Coming from different parts of the USA, Analog Dog is the psychedelic rock culmination of five talented musicians. With the sole aim of free expression through fantastic music, Analog Dog shares a unique sound with the masses. We speak to the group about their new album Can’t Out Of The Bag, future plans and more!
How did Analog Dog form and what inspired the band name?
The city of San Francisco brought us together in a special way. Kind of like a domino effect where certain events just kept leading to the next. Austin and Rob met years ago at Music City Rehearsal which was the community-driven rehearsal space that Austin worked at. We both had our own bands and started playing on bills together throughout the city. We had our first mutual member in our saxophone/keyboard player Jason and, slowly but surely, we began to intertwine as groups.
Steven and Eric were already in Rob’s group at the time and our bands went up north in the winter of 2019 for some gigs. The gigs ended up being cancelled due to bad weather, so we took the opportunity to just make music all weekend together. Took a little psychedelic journey, vibed and we were soon thereafter a new group with a new vision.
The name itself was a combination of other ideas we kicked around. Rob had a song called ‘Analog Alison’, elements of which ended up in our song ‘Office Plant’.’ Analog Alison became Analog Dog after some reworking and the rest is history. Analog Dog is as Analog Dog does.
What is the backstory to your album Cat’s Out of the Bag?
The songs on this EP represent the first year of compositional fusion within our group. Each song came from a different place – some songs were composed almost entirely as a group, whereas others were the product of individual’s bringing forth a song of their own and turning it into an Analog Dog song. In a kind of unintentional way, we started to see patterns and themes. A lot of our music in this period just naturally concerned itself with certain concepts: the balancing of work and play, the embrace of magical thinking while also having grounded plans, the desire to maintain equanimity in a world so full of oppression and superficialities. Theses ideas become the sort of core thesis of the EP as we continued to build it.
The name of the EP itself refers to a sort of “point of no return”. Here in the information age, we can know all there is to know about the current and future impacts of climate change, systemic racism, global wealth inequality and all of those other horrifying statistics. This music is kind of our way of dealing with it as artists.
Which is your favourite track?
We all have our own favourite tracks on this EP and that’s another testament to our sort of multi-genre fusion approach as a band. ‘Office Plant’s scratches the itch for depth, meaning and psychedelic expression. ‘Heart Into It’ gives us the nice jazzy keyboard stuff that we all vibe to.
‘Feelin’ Thin’ has got that upbeat optimism with some classic rock feels. ‘Fall Down’ is like the 60s meets some contemporary funk – the chorus always reminds us of the 5th Dimensions ‘Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine’. ‘Be In A Band’ is the classic Beatles-esque vibe that is literally about the excitement of forming a new band. They all hit different points for us and they all kind of express the expansive genre tastes that we have as individuals.
If you could change anything about the album what would it be?
That’s an interesting question. We wish we would’ve been in a position to get it finished a lot quicker, but good things take time. We’re still getting the hang of our production process as a band. Since we tracked, mixed and mastered everything ourselves and were very involved in the creation of all the album art and promo videos. It just took a long time to get it out. We’re learning how to be more efficient now and focusing on singles, so we expect to get another release out within the next few months. Other than time, which is a flat circle that inevitable just repeats itself, and the fact that Columbia Records missed the opportunity to sign us, we don’t think we’d change a thing.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
There are two answers to that question.
Best case scenario: Analog Dog is deep into making our fourth LP, touring the country with stints in Europe and South America, living inside of our own Steely Dan/ Grateful Dead daydream. We’re using our collective power to raise the vibration of the collective consciousness, using our skills as musicians to create a healing and rejuvenating effect through music, and we’ve struck a balance between personal fulfilment and devotion to our craft.
Worst case scenario: Our egos and the crushing grip of late stage capitalism make the project implode and we never see each other again. Fingers are crossed for option #1.
Use one sentence to describe your music?
A psychedelic food pyramid of sound built on a rock foundation layered with ample helpings of indie and pop courses, several servings of funk and jazz, and sparingly but effectively used transformation of space and time.
Do you find yourself unique as a group?
Just kidding. I mean, of course, we do otherwise we’d have no business doing what we do. We kind of ride on an old-school ethic – we meditate together, practice improvisation often, rely on some rather esoteric ideas of togetherness that make us believe that our project is more than just the sum of its parts. We come from wildly different musical backgrounds and have a broad range of musical tastes and worldviews. All of that comes out in its own way in our music. We definitely feel singular in those ways.
What advice do you have for new musicians?
Neil Young says, “don’t be denied” and that’s a pretty good place to start. This industry is savage and full of bullshit. One must believe in themselves wholeheartedly and lean into the characteristics about themselves that make them unique. Doubt is natural, but too much will destroy you. There are hundreds of thousands of people, maybe millions, trying to do what you want to do. Find out what makes you special, what sets you apart and run with it. Also, maybe read some Joseph Campell and get comfortable playing really slow to a metronome.