Dot Dash – Madman in the Rain (Q&A)

The jangly guitar on Saints/Pharaohs, the exuberance of Tense & Nervous, and the title track’s lyrics are just three highlights of a rock-solid album. Dot Dash’s latest is their best, and Terry Banks explains why and how Madman in the Rain came to be.

Madman in the Rain is great. I imagine you realized that somewhere during the creation or is that too easy?

Thank you! Yes, we felt the songs were really good and we were happy to get them recorded. We think it’s our best record — but bands always say that.

There are four years between the release of Madman in the Rain and Proto Retro. The world has completely changed in those four years. How did that affect the creation of Madman in the Rain?

We planned to record this record in Spring 2020, just as Covid was descending. At first (as everyone did back then), we thought the shutdown would last just a month or two, but then it kept going … and going.

Nearly all the songs on the new album were ones we were already playing live, “pre-pandemic.” A couple were written during it — “Airwaves” and maybe one or two others — I’ve lost track of time!

When ‘Tense and Nervous’ was done, did you know you had the closing for the gigs to come?

Hah! Thank you. It’s a two-minute, zero-second stomper, for sure.

Tried to join a ping pong club. But the sign on the door said ‘All full up’. How great is the feeling when you find the right words?

True, it’s a good feeling … even if the words come from somewhere else … Those lyrics actually come from a Clash song (‘What’s My Name?’) — every once in a great while, a “borrowed” lyric just fits the mood and the meter, so why not use it… In the past, on some of our previous records, there are a couple of Velvet Underground lyrics scattered about, too.

Somehow I make Everything = Dust a song with a positive message. We could also worry a lot less about everything by looking at the world this way, but I bet you wanted to say something else.

That’s an interesting take. I really like your interpretation. To be honest, I’m not sure what I meant by the song — the words just ‘arrived’ — but I like your idea on it a lot.

Madman in the Rain is out now on The Beautiful Music.
Digipak CD comes w/free Bandcamp download of the album.

WASHINGTON POST: Everything we’ve ever read about Dot Dash plays up the group’s collective resume: Singer/guitarist Terry Banks was in St. Christopher and the Saturday People before teaming up with bassist Hunter Bennett in acclaimed indie-rock band Julie Ocean and drummer Danny Ingram co-founded harDCore band Youth Brigade. Very impressive. But we’re more interested in the music, a retro cocktail that recalls the yearning indie-pop of Sarah Records; the ’80s neo-Byrds jangle of R.E.M., Orange Juice and other seminal college radio artists, and tight, throbbing basslines and slashing guitars that evoke the Jam and the Clash.” 

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