A lot of bands have released debut albums this year, so much to the point it’s hard to keep up and even filter which are notable to check out. One of the worthy ones of mentioning is Electric Toys by The Dig, a band that hails from New York City. What sets them apart is not only their catchy and uncompromising blend of Indie and Alternative music, but so far the band have toured with The Henry Clay People, Thrice, and live rock cult favorites, The Joy Formidable.
Once again the band are on tour with The Joy Formidable and to help you become better acquainted on who they are we sat down with the entire band to show why they should be one of the acts of 2010 that you’ve had on constant rotation (especially their track “She’s Gonna Kill That Boy” is sure to become one of your new addictions).
Randomville: So what inspired you guys to play like this?
David Baldwin: We got approached to do the gig and it seemed like a fun thing to do.
Emilie Mosseri: Especially getting new fans! It’s best to get them when they’re young!
Randomville: Would you guys say that you’re kids at heart also?
Emilie: We’re probably the biggest goof balls out of any of the bands we’ve met. We also have very dirty mouths, like the kids who get kicked out of class.
David: We’re the trouble makers!
Erick Eiser: I always thought of us as the kids who puked and shitted themselves and had to get their parents to pick them up!
Randomville: With being a band in the city do you guys feel it’s important to make your presence known here within the city and how do you guys go about doing that?
David: It’s important to build a following. It’s your hometown so having fans is a big deal to us.
Jamie Alegre: A big highlight is that there’s always a chance for our fans to see us play since we are from the city. I think that going international and going out into the world comes after you establish yourself in your city.
Randomville: What do you guys feel being in a band in New York City sets you apart from bands who live in other places?
David: There are more bands and venues then there are in any other city. So in a way it’s as much as a challenge as it is an advantage. It makes it harder to stick out but also hungrier for opportunities so it balances itself out.
Emilie: It’s also inspiring to see all this talent that’s here in the city. Everyone comes here; so many bands that are popular or not even known that well in any shape or form. The way they come here to play just kind of aspires us local musicians to put life into our tracks.
Jamie: Even just hearing artists on the subway or the streets, it’s just a constant reminder that music is everywhere here.
Randomville: That is really true about New York I must say. After touring with The Joy Formidable and opening up for Editors what do you guys feel like you learned from them? Especially since you’re new, you must be soaking a lot of this in.
Emilie: Just being able to watch bands like that every night just inspires us. The way The Editors would engage a crowd, the way they get people moving and dancing is amazing, that’s something The Editors really taught us about. And The Joy Formidable…they’re such an amazing band. Just watching them alone taught us a lot.
David: Seeing how they let the set flow yet engage the audience is just incredible.
Erick: Seeing them perform really makes you want to be them and be in their spot. With all the fans that come to see them play you just want to steal all their fans…maybe even kill em!
(table erupts with laughter)
David: And steal their identity!
Jamie: Dress Erick up as Ritzy!
Erick: But wouldn’t one of you have to make out with me on stage?
Jamie: Don’t look at me!
Randomvile: So you guys just recorded your debut LP, Electric Toys; what did you guys learn from recording this? Everyone has different experiences recording an album so what were some of yours?
Emilie: It was definitely an over whelming positive experience.
David: The guy that produced our record is named Bryce Goggin, and we’re big fans of his work. He came in to a lot of our gigs and rehearsals before and became obsessed with tracking our record. We became really familiar with the material and always had a great relationship with him so the experience of making the record was stressful at times but overall an amazing experience thanks to him.
Randomville: Has being in a band taught you guys about life more and if so how so?
Jamie: Travelling to me is the best part and the way I’ve learned a lot about the world around me. You’re always on the road. I can say compared to anyone I know I’ve seen the world more than any of my friends or family. Just seeing how other people live and communicate has been a real privilege to me.
David: I definitely learned that from touring that I love touring more than recording. We haven’t done a six month tour run yet but I do know as of now I love the travelling aspect rather than being stationed in one spot.
Emilie: It feels good to be on the road.
David: Especially if the gigs are good! If they’re not then it’s a totally different story. Hahahaha.
Emilie: plus we get overwhelmed with a lot of girls constantly! Hahaha.
Jamie: The traveling is just such a natural thing, especially because in a way it’s like the fun of it is a payoff to all the hard work we put into our shows and recordings. That’s life to me because it’s just a representation of our passion. Being in this band feels like the only thing we should be doing.
Emilie: I’m sure it’s the same for you guys, but touring balances us. When you play music, if you’re not doing it constantly you get this anxiety but if you’re playing every night if feels natural and really therapeutic also.
Randomville: With the album, what’s a track that you’re really excited for people to hear?
Emilie: ALL 12!
David: I think track Twelve, Two, Four, Seven, (David pauses and looks as his hand as he loses count) Eight, Six…and that’s it!
Jamie: All the tracks are great; I don’t think I have a favorite.
Emilie: I really couldn’t single out any song from another because they all go together in the end.
Erick: There are two songs we don’t play live since they’re more quiet; they are “For All Your Sins” and “Feel Like Somebody Else” so I’m excited to have people hear those tracks.
Randomville: And lastly, if you guys were to meet a new young band starting out here in the city what advice would you give them from all you’ve learned and experienced so far?
Emile: I think they should ask someone else!
Jamie: Yeah we’d probably ask them for advice! Hahaha
Emile: The best answer I could give would to just play as much as you can. I think playing Pianos for us was a big deal and really helpful. We played once a week for three months so it was like a homebase.
Jamie: I’d also say play a couple free shows and promote them to hell with fliers and posters! That’s one thing to use that’s very important in promoting our shows.
Jamie: That to me is the one thing that set us apart from other bands and was the most important when we had residency at Pianos. We used to do that all the time and it even got us noticed by people who came to our shows who said “Yeah I’ve seen your posters everywhere!”
(NOTE: Months later and you can actually still see loads of these posters plastered on the streets still).
David: It inspired people around us to promote more because it really helped us get noticed and get people to come to our shows.
Emilie: We’d bump into about three or five people every night who’d say they might haven’t seen us play or hear our music but they’ve seen our posters.
Erick: I think the reason this has been successful for us is because we concentrate on one specific area, especially the Lower East side. It also builds a relationship with the venues and helped us aim for specific venues like Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge.
Emilie: It also helped us tour a lot whether it’d be supporting other bands or doing our own tours. We did that for two years before we even thought about getting a booking agent. We played and played and in retrospect some of those shows were probably the worst we ever played but it did help us a lot and we learned how to book our shows.
Jamie: Overall to be in a band its hard work and takes a lot of work.
David: It took us a while to realize that you have to promote your own shows if you want people to come. We used to just book shows, play in a quarter empty places and then ask “Why isn’t anybody at our shows?”
(The entire table once again erupts in laughter)
Jamie: Promote your shows!
Since then The Dig have supported Thrice and Kevin Devine and once again will support The Joy Formidable alongside Grouplove on an East Coast tour which kicks off on November 4th in Montreal and ends here in New York City on the 16th at Bowery Ballroom. This will definitely be a show you won’t want to miss and if you’re in the area make sure to secure your tickets here.
Also be sure to check out the band’s debut album Electric Toys.