dudley corporation

The Dudley Corporation launch their fourth album Everyone Does Everything Wrong tomorrow, May 11, with a gig in Whelan’s, Dublin, before playing more dates in the following week around the country. Keep an eye on their Bandcamp page for the LP. Harmless Noise is streaming the album here if you can’t wait. It’s been five years since their last album, in which time each of the three members have become fathers. I asked Dudley Colley whether, after about 14 years, they feel like elder statemen of the music scene, how they’ve changed in that time, and when we can expect the next album. 2019 seems ambitious…

It was four years between your second and third album, and now almost five years between your third and fourth: was that a conscious decision? What were ye up to?
We were really frustrated how long it took to get the last LP out so were utterly determined to fire this one out. We probably had the guts of the music ready to go reasonably quickly, and it was actually recorded some time ago. Lyrically though, I found it really hard to spin these songs into shape, so the tunes sat on my hard drive for at least a year while I stared at notepad trying to figure it out. We’d had Rob Bochnik on hold to mix it for us, but he’s a terrifically busy man, on tour with Glen Hansard a lot, so a combination of my procrastination, his timetable and various technical issues slowed it down. That and the slight distraction of each of us having two kids each since 2009. We’re actually halfway towards another LP already, but I’m guessing… 2019…

Reading the bio of the last album, it seemed to have been recorded in a lot of places, with a lot of people involved. The bio on the new album, though, says that nobody helped (bar the technical stuff). Did you prefer it this way?
Yes and no. With the last record we had a bunch of people mixing the tunes, and it was really interesting to hear different people’s approaches to the songs, and it absolutely had a huge bearing on the finished product. We very much missed the insane thrill from the first two records though, of blasting through the whole process in less than a week. I think I prefer the tonality and energy that comes from a record that was really created in a specific window of time. So we sort of wanted the best of the two approaches, get the music recorded in one fell swoop, but also take it away to tinker with a little. It suited as well, when we were rehearsing the songs it was apparent they were going to be a lot brasher and noisier than before, so it made sense that they were worked on in a tighter, more focused way.

dudley corp coverThe album title stands out. Why Everyone Does Everything Wrong? It sounds more reassuring than a criticism of people…
It’s also a resignation to how we’re primarily doomed as a species. We can do the most amazing things, but spend most of our time mired in pettiness and nastiness. There are actually two EDEW songs, the first didn’t make it on the record as I just couldn’t finish it, but it takes the despairing and bleak flip of the phrase, and it was just too woeful to continue with. The LP song is the positive, you say reassuring, approach. Everyone does everything wrong, but that’s OK… An amazing musician we toured with once, called Terrin Durfey, died after a longstanding battle with cancer a couple of years ago, and one of the last things he gave a friend of his was a handwritten note saying ‘always be doing’. That just bowled me over, that that was still his approach for life.

Does the Corpo feel like elder statesmen of Irish music, having been around for around 13 years?
We feel like we should really know better by now…

Do you listen to many of the new Irish bands coming up?
You mean young people’s music? We’ve turned into our parents and describe most new things as ‘at least it has a nice beat’.

What do you think of the scene at the moment?
I’m about as disconnected from it now, as I ever was, but I do love some stuff out there, people like Katie Kim and Skelokrats. It’s always heartening to still see people trying to do something new.

How have things changed for music makers over the last decade and more?
Oh yeah, and they’ve infinitely improved. Our first album was recorded 12 years ago, done in four days in a studio, and it cost us a fortune. Now we were able to take a couple of years and spend not even a third of the budget. I feel sorry for all those amazing engineers out there, that everyone is recording at home, but I think and hope it’ll balance out. Bands will still need skilled people to do really great recordings. But overall it’s kind of crazy to see how insanely quickly the paradigm keeps shifting. From everyone going crazy on Napster and not paying a cent for music, then Bandcamp coming in and now all these Fund It projects. I think the novelty of Fund It is quickly wearing off, but Bandcamp and paying what you want, I really hope that’s a model that has legs, seems the fairest and most empowering for bands. But yeah, things have changed, massively, and it’s brilliant.

How do you think you’ve changed as a band between the first album and this one?
Well, we’re half deaf, grey and I break a lot less strings these days, I think I just can’t play as hard anymore… It’s been brutal!

What are the plans for the rest of the year? Are you planning to go back over to the US for a while and tour? And do some of the Irish festivals?
I’d imagine the US is unlikely for the foreseeable, particularly with young kids and the fact that our wives would kill us. Otherwise I’m not sure. Festivals and all would be great, but really I want to crack on with the next half of the next record. Seriously, we can do it. I mean it. Hey, come back….

The Dudley Corporation launch Everyone Does Everything Wrong in Dublin tomorrow before heading around the country.

The Dudley Corporation tour dates:
May 11: Tower Records at lunchtime;
May 11: launch in Whelans (upstairs) with Jogging and the Run-Ons;
May 16: Seoda Shows @ Bourkes Bar, Limerick with Jogging;
May 17: TDC Triskel, Cork with Jogging;
May 18: Róisín Dubh, Galway with Jogging.