With his debut album, Dodson and Fogg due for release on the 1st November 2012, Chris Wade tells us about the development of the folk rock LP, as well as a nugget or two about Rik Mayall, guest appearances on the album from legends like Celia Humphris (Trees), Nik Turner (Hawkwind) and Judy Dyble (Fairport Convention) + some tips for post apocalypse survival.
For a taster of what to expect from Dodson And Fogg, take a listen to All Day Long (With Celia Humphries):
1. What was the inspiration for Dodson and Fogg?
I’ve been working as a writer for the past three years or so, but have always loved making music. I used to have a little band and have written songs and played guitar as far back as I can remember. Finally, at the start of the year, I got organised and got my songs together and started compiling the album.
2. Where does the name come from?
It’s from Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers. Naming your band after Dickens characters is quite common. It was good enough for Uriah Heep! Of course then it sounds like the band has two guys in it called Dodson and Fogg, whereas in fact it’s mostly just me with some great guest musicians stepping in.
3. What was it like getting to work with Celia, Nick and Judy?
The great thing about the internet is you can do projects like this at no or very little expense. With home studios you can record in your own time at no cost and there’s no travel cost either getting to studios at the other end of the country. So while I haven’t actually met Celia, Nik and Judy, having them record parts for the album was a real thrill. Judy is only on one track, but Nik is on a few playing the flute and I love what he has done for it. Celia was the singer of the folk band Trees, who are one of my favourite bands, so having her voice on my songs is amazing for me. So getting to work with her in this respect was great.
4. What other folk rock do you recommend?
Definitely Trees. They recorded two albums in 1970 which are just brilliant. Also early Fairport is good although not my personal favourite. Donovan was great. I like all sorts of music but I like all the older stuff from that era the best, even though i wasn’t born until 1985, I’m definitely more into the later 60s, early 70s stuff.
5. What gigs have you got coming up?
At the minute this is just a recording project but I would love to do some gigs at some stage, I just don’t know what the set up would be. Maybe solo acoustic. One day I’ll get something together.
6. What the hell did you do with Rik Mayall?
Nothing lewd, I promise, even though the pics suggest other wise. It was an audiobook we recorded together in 2010. It was a novel I wrote called Cutey and the Sofaguard and he recorded the voice over narration. We did it in Shepherds Bush at a shady studio down an alley way. It was great fun. He’d go off and buy loads of bananas from the market, but I had flu most of the time and he even gave me my first lemsip, which was a life changing moment… kind of. The embarrassing thing was, the “voice booth” was nothing more than a glorified cupboard and we basically had to push Rik Mayall in first, then shove this big chair in after him so he could sit at the mike. There was no room for him to move at all and it was boiling hot in there. Plus for most of the time I couldn’t even see him, just hear his voice, until he had finsihed a paragraph or wanted advice, then he would push the door open and I’d be sat on the floor next to him because the bloke didn’t have enough chairs! Low budget or what! This for three bloody days. He looked buggered at the end of some days. So it was quite a surreal experience haha.
7. Favourite instrument?
Definitely the guitar. Always has been.
8. Band you’re listening to the most this year?
Not very cool. Probably Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and actually Dodson And Fogg because i’ve been mixing and remixing it all year!! I’ve listened to Amy MacDonal a bit too, to bring things up to date.
9. Where did you record the album and what’s your take on the studio?
I recorded all my parts in my home studio/ office thingymajiggy in Leeds. I once did some demos in a proper studio with my old band but we had to rush it out in an afternoon because of the price. This way I can spend all day and most of the night (which I have been doing some days) messing around and recording parts for free. Just have decent mikes and instruments and you can do anything you like really. I have loved recording this year, and have a lot of the second album already done, although it is a little different in sound to the first.
10. Words of advice for future generations?
Strap shells to your backs in case of nuclear war because cockroaches will survive apparently. Also, avoid eating too much heavy bread as it makes breathing quite hard and gives you a “bread chest.”