Toronto’s Dearly Beloved return with their second album Enduro! on June 9. Recorded with Chris Goss (Masters Of Reality/Sound City Players) and Dave Catching (Earthlings/Eagles of Death Metal) at the infamous Rancho de la Luna studio in Joshua Tree, California, the album is a scuzzy punk/metal rumble which will appeal to fans of QOTSA, Black Flag and Black Sabbath alike.
As we present this exclusive preview of the title track, TeamRock spoke with bassist and co-vocalist Rob Higgins to discuss the making of the album and the guidance he received from his uncle, Rush’s Geddy Lee.
Q. We understand that you booked your band into Rancho de la Luna without having any songs prepared?
RH: “I can understand how that approach isn’t necessarily for everybody, but it worked just great for us. We’d recorded there before and so we knew that, based on past experiences, we could open ourselves to letting the songs come to us, pulling them out of the air and seeing where they took us. The magic that comes from that can be really exciting for a group of musicians. We’d wake up, have coffee together, throw some hand axes, do some archery and shoot some BB guns, listen to some Black Sabbath and Fear and Bad Brains on vinyl – and that’s not a standard morning for us, I should add – and then head into the studio and create our own vibes. It was different, but good different.”
Q. For those who’re unfamiliar with your band, what kind of musical influences fuel Dearly Beloved?
RH: “Well, in the beginning, it was bands who had a real raw, exciting, sweaty live energy, so bands like Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi, Nomeansno, bands who can really bring a live rock ‘n’ roll show.”
Q. Newcomers to the band also might be unaware that your uncle is Geddy Lee from Rush: what advice has he been able to impart to you?
RH: “Geddy is my mom’s little brother and he’s a great guy, a funny dude and a great musician, and I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with him and indeed jam on music with him. I think one of the greatest things he ever taught me was just to always remember to take my wallet onstage! He mentioned that at the very beginning and that was very wise: to this day I check that I have my wallet on my person every night we go onstage. He’s been incredibly generous with his time and his input over the years, but he’s never been someone to tell me how to do things, and sometimes that can be the best support of all. “
Q. So people can hear Enduro! right here: is the title track representative of what to expect from the album?
RH: “I think so. It’s a bit of a scorcher that first song, but in fairness there’s not a lot of let up on the rest of the record. We give the ear a break on songs 3, 4, 7 and 10 but other than that… To test drive these songs every day we’d make a CD of the songs and drive out into the desert into the middle of nowhere as fast as we could go in a rental car, and if any song didn’t feel good in that context, we’d chuck it. So what we have left as Enduro! is a pretty rad driving record.”