Dog Day Sunrise have been around since the nineties, and although they might not have achieved as big a commercial success as other bands from their time, they’re still rocking twenty years later! OVERDRIVE Music Magazine caught up with guitarist Anthony Manning to speak about their latest album, and what it’s been like transitioning through so many shifts of sound throughout the years.
If you’re unfamiliar with who Dog Day Sunrise are, you’re in luck! Manning gave a rundown of who they are, and how they came about to be the band that they are today. He explained, “We are a band that originated in Bradford, Pennsylvania in 1996. The band is comprised of four guys who grew up together, went to school together and hung out together as kids. Music was always the common bond between us. We had common ground in the bands and type of music we listened to. We all started jamming together on and off when we were around 12 and 13 years old. We started off writing music together combining NWOBHM, Doom & Sludge, Blues mixed with some Thrash Metal and it just kind of evolved into its own thing from there.”
Having been in the circuit for over twenty years, as for mentioned, Manning spoke of what he felt attributed to the fact that Dog Day Sunrise are not only still around, but more importantly still relevant. He explained, “Looking back on it I’d have to say patience and persistence. We wanted to structure our band for longevity. We wanted to set it up that way from the very beginning. We didn’t have any interest in attempting to play the Top 40 game. It just isn’t who we are and there are just too many flashes in the pan, so to speak. We always said that if it happened we wouldn’t run from it but we weren’t about to sit around and purposely try to write charting songs. It’s been said by other artists before but we didn’t want to be permanently etched into a particular place in time and be stuck in a mould we couldn’t get out of. There are very few bands that are able to achieve a long ride and out run their own success and fame at that level. In that sense it would be a lot like winning the lottery. We knew that our sound was somewhat unique. Other than that we have tried to just stay true to ourselves, especially in more recent years. I think when you are true to yourself, your music shines through and the listener can get behind that.”
Dog Day Sunrise’s sound is one that has definitely evolved over time, in some cases producing some music that would be considered somewhat ‘unfamiliar’ to the band’s usual sound. Manning explained, “We’ve never set out to be a trendy band. However, we were heavily pressured at times in the early 2000’s by investors and labels to try and sound certain ways. There were a few songs we did that we weren’t necessarily happy with having to release back in the day. We experimented as well by our own choices as well through the years. I believe experimentation helps you grow as an artist. Also, as you mature, your music changes too, I think. Your views on things change, your feelings, how you approach the writing and recording process. Recording studios are like instruments themselves and over the years you learn how use them more effectively and really get what your worth out of them. We’re a band that’s not afraid to try different things either. We won’t shy away from something different if it serves a track well and helps to bring it to life. Our sound is a sign of understanding how to use the studio properly. It’s knowing how to capture each instrument’s mood the right way.”
Attention shifted to their latest album release, ‘When The Sky Comes Down‘, with Manning speaking about how long they’d been piecing this album together, and their processes when hitting the studio. He explained, “The writing process started in 2013 I believe. We did a lot of pre-production with this album. The vast majority of this record was written via email and sending ideas back and forth. Technology has granted us that luxury. When we first started writing and recording songs we never really heard things entirely until it went to tape. We finally went in and put down three tracks at Cosmic Audio Studios with Kevin Dougherty. Up until then we really hadn’t released anything since 2003. So this was more of a test to lay some tracks down and see what we had. If we liked it we would move forward, if we didn’t then no big deal, we would just move on and try something else. We ended up liking what we heard back a lot and things just started snow balling from there. Legendary producer John Custer got involved at this point and he helped us drive it home.”
Wrapping it all up, it would be amiss to try and find out what plans Dog Day Sunrise have now that their latest album has been completed. Manning kept it short and sweet. “We’ll set out in the spring to support this album. In between show dates we’d like to get back into the studio and start recording the next.”
‘When The Sky Comes Down’ is out February 9, 2018. Check Dog Day Sunrise’s Facebook page to stay updated.