Way Back Now by Dogpile on the Rabbit | INTERVIEW
Author: Thommy Delaney

Musicians Brian Stabile and Bruce Hanson are no strangers to BlowUpRadio.com. Brian fronted the band Casino Sundae and Bruce fronted the band Fellaheen. Both groups have been part of BlowUpRadio.com over these past few years! Now, they have joined forces and formed a new band called "Dogpile on the Rabbit," an original rock and roll band that combines multiple styles of music into a sound that is quite unique! Their debut album,"Way Back Now," encaptures all their influences from 60s Brit-rock to power pop and everything in between! Without any delay, let's catch up with Brian and Bruce and learn more about their new band!

Greetings, Brian and Bruce of Dogpile on the Rabbit! Congrats on the band's debut album! How did you guys meet and decide to create this new band together?

Bruce: Initially, I had wanted to put together a project that honed tighter to my pop-punk-rock influences, like the Beatles, the Clash, the Replacements, so I put an ad up on Craigslist. Brian answered, and after talking for a while, we hit it off. It turned out that Brian essentially was having the same thoughts as I was: to put together a band that wrote and created original music in the spirit of our shared influences that would appeal to people who liked those original bands. Soon after, I called upon drummer Mark Orlandini, whom I'd play with in Fellaheen on and off for about 20 years, and we found bassist Scott Barnes through Craigslist. While Brian and I have our individual approaches to songwriting, we found that those approaches meshed well, we naturally sublimated our individual egos to the needs of a particular song, and created a great synthesis beyond what each of us had accomplished individually in previous projects.

Brian: We also both enjoy bringing an original song to a band and letting the band find its places within the song. It's very rare for either of us to dictate what we want to hear in a song as far as instrumentation or parts. We may have ideas, and sometimes if it's vital to what we had in mind when the song was written, we will voice it, but it feels best when you let the creativity of the players flow and interpret what feels comfortable.

Your influences seem to vary between different artists. What artist inspired both of you the most as songwriters? Do you share any of the same influences between each other?

Bruce: the common influences definitely begin with the Beatles (is anyone NOT influenced by the Beatles?), but they run the gamut of the full history of rock 'n' roll: The Clash, The Kinks, The Replacements, Lou Reed, The Old '97s, Buzzcocks, '60s Britrock, Big Star, The Faces, Americana, whatever. A great song is a great song, and in our own work we want to summon the memory of the great work of the past.

Brian: I grew up with an older brother and two sisters, who turned me on at a very young age to the music of the 60's and a lot of that is indelibly embedded in my brain. The song structures, the melodies, the ways those songs built up and flowed. I think the fundamentals of those great songs and artists reflect in Dogpile on the Rabbit.

The lyrics of "Getting So Old" are very interesting. The lyrics that stood out the most to me was "Pick up that electric guitar; Maybe you can be a star; Watch out, the living is hard." Even though I haven't been involved with music for years, I felt connected to that line so much. Though this song seems to relate to musicians, do you expect others to take something away from the song? If so, is there anything specific that you hope to take from it?

Brian: I wrote that song from the frame of mind of when I was a teenager and started writing songs, mixed in with the cynical, jaded, Ive seen and heard it before view of now being an adult who wants to feel like that teenager again. That line came to me thinking as that kid, looking into the mirror, dreaming of being a rockstar but also the "adult" of his "mom" saying, be careful, the drugs and lifestyle will kill you. Ultimately, go chase your dreams but kid, it's not going to be easy.

Written by Brian, "Running Partner" intrigued me not just from a production point of view, but it also had a lot of lyrical interest. What is the meaning of these lyrics and what moved you to write them?

Brian: I had just gotten back from visiting my brother in Florida. I went there with a good buddy of mine, who has been going through a bad time, to get him away for a little bit. The song just hit me. I really didn't give it much thought, nor did I want to try to, as it just poured out of me. Those are usually pretty good ones. I think the running part is a metaphor for wanting to get as much life as you can. Staying out late, and doing it again the next night, I envisioned two people having such a great time not wanting to go home. At the same time, I felt lucky but melancholy, knowing we all don't have someone who is there for you, though the running and feels what you feel, so there is a hope that people find someone like that.

As I listened to the album, I noticed certain songs have unique yet strange (in a good way) "instruments" in them. "Don't Let the Devil In" was one of these tracks. I was rather surprised to find that Brian put "seed pods" in there! What on earth are seed pods and what did you use them for on this particular track?

Brian: We recorded the original tracks with the full band at Shorefire Recording Studio and did all the overdubs, mixing and mastering at Bruce's place, Strange Dog Studios. Bruce has a crazy collection of instruments and percussion there, so we were doing some tracks on Devil and I happened to pick up this thing that looked like a huge, dried edamame, probably 18 inches long and said, what's this? He said shake it and it had this great shaker type sound, very organic though. Kind of like a rattlesnake, so I laid a track with it. Figured the tune has a western, americana sound to it so why not. You can hear it going into the breaks.

"Empty Head" is one of my favorite songs on the album. I noticed in the credits of who played what, Bruce not only played banjo along with guitars but he also played a chicken fryer and an aluminum pot! To be honest, I've never heard someone use those things on any song. Why did you decide to use those objects to make music let alone add them to the song?

Bruce: the chicken fryer belonged to my grandmother, a lady named Isabelle Murphy. The fryer is this cast-iron monstrosity, and it makes a great CLANK when you hit it. The aluminum pot was the first (and often, only) piece of cookware I had when I first lived on my own as a young adult. I'd use it to cook with and eat out of. Similarly, it makes a very unique sound when struck with passion, lol. Both "instruments" add a distinct flavor to a song, with a different character than just a cowbell or more common percussion instrument.

Another interesting track from a production point of view is "Breaking Records." Barry Stable played a lap steel guitar. I've become a fan of lap steel guitars recently and the use of it on the song is just perfect! Did you originally plan on having lap steel in the song when Bruce wrote it or did that come during the recording sessions?

Bruce: The song had always had a sort of early Wilco, country rock vibe. When Brian suggested his brother Barry, who plays lap steel, for it, it worked fantastically. Barry is an ace musician in his own right, and it was an honor to have him raise the bar on "Breaking Records" to such a high level.

Brian: Not just from an influential standpoint, but playing with my brother throughout my life has been a gift. He can play any style, any stringed or keyed instrument and most importantly, knows what and when to play. I knew he would be an add to the session and in "Breaking Records" he fit in like a glove.

I see that you have a show coming up on November 4 at Crossroads in Garwood, New Jersey. Are there any more shows coming up after that?

Bruce: Upcoming gig dates include the Mill Hill in Trenton, NJ on Friday, November 17, and the Chubby Pickle in Highlands, NJ on Friday, January 5. More are in the works.

Are you going to release any more original music this year or in the future?

Bruce: we actually have about another 8 songs from the WAY BACK NOW sessions which didn't make it onto the album. We will release those eventually - either as singles or in another collected format. And Brian and I are constantly writing, so you never know what'll emerge next.

Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

Brian: We appreciate outlets like yours where people can discover and appreciate music that they might never, ever hear. I know when I "discover" an artist and get a feeling from their music, I really appreciate where I got that from, as feeling things is an add to my life. Understanding the "why and what" about their songs helps me relate and enjoy the music even more.

Artist Bio
BRUCE HANSON (vocals, guitar) writes songs, and sings 'em ... Lennonian longings, Westerbergian throat-scrapings, Clashy ruff-riffs ... songs about shady characters, particle physics, and love 'n' hate... y'know, songs to dial up just as you order another round. His origin story? Well, there's something about the famously toxic early 1980s New Brunswick scene with the punkpop HIP SHY, but then to the woodshed, the wilderness, and finally the Internet and NYC-area semi-notoriety with the clink-clank-woosh-boom FELLAHEEN ... not to mention, long nights producing albums for others, from alt-folk-punk rocker Lily Vakili to the countrified amalgamate Joe Borthwick to the raging Romanian/NYC neo-classicists The Roadrunners ...

BRIAN STABILE (vocals, guitar) writes songs, and sings 'em ... sparkly Chiltonesque pop gems, Stonesy grinds, with melodies you'd sell your mamma for. Where'd he ply his scruffy trade 'til now? Dive bars and abused NYC/NJ watering holes, since they were new. Played with guys named Johnny, Cheetah, and CC, fronted a plethora of beens - Secret Steps, The Secrets, and most recently, CASINO SUNDAE - all fondly remembered by those who were there ... Oh, and that lead line that you'll be humming on the way home after the gig ... yeah, that's pure Stabile-ity ...West-coast raised, hard rock and metal formed the early influences of bassist extraordinaire

SCOTT BARNES (bass, vocals). Heeding the clarion call of the east coast, Scott headed rightwards to the mid-80s Trenton scene, manning thelow frequencies in the original funk rock band Gambone. Previous to joining our little heap of canines, Scott had been laying down the thump and groove for 10 years with some of the finest South Jersey/Eastern PA bands, including FM Kill, JT Money, Who Knows, and The Cause, while also spending the past 5 years recording bass and vocals for multi-label recording artists STEEPLECHASE. But then, dead center stage, he who gets to sit whilst others stand, is the unstoppable, untoppable motor of this machine ...

MARK ORLANDINI (drums). Any band is only as good as its drummer, and the effusively affable Mr. Mark is the best tub-thumper you'll ever run across ... you'll understand when you hear him. He's toured far and wide, played in venues that you've paid serious cash to enter, to crowds that you'd have been a mere speck amidst. Late of NRG (the most successful and fondly-remembered NJ party band of the last 30 years), Mark brings equal measures of melody and menace to his trap kit, and a tapping to your toe that may never cease ... So there you go: DOGPILE ON THE RABBIT... original rock 'n' roll, built from the ground up by amicably grizzled veterans of the form - grimy, uplifting, of the tradition yet shocking like new. What more can you ask for ...

Social media links:
WAY BACK NOW Press release
WAY BACK NOW Liner notes and lyrics

About the Author: Thommy Delaney is a Senior Music Business Major at New Jersey City University. He is also the lead guitarist and a vocalist in the Bayonne Indie pop-rock band BreakTime: a four-piece writing modern pop tunes with generous vintage allusions to artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Looking for something new to listen to? Be sure to follow BreakTime @breaktimelivenj on social media and stream their music on all platforms.

Return to BlowUpRadio.com Homepage