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The Dodos- ‘I hate Joey Joe Joe’ and Other Stories

Interview with The Dodos, London, Summer 2009

Written by Roisin Conway

Following my review of Time To Die, that was so excited and gushing it seemed to have been written by puppy. I made my way, practically skipping, to meet the Dodos yesterday afternoon with my clammy nervous fist wrapped around my list of questions, and the autoharps and drums of Visiter ringing in my ears. It’s always a bit make or break meeting bands you love, what if they thought my questions were goofy? (they always are kinda goofy) or what if I had a piece of gaffer tape stuck to my bum? (I did). Although I was too much of a wimp to follow up my boyfriend’s suggestion to exchange animal impressions with them, the interview was definitely a make rather than a break, and they didn’t mention the gaffer tape!


So, I really liked the new album! What else is new with you guys?
Logan: Well that’s pretty much it, we finished the Visiter tour, had some personal time, and then started recording in the studio.

I guess quite a big deal has been made here about the album leak and your decision to stream a high quality version yourselves…how did you reach that decision?
Meric: Well it happened pretty quick, I guess our label here and our label in the States came up with the idea of setting up the website. We were on tour and were like “yeah!”

OK! If you had to pick someone as a main musical influence in your life who would you pick?
Meric: For me, I would say John Fahey is a very important musical figure. It’s weird because I didn’t start listening to him until quite late on in my guitar development, but now between albums and writing, I always go back to him and get stuff out of him. He’s just like a source of learning and inspiration. I know Logan’s a fan of him too and there’s something there that we draw from even if it’s not that direct, because he’s a solo guitarist and we’re a band… I feel like we’re inspired by a lot of the melodies and chord choices and where he goes with stuff
What about you Logan? Would you agree with that?
Logan: Yeah, I’m a huge John Fahey fan, I feel like it’s a connector between me and Meric, the first time I saw Meric play, I was really admiring his ability to play in that style…I would say it’s [being a fan of John Fahey] has been a constant throughout.

So, would you pick Fahey to provide the soundtrack to your life? Or would you chose another band?
Logan: I would definitely say that if I was going to soundtrack my life there would be like the Misfits scene, and the Slayer scene, but if I had to pick just one thing, I’d pick something more emotionally resonant like Fahey
Meric: It would be a pretty ecclectic mix tape.
A lot of people pick the Beatles interestingly…
Meric: I guess a lot of people choose the band they grew up listening to or listened to throughout their adolescence but I don’t really have that, I listened to too many different bands and went through too many superficial musical phases to grasp onto anything.


Can you tell me a secret about the Dodos...
Meric: We really like to dance…
Meric: I feel like the best shows are determined by whether there’s a good dance party afterwards.
Do you have a signature move?

Logan: My girlfriend calls my dance move ‘The Bounce’ because I go really rigid and bounce to the music whereas she tries to dance more flowy- we have opposite dance styles, that’s the only way I know how ‘The Bounce’
Hmmm I gave up trying to be a flowy dancer, I’m a bit elbows and knees the whole time, it kinda works out in a strange way.
Logan: You can come to our dance party

Ace! I’ll save my signature move until then.
Who or what is your nemesis?

Logan: Do you ever have people just throw it out there like “I hate Joey Joe Joe” ?
Yeah, I interviewed Wavves and they went for this infomercial guy apparently he has a stupid beard and sleeps with prostitutes…
Logan: Oh did they mean Billy Mays? He’s dead! Dude-bad ju-ju on Wavves part!
Meric: It’s a cheap shot.
I wouldn’t have approved if I’d have known at the time, I would have said “That’s too far guys…too far”
Logan: Well I’m sure he didn’t know
Meric: I like to think I don’t hate anybody but I know that’s not true…
It can be a thing as well maybe…
Logan: How about that asteroid that’s on it’s way here?
Logan: I’ll direct all my hate at that giant rock
It’s quite a good one…I’m not sure you’ll win though
Meric: I’ll hop on that train
If we all channel our hate into one big burning laser of hate maybe we can break it up and it’ll evaporate…
Logan: Though maybe it’s fuelled by hate, hate makes it move faster
So maybe we should all love it and that’s how we’ll stop it.


What’s your guilty pleasure?
Logan: Bobby Brown, I’m pretty hard up, I was wikipedia-ing all my favourite songs to see who wrote them, like he had a string of hits that all had the same quality to them that I really really loved and I just had to know, yeah I’m really in deep for Bobby Brown.
Is that a guilty thing though?
Logan: I don’t view it as one but I have received some strange glances from people if we’re drunk at someone’s house youtube-ing videos and I put on Bobby Brown.
Everyone has a weird song they play at parties and get flack for…
Meric: If it’s good though I don’t really feel guilty, if you truly love it the guilt is gone. I would say online poker.
I’ve never played.
Meric: It doesn’t feel good….(laughter) but it’s always there just before I go to sleep, like “I haven’t gone to sleep yet I might as well play a few hours online”. I love playing actual poker with people, but online it’s just hand after hand of up and down emotions and then you’re really angry at these avatars
Is it other people playing as well?
Meric: Yeah it’s other people
Logan: Do you set up a PayPal account?
Meric: Well, you can give them your credit card, I haven’t done that yet, I’ve been using fake money, but you’d be surprised at how infuriating losing fake money can be…it’s like an ego thing… like PokeyMaHaunches1234 is gonna bet me out off this.

So if you had to pick 5 songs to put on a mix tape what would they be?
Logan: Who’s it for?
ME! or it can be for that man over there (point to man)
Logan: But I know him even less than I know you…a bunch of songs I’ve been listening to recently have romantic overtones so don’t take it too seriously…Tom Petty‘s “Built to Last”
Meric: On the Tom Petty front “Congratulations by the Travelling Wilburys
Logan: Roy Orbison‘s “You Got It” and “Strange Magic” by ELO
Meric: ummm….”West End Girls” [Pet Shop Boys]. Keep it light!


OK! So if you built a time machine which era in the past or the future would you travel to?
Logan: I was always a bit lost deciding when I’d go..but now I know that I’d travel 100 years into the future; see if civilisation was still going strong, then I’d come back to now and be less neurotic
Yeah like leave the lights on and I guess if you went and it’s all gone to pot, you can come back and be like “fuck it!”
Logan: Yeah, do something extravagant
Meric: Like “We’re all gonna die anyways”
Logan: There was a time when I wanted to ride a dinosaur, but now I want to live my life as happily as I can, that would ensure it.
Meric: It might kinda fuck things up if you know though…I feel like not knowing is a big part of it
Logan: Perception does change the outcome of experiments, wouldn’t it be lovely and ironic if I destroyed the world?
You might come back and be the smuggest man alive…
Meric: Winning bets
Or online poker
Logan: How could my joy destroy the world?
I always would pick going back to the age of dinosaurs….I’m kinda into dinosaurs, but I’d only go for a couple of hours not ages
Meric: If you’re just visiting anytime before 100 years ago would be interesting…I like dinosaurs though, I’d like to see them. Like Jurassic Park…Fuck it- I’ll just watch the movie!!
Logan: Dude, I’d go back to 93 and watch it opening night, red carpet!
Meric: That would require more than a time machine though…you’d have to buy a ticket, rent the tux.
I’d like to go back to 1977 when the first Star Wars came out and have never seen it before and for the effects to be new and cutting edge
Logan: Yeah…

What would your quiz specialist subject be?
Meric: Food
Logan: Skateboarding History


Good broad subjects there! You’ll totally win…so which 5 people would you invite to your dream dinner party ?
Logan: This is good…shall we invite Phil?
Meric: Sure…
Logan: Ok, so Phil Eck [music producer]
Meric: I’m trying to think of a nemesis for Phil to cause some drama
Logan: I’m thinking of a food celebrity
Meric: Bret Michaels
Logan: Bobby Flay so you and him could have it out
Is it going to turn into a fight?
Meric: No it’s a sit down affair. We need some ladies in the mix
Logan: Aretha Franklin, she’d like to eat
Meric: I don’t know why but...Janet Jackson.
She could do with a nice dinner party at the moment
Logan: She’s grieving right now…
Exactly, cheer her up with some nice food
Logan: Hopefully our rag-tag team will cheer her up!
Who would you make wash up?
Logan: Phil
Meric: Bret Michaels can dry
Sounds great, it would also be the best crime solving rag-tag team ever if you wanted to branch out!


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