Dog Society is an American rock band based in New York City. After releasing their debut album, Test Your Own Eyes on EastWest / Atlantic Records, the band toured extensively, opening for acts like Sheryl Crow and Stone Temple Pilots. Dog Society took a nearly 20 year hiatus before independently releasing their album, Emerge. Co-produced by Rob Schnaapf and Tom Rothrock (Beck, Elliot Smith), Emerge is the sound of the band recapturing their spirit. Tuned In, Turned Up spoke with Bruce Brauer and Rich Guerzon from the band about their hiatus, the story behind Emerge and what’s coming next for the band.
After a nearly twenty year hiatus from releasing a studio album, what made you guys decide to get back in the studio?
I simply missed my friends and the collaboration we had. I made the initial phone call to Brian after a long while and we booked a studio in Manhattan. We all walked in and hugged each and Joey counted off 1 2 3 4….It was as though zero time passed. We were tighter and sounded great. The excitement and feel was still there after the long hiatus. B.B.
We had all been doing the mid life shuffle, starting families, making music on our own and with others. “Test Your Own Eyes” was a great experience for us all. We felt a little sided that the record did not get the attention we thought it deserved by our management or the label. I believe that was hidden inside all of us and left a hunger to prove ourselves. Deciding to do the follow up cd after so many years came naturally and easily. A few phone calls, laughs and drinks and here we are. R.G.
What inspired the name “Dog Society”?
We wanted a name that represented what we were trying to create with our sound. Dog Society seemed to fit perfectly. It was inspired by the plains tribes of the Cheyennes. Few in number, they overcame or held in check most of the peoples who opposed them, and when the westward movement of European civilization began, they made more trouble than all the rest combined. Each society had its own songs and secret ritual, and exacted certain observances and standards of its members. Our music is a journey into the soul, our performance is a ritual for all of us.
We live in a world filled with beauty and horror and this is what we are writing about. We are musical warriors :). R.G.
How would you guys describe your current sound?
It’s hummable. I like to think we have memorable hooks easy enough for anyone to sing along. Good production and poetic lyrics are both things I’m proud of. B.B.
I like to think that we are a culmination of all the great musicians and songwriters of the past mixed in with our own unique modern twist. We make it a point to be experimental with arrangements and lyrics. Influenced by the greats, but not repeating what’s been done, and definitely trying our best to not be cliché. R.G.
What other bands or artists have inspired your music, and have those influences changed since your last studio release?
I am influenced by all musicians, and all styles from all over the world, past and present, popular or not. I only wish I had enough time in my life to absorb it all. R.G.
What’s the story behind the album cover and title for your album, Emerge?
Our Guitarist Bruce had the idea of doing a “Day of the Dead” style skull for the cover art. Day of the Dead is a Mexican Holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. He had shown me some illustration ideas, and I suggested we do a diorama, similar to the “Test Your Own Eyes” cd cover designed by Hans Neleman. Using a real Dog Skull with some symbolic imagery around it, thus keeping it tied in with the first cover art design. Bruce was responsible for the final creation which we all loved.
The title “Emerge” came about like this: Brian had written some lyrics to a new song we had been working on, will be on the next cd. The title was “Emerge” and he suggested it for the title of the follow up cd and we all agreed. That’s how you know it is the right title, when we all agree lol. The meaning just made so much sense at where we were coming from at that moment. B.B.
How has the process of making music and the band dynamic changed since the release of the Test Your Own Eyes record?
It really hasn’t, we still disagree on everything, but magically it all comes together in the end :). We all write songs on our own and bring them into the rehearsal, where they get butchered by the others LOL . The butchering is really all of us trying to make it the best we can. We all have different taste, opinions and experiences so of course we are not going to see eye to eye. However that is why the final product is so interesting. It works and it makes sense. R.G.
If you could each choose any musician or band in the world to see perform live, who would it be and why?
At the moment Bill Withers, because of his raw talent as a singer, musician and songwriter. R.G.
What can we expect from Dog Society in the future?
It’s full throttle for us. Positive feedback is snowballing and pushing the momentum of our project B.B.
We are currently working on our next cd. There will be plenty of live performances to come. R.G.
Listen to the entire “Emerge” album here:
Dog Society’s album Emerge can be purchased on iTunes.
Additional Dog Society music and information can be found at:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube