Interview: Dinosaur Bones


Dinosaur Bones is set to release their debut full-length album, My Divider. This Toronto band has been gaining plenty of ground over the last few years and with a record release, they’re about to gain even more. I had a chance to chat with Ben Fox (vocals, guitar) and we talked about all the excitement right now and busy times ahead.

A lot has happened to these fellas over the year, particularly since the fall when they signed to Dine Alone Records. Ben comments, “It was a combination of excitement and relief because we had been sitting on our record for quite some time and we’re really happy to have found a home for it and a home for the band and to have it be a record label we’ve all looked up to for so long.”

My Divider will be released on this Tuesday, March 8th. Obviously, this is something the guys are really looking forward to.

“I’m really happy that people will finally be able to hear it. We’re really proud of it and I’m excited to hear what people think and be able to play some shows to people that have our record. It’s really exciting.”

After the release of their record, they’ve got a lot going on. Ben observes, “This is the calm before the storm. We have a week left of sleep and relaxation and day jobs.”

He goes over their hectic schedule with me.

“We release the album on Tuesday. We’re playing MTV Live on Tuesday. Then there’s a bunch of showcases. Our official showcase is Lee’s Palace on the 11th, which is also kind of a CD release party. There’s a weekend of CMW and then literally Sunday we get on the road and head south to Texas. We’re playing about 5 shows in Texas and then we get back and there’s about a week or 5 days or so and then we head on tour on Tokyo. Our schedule has never been so insane.”

Laughing a little, I say, “I guess that’s what happens when you release a record.” And indeed, Dinosaur Bones is making the most out of every opportunity to get their record out there.

As for what they’re most looking forward to, Ben isn’t really sure.

“Everything, really. I’m excited about everything in different ways. I’m really excited to get back to SXSW because it’s just the greatest musical experience/festival I’ve ever been apart of. It’s so much fun. It’s like Mardi Gras for rock bands… not even rock bands, Mardi Gras for people who drink too much, you know. There’re venues everywhere. You see so much amazing music, so many great bands that you wouldn’t necessarily get a chance to. It’s basically CMW and NXNE and Pop Montreal and Halifax Pop all rolled into one.

And the Tokyo Police Club tour is going to be incredible. This is going to be our first big cross-Canada tour, our first opportunity to play new cities and to be doing it alongside a band as incredible as Tokyo is kind of insane. Yeah, we’re over the moon.”

Ben doesn’t really have trouble deciding on a couple favourite tour spots, at least currently.

“I really like the East Coast. I think Halifax is an amazing city. I really love playing in Halifax and just hanging out there. It’s got a great vibe. New York City is a big one and it’s very cool to go to New York and have a good show and to have people come out. It’s an exciting thing because it’s such a huge monster of a city, with so much art and so many great bands doing things down there.”

He then says, “There are tons of places we haven’t played yet. We’ve kind of been hitting a lot of the same circuits. We’ve gone out to the East Coast a bunch. We kinda do the Northeast U.S. a lot, like the New York-Washington DC-Boston-Philadelphia circuit. And then we’ve played in Texas. There’s still a lot of ground that we haven’t covered. While we have been busy, we’ve been playing a lot of the same sort of areas and markets. We’re really looking forward to heading out to the West Coast. Vancouver’s a great city. We haven’t played there, but I think that’s going to be a lot of fun. And we should be playing some more U.S. dates in new cities – West cities – after the tour.”

Ben and the rest of the guys are certainly looking forward to gaining new fans in new places and with such a massive schedule ahead, they’ve got lots of opportunities for that ahead.

When you listen to the album, you’ll not only hear Ben’s voice, but you’ll be listening to his words too. In describing his writing process, he says, “I try to keep things as honest as possible and as rooted in real life as possible, so I don’t often find myself determining to write about things. It’s more just thoughts and ideas and emotions, letting that kind of steer the direction of the song, and letting the tone of a song kind of inspire the lyrics and direct the lyrics.”

Having played many shows in the 3 years that Dinosaur Bones has been around, the guys have certainly harnessed their sound.

Ben says, “When we first started, what we were working with was songs that I had written and arranged, showing the guys the parts and then we’d go from there. Over the past 3 years we’ve played a ton of shows and there’s no better way to learn as a band than to tour and you get better and you see what works and everyone fine-tunes their tones and their playing gets better. I think we’ve just developed and grown into our skin a bit.”

As far as a drunk story goes, Ben offers up one about Branko Scekic (bass).

“We do have some memories from Halifax and one that story that comes up every once and again… We were all out partying and it was the last night of Halifax Pop and we were heading back to play a show in Montreal the next morning. We all broke from each other and Branko never came home and we were wondering where he was. We had to leave at 7 in the morning to get on the road and make it to the show in Montreal. We wake up and he’s still not there and we get a phone call and it’s Branko. He had been arrested for being drunk and was thrown in the drunk tank and spent the night in the drunk tank. He walked out of the town drunk house, hopped in the van and we drove for 12 hours to Montreal to play a show, while he was lacing his shoes back up because they take your laces. Apparently that’s just something that they do. They’re big on the drunk tank in Halifax. That’s super common there.”

Their shot of choice is easy.

“It would have to be whiskey, for sure. I think that’s pretty much unanimous across the board.”

Catch Dinosaur Bones at CMW and be sure to buy them shots. Their big CD release showcase will be at Lee’s Palace on Friday, March 11 and their set time is at 11:00pm. They’ve also got an free in-store performance at Sonic Boom on Thursday, March 10 and a daytime set at 4:15 on Saturday, March 12 at The Baitshop. If you miss them then, they’ve got lots of touring ahead so be on the lookout for dates near you.

Oh and don’t forget to pick up My Divider!

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One Comment on “Interview: Dinosaur Bones”

  1. Chiara
    March 7, 2011 at 7:51 AM #

    Great interview! I remember the first time I met these guys – it involved pouring rain, pitas and a drunken guitarist sporting a sombrero – oh SCENE 2009 :)

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