You might think Dance Gavin Dance are just another generic band with a weird name. I think you should take a second look and see what these guys are all about - genuine music, a love for what they do, and yes, a funny name.
PPJ: First, tell us your name and what you do in the band.
Zachary Garren: Zachary Garren, I play guitar and yell random things when I can.
PPJ: How did Dance Gavin Dance get started? What drew you to this style of music?
Zachary: The band started like most every other band, people who liked music playing music. A handful of member changes have happened over time for the better. We don't really know what "this style of music" is because we're trying to just play things other people aren't playing, but bands like At The Drive-In influenced us in the beginning, and then we just kept going from there. We listen to as much music as we can and try to throw that all into a blender. We recently tackled weird hip-hop on our new CD, hopefully we can throw in some dub next?
PPJ: You've had quite a few member changes. How did you manage to keep going and to keep the band going in the same direction?
Zachary: We've been lucky to always find really talented people to replace those who have to leave. It's basically just survival of the fittest. Right now our line up is pretty solid, I don't see anything happening any time soon.
PPJ: How did you get hooked up with Rise Records?
Zachary: I think Craig was looking for some new bands and Eric Rushing from Artery Foundation told him to check us out and that's as complicated as it gets. Maybe?
PPJ: What do you say to people who complain about how unoriginal music with screaming in it is these days?
Zachary: I'd probably agree. The state of screaming music has become a huge joke. This scene used to be about intelligence and being different than the mainstream, but now it's just as bad as the mainstream. Musically, it's kind of like when you copy a VHS tape multiple times and the quality gets worse each time... bands copy other bands that copied other bands that copied other bands and it just keeps getting dumbed down and worse. Bands rely more on their looks and fleeting musical trends rather than actual creativity, talent, and experimentation. I guess I can't be mad at the bands, it's the listeners' fault for supporting them.
PPJ: Tell us about recording "Happiness." How do you think you've grown as a band and as people since your previous albums?
Zachary: There wasn't really anything different about the writing process, we just get together and jam. The only difference is that we've become better musicians and have grown in our musical tastes.
PPJ: How did you react to your album leaking so early?
Zachary: We were just stoked that we weren't the ones that leaked it. It happens, I guess we're just happy to be in the position to where people care enough to do that. We figure if the music is good enough, people will buy it anyways. We're just glad people get to hear it and enjoy it.
PPJ: Are you excited to play on Warped Tour this summer?
Zachary: Very, aside from the heat. I don't know about the other guys, but I grew up going to Warped Tour so it's exciting to play it finally. Plus, one of the bands that made me want to start playing music 8 years ago, Thrice, is playing for about a week.
PPJ: What do you think are the pros and cons of playing festival shows versus club shows?
Zachary: We enjoy both. I like playing outside, I feel more free. The sound can be bad, but that happens in clubs, too. I guess this would be a better question to ask us after Warped Tour since we've only played a few festivals.
PPJ: Do you have any plans for after Warped Tour?
Zachary: We're doing a tour with a certain old singer's new band, I don't know if we're supposed to say?
PPJ: Finally, tell us three bands you think we should be listening to.
Zachary: Tubelord. They are from England and they've been blowing my mind lately. Foals. They are also from England and they are also mindblowing. Mystery Jets. They, three, are from England and they also participate in the blowing of the mind. Americans, take some notes from England... Thanks for the interview, sorry if anything doesn't make sense, that tends to happen when you're typing all your thoughts out at once and don't proof-read!