Q&A with Dosser
April 10, 2023
When I met with Dosser in the WVAU studio before they headlined Capitol Boogie on Mar. 31, they were so chill I almost couldn’t believe it. Decked out in their iconic Adidas and sipping beer, the band seemed relaxed. They chatted with the WVAU staff about school and music and offered up some stories of how their day was before getting into the story behind their latest record.
Dosser drew an energetic and enthusiastic crowd to their show at the Battelle Atrium, making for yet another Capitol Boogie to remember. Vocalists and guitarists Will Teague and Bret Lanahan, bassist Eric Dudley and drummer Max Detrich sat down with me to answer some questions about the band, their music and Capitol Boogie.
KK: What bands would you say are your biggest musical inspirations?
BRET LANAHAN: Biggest for me, starting this band, there’s a band called Big Bite out of Seattle. They’re not very well known, but they do this thing with the whammy bar on their guitar that no other shoegaze band I’d ever heard did, and it just kind of ignited this thing in me, and that was my inspiration for the early stuff that we started writing.
WILL TEAGUE: The first time I heard in punk and DIY someone do a grunge thing was Superheaven. They were still called Daylight, but when I was in high school, I was like “Oh, that’s cool, I’ve never seen a band go up and do something like that, and they get received well,” so I was like “Oh, that’s cool, you can kind of combine those two things.”
KK: Why do you guys like the 90s stuff so much?
BL: We all kind of grew up obsessing over Nirvana and the 90s alt rock scene, especially me when I was a kid…To me, it’s just about the music and not about anything else. And, you know, I like loud, abrasive music that has some melody in it. So I think that’s why it’s very appealing. And just being a product of the 90s, it’s always been in my head.
WT: And, I feel like, when I was growing up—and we all grew up in Maryland, Virginia and stuff—HFS was a huge radio station, and they played a lot of really great local and mainstream rock music of the late 80s and 90s. There was the big HFStival that happened every year. I remember I always thought that was so cool. My older brother would work it and come home and tell me all the stories about…seeing the Deftones and seeing Foo Fighters, and I was like, “This seems really cool. I wanna do that.”
KK: How would you describe your latest album, Violent Picture / Violent Sound?
BL: Lyrically, for me, it’s about dealing with severe anxiety and depression that I’ve had my whole life and kind of just coming to terms with it, and learning to embrace it and kind of enjoying the artistic things that come out of feeling like s***. As for the music, some of it’s pretty dark, which is, I guess, a little bit different than the first thing we released…it’s much more melodic than anything else we’ve done.
MAX DETRICH: Because we wrote most of it over the pandemic, we were able to really hone in on our sound, and then also recording, we were able to finesse a little bit more so we could get that more polished, bigger sound that we wanted.
KK: What makes this album so special?
WT: I grew up liking a lot of the guy we worked with, Jon Markson, bands he played in…he engineered the album. I met him through playing in previous bands and I was just blown away by his production when I heard all the stuff he ever made. It was just cool to work with somebody I look up to and appreciate a lot, and we definitely had a way bigger budget going into this than I think I’ve had going into any other record just from playing shows and saving up money.
KK: What were you guys trying to achieve with this album?
BL: Somebody reviewed…the first song, “Joy Thief,”…and they describe it as a giant sonic hug for anybody who has ever dealt with really bad mental illness problems, and being one of those people…the album is just kind of a big hug to anybody that’s feeling f***** up.
KK: What do you guys like about live music in general?
WT: I like the community. I was a pretty shy kid in school growing up, but I always felt like this is where I was able to really feel comfortable with people and meet people that were like me.
MD: It’s kind of like working out for me, so I get that runner’s high a little bit after [laughs]. But no, I mean, it’s just fun to do something and see people dance to your music.
KK: What about Dosser’s music do you think would connect with the average AU student?
BL: Just talking about how f***** up everything is. It’s like a f****** musical diary, so who doesn’t like to get their f****** feelings out?
MD: From a musical place, it’s loud, it’s catchy, it’s [in air quotes] punk, some of it’s fast, some of it’s loud, but also, it’s a good song, and you’ll remember the lyrics, you’ll remember the riffs.