DS Ska Weekender Interview: Son of Dad

It’s funny that Son of Dad considering themselves a lazy ska band considering they will be gracing the stage at all three stops on the Ska Weekender Festival 2011 tour.  We spoke to them about being lazy, free downloads, ska music and it’s critics and coordinating schedules.  In the past, the band has received some criticism for sounding “too American” so we also asked for their thoughts on the Australian ska scene which they state “needs to mature a bit.”  Read the full interview here.

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Many of our readers won’t be familiar with Son of Dad; can you give us a bit of background information?

I find that somewhat hard to believe given we’re an extremely lazy ska band from Adelaide.  We really do have everything going for us in that respect.  We’ve been around since 2005, which means we’re all old enough to know better, and we enjoy playing to random people on chatroulette.

Son of Dad are offering up two CDs for free download.  What kind of response have you had after deciding to give away your music for free digitally?

It’s the best thing we ever did – we’ve had around 1500 downloads in the past 12 months or so and found links and re-posts in blogs and posts from all around the world.  The best thing was seeing the almost immediate increase in people singing along at shows.

Given you’ve already polished off two releases, what are the future recording plans for the band?

Keep in mind that’s 2 studio EPs and a live EP over the course of at least 7 years, which is not so impressive… But we are hitting the studio in August to start on another 6ish track EP which will hopefully be out by the end of this year – we’ve actually been through a pretty vetting and demo-recording process this time so we’re hopeful that pays off in the form of a really good release.

Ska music has some pretty harsh critics, what it is it about Ska that makes you want to create and play this style of music?

Agreed – and for the most part rightly so.  Your typical ska band is a bunch of kids learning their instruments that haven’t quite become angsty teenagers and embraced punk. As a result, the music probably isn’t going to be great.  We all love the genre for it’s great bands and what it stands for and I think it’s that which drives us, more than anything, to try and write good songs and put on fun live shows. We’re not always successful though, not by a long shot.

There is more members in Son of Dad then will fit in a normal size sedan.  How do manage to all coordinate schedules for touring, rehearsal, recording etc?

Being in a larger band certainly can have its drawbacks, but we’ve settled into a pretty good groove where everyone’s head is in the same space regarding the band.  We’re very fortunate in that respect, I think, because we know the commitment it takes and our partners are very forgiving.  It also helps that we’re all great mates and tend to hang out together.

I’ve read that you copped some criticism for sounding “too American.”  Is this even possible and how did you respond to that?

Ha yeah, we have.  We loved it!  As we all grew up listing to the 3rd wave and pop-punk scene in the 90s I guess it was natural that we would be heavily influenced by that kind of music.  We also try to steer away from the overly Australian ska sound which is pretty prevalent in the scene (see below)

Except for Son of Dad and Farmers Union Iced Coffee, what is the third best thing to ever come out of Adelaide?

Cold Chisel would probably be the third best thing.

Australian Ska seems to be harder and harder to come by.  What are your thoughts on the Australian Ska scene and (other than events like the Ska Weekender Festival) what do you think could be done to help it grow?

I think that good Australian ska is certainly hard to come by.  Personally, I think the Australian ska scene needs to mature a bit – as a band we tend to think that a lot of Australian ska bands fall into the habit of writing songs with lyrics about celebrities, vegetables, drinking etc with an (over)emphasis on the accent.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all, but if the scene as a whole is going to grow and become accepted by a larger audience we need to build upon that solid base, which certainly exists across the country.  Los Capitanes are clearly leading that charge with their latest release.  It’s a subject close to my heart as I’d love to see the music and scene I love to grow – perhaps even to a point where I didn’t have to explain what ‘ska’ was on a regular basis.

I’m going to assume that you all have different tastes in music for this question.  How do you reconcile all your influences and opinions into one song?

Yep, 6 guys with very eclectic musical tastes make for an interesting song writing process.  But I would say for each song that makes it to our live show, 5 are canned at praccy [practice] and another 10 don’t even make it that far.  We’re all pretty open and flexible when it comes to working through a newbie which can only be a good thing.

Son of Dad will be making appearances at all three dates of the Ska Weekender.  Other than surviving the massive party weekend, do you have any special plans for the tour?

We cannot wait until that weekend – though I’m not sure we fully comprehend just how massive it’ll be.  We’re really looking forward to playing on the cruise though, especially as we’re covering “Turn The Radio Off” by Reel Big Fish.  We’ll hopefully have some CDs to literally throw at people too!

Describe the Son of Dad live show in three words.

Self-deprecating fun.

Who are you most looking forward to catching at the Ska Weekender?  Why?

We’re definitely looking forward to seeing The Bennies again now they’ve changed their name, and of course catching up with our friends in CDATR.

What is one thing each member can’t go on tour without?

Dan:  An overwhelming desire to display his penis.

Everyone else:  An overwhelming desire to not see Dan’s penis.

Luckily for us, our good friend Reuben (from Adelaide’s most awesome band Hightime) will be filling in for Dan for these shows.

Any final words to the readers of Dying Scene?

Thanks for reading, check out Son of Dads Mediafire for free downloads and see you at Ska Weekender!


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