Ottawa Explosion, the city’s underground music festival, officially kicked off last night for a second year with a rapturous performance by Pregnancy Scares, Metz and The Men. Organizers Luke Nuclear and Emmanuel Sayer have expanded the festival for its second year to include even more sweet garage and punk bands from Ottawa, Canada and the States. I jumped in the time machine and touched base with the folks from Dog Day, Halifax’ king and queen of garage pop punk who, back in the day, used to be my neighbours in the North End of the East coast city. Singer/Drummer Nancy Urich and I played catch up on silly and serious business, from the beloved Woofy to their still gloomy, but more optimistic, sound.
Apt613: First off, how’s Woofy? (Woofy is Nancy and Seth’s beloved dog, who seems to have served as musical and visual inspiration for lots of Dog Day’s work)
Nancy Urich: Woofy is great, though Lisa- his babysitter friend – just told us he cut his paw while outdoor adventuring. She has to deal with him grumping around the house for the next week while it heals.
Apt613: You moved out of Halifax and to the countryside a couple of years ago. How’s life in the countryside treating you and Seth?
NU: Seth and I are great, the countryside has done only good except for that it makes us a bit reclusive. We spend more time with the chickens and our garden, which is nice. Check out Dog Day’s video for Mr. Freeze partly filmed with the chicks in nature.
Apt613: The underground music community is small but growing in Ottawa. What are your connections to the folks from the Ottawa Explosion?
NU: We met these guys in the fall, we played a house show put on by one of the organizers. The OE will be an awesome time.
Apt613: Over the past years, there’s been some significant changes with Dog Day. You went from a 4-piece to a 2-piece, now that you’ve been a 2-piece for a while, how do you guys feel?
NU: We feel good about it. I love playing the drums, they are just the funnest thing ever. It feels good to hit things as fast and hard as I can. Now that Deformer is out, we’ve started working on new songs-which is exciting because we’ve got all kinds of duo style ideas for the next bunch, so it’ll be fun to try out some new tricks. We haven’t started recording yet, though we have some plans to get going this winter.
Apt613: Switching up instruments is a big change for you, has the 2-piece outfit influenced the way you write music as a group, and your configuration on stage?
NU: Well we took out the smooth instruments so things are a bit more rock than before. We do switch instruments here and there. Seth still writes the songs. I add my bits where I can but he’s the main brain behind the songs.
Apt613: If you guys get to stay around for the weekend, what are you looking forward to the most?
NU: We will not get to stay for the weekend unfortunately because we have to high tail it to Thunder Bay for the following night. But we will try to catch what we can. Our friends Cold Warps and Monomyth are playing the fest too. There are so many good bands playing this thing, i must say – if I lived in Ottawa I would be trying to go to as much as I could.
Check out Dog Day on Saturday, June 16th at 4pm at Club SAW. Ottawa Explosion continues until June 17, check out the site for the full line-up of shows!