dredg’s new album, CHUCKLES AND MR. SQUEEZY, will be released May 3 on Superball Music. It’s the highly anticipated follow-up to 2009’s critically acclaimed THE PARIAH, THE PARROT, THE DELUSION (Ohlone Recordings through Warner Music Group's Independent Label Group), which was inspired in part by Salman Rushdie’s essay “Imagine There's No Heaven: A Letter to the 6 Billionth Citizen.”
It took the band--Gavin Hayes (vocals, guitars), Drew Roulette (bass, samples), Mark Engles (guitars) and Dino Campanella (drums, keyboards)--almost eight months of exchanging song-material via e-mail to finish CHUCKLES AND MR. SQUEEZY--a process producer Dan The Automator (Gorillaz, Kasabian, etc.) was also involved in right from the early beginnings. His influence becomes most apparent in the songs “The Tent,” “Sun Goes Down” and “Before it Began” where he also took an active part in the songwriting. Even though there is a lot of variation in tones and tempo, singer Gavin Hayes sums up the general sound of CHUCKLES AND MR. SQUEEZY as “Dark Pop”: a dark undertone is giving the songs some kind of a contemplative self-analysis – but in the end the album is still characterized by its optimism. “There is a certain darkness to it,” Gavin agrees. “A lot of our music is ultimately positive but can be conceived as sad as well. It has these two sides that oppose each other, but manage to reconcile in the music.”
Singer/guitarist/lyricist Gavin Hayes is an adopted child that recently found his biological family. Last year, he did some research online and ended up finding his half-sister on Facebook. Since then he has met about 30 cousins and half-cousins. His half-sister is also in the music business, interestingly enough. She’s an opera singer who has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic, as well as other orchestras across the country. A few songs on the new album were written about Gavin’s personal experiences….“Before It Began” is inspired by meeting his biological family, while “The Thought Of Losing You” and “Upon Returning” are about Gavin’s adopted sister being at war and dealing with severe shell shock.
The Dear Hunter will be touring in support of their forthcoming nine-EP collection, THE COLOR SPECTRUM, which is due out June 7 on Triple Crown Records in a variety of formats (Full Length CD, Limited Edition Deluxe Vinyl Box Set, Full Length Vinyl and each song as an individual digital version). THE COLOR SPECTRUM consists of songs inspired by the colors of the spectrum, specifically RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, INDIGO andVIOLET, with WHITE and BLACK being included as bookends. Casey Crescenzo, mastermind of The Dear Hunter, completed the EPs while traveling the U.S., documenting every step of the process. The collection will feature collaborations with several producers and musicians, including Manchester Orchestra, Brendan Brown from The Receiving End of Sirens, Mike Watts (who has worked with As Tall As Lions and he mixed The Dear Hunter’s 2009 album, ACT III: LIFE AND DEATH), and Steve Haigler (Brand New, As Tall As Lions, Quicksand).
Alternative Press had praised ACT III: LIFE AND DEATH: “Casey Crescenzo, the multi-talented fountainhead of The Dear Hunter, assembled a masterwork in ACT III: LIFE AND DEATH, ostensibly the midsection of his ongoing, six-act tale of a born-loser boy who falls for a whore. LIFE AND DEATH expands the Danny Elfman-does-gypsy-vaudeville sound pioneered on TDH’s two previous albums, dedicating more space to better explore the densely layered vocal swathes (‘Writing On A Wall’) and polyrhythmic grooves (‘In Cauda Venenum’) for which Crescenzo’s become known. He flexes some serious harmonic muscle on the lachrymose ‘Saved’ and the aching, album-closing trifecta ‘Son,’ ‘Father’ and ‘Life and Death.’ If you’d prefer to simply commence wetting your shorts, jump to the 4:15 mark of ‘Thief’ and listen through to the end of ‘Mustard Gas.’ F**king bravo, man. 4-1/2 out of 5 stars.”