You’ve exploded onto the British music scene. Why do you think you’ve been such an overnight success here in the UK?
I guess I wasn't really aware that things were going so well for us over there. We were definitely happy that all three of our UK shows were sold out, but as far as we knew, that could mean a lot of things, especially because none of the venues were particularly giant. But they couldn't have been more fun. The UK has definitely been our best market in Europe so far, maybe it's because of our affiliation with Jonathan Wilson or because there's not a language barrier like there is with other countries, or because this kind of music in general is getting a lot of attention out there right now. I really don't know.
‘Nothing Is Wrong’ is out on Loose, a label renowned for its interest in American bands. How did this come about? Where did you meet?
Tom from Loose had reached out to our manager and after getting to know him and his roster it seemed like the perfect fit for Dawes.
Your first record ‘North Hills’ came out a couple of years ago, is there a significant difference between the band now to what it was then? Do you think your music has changed at all or matured?
I think when we made our first record we weren't really sure what our sound was. We just played the way we played and I wrote the songs I wrote. After 'North Hills' it was as if we had a bit of an identity to work within and to branch out from. We haven't gone into making either of our records with any sort of conception of what our sound is or should be. We feel that best way we can make music is if we don't think about things like that and follow through with whatever comes naturally.
I have to ask of course about Robbie Robertson. That must have been quite something to play with such a legend? Was it as cool as you could have imagined?
It was everything we could have hoped for. It's an incredible feeling for one of your heroes to acknowledge you, but to then go on and want you to back him up for some performances was an honor that we still can't believe.
Assuming The Band are a favourite of yours, what would you say are the influential roots of Dawes?
The Band is definitely a big influence for us but that list of influences is always changing. And definitely changes for each member. I'd say that collectively our biggest influences would be Little Feat, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Warren Zevon, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Steely Dan, The Staples Singers, Cass McCombs, Jackson Browne, The Band, The Grateful Dead, Dire Straits. Guys like that.
You’ve just finished a string of dates in the UK, how did the Brit’s treat you? Was there a particular favourite show for you?
I think that our show at the Hoxton might have been my favorite. It was the last of our 3 week European tour and the whole thing went really well so I think that excitement coupled with our excitement for heading back home really made for a fun night.
You’re keeping exceptionally good company these days, how are the Mumford’s? I really enjoyed the Youtube footage of you all playing ‘When My Time Comes’, that looks like it was a lot of fun and you have just finished a couple of dates with them?
Yeah. In fact, we played Nashville with them the night after that last London show at the Hoxton. We were all nervous that after all the flying and the time change that we would put on our worst show ever. It ended up going just fine and the next night was really fun as well. Every time we've ever been onstage with those guys it's ended up feeling like one of the most special experiences.
Your tour schedule is huge and seems to be continually growing, there are some great shows lined up, what are you particularly looking forward to? Are there any dates that are an all time dream for you play?
I'm particularly excited for Newport Folk Festival again this year. We love playing all of the festivals, but that one really promotes a collaborative spirit that is hard to find anywhere else. It's looking like not 2 hours are gonna go by without one member of Dawes jumping onstage with someone else for those two days. It should be really fun.
Is it all about the live shows for you guys? Do you find it tough in the studio? Is making a record a hard process or does it come very naturally to you?
Both of our records took fairly little time to record. The first was done in 2 weeks and the second in a month. We try not to bring too much into the recordings that we couldn't do live and since we do play so much live, we're able to get a sense of the arrangements long before it's time to go into the studio. So we just play the songs until we get a good take and then add the little bit that we couldn't do live at the same time, like a guitar solo or a background vocal or a tambourine and then just make sure it sounds good.
Can we expect to see another record from Dawes in the near future?
I've got a handful of songs I'm happy about and we've been able to give them a little bit of attention. Hopefully we'll have something recorded by the end of the year. You never know though.
Loads of great records have been released in the last 12 months, what have you been listening to recently?
I think last year had so many incredible records. 'The Errant Charm' by Vetiver, 'Blessed' by Lucinda Williams, 'Divine Providence' by Deer Tick, both 'Wit's End' and 'Humor Risk' by Cass McCombs, 'Wolfroy Goes To Town' by Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, 'Apocalypse' by Bill Callahan, 'Circuital' by My Morning Jacket, 'Metals' by Feist, 'The Harrow and the Harvest' by Gillian Welch. And I'm sure there are a lot of others I'm not thinking of.
Will we see you back in the UK before the year is out?
Definitely. The plans are already being made. Just finalizing some dates.