Dwayne is a new band with members of the Gamits, Tin Horn Prayer, Laymen Terms, Only Thunder and Goodbye Fairbanks. To say that they're good is a bit of an understatement. I haven't stopped listening to their self-titled album since I got my hands on it. It will be out on Paper + Plastick tomorrow but you can already read an email interview we did with vocalist/guitarist Chris Fogal right now.
PRT: First of all… while enjoying the hell out of your album, I couldn’t stop thinking about one thing. Did they ever find out what caused all the bass players in the state of Colorado to simply disappear?
Chris: Ha, I assume you are referring to all of the bass players that the Gamits went through! Just bad luck in the early days I guess. We have had the same bass player for 4 years now and never sounded better.
PRT: And how did you end up with one from Switzerland? Was it a precision thing?
Chris: Yes the Swiss are known for their attention to detail and Michael is no exception! He had already been playing second guitar in the Gamits and it was the two of us that started Dwayne. The other guys came later.
PRT: Seriously though… you all have been or still are in other bands so you can compare. With members being spread out geographically, are there a lot of differences in the way you work now? Aren’t there limitations to what you can work out over the internet?
Chris: Not really. I think when you are writing and learning songs it doesn’t really matter for us where everyone is. The hard part is getting everyone together to learn the songs as a band and record or play shows! Any excuse to get on a plane and play music with my friends is welcome.
PRT: Can you give me the history of the band written in one minute or less starting… now!
Chris: Michael and I were touring Europe a couple years ago and we decided it would be fun to do a band with just 2 acoustic guitars or something really minimal so we could just get in a tiny car and tour Europe. The whole point was to drink beer and eat food. We had no idea what the music would be like. I started writing songs for it on the train to Zurich on my way home. It became obvious when I continued writing at home that we would need a whole band and that it wasn’t going to be as much of a joke as Michael and I had talked about. Next thing ya know we have an album!
PRT: What made you decide to start a new band?
Chris: I just wanted to write some songs outside of the Gamits box. Dwayne is fun because there are no expectations so we can write whatever we want.
PRT: For the people out there who haven’t heard Dwayne yet… if Dwayne was the lovechild of two other bands, which bands would have had sex and which position were you conceived in?
Chris: It would be a 3 way with the Gamits, Laymen Terms and Weezer. The Gamits would be on the receiving end I think.
PRT: You have incorporated a bunch of different styles into the band’s sound going from power-pop and pop-punk to some country twang. Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted a Dwayne song to sound like or did you just start writing?
Chris: I kind of just started writing with no particular style in mind, just my normal goals like a good melody, good hooks, harmonies. It’s easy to tell where some of the influences shined through.
PRT: Slayer gets quite the shout-out on “I’ma Goin’ To Hell”. If Kerry King knocks on your door tomorrow and demands his riff back, who would win the fight?
Chris: Dwayne would get our asses kicked.
PRT: You recently did a couple of shows where you opened with Dwayne and then headlined with the Gamits. Will you do the same thing when you come to Europe?
Chris: That’s the plan! Two of us have to play twice every night which isn’t that hard except I have to make sure my voice holds out. It’s a long tour, something like 32 shows so I have to sing over 64 shows! Ouch. Please don’t offer me a cigarette when you you see me.
PRT: On your Facebook page you mention that ‘after an eventual tour of Europe you are likely to disappear back into relative obscurity’. That European tour is now confirmed for April/May. Does that mean you will squash all our dreams of more Dwayne songs and shows come June?
Chris: No, I think that was just meant to be sarcastic and endearing. We plan to write another album real soon and keep touring because why not?
PRT: If there is one thing you would like to achieve with Dwayne, what would it be?
Chris: pace travel.