Golden Dogs released onto rock 'n' roll fans

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Golden Dogs

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU START PLAYING PRANKS WITH ROGAINE. Toronto's Golden Dogs try and avoid lame cutlines while playing Call the Office tomorrow night.

Toronto’s resident party band, The Golden Dogs, has a big eye for beautiful music.

Since releasing their first LP, Big Eye Little Eye, last fall, The Golden Dogs have become a favourite of critics and fans alike.

Lead singer Dave Azzolini is pleased with his band’s success.

“When we first heard we were going into the studio, there was just a sense of excitement,” Azzolini says. “This was a point I had wanted to get to since I was doing four-track recordings as a kid.”

Azzolini says Big Eye Little Eye’s frenzied dance-rock sound translates well onstage.

“I always pictured these songs on the live side of things from the start, and there’s definitely been an evolution,” he says. “Some songs stay really close to the original arrangement; others have taken on a completely different sound.

“Playing live over the last few years, we’ve gravitated towards our strengths as a band. Just the same, our strengths have been honed through live performance. They go hand in hand, really.”

Despite embracing its musical development, the band has continually changed its lineup. Azzolini hopes this “revolving door” policy is over.

“I came to Toronto to find people to play with as a band,” he says. “We’ve been looking for a ‘tribe’ for five years; people came and went, but realistically and musically, this [current lineup] is what I was looking for. I think it’s here to stay.”

The Golden Dogs’ current lineup is Azzolini, his wife and keyboardist Jessica Grassia, drummer Taylor Knox, guitarist Neil Quin and bassist Stew Heyduk.

After spending numerous hours on the road together, Azzolini says the band has adjusted to the “ceremony of touring.”

“It’s pretty draining to be on the road so much, and switch to being ‘on’ every night,” he says. “I think the people you’re with have a huge effect on the success or failure of living in that environment.

“As it stands, we all seem to feed off of each other, both onstage and off.”

The Golden Dogs also feed off their fans’ energy and inspiration.

“In my experience, every crowd will have people that are there for all kinds of reasons, but more and more I feel they’re there for the album,” Azzolini says.

“All I know is rock ‘n’ roll shows. I know I’m having fun because the crowd is having fun. They’re screaming out the songs, jumping around " it’s just a party.”

Azzolini says the band’s shows are always energetic and sweaty.

“We’ll ram our rock ‘n’ roll fists down people’s throats, and whether you like the taste of the fist or not, well, it’s up to you.”

The Golden Dogs play alongside Yoko Casionos and Oh! The Pretty Things at Call The Office tomorrow night. Tickets are $5 at the door. The show starts at 9:30 p.m.

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