Interview: Dads [May 2015]

By Glen Bushell

Growing as a band is never an easy thing to do, however over the course of each release, New Jersey by way of Michigan two-piece rockers Dads have managed to do so. They charmed the world with their romantically scrappy debut ‘American Radass (This Is Important)’, and received critical acclaim for last year’s more rounded follow up ‘I’ll Be The Tornado’ on 6131 Records.

Before they head back over to the UK for a co-headline tour with Lemuria at the end of May, we caught up with drummer/vocalist John Bradley to discuss their second trip over here, the creativity that has come with adding a third member, and getting weirder and weirder in the future.

You have your co-headlining tour coming up with Lemuria. Are you looking forward to coming back to the UK?

Very much so! We loved it the first time and we’re excited to come back in the spring/summer when it isn’t freezing winter!

You were last over in the UK in 2013 for a pretty extensive tour. Do you have any specific memories or highlights from that tour?

We got to see a lot of beautiful stuff and got to meet a lot of amazing people we either didn’t know or had only known through the internet. The first time you go to Europe or anywhere far away, it’s an amazing “I never thought I’d get to do this for music!” type of experience. The idea of going back is just as crazy but now we get to hit up all of the friends we made the first time and say, “Hey we actually did it, we’re coming back again!”

Will you be performing as your regular two-piece set up, or will you be bringing other musicians along for the live shows?

We will have our new bassist Ryan with us!

How did the idea of touring with Lemuria come about? Are they friends of yours from back home, or will this be your first time touring with them?

Scott and I have loved Lemuria for years. Our new bassist, Ryan, is the same and has known them as friends for a long while now. We met at a couple of random gatherings in the past couple months and we both wanted to tour overseas at the same time so it fit perfectly!

How is the newer material from ‘I’ll Be the Tornado’ coming across live?

Great! It’s always scary when putting out new material into the world and then playing it live the first couple shows. It takes a lot of practice and general playing live to get used to playing the songs and we don’t want to bore a crowd that’s aware of older songs with too much new stuff. There was a definite point in the past couple tours where you had people that knew the newer material more than they knew an older record, which is always a cool thing to hear.

Do you feel it gives you more freedom either personally or creatively (or both) being a two-piece band?

In the past it gave us a lot of creativity but now that we’ve found someone like Ryan we are able to keep going. It took us a little bit of time to find someone wired like we are and someone we could put trust into during a live set. We realised Ryan fit what we needed and even in the small number of times we’ve been able to “jam” and improvise, he seems to be great at coming up with cool ideas, so we’re excited for that as well.

Over the last year or so you have been out on a couple of high profile tours, particularly with Reggie and the Full Effect, and Touché Amore respectively. What experience did you gain from these?

We learned a lot about dealing with venues and sound people and overall performing in front of a large crowd. Both bands are veterans at this game and were able to shed some insight on how to keep life on the road fun and happy.

With ‘I’ll Be the Tornado’, it felt far more accomplished and dare we say, “grown up”. Did you approach the writing of this album differently than you had in the past at all?

We wrote a lot of it in the same way we wrote the past couple of releases but we put more time into it. We demoed a lot of it in 2013 and then did three tours without touching it, then came back to it in 2014 and reworked it even more and wrote new songs. We wanted to expand our sound and not just do what we were expected to do. As people we are getting older and pulling back a little more, in an attempt to make it count more.

The album seemed darker than ‘American Radass (This Is Important)’, both visually with the artwork and lyrically. Is there a central theme to the album, or anything that particularly inspired the shift?

A lot of the older stuff was a lot more fun and games but we also wanted to show that we can be serious people and that the music is isn’t a joke. I think once you put a serious cover and serious song titles into the project, you view it differently, but the songs in terms of where they come from, are the same.

How do you see yourselves expanding on the sound of ‘I’ll Be the Tornado’?

Definitely going to end up getting weirder and weirder, haha.

You are originally from New Jersey which obviously has a rich musical history. Were there any particular artists or musicians from there that inspired you to want to make music originally?

Definitely Bruce Springsteen!

What brought on the decision to relocate to Michigan?

We both met some great people and needed a change of pace. Sometimes it’s nice to settle down somewhere else for a couple years and see how a city or state moves differently than what you were used to for so long.

Finally, what does the future hold for Dads? What’s left on your “Bucket List” that you would still like to achieve as a band?

Would love to keep seeing more of the world, Japan, Australia, Alaska, Hawaii, and keep meeting great people.

Anything else you would like to add?

Thanks for having us!

Dads will be back in the UK with Lemuria on the following dates. They will also be joined by Personal Best on all the shows.


26 MANCHESTER Soundcontrol
27 SHEFFIELD The Harley
28 GLASGOW Audio
29 LEEDS Key Club
30 NOTTINGHAM Stuck on Name Studios
31 NORWICH Owl Sanctuary


01 PLYMOUTH Junction
02 CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
03 BRISTOL Exchange
05 LONDON The Dome
06 KINGSTON Fighting Cocks

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]