Good Doogs seemingly came from nowhere. With their jangly brand of sun-drenched surf-punk, the band have quickly become one of the country’s most beloved bands.
So ahead of their set at Shakafest next month, we caught up with drummer Michael Grainger to chat about their latest single, the Mandurah music scene, and getting your mates name tattooed on you.
Fresh off the release of their new single Want That, we caught up with Good Doogs’ Michael Grainger to chat about the new track, playing live, and being from regional Australia.
HAPPY: It’s been two months now, almost since you released Want That… how are you feeling about it now that you’ve had some time to sit on it?
MICHAEL: Yeah, Want That is definitely my favourite one of our songs that we’ve ever released. It’s kind of done a lot more than I though it would. It’s really taken off and everyone’s really gotten behind it the video and that… so yeah, it’s been a lot better than I thought it would be… which is sick.
HAPPY: Well you guys only played your first show last year, right?
HAPPY: And everything’s been pretty hectic since then… do you feel you’ve really had a chance to kinda stop and really take it all in?
MICHAEL: Not really, hey. After show last year, it’s all been really full on. We haven’t really stopped since then. There hasn’t really been a point for us to, as you say, take it all in. I’m sure once everything’s said and done, we’ll be like “woah,” but at the moment it hasn’t really sunk in yet. We’re grateful for everything that’s happening… it’s sick… but we haven’t really had time to really appreciate it.
HAPPY: With that first show, I had a mate who was over there for it, and he reckons it was hectic. I feel it would take mosts bands a while to build that kind of a following, but you guys seem to have had one since the get-go… how long had this project been in the works for before that night?
MICHAEL: So we released the first single in April last year, but we’d only been jamming for maybe two or three weeks before that. It was real sudden. There was nothing really happening in the Mandurah music scene, so as soon as something came about, everyone kinda jumped on and rode the wave with us. Everyone was really supportive, so it was really sick.
HAPPY: I’ve never personally been to Mandurah, but could you tell us a bit about what’s happening over there music wise?
MICHAEL: Yeah there’s not really much. We’re kinda trying to be that band that gets a scene going. There’s a couple of other bands, but they’re a little bit smaller… but yeah, we’re trying to be that pioneering band that’ll get things off the ground, so there is a bit of scene going. Because it’s something that we grew up without, and it’s something that everyone should have… in my book at least.
HAPPY: Do you wanna give those other bands a shoutout? Is there anyone we should be paying attention to?
MICHAEL: Yeah have a listen to Indigo! They’re pretty cool.
HAPPY: Too right! Will do. You guys are interesting, because normally when a band is from an area without any real bustling music scene, they tend to move away. And I can imagine that would get pretty tempting… what’s kept you from doing that?
MICHAEL: Pretty much the want to help out. I’ve been living here my whole life, so there are so many of our friends here, and we want them to have fun things to do. That’s why we’re championing the whole movement in Mandurah. We just want to get something going. But it does make it super hard living in rural, regional Australia. You know, the travel alone from Perth to anywhere else in Australia is so huge… so we’d have to Perth then travel to everywhere else.
HAPPY: You guys still manage to keep up a pretty hectic tour schedule though. You just finished your So Dumb tour, and you’re about to head back on the road for your Want That tour… does it ever get draining on you? Or do you just love it?
MICHAEL: I’d say we love it, yeah. We’re still in the little honeymoon period where it’s all really fun. I’m sure that later down the track it’ll get a bit tedious when you’ve got to keep going. But at the moment it’s heaps of fun. We don’t mind it.
HAPPY: On the last tour, you sold out like every date… what’s it like seeing a full room of people belting out your tunes? Do you think that’ll ever get old?
MICHAEL: I don’t think that’ll ever get old. There’s nothing in the world similar to it. It’s such a surreal feeling when there’s people you’ve never met in your entire life there singing the words to the songs you write. We’ve never really considered ourselves musicians, so it’s pretty weird having all these people singing your words. It’s a lot to take in, I guess.
HAPPY: You guys have gotten pretty close as a band. I understand you’ve got each others names tattooed on yourselves… is that right?
MICHAEL: I’ve got Asher and Dyl tattooed on me, but I already had a Good Doogs tattoo. So I tattooed Good Doogs on each of them.
HAPPY: What were the circumstances that led to you getting their names tattooed on you?
MICHAEL: There was just a tattoo gun there. Then it just happened. If there’s a tattoo gun somewhere, you know dumb shit’s gonna happen.
HAPPY: If one of my mates ever gets my name tattooed on them, I’d be chuffed. That’s a big commitment…
MICHAEL: Yeah I’ve only known Asher for like eighteen months… so hopefully we stay friends.
You can also catch them performing at Festival of the Sun on December 13-15 at Port Macquarie Breakwall Park.