Interview by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer.
Good Doogs are honestly just really good guys and their good time surf rock tunes have earned them a pretty huge following in the small amount of time they have been a thing for. The guys have just released their latest single + video How I Feel. Their Nobody/Alone Tour kicked off last weekend and the shows are selling out like wildfire everywhere! If you haven’t got onto Good Doogs, I suggest you do because they are just going to keep getting bigger and better!
I had a chat to drummer and in-house band manager, Michael ‘Grudge’ Grainger recently about the new single, the tour and their self-labelled brand of surf rock ‘Sad Boi Surf Rock’ but are they really sad bois? We don’t think so…
So you both play drums and manage the band, what’s it like being the in-house manager?
“I’d like to say it’s nice and easy but *laughs* It is good in a way because you don’t have to listen to anyone else, you can always do what’s in the best interest of the band. But at the same time, it is kind of hard to control everyone because everyone is your mate and you’re not like an authority figure. It has it’s ups and downs but in the long run, it’s a good thing!”
How did Good Doogs come about and where did the band name come from?
“Dylan (Brown) and I had been friends for a while. We are both from Mandurah, a little fishing surfing town in WA. We both had the love of music and Mandurah doesn’t really have a scene for it so we would always be up in Perth for shows and seeing each other there. I run a few events as well and I was running an event with Hockey Dad and I got Asher (Iriks’) band to open for them. I had a WAAVES jumper on and Asher complimented me on it and we got talking about WAAVES. I hadn’t really met anyone in WA that liked them as much as me. We kinda realised we had a bond over a band that no one else we knew really liked and we decided to have a jam and that was how the band started.
The band name came really easily, ‘cos we are pretty Australian blokes. Me and Dylan are both tradies. We originally wanted to call the band The Yeah Nahs *laughs* you know, something really Australian. But that had already been used. So the most Australian name we could think of was Good Doogs. A lot of people haven’t heard it (the saying), I think it is more of a WA thing. On like building sites, you get old boys and it’s pretty much like a saying for anything that is really good. Anyone who does something that is really good, like say you went down the shop and picked something up, the response would be ‘Aww yeah Good Doog!’ So that was why we were like yeah, we will just take that, That’s the most Australian saying we can think of!”
You guys have come a long way already since the band started in 2017, you must be stoked and really proud of what you’ve achieved?
“It’s unreal. It was just a gag; well not a gag, but something we did for fun at the start. From a pure love of music. It was a real gimmick-y thing to us because we had never done it before and then it got legs and we had to actually spend a lot of time on it because it had become a real thing and a lot of people had started backing us. Because we have done the whole thing self-managed and with no label or anything, we are pretty proud of that whole aspect that we haven’t had to lean on anyone and we have done it all ourselves to get to this point. We are very proud of it yeah.”
A perfect example of that is your current tour, the Nobody/Alone Tour which is selling out EVERYWHERE! You’ve even had to add some extra shows! That must be a great feeling?
“It is wild, we just played the first gigs on the weekend and the vibe we were getting straight away from the kids there, it was just like this tour is gonna be skitz when we play the capital cities! that was only the small ones, so we are pretty psyched for the big ones. We literally got home on Sunday night and we were all so flat, we were like,’we wanna go back on tour!’”
Last week you dropped your new single + video How I Feel. I can’t stop listening to it and found myself humming it in the shower the other night, I was like ‘What’s this song in my head? Ohhh yeah it’s Good Doogs!’ – Also loving the new film clip where you are sporting the Dave Grohl style plaits! Can you tell me some more about the song and the clip?
“That’s literally how I gauge what songs are going to be the singles. We learn them and then whatever I find myself kind of singing a couple of days later, they are the ones we release because we are thinking if this is happening to us, it is gonna happen to the crowd kind of thing.
The song is about; Asher writes the songs but I am pretty sure this one is more about like, Asher and I have had battles with anxiety and depression so all our songs are a little bit sad in that regard. They all kind of go down that path. But we like to think that we sing about pretty dark matter but make the songs fun. We like to call it ‘Sad Boi Surf Rock’ *laughs* that’s what we think it is anyway. So it is pretty much walking down the same kind of avenue of addressing those kind of issues. The clip is just about all three of us being in different mind sets; all feeling a different way. But all getting together and how music brings you together and everyone can always have a good time with music.”
That Segue’s into my next question so well! The surf rock genre, to me, has always been associated with a good time and whilst it can still touch on important topics and emotions and things, it’s also light hearted and makes you want to sing along and dance around. Is that something you aim for with your music? A ‘good time’ kind of feeling?
“We like to create songs that are happy songs, fun songs. We want people to have fun with our music. A lot of the melodies and a lot of the guitar hooks, everything is really hooky and really catchy and really fun, we play everything in higher notes rather than on the lower strings where it’s deeper. That’s what we try to aim for anyway, you find that if everyone is having fun it creates a great vibe at shows rather than being dark. Which isn’t surf rock as you said, surf rock isn’t dark it is about having fun with jangly guitars and stuff like that.”
With the current tour already underway, if you reflect back on past tours and gigs, what’s one that stands out for you?
“The most psycho gig… I don’t ever really get that scared going on stage, but playing at Groovin The Moo was… I wasn’t scared but that was the most nervous I reckon I’ve been for a show and that doesn’t happen often. So that one sticks out in my mind. Normally I am just super excited but that one I was like ‘oh god, this is gonna be nuts!’ It was a bit of an achievement to get it, we were really excited to play that one. Once you’re up there and playing music it’s sweet. For me it’s just having fun with my best mates, every time I look up I see Dylan smiling at me laughing or like Asher will just turn around and laugh at me and it’s like sick we are on here! *laughs* And if you’re not smiling and having a good time, why would anyone else in the crowd be either!?”
What’s next for Good Doogs? More singles, an album, more tours?
“We are starting to get the ball moving on our debut album next year, that will be towards the end of next year. Probably a couple more singles this year. We have another tour around another single. A few other things have to be lined up for that.”
Well I know it rings true for me that Good Doogs do indeed make me smile! Listening to their music or seeing them play live, is always a good time or even a ‘Good Call’!? See what I did there? Good Call Live LOVES Good Doogs and we highly recommend you get to one or more of their upcoming gigs and check them out! Tour dates below.
Remaining tickets on sale now from gooddoogs.com
Fri 7th June – Melbourne Arts Centre, Melbourne – U18 *NEW SHOW*