Toronto quartet Dilly Dally’s breathtaking debut long player Sore will no doubt feature amongst our favourite albums of 2015. Squalling guitars detonate around singer and guitarist Katie Monks bruised defiant nettle sting rasp on an album full of raw emotion, throbbing desire and visceral post-modern angst. The band formed when Katie and guitarist Liz Ball met in high school and immediately became inseparable friends bonding over a love of artists like The Pixies, Kurt Cobain, and Christopher Owens. “We started a band because we believed in ourselves,” says Monks, “and we believed in Music—almost like it was a religion!” After a revolving door policy over the last few years, Ball and Monks finally settled upon a stable line-up with the addition of Benjamin Reinhartz on drums and Jimmy Tony on bass. And this stability has seen Dilly Dally dig deep and become the band they’d always promised themselves they could be. Their unwavering confidence in their own abilities as a unit really shines through on Sore, an album in which nothing is held back, there are no compromises and no quarter is given.
The band will arrive in the UK for a series of dates in early January and we had a chat with Katie to find out more…
VP: Dilly Dally will be a new name to many in the UK, but you’ve been around a few years, what inspired you to form the band?
Katie: We just believed that it was possible to live life the way we truly wanted to…. as artists, and not compromise who we are for anybody. Bow down to no one.
VP: ‘Sore’ is an unrelenting album in the sense that it explodes from the speakers, grabs the listener by the throat and never lets up. It’s angry, it’s loud, but it’s passionate melodic and fizzing with energy. They often say great songs come from bad situations – so is it an album that was kinda cathartic to write and record ? channelling any negative experiences into something powerful and ultimately positive.
Katie: Yup. That’s what it is. Our songs are all based on real moments in our lives. The good, the bad and the ugly. The process is very cathartic yes, but also very therapeutic. Just trying to grow as people, alongside one another.
VP: What would you say the major themes are in Sore, there’s anger sure, but there’s sexuality, there’s a song that touches on period pains. It’s certainly a very honest, raw and open album
Katie: Yeah there’s a lot of themes… heartbreak, lust, friendship, maternal instincts, rebellion, rage, growing up…. just real life shit. We really try and dig deep, without being too invasive or presumptuous of the listener…. hahaha. That’s the most scientific way I’ve ever said it. And our music is very far from being a science.
VP: Over the past few years it appears you’ve had a revolving line up, now it seems that having a more stable line up with Ben and Jimmy has given you a renewed sense of energy and cohesion
Katie: Yes. Those two guys are a huge part of this record and this band. They are such incredible artists, and have been able to help Liz and I communicate what we’ve been trying to for so long. Family.
VP: You’d said in the past that although you and Liz had a blind faith in yourselves, you were also a little naive? In what sense?
Katie: I guess what I was meaning to say was that when you first start a band, commit your whole life to something, you don’t realise what it is that really lies ahead. How vulnerable it makes you, and how quick others can be to take advantage. That, alongside many other dark moments we’ve had along the way, the album is called ‘Sore’ for a reason.
VP: How healthy is your local live music scene, is it supportive ? have venues been closing as seems to be happening on a regular basis in the UK of late?
Katie: DIY venues are closing here all the time. It sucks. But the good shows never stop. Punks will always find a way. Just like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.
VP: They reckon, that people fear public speaking more than death! I’d imagine singing would be high up there too, what is it that drives people to write and perform? I’m pretty sure that for artists not taking the American Idol route etc it’s about much more than fame and money…
Katie: For me, I have zero stage fright. It feels like sex. Being so vulnerable and so open in front of so many people. I’m addicted. And the better we get at connecting with people in a deep way, the better it feels. Maybe that seems fucked up…. whatever.
VP: I’ve asked a few bands this, but in this digital age of virtual music, streaming, “the cloud” is it important for an artist to have something physical, in their hands. proof that your work exists in a tangible form. Are you a fan of streaming?
Katie: I almost balled when I saw our record. The vinyl. Didn’t realise how emotional it would be to hold onto it and to see it. I mean, streaming and downloading is fine too… but what’s most powerful is our live show. The internet can never replace that. Nothing can.
VP: You’ve been on quite a run of US dates recently , and now you’re planning to come over and conquer Europe?
Katie: Yup!! UK dates have been announced and more EU dates are coming soon! Dillydallyband.com for all that stuff.
VP: And if you had to sum up Dilly Dally’s sound in five words
Katie: POWER FRIENDSHIP SEX HEAVY GUITARZ
UK DATES 2016
07 January – London, Victoria
22 January – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
23 January – Manchester, Castle Hotel
24 January – Glasgow, Broadcast
25 January – Birmingham, Hare and Hounds
26 January – Bristol, Louisiana
27 January – Brighton, Green Door Centre
29 January – Aldershot, West End Centre
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