Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New Album: "Foreign Skies"

So in August 2016, after a gig in Toronto, someone shouted: "Make a new damn album already!".

Interesting idea.  So, on November 6, 2016, we made this Facebook post:

The response was absolutely overwhelming:

Buoyed by Angelo's enthusiasm, we decided to do it.  Quickly, however, we realized that we couldn't just make another album like the last one (Polka's Not Dead, 2010).  We'd kind of done and said everything we wanted to do and say with that one. What would be next?

Well, here's something that has never, to our knowledge, been attempted: a folk-punk concept album.  The genre has so many classics... the Pogues'  Rum, Sodomy and the Lash, Flogging Molly's Drunken Lullabies, Gogol Bordello's Gypsy Punks.  But none of these are concept albums.  So why not give it a go?

The result, dear old friends, is Foreign Skies, an album that commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the First World War.  It's a challenging album.  Some people are going to hate how it opens.  Some people are going to hate some stuff in the middle.  Some people are going to wonder why we're not singing about gin and poutine.

Those people can all fuck off, 'cause Foreign Skies is awesome.


It's organized into three chapters, each of which tells its own story.  Like the war, it opens with confidence and bravado, and it slowly descends into chaos and suffering.  Every song represents a different perspective: soldier, civilian, suffragette, child, politician.  And each is meant to commemorate and honor those perspectives, because the people who lived through that period are some of the most inspiring, brave, terrifying and unforgettable figures in all of history.

In gathering these stories and perspectives, we didn't screw around.  We actually read stuff.

The lyrics to many of the songs are inspired directly by things that people wrote and said; by poetry, diary entries, and by phrases and names that were bring thrown around at the time.

One new thing: for the first time, all of the songs are original.  No covers.  Even the sea shanty, "The Bay of Suvla", is ours.  That's a scary thing for us, 'cause the Surfin' Turnips write much better songs than we do, and not covering them just feels wrong.  And writing a sea shanty is scary, because there are tons of classic shanties that you could never improve upon.  But again, we had to give it a go.

Also, we had local balkan choir Zlatna Mountain sing on one of the tracks, and had our old friends Enrico and Andrea from Talco play horns, too.  The result is "Gavrilo", a crazy balkan-punk thing that is totally new for us but a shitload of fun.

Oh!  And another new thing: we recorded seventeen songs for this one and chose twelve for the final product. We've never had the time to do that. Each previous album has been a mad dash to try and write more songs to fill the album up.  The result has been that somewhat iffy tracks like "Paulina", "Hottress"--and of course the hilariously titled "Leonard Cohen"--have made it on the albums.  Not this one... every song is one we're 100% proud of.

Want a taste?  Have a listen to this track on Youtube!

So yeah, love it or hate it, we asked if you wanted one, and are giving you one pretty much exactly one year later.  So, like, pre-order it on CD and vinyl and, uh... snapchat or whatever other formats you goddamned hipsters are using these days, and we'll have some money to make the next one.  Shalom.

- The Dreadnoughts

Release tour dates:

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Album Progress

"Hey, let's spend 21 straight days making an album!  It will be easy and fun!"

Well, OK.  It's not easy.  FECK no.  SO MUCH WORK.  ARGH.

Wormley, Leroy, Druzil, WORK WORK WORK
You see that?  The musicians in the room will know how bizarre this photo is.  That's three instrumentalists playing their (very complex) parts in the same room at the same time.  If one of them messes up, it's on the recording for good.  No edits.  No digital magic.  Just DIDDLY BITS played STRAIGHT AND TRUE.  And a fine collection of diddlers they are. 

(side note: the best thing said by a diddler so far is "man, we really nailed those triplets."  Uh, yeah, I bet you did.  You dirty bastards.)

But really, now that it's starting to take shape, we are really, really proud of the album and of what (we think) we will be achieving in making it.  It's easily the most diverse recording we've ever made.  There's our usual folk-punk madness that harkens back to Legends Never Die.  And there's a cider punk song.  And there's a country song.  And there's a balkanbeats song that sounds like it's straight out of Goran Bregovic's set, featuring musicians from Italy and Serbia.  There's an insane Godspeed! You Black Emperor bit that rolls into something that sounds like the Last of the Mohicans, there are three-part anthems that pay homage to Queen, there's a spoken word bit, there's a wild and crazy polka, there's a tune that blends bluegrass and Bad Religion, and even one that sounds like Radiohead and Pink Floyd had a baby with tom waits and an accordion.

The point is: even if it sucks, and even if no-one likes it, we are quite sure that there is no album like it, anywhere, period.  At many points, we have stopped, looked at each other, and said something like: "Jesus, are we really going to do this?"  And each time, we have recalled a phrase that has served us so well, one that has got us through some really dark times and which has unerringly pointed the way forward:

"Let it ride."

That is how a squiddly do.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Doing it Right

What happens when you take a six-year hiatus and stay away from places you used to play all the time?  Places like Calgary, Edmonton and Kamloops, BC?  Well, a string of sold-out shows, that's what.  Holy crap.  Thanks so, so much to everyone who came out to see us again, we don't deserve your loyalty after all this time and we're honoured to have it anyway.

We're glad you liked the new lineup... Wormley Wangersnitch continues to slay on the violin, and the new accordion player, Leroy, "Slow Ride" McBride is truly a wizard on what the French call La boîte de écraser.  Also, uh... not a single one of you noticed this, but, uh, you've all seen Leroy play in this band before.  Same guy.  New stage name.  Ya friggin' mooks.



The new album is COMING ALONG NICELY.  We spent 4 days in a cabin in D'Arcy, British Columbia, writing polkas, waltzes, folk songs and punk songs.  This is how it went:

The Fang

And we go into the studio on April 25th to start laying it all down.  Watch the Facebook page for updates, eh!  AND THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!!!11111111111

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Six Years Later... A New Album!

...well, hello me lovelies!  Goodness, it's been a while, hasn't it?  So much has changed in the past six years, why, it's hard to summarize it all.  The global economic collapse, the tragic war in Lithuania, David Bowie's untimely election to the presidency, and the departure of so many beloved heroes, such as Phife Dawg, Phife Dawg, and Phife Dawg.  Too much to talk about!

So let's just stick to the business at hand.  As for the Dreadnoughts, aye, well, there's the rub.  (What does "there's the rub" mean? Is it some vague Shakespearean reference to what Squid Vicious rather confusingly calls a "hand shandy"?  No-one knows!  Stay tuned!) 

So, the Dreadnoughts.  Oh, wait, sorry.  We didn't do that right.  Since this is 2017, every time you type out your band name you must do so with a hyperlink to your Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, SnapChat, and Hypertron pages to increase "global digital branding exposure".

So, THE DREADNOUGHTS.  What's new with us?  Well, we're making a new album. Releasing the album in late summer 2017.  It's both new and it's an album.  In addition, we've just discovered that "album" is definitely one of those words that looks super weird when you read it a few times.

And this new album... it's a concept album.  To our knowledge there has not yet been a folk-punk concept album.  We've not going to tell you what the concept is, but in a genre that is mostly "fiddly-diddly-drink [repeat]", we thought we'd add something new to the pile.  Something a little more meaningful.  We hope you buy like it.

Oh, and please say hello to two new members of the band, Wormley Wangersnitch (violin) and [TBD] (Accordion):


You can catch this phenomenal new lineup at our 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY shows Calgary (Mar 10), Edmonton (Mar 11), and Vancouver (Mar 17-18), and at a few more locations in the summer.