Interview with Dog Is Dead at In The Woods Festival


Dog Is Dead

Before I meet two members of Nottingham band Dog Is Dead backstage at Kent-based festival In The Woods, I’m a little nervous. I’ve heard brilliant things about this relatively-new group, and I’m sure that they’re going to be as unpredictable as they are amusing. I am not wrong. When they appear, resplendent in snazzy festival gear, I’m pretty sure that this interview is going to be anything but mundane. Bass/sax player Lawrence ‘Trev’ Cole and lead vocalist Rob Milton are here, in the woods, and they’re in a confessional mood. Let the revelry commence.

The talented folky-indie fivesome formed in 2008, and in 2010 things really picked up when they a) supported OK Go and b) released their first single, ‘Glockenspiel Song’, which is one of my new favourite summer songs. They release their eagerly-anticipated debut album, ‘All Our Favourite Stories’, this autumn. They’ve also stolen an orange from Two Door Cinema Club; an incident that they describe as ‘regretful’. More about that later.

There’s been a massive boom in festivals over the past ten years – why do you love them, and why do you continue to go in rain, wind or shine?

Trev: I think the whole idea of a festival embodies the idea of ‘wild abandon’; Brits especially seem to be drawn to this. People seem to like the idea of going wild. Crazy and wild.

Rob: I was 15 when I went to my first festival, and it was the end of school. I remember that you’d just get wasted, and have all your friends there. It was a big, horrible, messy holiday, where you’d see loads of bands.

You did Glastonbury in 2010, playing the BBC Introducing Stage – any plans to go back for 2013?

Rob: We’d love to – we wouldn’t say no!

In The Woods is a boutique festival; what do you like about boutique festivals, and what do you dislike about them?

Trev: They’re all completely different; I’d say that about festivals generally, but boutique festivals seem to have a real sense of intimacy, and a home-grown, organic feel. It’s really nice. Sometimes, big festivals can be daunting. You don’t always want to see the big bands – you just want to soak up the atmosphere. Sometimes it’s easier to get that when there’s a smaller crowd of people around.

Rob: People are friendlier; more laid-back.

As a group, how many festivals have you played to date, and which ones have been your favourites?

Rob: We did 24 this summer, and a billion last summer –

Trev: It was 500,000,000 –

Rob: Last summer’s highlights were Latitude and Bestival; we also loved Glastonbury.

Have there been any festivals that you hated, and if so, why?

Trev: No, not really – I don’t think so! Some have had some really unfortunate timing, we’ve had to rush in and rush out, which is never that enjoyable, as we haven’t had a chance to check anything out. If there’s bad weather or you’re performing on a Friday morning, that’s never as good!

Rob: We’ve never disliked any festivals, just the circumstances surrounding them. We really enjoy playing them and feel really lucky to be able to do so.

What’s the furthest distance you’ve travelled to play at a festival – and what’s the worst journey you’ve ever had to endure?

Rob: The furthest we’ve travelled might be Belgium or somewhere –

Trev: Holland?

Rob: Inverness. It takes a bloody long time to get there. We had a nightmare getting up there last year, but at the same time, the scenery was incredible! Probably the nicest views we’ve ever had! The worst journey? Where were we the other day?

Trev: We went to play Pukkelpop and a tunnel was down, so we spent hours in a service station for trains. It’s where trains go and purchase stuff and chill out.

What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever got up to at a festival?

Trev: We took nine bags of miaw! Not really.

Rob: We’ve been known to start moshpits. We made people fly around at Lollapalooza. We also stole an orange from a band I can’t name now…

[At this point, Festival Mag urges Rob to come clean.]

Rob: It was Two Door Cinema Club. We didn’t realise it was their orange.

Are they angry at you?

Rob: We don’t know. We didn’t mean to! But I don’t know if they realised. If they did, they might not know it was us. We feel awful.

Do you try and maintain a level of sobriety before you go onstage, or do you have a few drinks to lessen your nerves?

Rob: It depends! Today’s our last festival of the summer, so we might get a few drinks in…it all depends. Depends what we need to get through it! I don’t normally drink much, but today I think I’ll have a few.

Name three people, alive or dead, fictional or otherwise, that you’d like to camp with…

(Together, at once): Hot Chocolate!

Trev: Nelson Mandela

Rob: One of the cast of Emmerdale.

Which one?

Rob: Graham! I’ve never seen it. Crazy Graham! He’s the one who’s always in the pub, chatting up the girls…

[At this point, Festival Mag realises that Rob is mucking about. There is no Graham. It’s a ruse.]

What are you up to for the rest of the summer?

Trev: We’re building a time machine!

Rob: Yup.

Trev: Because someone said, ‘What do we want? Time travel! When do we want it? It’s irrelevant.’

Rob: We thought we’d end on a joke.

For more on In The Woods Festival, see our guide.