The Dig is bringing back the grunge, the grit and the self-described “badass loser rock” that Brooklyn’s been craving for years. Led by the band’s two vocalists and childhood friends, Emile Mosseri and David Baldwin, the local New York City group is coming right off the heels of their latest hit album, Midnight Flowers (Buffalo Jump Records).
With piercing guitar riffs, solid bass beats, electrifying synth and soft vocals, The Dig is molding mid-90’s grunge rock with contemporary melody to create a sound that’s unabashedly unique, surprisingly clean and catching like fire across the country.
I couldn’t find a quiet place to talk to the guys before their September 8th show at Brooklyn Bowl, so we sat in a semi-circle outside of a burned out warehouse somewhere near North 12th St and Kent. Besides the intermittent police sirens and the band’s distraction by the occasional mini-skirt, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Brooklyn’s own, The Dig:
Tell the Broke-Ass readers who you are:
First of all we’re The Dig from New York. We’re spread out across many of the beautiful boroughs. We’ve been a band for what? Four or Five years…two of us have been playing together since we were kids, since we were like 11. Then we found Mark on Craigslist. We connected – it was fuckin’ magical.
Have you been playing a lot of shows in NYC or are you mostly traveling around?
We’ve been touring a lot. Most recently we lived in LA for four weeks and did a residency there. Then we played a show in San Francisco, hit up Denver, then San Antonio and Austin. But before that we were on tour with Ben Kweller.
We’re going on our own headlining tour, which is pretty exciting for us. We’ve been opening for a lot of bands the last couple years and this is our first time really breaking out and headlining starting October 3rd out of DC at the Red Palace. Sick venue.
I know that artists hate to pigeonhole their genres, but if you could describe your sound in five words or less, what would you call it?
Badass Loser Rock.
How would you guys describe your creative process?
When we’re writing a song, somebody will bring in either a melody or chord progression and then we get together and start chipping away at it. It’s pretty collaborative. Sometimes someone will have their own song with arrangements, but we all work on the songs together.
What’s your favorite part about being a New York City band?
Probably the babes. Sitting out on Essex Street or North 12th Street watching all the girls. Sittin’ around and creeping out. The usual. [laughs and censored...]
Brooklyn Bowl is a great venue with a lot of huge acts, how do you guys prepare for a big show like this?
Make a solid set list and run it a bunch of times. Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse some more. We try and play as we rehearse.
So you guys never wing it on stage?
Well, there’s always a new song or two in the set that we’ve been working on, but we’ve been touring so much in the past couple years that we know our songs pretty well and never really have to wing anything.
What can we expect from tonight’s show?
A lot of songs from our new album we just released, Midnight Flowers. And some never before heard shit!
Who was your favorite band to tour with?
Definitely Portugal the Man. We had such a great time touring with those guys, partying with those guys. They are all a bunch of really good dudes. They had us at their house for a while and we all became really close friends. And actually the band we’re touring with, We Shared Milk, the sound guy used to be the sound guy for Portugal the Man and so that’s how we know him.
The Walkmen too, that was a super cool band to tour with!
What’s next for The Dig?
Of course the national tour coming up this fall in October, but honestly we’re going to keep on putting out albums and try to stay out on the road. We’re going to keep being a band!
You guys really came into the music scene when digital music and file sharing is the norm, so how is The Dig making a living?
We’ve been lucky since the first album we made got a lot of licensing for a lot of TV shows and that’s how we were able to keep our heads above the water. Our first album was featured on Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, RJ Burger, Scoundrels, Trauma – no shows that any of us have ever watched or ever fuckin’ heard of. We’re more of a Sex and The City crowd if you could tell [laughs]. Which one of you said I was Samantha…? [laughs].
In the spirit of the Broke-Ass Stuart lifestyle, what money saving tips do you guys have for aspiring musicians in New York City?
Shit, if you have any ideas for us we’re all ears! I guess first off, get the hell out of New York City. But when you’re on tour, make sure you fill up your water bottles because water gets mad expensive out on the road. Oh, and definitely buy booze outside the venue if they’re being stingy and sit in the van and drink.
Yeah? What’s the drink of choice for you guys?
Whiskey. Tallboys. Whiskey and tallboys.
What do you refuse to spend money on?
Parking. Parking is a bitch. Hotel rooms. We sleep either in the van, a friend’s house or there are a lot of cool people willing to put bands up.
If you were to wake up millionaires tomorrow, what’s the first thing you would buy?
You mean WHEN we wake up millionaires. First thing we do is pay off all our debts. Then shoes. Then we would try to rehire our publicist. And a badass music video. Shit, we’d probably just spend it all…
And lastly, what’s the best thing about not being rich yet?
The best thing about not being rich is not paying taxes. But you also don’t get the experience of figuring everything out for yourself out on the road. If we were rich we wouldn’t get to have all the great experiences we’ve had. I mean, if we had money we could just pay our way out of everything and we wouldn’t get to meet all these cool, interesting, neat people who would be crazy enough to put us up in their house for the night.
You wouldn’t get to do interviews sitting on the sidewalk outside a burned out warehouse either.
[Laughs]. How fitting for the Broke-Ass website, huh?!
Make sure you catch The Dig in their upcoming fall tour when they come back to Brooklyn October 6, 2012 at the Cameo, 8PM. They’ll be performing with We Shared Milk and Buffalo Jump during their hotly anticipated headlining tour.
A link to stream the new album – Midnight Flowers: http://snd.sc/LL8g1X
A link to download the full album mp3s (62.03MB) – http://db.tt/B1pBu7ws
For lyrics and liner notes: http://www.thedigmusic.com/The_Dig____Midnight_Flowers.html
Here are some recent videos of The Dig:
‘Black Water’ live from SIlverlake Lounge Residency – Los Angeles, CA – http://youtu.be/k49BRgqXCsw
‘I Already Forgot Everything You Said’ music video premiere on purevolume.com – http://bit.ly/NPCjVV
‘Hole In My Heart’ music video premiere on filtermagazine.com – http://bit.ly/M79sOo
‘Animals Screams’ live from Trout Recording – Brooklyn, NY – on BuzzBands.la – http://bit.ly/OkVDIo
Photo Credit: Simon Mullin