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New Music, New Video, New Sound: A Conversation with The Water Dogs

(EDITOR’S NOTE — The Water Dogs are a three-piece alternative band with a strong DIY ethos made up of siblings Maria, Jarett and Grace Brzykcy. On the heels of their latest single, ‘Worth the Ride,’ the band today released a new video in support of the song. Check it out at the bottom of this page. All multi-instrumentalists, the trio fuses a wide range of influences spanning 21 Pilots to Alice Cooper to create their own distinct style of music, which you can listen to HERE. We recently caught up with The Water Dogs, who were kind enough to sit down and spend some time with 1120 Press to talk about their music, approach, and future. Please read our story below.)

1120 PRESS: Thank you for speaking with us and congratulations on the new single ‘Worth the Ride,’ and the accompanying video. Both are very cool. What can you tell us about them?

 

MARIA: When I was writing the lyrics for the single, I guess my train of thought was, ‘Life’s worth the adventure.’ It’s about the people that you meet and the experience that you have. Sometimes as an artist, you get caught up in the whole getting from A to B, or the end goal. And it’s really not about the end goal. It’s about the journey. And I was going through something like that personally and having to figure that out. So that’s where the lyrics came from.

 

As for the music, at first it was kind of a ‘folky’ song. But then when we started working together, it started to come together as more of a rock song. And that’s the sound we have been wanting to go for more lately.

 

GRACE: (The video) was shot mainly in a car as we were driving. I taped (the camera) to my GPS, and it worked pretty well. We then shot a little in a parking lot. It was very minimalistic, but I thought that went with the song.

 

1120: Since you touched on the subject of your sound: Can you talk more about how your musical direction has developed since your first album in 2018?

 

JARETT: I think we’re trying to experiment with different styles now. But like Maria said, we’ve been trying to make our music more rock-sounding.

 

GRACE: Yeah, starting out we had a very folky vibe and we liked that. One time, we did a Battle of the Bands and there was piece written about it and there was this mention in the story about a “folky country band” and we knew they were talking about us because everyone else was completely not that. We were OK with that, but then at a certain point we were like, ‘maybe we should try and do something that’s a little bit harder.’ So, we’ve been experimenting with that.

 

1120: Country? We don’t get that vibe at all. We get somewhat of a Belly/Cardigans vibe — not strictly, but hints, at least, of those bands. Regardless, we definitely don’t get a country vibe.

 

GRACE: We didn’t get it either. (laughs) At that concert I was playing violin, so …

 

JARETT: Yeah, she was playing violin, and I was playing mandolin. So, maybe that’s why.

 

MARIA: That’s probably a reason we started going for a more alternative sound. (laughs)

 

1120: Is the new single a prelude to a forthcoming album?

 

MARIA: Not an album but besides the music video we have another single we’re going to be releasing in the summer. That one is probably even more hard rock. And then after that, we’ll be heading into the studio to record three songs at GCR with Fred Betschen. We’ll probably begin work on an album, but it won’t be until 2025/2026.

 

1120: What’s it like to be in a band made up of all siblings? There’s a lot of bands comprised of sibling who famously didn’t or don’t get along (Oasis, Black Crowes, The Kinks etc.) What’s the case with you guys and what’s the creative process like? Does it pose any challenges when it comes to working together?MARIA: Maybe when we were younger and, you know, when you’re young you’re trying to find yourself. So, there might have been some kinks in the road. But now I think we’re really all coming together. There seems to be something that’s gelling.

 

GRACE: We always have had good communication, and that helps. Being siblings, I think it is helpful when it comes to being in a band because we always know what each other is trying to say.

 

MARIA: We get along. I guess we’re lucky. As far as the working process, I do the lyrics. And Jarett and Grace make up all their own instrumental parts.

 

GRACE: Everyone is pretty much responsible for themselves.

 

1120: There’s a moodiness to your music. Is that an intentional thing or is it something that comes out naturally during the creative process?

 

MARIA: I think it has been coming out more in the process, but it is also something that’s intentional for me, especially lately. I like Alice Cooper and David Bowie and that sort of thing — putting on a show.

 

JARETT: She’s been putting more focus on stage presence, lately. She’s dressing flashy and wearing wigs. (laughs)

 

1120: Well, along those lines, what are the personalities here between you and how do your personalities factor into the band and your process?

 

GRACE: Maria is the front person. She’s always been, but now she is totally embracing it and I’m OK with that. I like being in the background. I’m probably the most relaxed about all of this. I don’t want to say I don’t take it as seriously, but it’s just more subtle with me.MARIA: (Grace) is more matter-of-a-fact, in a good way. She knows how to put things in perspective. I am a front person, and I am accepting that more now.

 

GRACE: If there’s an issue, I’ll fix it. If we’re playing and something’s not working out and everyone is beating around the bush, I’ll just come out and say what it is.

 

JARETT: I would say I’m a mixture, where I’m 75 percent with Grace and 25 percent with Maria, except I don’t do all the dress-up stuff that she does. (laughs) I like to blend into the background with Grace.

 

GRACE: But Jarett is a perfectionist.

 

JARETT: Yeah, I am kind of the one who really wants to get everything right. I’m the quality control guy. I don’t like to settle for things that’ll make me sad to listen to.

 

MARIA: As the leader, I kind of get everything going. But for some reason, I’m not as much of a perfectionist as Jarett. I think it’s good that he’s that way and keeps us, I guess, honest. And Grace probably keeps us grounded.GRACE: I’m the down-to-earth one. (laughs)

JARETT: I am usually asking (Grace) to do more aggressive drum parts. And then she’ll, like, do jazz drum parts.

 

GRACE: We got lessons at Twin Village in Lancaster growing up. My drum teacher, Tom McCluskey, he was like a rock drummer. But the way he taught me was jazz. So, I grew up learning jazz drum parts, and that was very interesting to me. I learned all the rudiments and stuff. I jokingly say that I was taught classically, but I think I was.

 

1120: But you are all multi-instrumentalists, right?

 

JARETT: I would say yeah, but it’s more like we all dabble.

 

MARIA: They learned violin in school, and I learned flute. Jarett, besides guitar, plays mandolin, Grace also plays ukulele, and I play a little sitar. Our next single will have some sitar on it. I also taught myself some keyboards. I’m not as natural on the keyboards (as guitar) but I like to have keyboard parts in the music sometimes.

 

1120: Tell us about Bunnycroc Records.

 

MARIA: Bunnycroc is our own record label.

 

JARETT: It’s named after our grandma’s dog.

 

GRACE: We did that because our logo is inspired by our previous dog.

 

MARIA: We always had Labrador Retrievers. So that’s where ‘The Water Dogs’ comes

from. Our grandmother had this Scottie. He was goofy. He had the body of a bunny but the mouth of a crocodile. But anyway, we decided to start (Bunnycroc) to be self-sustaining. Time will tell how it’ll go.

 

1120: There’s definitely a strong DIY element that runs through your band. The videos, the label… etc. Where does that ethos come from?

 

GRACE: It’s all Maria.

 

MARIA: I do reach out to labels and someday you never know. I am kind of always reaching for the sky. But we have always tried to find a way to do everything on our own because with the way the music industry is today you kind of just have to in this business.

 

1120: Before we wrap up, let’s just look ahead a bit. Moving forward, what’s the future hold for you guys? Do you map everything out, or do you just sort of let things happen?

 

JARETT: My goal in the future is to write more songs influenced by 21 Pilots because we all really like them, but we don’t really have that sound right now just yet. That’s one of the reasons now why I’m trying to get more into loop pedal — to bring out a more different sound.

GRACE: Maria sort of maps everything all out. I usually forget everything until the month of… and then she’s like, ‘We have a thing in two weeks.” And I’m like, ‘What?’ (laughs)

 

MARIA: It’s OK. I’ve been trying to send you more texts to remind you. (laughs)

 

Right now, we have some shows coming up, and we’re going to be releasing another single soon, and then we’ll be in the studio at GCR. So, we’ll be doing a lot of recording this summer and then, who knows? We’ll see what pops up.



 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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