Dance Gavin Dance fully indulges the extremes of creativity. They mine the outer reaches of the rock music landscape with thrilling abandon. Their ambitious blend of heady progressive rock and post-hardcore became something uniquely their own. 2019 has been another massive year for the band touring their highly successful album Artificial Selection which sees them return to Australia for the second time this year playing at the Good Things Festival. Lead guitarist Will Swan speaks to Hi Fi Way about touring Australia and their album plans for 2020.
It is great that Dance Gavin Dance are part of the Good Things Festival line up making it two trips to Australia in a year.
Yeah, I was stoked to see that we got booked on that festival. I love coming to Australia, it is my favourite country to visit. It keeps growing every time we come back which is awesome to see.
Do you think there’s much chance of some side shows this time around?
Not this time, we’re just going to do the festival and hopefully we’ll come back next year when the new album is out so we can play some of those new songs.
What is it that you love about Australia?
Every time we go there it has always been great weather, the food, we like the people and there is always cool stuff to do on our days off. There’s plenty of great beaches and animal parks for us visit, it’s always a good time.
With your set at Good Things Festival is their a strong leaning on the album Artificial Selection?
We’ll probably play a mixture of favourites from the Tilian era of DGD which has been the majority of it. There will be a lot of songs from different records. We don’t like to do all of one record and as a fan I’ve never liked that seeing a band that only plays new material. I think people will want to hear a mixture of stuff and mix it up so the set is quite varied with all the different albums represented.
The band must be in a really good place at the moment heading in to 2020 with a new album?
Yeah, things have been going great and we really love how the new record is turning out. We are really confident in that new material and can’t wait for people to hear it next year.
Do you think the DGD sound will change much?
I think we’re always evolving, I’ve always wanted to do heavy/soft and just feel every feeling throughout writing and put that on to the music. The record will have songs that are all over the place and it is tough when we do these one off singles such as Head Hunter and Blood Wolf as people must think this is the style we’re going in to. If you listen to Artificial Selection it’s post hardcore, pop punk, indie, all different kinds of styles of songs. We like to make sure there’s a whole bunch of variety like that. The new record will be no different and it’s all over the place.
Does that inspiration come from somewhere in particular?
It has a lot to do with the fact we listen to a lot of different types of music. I’m constantly being inspired by lots of different things, wanting to explore and try and incorporate them in to my writing and makes songs that may have different genres within the one song. I think that is kind of cool to have a band with a different sound rather than being one genre the whole time.
Is the music always completely written before going in to the studio?
It is so we can just go in there and hammer out all the parts once we start recording. We have many different processes of writing, I’ll do a lot of stuff where I home demo it before bringing it to the band or we’ll write some songs together and practice, maybe have a guest guitarist come in and do some writing on the song. On the last couple of records we had Martin Bianchini from Secret Band come in and write a song then I write guitar over him. We try and mix it up which gives the record more variety because we have all these different processes where the songs come together from.
What highlights stand out most from 2019?
It has been a really fun year and we have loved touring on the Artificial Selection album. The Warped tour was probably my favourite show this year being the twenty-fifth anniversary show. It was awesome to feel that experience one more time.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Be sure to catch Dance Gavin Dance at Good Things Festival…