I recently sat down with Jan and Quinn, 2/3 of Dubé to discuss their upcoming appearance at Bluesfest as well as new music.
Dubé basically disappeared for the the last year or so and they are now coming out of their self-imposed cocoon with new music in tow. Since their last Bluesfest appearance 5 years ago, the guys have updated their name and are hitting the ground with a refined sound.
As Quinn reminisced about their last appearance he mentioned, “I guess the first time we played at bluesfest it was more like Brothers Dubé. A lot of it was for charity and that was what we were known for. We didn’t really have a sound back then”. Jan added, “We had the benefit of using the cause. People would just connect much easier. We’ve grown a lot since then.”
Looking ahead to this year’s performance Jan said, “We really want to put on a show. Usually we’d play Zeppelin and Rush, all those classic rock covers. We’re looking at getting some more modern tunes in there and mixing them in with our own originals and putting our own original twist on the covers in the hopes of giving everyone there a feel of what our sound is now.”
Speaking of that new sound, Dubé recently released a new tune titled You (you can watch the video for it below). While the song will be part of an EP, the band has decided to push back it’s release. According to Jan, “We ran into a few complications with the release. There’s a lot of stuff that we failed to account for. When you release something, you’re releasing it and there’s no taking it back, so we figured it would be best to push off the EP. There’s a few things we want to do to it to touch it up and finalize it to get it ready.”
Over the last couple of years the guys have been hard at work writing, trying to find their sound. Quinn shared, “We worked with our producer Kaylen Prescott. We recorded out at his studio in Almonte. We wrote with him, with some other artists from Germany. We’ve worked with a lot of people from different places to get this EP together. We’ve been working almost full time on this. It’s really what we want to do.”
Jan expanded on their relationship with Kaylen. “He helped us out with a lot of our early recordings too. He’s been there since the development of the band. He’s seen where we’ve gone, what we’ve explored and he understands what we’re doing and what we want to go for. He’s a big part of that. It’s good to have a guy on your team who can help you. He does a lot of quality work.” Quinn added, “He’s a perfectionist for sure.”
In describing the new EP Quinn mentioned, “Bittersweet, Back of the Class and Runaway are more like a live like a rock sound. Then you’ve got that You and Ok sound which is more of an electric sound, but it blends in with the rock sound which is what we’re aiming for.”
When I asked about the difference in sound of You and Ok from the rest of the EP, Jan explained, “Back of the Class and Bittersweet are 2 songs on there that were written completely before going into the studio. For You and Ok we decided that we would do a different approach to the whole recording process. It kinda happened naturally. Basically what we did is we sat down right there (pointing to the next room) with 1 microphone and record a few guitar parts. You’ll add a vocal part and a bass part, play with the effects until you have something. Then we sent it to Kaylen. Kaylen has a listen and he takes out a bunch of stuff and then he adds in a bunch of stuff himself. It kinda just got built slowly from us passing the tracks to Kaylen and him throwing them back at us. Over the course of a few months, those 2 songs came together.”
Our conversation drifted to the band’s name change and rebranding. As Quinn put it, “We used to be called Brothers Dubé. We put out an album, and then we grew up. We hit puberty. Now it’s like whoa, you sound completely different. Your voice sounds completely different. Its’ not the same band.”
Jan expanded further adding, “Its confusing when you’re promoting one of your shows and you’re saying come check out our band and then they go and check out some music and its something completely different. That confusion had to be dealt with. We figured rebranding and making a new name for ourselves was a way an easy of doing that.”
As for the rest of the year? The band plans to look at picking up some more shows. They would also like to get back into the studio, working on more music which will hopefully be ready in time to help them catch the wave for more festival appearances in 2017.
I’ve had the pleasure of checking out the new EP and I can’t wait to share it. You can catch Dubé at Bluesfest on Saturday July 16th at 3pm on the Monster Energy Stage. You can also check out our complete list of local artist appearances at Bluesfest 2016.