Sister’s Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles of the Californian punk duo Dog Party, will soon be joining us. Playing their first show in Montreal .
On August 14th at L’Escogriffe, they’ll be sharing the stage with someone you may have heard of, if you like punk all. Legendary bassist CJ Ramone, of the Ramones. Dog Party are lucky enough to be included on CJ’s final tour. Up to date they have only had a chance to play Toronto, Ontario at the Bovine sex Club in 2017. This time they get to venture further and experience more of the ‘Je ne sais quoi’ of Quebec and Canada, hitting a bit of the east and west coast.
Balancing college, family and band life. Hard working Lucy and Gwen of Dog Party have managed to release five albums in just over a decade. Touring for the newest release, 2018’s “Hit And Run” and in the process of writing another album. How do they manage? “It’s important to have good attitude and an intense love for music. As well as being fun and easy to work with.” I suppose being sisters helps with that.
“This combination is good for making friends and connections” explained Lucy. When you dedicate your time it pays off it seems. In 2016, they were were asked to be special guests on Green Day’s Revolution tour, along with the Interrupters. That’s when they had to figure a way out to finish classes in college, while coordinating with professors. Juggling that lifestyle is tough but they managed to excel in both. Lucy will be finishing her last class in May.
See Also : Carlos Soria of The Nils Interview
The pair were lucky to have picked up instruments early. Learning gradually, led them to play together. Which they had never thought of doing at the time. It was a family friend that orchestrated their first band practice in their living room. The rest was history. Thanks to music constantly being played at home or in the car stereo, it was supportive parents that took them the extra mile. As sisters they share a certain bond. A musical language. That’s quite rare.
Honored now, to get to go on the road with CJ Ramone. A rock ‘n’ roll legend. This isn’t there first road trip. “Last September we were CJ’s backing band for a special Aquabats show at the EL Rey, which was amazing. That’s how we officially became friends” said Lucy. Dog Party went from growing up in a typical California suburban neighborhood, to playing their very first show with punk legends Agent Orange. In 2014 they decided to a take a chance, to audition for the iconic SLC Punk sequel. Landing a role in “SLC 2: Punks’s Not Dead” along with Screeching Weasel and The Dwarves. In a full concert scene, they got to be part of history.
Getting acquainted with so many bands in the scene, they made some interesting friends along the way. “We started touring with The Aquabats well over five years now” said Lucy. “Those guys are so nice and put on a spectacular live set. It was a real treat to get to know the guys in Reel Big Fish, too. When bands surround themselves with positive energy and a great crew, it definitely sets the mood of a tour.”
Those experiences were truly magical for them. Giving them a taste of both smaller intimate crowds to the larger than life stadium extravaganza. “The onstage sound at big venues has the potential to be absolutely perfect” said Lucy. “Both are super fun and we are so grateful to have the opportunity to play in both settings.”
You’ll certainly hear the old school harmonies. Where they draw most influence in 60’s rock n roll. Music such as The Monkees and The Byrds. From The Beatles and The Beach Boys to Elvis Presley. And from Wanda Jackson and Etta James to the Everly Brothers.”Basically, the billboard charts in the 60s look like a dream” said Gwendolyn.
“We also love old school country like Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Faron Young Of course the Louvin Brothers and Buck Owens Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette. But we will forever have roots in punk rock. Our favorites are the Ramones and X As well as the Buzzcocks, The Descendents and even Green Day.”
See Also : CJ Ramone at L’Escogriffe, Montreal Review
There’s lots of things to discover about the world around you when away from home. Sights to see and things to experience. Life’s tribulations. But what do these sisters miss most? “Our dog, Terrance” exclaims Gwendolyn. “Listening to Cassettes and Records. California and Mexican food. Sushi” exclaimed Lucy. However, I think they’ll discover that sushi can be found, well, anywhere.
“If we don’t have a long drive, we try to fill our days off with fun activities. This tour, we visited the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio. We went horseback riding in Idaho. We also try to scout out good food.” They are already excited to try our world famous Montreal poutine, and already have a love for our ketchup chips. (Are ketchup chips really a Montreal delicacy? – Editor)
Setting the stage for seeing Dog Party live, we wanted to know what was different about this tour. Not wanting to give too many surprises away , Lucy gave us some insight on what to expect. “Our live set is a pretty even mix of “Hit & Run”, “Til You’re Mine”, and “Vol. 4”. With one or two songs off of “Lost Control”. ‘The set is crafted to take the audience member on an electrified journey. There’s a point where we tone it down in the middle, but we quickly ramp up the set for a fiery finish” exclaimed Gwen. “One of the favorite songs for them to share onstage is a cover of Wanda Jackson’s, “Fujiyama Mama”, too.”
It’ll probably blow your head off, baby. With nitroglycerin!
Over the years the music scene in general has had an increase of the D.I.Y. That’s especially true with the way punk started. With more and more woman and all-female bands being apart of the scene, we wondered how they had really changed. Lucy gave her take on the matter. “Regardless of gender, most bands have control over who is a part of their team and bands they tour with. We have been consciously working on ways to incorporate more females onto our team. Because we know this is an area the industry lacks. We just finished a tour with Bad Cop/Bad Cop who also acknowledges the lack of female representation in the industry. It was so great talking to them and Pity Party on how empowering this tour package was and our intentions to incorporate more strong women into future tour packages.”
Dog Party and CJ Ramone play Montreal on August 14th, 2019.