“Both Old and New”: An Interview with Dog Party

Dog Party are a California band that blend a west coast soundscape with punk and pop from yesterday and today. Since 2007, the two sisters have toured exhaustively and released albums at a prolific rate. Their newest album, Hit and Run was released in 2018 and saw the band implementing more mature themes and autobiographical subject matter into their work. They are currently on a summer tour playing alongside bands like Reel Big Fish, The Aquabats, Bad Cop Bad Cop and C.J. Ramone. Here at Bucketlist, we had the opportunity to speak with both Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles about the album, their tour, and where exactly the name Dog Party comes from.

Congrats on finishing the first leg of your epic summer tour! What was it like sharing the bill with 90s ska icons Reel Big Fish and The Aquabats?

It was an honour sharing the stage with such talented musicians. They both put on fantastic live sets and are very friendly people! The crowds for their shows were great as well! We hope to play with either of them again in the near future!!!

Considering that you are big The Ramones fans, how thrilled are you to be playing shows with C.J. Ramone?

Last September we were CJ’s backing band at the El Ray in California. We played all Ramone’s songs and it was incredible! Now it is a dream come true for Dog Party to play as his support on tour as he is both an inspiration and a legend.

You also joined Green Day on their Revolution Radio North American tour. What was that experience like?

Touring with Green Day was amazing in all ways imaginable! America Idiot inspired Gwennie to learn guitar and we honour their legacy as musicians, as a band, and as songwriters so much! We are so thankful that we were able to share a stage with them. The whole experience was such a treat!

Along with The Ramones, who were some of the bands that inspired and continue to inspire your music?

We are always discovering music both old and new. Some of our current favourites/inspirations include: The Everly Brothers, The Beatles, Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, and Buck Owens. From the beginning we have been inspired by: The White Stripes, The Kills, Green Day, and The Ramones.

You’ve been an extremely hardworking and active band since 2007. In your early days what drove you to stay motivated and keep going? What advice would you give to newer bands with similar aspirations?

We were always driven by our love and passion for music – it comes naturally to us. It is very important to find likeminded individuals that share your same passion for music. It’s aggravating being more “into” something than the people you’re trying to share that experience with. Practice has always been an essential factor that kept us strong. Starting from constant band practices in our living room to now singing vocal warm-ups before every performance.

I’ve always loved your band name! Where does it come from?

Lucy has always loved dogs and insisted that “dog” be a part of the name. Gwennie started pairing other words with “dog” and Dog Party stuck!

Your latest album Hit and Run features more emotional songwriting along with your usual brand of high energy pop-punk. Was that a conscientious choice on your part? What inspired this shift?

Over the course of 12 years we have always written about our experiences. In the beginning we were in elementary school writing about friendships, school drama, and our perception of the “real world.” Later on new topics were integrated into our writing and our lives like moving away for college, romances, and breakups. Both of us went through rough breakups when Hit & Run was written–it is definitely a theme throughout the album.

I’ve heard that you’re in the process of writing a new album! What can fans expect to hear? Will it explore some of the same themes as Hit and Run or go in a completely new direction?

We are very excited about this new album. It very much still in progress, but I believe it will be a more matured and developed version of Hit & Run.

Here at Bucketlist Music Reviews, we have a very important tradition. We like to end all our interviews with this question: what is left on your Bucketlist?

Meet Paul McCartney!!!

Written and compiled by Shawn Thicke
*edited by Mike Milito

About Shawn Thicke 137 Articles
Since the age of 12, Shawn Thicke has had an unhealthy addiction to music consumption and the need to offer his opinion to anyone willing to listen. Thankfully, since writing at Bucketlist Music Reviews, his needs have been met much to the relief of those close to him. Not only is he an avid listener, but music has pretty much taken over the rest of his life as well. His love of the stage has ensured that he is constantly busy as the lead singer and lyricist of local rock bands Rustic State and Thicke Sugar. The former you can find playing on any given weekend all over the city of Montreal. During the day though, he becomes a member of society and works as a music teacher at the Montreal Oral School for the Deaf. Shawn hopes to one day find success with his own music, but until that day comes you'll be sure to see him at your show, bopping his head with a goofy grin on his face.

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