Members: Alex Casnoff, piano and vocals; Wylie Gelber, bass; Griffin Goldsmith, drums; Taylor Goldsmith; lead vocals and guitar
Who we talked to: Taylor Goldsmith, 23
Where are you calling from? Fort Worth, Texas. We're playing at a place called Casa Mañana. We've never played Fort Worth. We played Dallas, which is about an hour and a half away.
Have you ever played York before? No. (We) never have. We've played Lancaster, and we've played Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. I'm excited to play (York). It will be fun.
What are your live shows like? A lot of people hear our record, and they think that we're going to be a mellow band live and we're definitely not. It's all electric guitars, and we definitely kick it open. The record's . . . priority tends to be the songs. With the show the priority tends to be the live energy and the performance. There have been cities where . . . people have known the material and can sing along and it feels great. We'll extend certain guitar sections or instrumental sections.
When did you guys decide to form the group? The bass player (Gelber) and I were in a band before this. That band broke up and we kept moving forward. The drummer of Dawes is my brother. He was sort of part of the old band. We met Alex about eight months ago . . . and that's kind of how all that happened.
Who are your influences? Our influences . . . range from a lot of different things. As a songwriter, I'm a big fan of Leonard Cohen and Warren Zevon and Jackson Browne . . . and, of course, Bob Dylan. As a band, of course, we listen to stuff that's more, you know, playing oriented like Little Feat and Grateful Dead and The Band and a lot of old soul records.
Have you been able to share the stage with any cool acts? When we played Bonnaroo, (folk artists) John Prine played later that day. He's definitely one of my biggest influences and . . . we played a song of his. Someone was interviewing John Prine later on and was like, "Did you know that band Dawes covered a song of yours?" And he was like, "That's cool." Just for him to know that we did that was a big honor for us. Other than that, we've played with incredible bands like Deer Tick and Delta Spirit, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
What's life like out on the road? It's not crazy in, like, a bad boy kind of way. It's not like we're drinking and doing a lot of drugs. But we're pretty much (on) long drives and apart from (our) families and loved ones and finding (ourselves) in different circumstances every night, which might not sound as exciting as people build it up to be. It definitely is a wild experience and unlike anything I'm sure, you know, I'll ever do in my life.
How do you guys pass the time between cities or unwind after shows? We're always kind of tired . . . so we're always in the van kind of early. We play pretty hard and a lot of time, we're just trying to catch up on some sleep. When we have friends in town, we'll go out to certain bars and try to catch up. I'm reading a book on Warren Zevon right now. I feel like his songwriting is incredible.
Are you guys heading into the studio any time soon? I think we're going to start our next record very soon. I think we're going to try to record it in the fall and then put it out sometime in 2011. I've been trying to get as many songs as I can write on tour, but it's hard because there's not really any alone time. I can't really start to get into certain thoughts or experiences right in front of everybody. I get it done when I do find the private time that I need. I'll sort of have a back catalog of piano and guitar chords that I . . . need to develop. The melodies and chords all come first, and then, I write the lyrics accordingly. All my songs kind of come from very personal experiences.
What's coming up for you guys? I know that we have a big fall headlining tour getting lined up as we speak. We'll be home for September. After (the holidays), we'll be back out again, hopefully with the new record coming out soon after that.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF
If you go
Dawes performs tonight at the Capitol Theatre, 50 N. George St. in York. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets cost $10. Philadelphia Americana act The Great Unknown opens the show. For details, visit www.caplivemusic.com.
On the Web
For details about Dawes, visit dawestheband.blogspot.com.
To listen to the interview, visit www.flipsidepa.com.
To read more meet-the-artist interviews, visit www.flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory.