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19th November 2021
The newest opus of Ferocious Dog titled The Hope is the band’s seventh LP and one of the most emotionally-intensive. Dan Booth, the violinist, comments on the differences from the band’s previous LP, saying that two major factors played a role in this particular situation: obviously COVID, and getting a record deal.
“The deal with Graphite Records came along in September 2020 after a good six months of zero touring. We were skint by then so the deal came at the perfect time.”
Just like every little thing in a creative process, this change affected the whole creative climate of Ferocious Dog. “The deal came at the perfect time”, admits Booth. At that point, the band had already started working on songs for their new record without knowing particularly what future would bring to their table.
“We started working on this album in January 2020, well before we even knew we were going to be offered a record deal. I think luckily that set us in good stead to have 17 tracks ready in time”, explains Dan.
The news arrived just in time, probably making the band productive themselves. Like everything good that happens in our lives, it gave Ferocious Dog enough power, enthusiasm and ideas to work on over the process. As a result, all of this in combination became a good ground for planting new ideas. “We decided to do this record in-house”, says Dan, “Our sound engineer Luke has his own studio”. Joining Dan and Luke, the newest guitarist of the band, Ryan Brooks has completed the production team working on the record for “six days a week for six months”.
Careful attention to the production side of the creation of the release allowed Ferocious Dog to make a perfect-label debut (whilst their previous releases were self-released). Starting with the opening Port Isaac, they have managed to forge an inextricable link with their listeners, talking about failures and tragedies, good times, and not so good. No matter the subject, Ferocious Dog manages to create beauty with their music.
“We don’t aim to make sad music, we always aim to make it uplifting”, notices Dan Booth, “But then we’re driven by violin and banjo which makes it almost impossible for it not to be happy!”. Booth provides an example, referring to one of the songs on Ferocious Dog’s self-titled debut, On The Rock, saying: “It’s about my previous crack cocaine addiction”. Dan continues: “If you weren’t aware of the subject matter, you’d just think it was a jolly little number. Hiding messages within major-key written tunes is a good way of telling stories without ramming them down people’s throats.”
When I ask Dan how he would describe the music of Ferocious Dog we both get confused. Tracks like Victims and Punk Police are good examples of the music of this band, both obviously different. Exploring the chemical reaction between folk, punk-rock framed by the sounds of violin, banjo, and electric guitar, they manage to achieve different results while remaining the same band. And the same collective of thinkers. Challenging. But it seems, for Ferocious Dog, that there are no rules of the game. Dan agrees saying: “We’re in a lucky position where we don’t ever worry about any song not sounding like Ferocious Dog. It’s something we’ve never had to care about.”
We talk about both Victims and Punk Police – the best examples of the sound of Furious Dog at a current point of the band’s career, and obviously, different polarities of their creative spectrum. Dan continues: “One is a punk/rock and roll track and the other is a more heavy rock sound. But both are still unmistakably us. That kind of gives us more freedom than maybe other bands, because we get to bypass any paranoia – and be free to write whatever we want to write and in any style.”
The Hope is coming out on 19th November via Graphite Records.
Words by Dan Volohov. Find his author’s archive here.
Images are taken from Ferocious Dog’s personal archive.