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A Dirty Dozen with THE DODIES – January 2020

| 19 January 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “THE DODIES is a young garage rock duo from the southern desert of Israel. Yoni Avittan fronts the band as lead vocalist and guitarist, as Ran Aronson sings backing vocals while simultaneously playing bass lines on keyboard with one hand and playing the entire drum kit with the other.”  We get the duo to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our debut album It’s One Hell of a Ride will be out very soon. We produced it along with Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, who flew all the way to southern Israel to make it happen. Now we’re sounding better than ever. One thing you wouldn’t catch first time you listen to it is that none of the songs have any bass guitar in them. The bass was recorded with a synthesizer, and some with a very fat guitar. Also a lot of the album was recorded in Ran’s (the drummer) bedroom. We may have hidden some nuggets in some songs, but if we told you they wouldn’t be hidden anymore.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Yoni: I dreamt of being an animator for many years of my adolescence. I had an animation series in my head and even thought of theme songs for both the beginning and end of the show. Then I noticed I was thinking about the themes more than I was thinking about the show itself. And when I heard Ran was looking to start a band I thought maybe I should just be a rock star instead of an animator.

Ran: When I was young my dad had a motorcycle accident. After his recovery, he started playing the drums, as a safer hobby. I started playing after him. He since then stopped playing, but I certainly have not. In time, music has grown to be my lifelong aspiration.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Yoni: As a 13 year old I’d mostly listen to a lot of trashy pop songs, until one day my Emo friend came back from the flea market with a bunch of band T shirts, one of them was of Nirvana. I told him “I think I know those guys… they have that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” song. We thought they seemed cool so he downloaded their whole discography. The next day I saw him he said “dude Nirvana have a song called “Rape Me!” Could you believe it?” at first listen I thought it just sounded like teen spirit, but then after the first chorus kicked my life was changed and I could never bring myself to listen to trashy pop again.

Ran: I remember seeing Green Day’s “American Idiot” video on the TV when it came out. I didn’t get any of the words. Even if I’d read them, I’d probably wouldn’t have understood a single thing, as I barely knew any English. Still, I was blown away by its energy. I started listening to the entire album, and I learned that music can be much more than just filling up the silence.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Yoni: Nirvana, Green day, placebo, The Beatles, and Radiohead.

Ran: Radiohead, Muse, Bloc Party, Travis barker (Blink-182), and Death from Above 1979.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Yoni: I’d love it if Paul McCartney would harmonize with me because some songs I wrote just sound like a Punk version of Beatles. but I guess there’s a long line I must consider before that happens.

Ran: Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo could be an awesome collaboration. That would be a memorable experience. I think it could even produce a sonically pleasant output.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

When people ask us, we usually say we’re a rock band. We like adding the terms ‘garage’, ‘angsty’ or ‘punky’ to it. It never made us cringe, but we have been compared to The Black Keys pretty often. We have no idea why. Maybe because we’re a duo and Ran wears glasses.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

The moments when we play new songs together and feel the excitement when thinking of the emotions it might evoke in others the same way it did to us.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Being a duo has its perks. We get babied by most anyone we ever stay at. The highest form of cooking we have ever reached was microwaving store bought Mac n’ cheese. It was perfectly warm though. It’s hard to avoid booze if you hang out with musicians, so we never actually buy anything. The universe keeps boozing us up. Yoni cracking out an acoustic for a singalong is the only thing prompting people to keep babying us.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal has endless tour stories from his career as a rock star. He would tell us all sorts of stories between our recording breaks. Hearing those epic stories while recording in the boring small town we grew up in was a surreal experience.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Yoni: I would work harder at being a novelist, maybe even writing plays and acting in them.

Ran: That’s a hard one. I guess I would go for something in the sociology area.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Our stupidity was taken advantage of as young teens with one of our older bands before The Dodies. We’ve been promised a lot by producers that offered us to tour with an Israeli version of Avril Lavigne. We’ve been ashamed of that for a long time. But since we have experience with those types of situations it’s easier for us to spot them and avoid them today.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Being an actual member of a band that recorded a legendary album probably would’ve been an intense experience because they care so much about their songs. But if we could be water boys while Radiohead recorded OK Computer, hearing the development of those songs could be an amazing experience.



Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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