Interview

Dad Jokes

Dad Jokes

By Danielle Street

Wednesday 14th May, 2014 9:37AM

They probably have some of the best teeshirts in the music business, but the duo who make up Dad Jokes do have a generation of lame parental gags to draw on for their wittily designed duds. The pizza loving pair have been playing together for a couple of years now (originally forming as a three-piece) and have a whole bunch of shows under their belts, around New Zealand and supporting their pals the PCP Eagles in Australia. Now Dad Jokes, aka Matthew Wall and Ian Brown, are casting their gaze further and heading to Canada to play at the epic Ottawa Explosion Weekend in June, after which they will be heading into the States, going from Seattle to LA and everywhere in between, playing shows along the way. But it takes money to travel, so the pair are putting on a fundraising gig this Friday at Auckland's Whammy Bar with support from a heap of local bands including Bloodbags and Pals. We caught up with Dad Jokes via email ahead of the show to ask them a few questions and, of course, hear their favourite dad joke....

UTR: Hi Dad Jokes! Tell us a bit about yourself...

Matt Wall: We are a two piece from Auckland City. Ian plays Guitar and I plays the drums.

You guys got together around 2012... how did that happen?

Ian Brown: Yeah, well I moved over here [from Canada] in 2010 and ended up moving into Matt's girlfriend's flat, and we kind of hit it off right away. We jammed for a while just for fun, but didn't get serious until I came up with the name Dad Jokes, and we knew it was too good a name to not do anything cool with.

What are the ups and downs of playing in a two-piece?

MW: I don't think there are too many downsides to playing in a two piece, it really easy to coordinate between the two of us, but sometimes it sucks when you end up 50-50 on decisions.

So, you guys are going to the Ottawa Explosion Weekend in Canada soon, what is it and how did you get on the bill?

IB: Ottawa Explosion Weekend is an awesome festival that a few of my friends put on every summer in Ottawa. When I was living there I never had a band to play it, so now that I have something I'm stoked on, I emailed them asking "what would the likelihood of my band playing OXW?" and they got back just saying "100%", which is always pretty cool to hear.

It looks like there are a whole heap of bands playing over the three days, any in particular you are going try to check out while there?

IB: Oh man, that's a tough one for me. Number One for me has to be The White Wires cus I never thought I was going to see them again after I moved away. I'm just stoked to see everyone.

MW: I'm pretty excited to see Metz again they ruled when they played here in December.

Last year you guys released the Everybody Hates Dad Jokes EP and then the True Love EP in quick succession… is there a reason you put them out like that instead of saving material for a full-length??

IB: Well, we put out EHDJ when we were a three-piece with our buddy Rory, but then we needed to rework a bunch of the songs, and write some new ones to better fit the dynamic of the two-piece after he left. Also, I feel like you need to have at least a few songs online before anyone wants to book you for shows.

Both EPs were recorded in a pretty low budget way, the first was a bedroom recording, and the second was done by Arcade Recordings in the Wine Cellar… does it come down to budgetary constraints or is it a sonic choice?

MW: It's a bit of both. We have loads of friends who do cool recording stuff so we always want to go them first, and the fact they want to help us out and not charge much really means a lot.

What else have you got up your sleeve release-wise?

IB: We have one or two cool things in the works but nothing's set in stone yet. Some more songs in the pipelines and maybe some videos too.

Pizza seems to be a recurring theme for you two… what’s the deal?

IB: I love pizza. Full stop. And I want the world to know it.

What other re-emerging themes come up in your songs?

MW: Beer, partying, shit friends, and past their prime action stars.

It seems your tracks are often like mini-stories, but kinda anthemic at the same time, like they paint a picture in a very direct way. Where do those stories come from?

MW: They just come from funny things we think of or things we do.

IB: I think 'Drink the Beer' is our Hamlet.

Since there is two of you is song-writing a 50-50 effort? How is song construction divided?

IB: It kind of varies song by song. One of us will come up with a small idea like a guitar riff or a drum beat and then I'll go away and try and come up with some words. Its not until we get together at practice and work out how they're going to be that the bits turn into full songs.

Are there any groups you draw from in terms of writing style?

IB: I'd say we take bits and pieces we like from all kinds of bands and then drunkenly mash them together until we get something that we like.

What are your thoughts on the local music scene at the moment?

MW: I think it's pretty cool, there's lots of rad bands just picking up steam like The Muscle, The Admiral, and PALS. All those dudes have it on lock. Can't wait to see what they do next.

What would make it better?

IB: I would say just more people coming out to shows or even just more house shows. There's lots of rad stuff happening but sometimes I feel like people are missing out cus they don't want to pay five bucks to see a show and pay for beers at the bars.

Alright last question, what’s your favourite dad joke?

IB: I'm no good at jokes. People keep saying I'm the Dad and Matt's the Jokes half, so I'll leave it to him.

MW: What do you do if a bird shits on your car? Don't ask her out again.


Dad Joke's North America Fundraising Gig is on Friday 16th May at Whammy Bar, Auckland. Dad Jokes will be supported by PCP Eagles, The Muscle, Bloodbags and Pals. Click here for more information.


Photo credit: Holly Davies




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