on CD and it's just been rereleased on LP last September. First of all, can you tell us why you decided to rerelease the album on LP? Was the CD sold out?

When we first released Hypersensitive we pressed 500 cd’s to sell at shows and it never was released for streaming. We had sold out of the cd pressing also, so very few people had heard it. When Heavy Medication Records in Poland approached us for a vinyl LP release we were excited to finally get the LP to get out to more fans.

Why did you chose to rerelease the album on Heavy Medication Records ? You already knew this label ? How all this took place ?

Well our good friend Pat Todd from the Lazy Cow Girls + Rankoutsiders introduced us to Derrick Ogrodny at Heavy Medication Records and Derrick knew Hypersensitive was only released with a very limited run of cd’s. He loved what we did with the cd and felt the world needed to hear it.

You have recorded it in Platinium studios (California) between 2003 and 2012. The previous album was recorded in the same place. Why these studios particularly ? Are they yours ?

We chose Platinum Studio because it had a great vibe. And Paul Hilton who owns it, we felt really understood what The DOGS were about as a band and what we were trying to get our of the recording process.

So, the album is called Hypersensitive. Is there something related to some of you in the band ? What's the meaning behind this title ?

This is Loren speaking for myself, my youngest son Aidan was growing up and was at the age of about 12 years old, not really a boy or a man with lots of teenage angst. I remembered what I felt like at that age and I thought “Hypersensitive” really described that teenage rebellion and the world that we live in makes us all a little hypersensitive.

There's a new version of Slash Your Face on the album, which was the A side of your second single back in 1978. Didn't you want to record other older songs from the 70's such as John Rock or Fed Up ?

The reason we re-recorded Slash Your Face we thought it would be fun to do another version of the song and still have the piss + vinegar + aggression later in life with our current drummer Tony Matteucci and have it as a bonus track for the record. We haven’t really thought about rerecording any other older tracks at this point. 

But there are 2 older songs from the 80’s that we rearranged for the Hypersensitive LP, Nothing Lasts 4 Ever and In on the Out!

What is the story behind the song Slash Your Face ?

It’s a song about anyone thinking they are better than you or me and the corporate elitists who try to put their thumbs down on normal folks. We were feeling a little alienated from the world around us in 1977. It was a song to break through all the bullshit +oppression + racism which is still happening today.

There's also You Can't Catch Me, what is its story , its meaning ?

The song is about personal liberation from the corporate monster and political games that the politicians play with our lives. And no matter what they can’t catch us, they might put people in jail but they never can have your heart + soul + mind !

Now let's talk about your beginning in the late 60's. What made you start playing music ?

The British invasion with bands like The Beatles and The Stones, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Who

Which bands or music styles influenced you to form The Dogs?

The Yardbirds, The Who, The MC5, The Stooges, The Kinks, Ten Years After

The song Motor City Fever pays homage to the Detroit Punk/Proto-Punk scene with bands such as the Stooges, the MC5. You have known them well and toured with them back in the day. What kind of memory do you have of these times with these bands?

Yes Motor City Fever was a song that was influenced by the great music scene in Detroit with Motown bands, and of course The MC5/Stooges/Brownsville Station. My fondest memory was the first time we played with The MC5 in 1969 after they released Back in The USA. This was the first time I saw them live and it was the most powerful live show I have ever seen. The way the band related to the audience and the power they had as a band and the power they had over the audience. This was a game changer for me.

You spent time in New York City around the time NYC Punk-Rock was being born (1973/74?). You have shared the stage with the Dictators, Ramones, etc. Was it easy to share the stage with these bands although you were not from NYC ? 

Yes it was easy to share the stage and play with The Dictators & KISS & Television around NY. We only played with The Ramones in LA when we moved out to Hollywood. That was a great show. The thing about the DOGS in the 70’s we could play with The Ramones or AC/DC or Van Halen and bridge the gap between punk and Hard Rock. I feel with us cutting our teeth in the Detroit Rock scene playing with Ted Nugent, MC5, Brownsville Station type of bands. We grew up learning how to play Hi Energy Rock and Roll which later the media coined the phrase punk rock. To us, it was what we did, just throw it down Loud and Intense and always played it, like every note might be the last and never phone it in. Kick out the Jams Motherfucker as the MC5 said….

The Dogs with Sid Vicious
What memory do you have of this time in NYC, the Punk scene, the clubs, etc ?

It was a great time to be in NY and experience the blossoming New Wave Punk Scene. The diversity of the bands from Television, New York Dolls, Talking Heads, Dictators, Blondie, KISS, Ramones. We were lucky to experience those early days in NYC it opened our eyes up to something we had never seen or heard before back in Detroit.

Was it more exciting to play Rock N'Roll, Punk, etc in the 60's and 70's or is it better nowadays ?

Great question: I feel in the late 60’s and 70’s with the live music scene and the audiences it was a very magical time. I think the whole scene was a bit more innocent and focused on the music than today. There are so many avenues where people find their music today that I think there are a lot of distractions at live shows with cell phones and people filming rather than being in the moment with the artist at the concert. But that being said at all DoGs these days its pretty wild and rowdy and intense with the fans who we appreciate so much…

The Dogs stopped in the late 80's and reformed in the early 2000's. What event made you reform?

I stopped the band for a few years I felt myself and the band had hit a brick wall and I needed some time to reevaluate my life and the music. In the meantime, on the underground our song Slash your Face was bootlegged on some cool indy releases and that kept our name building on the underground. In 2000 Lee Joseph at Dionysus Records contacted me about doing a best of LP which we put out called Fed UP and that along with our Japanese DoGs Tribute LP’s coming out were the turning point to reform the band.

You released a new album in 2003, Suburban Nightmare, and the second one, Hypersensitive, in 2012. Do you have new material to release another album soon?

We have a long lost LP from mid 80’s we are mixing down to release in 2024 and there will be a EP of new material coming in late 2024.

Have you ever toured in France or Europe in the past ?

Yes we toured The UK in late 78/ early 79 for 3 months in support for our Slash Your Face EP that came out.

Would you like to come and play here in France, in the future ?

Yes would love to come France, Spain and Europe in 2024 we are waiting for the interest from the right booking agency to bring us there. There is a lot of interest building on the underground among the fans. We really want to tour Europe while the band still has its health.

Many thanks for your answers, Loren !


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