I was fortunate enough to interview Doghouse and receive a stream of thoughts and information that has brought to life an even more fascinating character. Let’s just say I have unearthed some of the mystery that makes him a special part of the festival and live music circuit.
The former front man of Punk Rave band Sicknote, Doghouse will be gracing us the 24th of February at The Booth Hall in Hereford with support from Hardcore Traveller Punk band Reality Attack and local Noise Rock band Wolfcryer. Expect the building to shake with the latter two. Hey why not? You want a good party we will give it to you.
“I would say that my lyrics are a call for action, a condemnation of the status quo. I like to use humour, to elevate the role of the fool and re-affirm his unique position, as someone who can scathingly criticise the powers that be. The only man who can tell the king the truth and get away with it”
Then prepare yourself to be put into the DOGHOUSE where you find your toes and minds tapping. I mean really…our minds will do little cartwheels. In between acts you will get a chance to get your dance on while DJ BDS Last Tree Squad fills the sound waves with some pretty bomb reggae, hip-hop and bass tunes. Will you ever be the same again after this night? We hope not.
We have also been fortunate enough to team up with the ‘No Herefordshire Cull’ Benefit gig on the following Saturday night (February 25th) headlined by Citizen Fish and two other great support acts –Reverend Schneider and The Band of Angels and Owain Price. We are offering a Weekender Special price of £11 for two nights of great live music with a purpose.
HEREFORD CITY CENTRIC: So tell me a bit about what the name Doghouse represents?
DOGHOUSE: When I first started writing and singing with Sicknote I was interested in automatic writing, a process embraced by the surrealists, whereby one writes without thinking or censorship… a literary form of doodling. One has to empty the mind, become an empty vessel, allowing the messages to come through from the ether, then the writer becomes a simple mouthpiece for universal consciousness. I wanted to apply this process to my lyrics, and to emphasise this so I invented an alter-ego, Doghouse, who I said was a late Mississippi Delta blues man who transmitted his message through me. I just thought the name Doghouse was the ideal moniker for a blues singer. It has no reflection on my relationships with the opposite sex. Lol.
HCC: Do you consider your lyrics protest lyrics? I sense a theme, can you elaborate on what your music is about?
DH: I would say that my lyrics are a call for action, a condemnation of the status quo. I like to use humour, to elevate the role of the fool and re-affirm his unique position, as someone who can scathingly criticise the powers that be. The only man who can tell the king the truth and get away with it. In the royal courts of Europe Fools were greatly feared for their unique, intimate relationships with the crowned sovereigns of the time.
HCC: People know you from your band Sicknote who had quite a following and I am sure they will be anticipating your return. What is different this time?
DH: This time I am all encompassing. I have produced the music, written the words and devised the stage show. This is Doghouse at his idiosyncratic best. Nothing is watered down. It is a constant state of becoming.
HCC: What inspires Doghouse (Jason) in this rather crazy world?
DH: The void.
HCC: Do you have any other gigs or festivals lined up?
DH: Yes, so far we have been booked to play Bearded Theory Festival, Feral Fest, Surplus Festival and Boomtown Festival in the UK, and in Europe we are scheduled to play Frequency Festival in Portugal, Tropen Tango in Germany and The ADM in Holland.
HCC: Impressive! You seem to be wearing mime makeup, what is that about? And also, who are the characters dancing/doing performance art behind you? I like them a lot…they make it more than just about music.
DH: We wore white face-paint in one of our videos purely as a visual device. Our personas changes all the time, one minute we like to project an image of post-war European cabaret, the next we might be blinged up council estate chavs… Its good to keep a balance between highbrow and base culture. The dancers in the video are my partner and her children. Including the family conveys the idea that we are inclusive… a wholistic D.I.Y approach. We really live this. My partner, Slugbucket is now a permanent fixture in the show. She is my muse, my spiritual guide and my nemesis. Lol.
HCC: N’aww. Where are you originally from Jason? Do you consider yourself a traveller? If you are a traveller what makes the traveller music scene unique and stand out amongst the rest of the world? It seems everyone is supportive of each other in a big way with promo.
DH: I was born in Portsmouth, a navy town. My father was in the navy so we moved around a lot. I spent some of my formative years in Singapore, then we moved back to the UK and settled in the North of England, Wigan in Lancashire. There I was lucky enough to witness the birth of punk, and Wigan was a thriving hotbed of DIY punk. I played bass in my first band at the age of 13. I would consider myself a traveller, both of inner space and outer, although I try to stay on the outskirts of any social grouping. You could say I am a Groucho Marxist… Any club that would have me as a member, I don’t want to be a member of.
HCC: What acts besides Doghouse of course, do you recommend to look out for in 2017?
DH: I saw a French band in Amsterdam last year who blew me away… Deadwood, who we will be playing alongside in March. They, like us, are a two-piece who produce an infectious electro blues swamp noise. Highly recommended. Another band to watch out for are the Bad Fractals, who have been busying away in the studio working on their debut album. I heard a sneak preview and can categorically say it is a classic album by anyone’s standards… a dirty slab of invigorating rock sleaze.
HCC: What instruments do you use on stage? Is it just a keyboard/synthesizer? Do you make all the music yourself?
DH: My instrument is Logic Pro, and my laptop is my studio… It keeps everything simple and is easy to transport. I would hate to be a drummer. Lol
HCC: What can we look forward to from Doghouse during The Underground Revolution show?
DH: Music to make your feet work and words to make your mind work, presented in a way that will have you mesmerised…. A ceremony to provoke an in- the- moment consciousness… and a few belly laughs.!!!
HCC: We are more than anticipating your arrival on The Booth Hall stage. We know we have a night of wonders ahead of us. Have you released any material such as ep’s/lp’s/albums?
DH: We released our debut double album, Idiot Savant, last year. 20 tracks available to download on Bandcamp that document the void left after the demise of Sicknote, and a determination to move forward individually, to continue the amazing legacy left after 9 years of Sickness.
Images provided by Doghouse
Doghouse Bandcamp page here
Doghouse Facebook page here
WEEKENDER PRICE £11 FOR BOTH SHOWS AT THE BOOTH HALL
Door for 24th of February 2017 only £6 Entry 18+ only Doors 7:30pm
See event for more details HERE