BAD//DREEMS debut album Dogs At Bay is a compelling document of one of the best new rock and roll bands in Australia, showcasing their three honest chords, a driving beat and ragged vocals.
As records hold a very special place in the hearts of listeners, especially musicians, whether it be through the distinct artwork, or a stand-out track, records have the unique ability to instantly take us back to the first time we heard them. So we asked BAD//DREEMS drummer Miles Wilson to take us through some of his favourite album cover artwork, favourite releases of this year and explain where the album title Dogs At Bay came from…
What is your favourite album of all time?
It’s a tie between Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures and Biggie Smalls – Ready To Die
What is your favourite/most memorable album/EP artwork?
Probably Peter Saville’s 1983 cover for New Order’s, Blue Monday. I studied Saville at uni, and this particular design saw him create an entirely new visual alphabet, using coloured blocks. The single art also resembles a floppy disc – I always thought it was really cool and innovative.
What was the first album you bought with your own money?
I purchased a burnt copy of Nevermind from my mates’ older brother, for three bucks in year 6. He had a dope Pentium. However, I think my purchasing of Michael Jackson’s HISTORY may have been marginally before this. I was probably 9.
What was playing on your family stereo growing up?
Stevie Wonder, Maceo Parker, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Chet Baker and occasionally Fleetwood Mac. My Parents are both jazz musicians. Improv got a huge look-in.
Which album did you play to death as a teenager?
Rage Against The Machine’s first album got an absolute flogging. Angsty.
What has been your favourite EP or album release of 2015 so far?
Dick Diver’s Melbourne, Florida, Undertow by Drenge, Action Bronson’s Mr. Wonderful or Misophonia by Adelaide bonerjams, West Thebarton Brothel Party. Oh and Currents.
What record stores can you not live without visiting regularly and why?
Clarity, Record Paradise, Black Wire. Basically because they’ve all been nice enough to have us play live and ruin their beautifully organised shelves. Apologies.
What are your favourite albums produced by your Dogs At Bay producer Mark Opitz?
Maybe Circus Animals or Let There Be Rock. Or, because I’m a drummer – KICK. The drum production on KICK is bloody to die for (although Mark only reworked that one).
Where did the title Dogs At Bay from, and was it the only title you had for the album?
Nah, we toyed with some other options. I was pushing for the title ‘Ozone’, but it sounded too metal. We like to keep titles and lyrics open to interpretation, but the way I see it; Dogs at Bay is kind of just a comment on social engagement. The way people act or perceive you or your band can sometimes get misconstrued, hostile or warped – so you’re often trying to find a way to ‘Keep the dogs at bay’, if you will…. Is that cryptic enough for you? Haha.
What was the inspiration behind the album artwork for Dogs At Bay and who designed it?
The photo was taken by an extraordinary Sydney based photographer called McLean Stephenson. He’s super talented and a lovely guy. Based on some of the lyrical content on the album, we came up with the concept of creating a photo that was a bit controversial – but only depending on how you choose to interpret it. McLean found these two stern looking Sydney guys and put a shoot together. A lot of the photos were kind of abstracted and erotic – but not in a distasteful way, in a really cool way. We finally landed on this one, unanimously.
What is your most memorable moment from recording Dogs At Bay?
Probably just spending time with the band members and Mark and Colin (producers). We had a lot of laughs and we would often wander into the garden of the Brunswick studio to play golf with these funny little plastic balls. You just spend all day having awesome conversations with your mates and that was the best part of the whole process.
BAD//DREEMS debut album Dogs At Bay is out now via Ivy League Records
BAD//DREEMS 2015 Tour Dates
Friday 25 September
Friday 9 October
Oxford Art Factory
Friday 16 October
Saturday 17 October
Miami Shark Bar – Minimum Wage Club
Gold Coast QLD
Saturday 24 October
Northcote Social Club
Friday 30 October
The Odd Fellow
Saturday 31 October