It would sound pretty cliched to say that a band named DULL is anything but dull, but that is exactly the case, so what other choice do we have? The Stockholm, Swedes are a power quartet featuring members from some well-known underground bands, like Twin Pigs and Dead Vibrations. Those bands have been staples of the local underground community for some time, so unlike a band just starting out, this is one coming at you with a lot of credibility and notoriety. Their sound is some uneven combination of hardcore, punk, and alternative rock. All we know is that when put together, it works pretty damn well.
DULL just released their debut singles “This Is Going South” and “Dive Deep Down” at the end of last month via Startracks. The band features not one but two lead singers, Canan Rosén and Louise Erdman, who perfectly complement each other with their different styles and approaches. These two new singles are explosive and emphatic in that early 2000s alternative rock way. Their sound is a good meeting of new and old, appealing to both young rock fans and you now middle-agers who grew up on the popular turn of the century sounds.
To get more familiar with DULL, their escapades, and what they have planned coming up, we recently spoke with Rosén to ask him a few questions about recording and playing live.
For those not familiar with your band, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Canan Rosén: “DULL is a new four-piece indie punk outfit from Stockholm, Sweden. We just released our two debut singles, and an LP will be released in early 2023. Someone said that we sounded like ’93 but in a good way. I think we sound both old and new. A bit quirky; two lead vocalists, guitar riffs and a solid rhythm section. We’ve all played in bands before, so we’re not new to the scene even though this band is. We’re into the normal stuff like playing live, writing cool riffs, buying new guitar pedals, and hanging out.”
When you write, do you do so with the live setting in mind, or do you write a song just for the song’s sake?
“We are usually in favour of being able to sound almost the same live as on the recorded tracks. It’s just something with rock music that makes it really hard to listen to when it’s 315 added guitars and 5,679 vocal tracks. It doesn’t sound real. And I think we want to sound real.”
You have toured the world extensively. Is there anywhere you would like to go that you have not been?
“We played once with this band, and that was in Stockholm. So I guess someplace else in Stockholm or anywhere outside of Stockholm would be cool. But in bands before DULL, we’ve been to a few places around the world, but I’ve never made it across the pond. North or South America would be very cool to visit.”
What are some of the newer bands that you are listening to or enjoying?
“We listen to quite different music if we should compare with each other. But right now, I’ve been listening to a lot lately to Kills Birds, Momma, Waax, The Linda-Linda’s, and Illuminati Hotties. But I’ve also always been very emo, so I’m very excited about Pianos Become The Teeth and Copeland returning with new material.”
Do you have any touring plans in support of the new recording?
“Yes, we do! We’ll be touring more with our upcoming album next year. Any band can tour a lot if they want to, but it’s a lot of work. So we will put in hard work and with that comes a lot of touring and with touring comes a lot of hard work. But that’s the circle of rock, and that’s probably where you’ll find us very soon.”
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you on tour or at one of your shows?
“I have had some weird things happening to me on tour. A part of the engine in the tour bus once blew up, and the mechanic was like, ‘you’re lucky to be alive.’ (laughs) I once fell off a stage, hit myself in the head with the guitar, and lost teeth. Also, once I had something bad to eat before the show, I had to pause the show and run to the bathroom. After a few minutes, I could go back to the stage and finish the show. Someone in the crowd shouted, ‘shit happens!.’ That was pretty awkward.”
If you had an unlimited budget, where and with whom would you record your record? What about Production and Mastering? And why?
“I think I’d probably invest that money in touring instead. To pay for hotels instead of shitty homestays and be able to do shows even though the promoter is poor. For a rock band like us, touring is essential to build a crowd and the first tours are often quite shitty (laughs). If there’s any money left after that, I’d probably like to record in the same studio but maybe have more time and not have to stress about everything all the time.”
How did you link up with the label for this release, and what about them was attractive enough to make you sign?
“More surprised that we, as a completely new band, were attractive enough for our label to sign. Startracks is a very well-known indie label here in Sweden that has been in the game since the 1990s, releasing super awesome bands like Refused and Fireside, among many others. It’s an absolute honour to become label mates with these bands. Also, it must probably mean that we’ve made some pretty damn good songs to make the spot.”
Share one thing about the band that has never before been revealed.
“Out of the six days we spent in the studio recording our debut album, we spent almost a whole day recording guitar feedback. Connected like seven amps to each other and turned on all our guitar pedals. It’s a matter of priorities. And great guitar feedback should always be a top priority.”