Dude York finds itself.
From the concussed scuzz-rock of their early stuff to the diffident almost-anthems of their latest, Dude York has chased a guitar-pop ideal through a series of giddy singles and EPs. Their first full-length Dehumanize came out in February on Help Yourself Records, currently one of the city’s most vital labels for rock ’n’ roll. (We say “full-length” despite its concise 35 minutes.) Sans bassist Claire England, singer/guitarist Peter Richards and drummer Andrew Hall—who met in college in Walla Walla eight years ago—told us everything they don’t know about making an album.
Peter: One thing we’re interested in in terms of short records is how, if you’re listening to that record on your iPod in your car, it’ll start over in a way that feels like a natural continuation of the ideas at the end of the record. Going back to the beginning of the record, letting it play and two songs in you’re like, oh, it started over.
Andrew: Like when you fall asleep and a DVD menu plays forever in front of you.
Peter: It seems like every time we make a record we’re like, I can see how we could’ve made the last one correctly. Let’s try a different technique.
Andrew: Every time we make a record we work with different producers and engineers, because it hasn’t necessarily come together yet. I feel like we’re still learning to make records. I don’t know if I know exactly how it works. It involves some knobs…and notions of good taste.
Peter: I feel like pushing those notions is the best choice.
Like including a saxophone on Dehumanize.
Peter: There’s a lot of saxophone—and there’s gonna be more sax on the new one. We’re figuring out ways to be us and the saxophone has let us do that up to this point. Maybe we’ll keep doing it, maybe we won’t.
As you keep evolving as a band, you’re more likely to gain new fans but alienate your old ones.
Andrew: I feel like we’ve alienated everyone we were gonna alienate when we stopped home recording. The damage is done.
Peter: Rock ’n’ roll shouldn’t be about pushing people away. We come out of this DIY community of Seattle musicians. That imparts a desire to increase a sense of ownership.
Illustration by Tom Dougherty