Dance Gavin Dance have been around since 2005, and damn this band have been on a journey. With members coming and going over the years, the band seems to have finally found themselves a solid lineup and are truly mastering their unique sound. The two founding members, guitarist Will Swan and drummer Matthew Mingus, have managed to keep the band thriving throughout the years despite the variations in their lineup.
After touring the country back in late February, Dance Gavin Dance has had their heads down in the studio ever since, recording their ninth studio album.
“We don’t have a title or anything for it yet, but the music’s sounding great and we can’t wait to put it out, probably sometime early next year,” says lead guitarist and original member Will Swan.
With an ever-changing roster of both instrumentalists and vocalists, fans can never be sure what’s coming next from the Sacremento five-piece. Inspired not only by progressive rock and post-hardcore sounds, Dance Gavin Dance also draws inspiration from everything from pop and R&B to jazz funk. The band’s diversity shines through with their two newest singles, ‘Head Hunter’ and ‘Blood Wolf’, and fans never know what’s going to happen next with these guys.
“We’re all over the place. We wrote ‘Head Hunter’ and ‘Blood Wolf’ in the same writing session – a heavier one and a softer one – so we just released the heavier one first and the softer one second. People always jump to conclusions they’re just like ‘oh, they must be going into this new sound because this song doesn’t sound like their other songs’ but when you listen to our records there’s like, a bunch of styles, so I expect the same thing from the next record, where we kind of dabble in a little bit of everything.”
“I like the energy of playing really heavy stuff live and the audience energy and the chaos of it, something that got me into playing music in the first place,” Swan says. “But I also like being able to slow it down and do a lot more chilled out songs and variety is important, I think. Both cool in their own way.”
For a band that’s been around since the mid-2000s, Dance Gavin Dance have managed to not only stay relevant, but to thrive as a band over the years and continue producing great records, each more unique and successful than the last. With an ever-changing sound, the band stays true to the music they love.
“I think we just kind of do our thing, in our explorations of styles and willingness to incorporate things and to take risks and to do things that are different, allow ourselves to develop and progress on its own way and that is something that, when people listen to the music, it keeps it from dating to a certain era now because we’re not just taking on genre conventions and trying to appease whatever audience at the time that’s like, supporting the scene, we’re just doing our own thing. And I think that’s helped keep us relevant and push us forward as a band.”
“We just have a lot of different tastes. Everyone in the band listens to and watches all different kinds of stuff. Our music’s kind of chaotic and poppy, and sometimes funny too and our music videos like to incorporate all those different kinds of aspects too. We don’t like to take it too seriously most of the time, have a bit of ‘tongue and cheek’ aspect is cool too, especially because the scene’s so devoid of that, everyone's pretty serious all the time and it’s nice to break some levity into that situation.”
And after so many years of band members coming and going and a rumored near-split of the group, Dance Gavin Dance seems to have started to settle down, and their refined sound reflects that.
“I think we’ve had this lineup for like, seven years now, and it’s pretty solid and it’s felt good. Just having this lineup, we’ve been a band longer than most bands have been a band. It feels like we’ve definitely settled into it.”
In Australia exclusively for Good Things, Dance Gavin Dance will be playing in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane this December.