An interview with Dosser – Maryland’s elite rockers
Through the colossal mountain of music now out there in the world, it has sadly become a rarity to stumble upon artists who seem to completely embody the genre they exist in. Enter Dosser, a US outfit based in Maryland, who are bringing the very essence of guitar rock into the 21st century, with flickers of grunge and pop-rock in perfect coexistence. The band’s music evokes a lovely amount of nostalgia, snapshots of moments within rock music that no longer seem to be operating at the same levels that they once did. Dosser is a band that feels extremely familiar, yet all the while, lives within its own domain.
The band was formed in the summer of 2018 by Will Teague, Bret Lanahan, Eric Dudley and Max Detrich, who wasted no time in getting their music out to fans, with the arrival of the self-released EP Brainscan in 2019. The band later signed with Really Rad Records In 2020, resulting in a re-master and re-release of the band’s debut EP in 2021. Brainscan certainly packs a punch, with dirty fuzz and raw punk-rock energy, whilst always maintaining a captivating melodic tone.
The band have just released an exciting new single titled ‘Joy Thief’, which dropped on September 2nd as the first single from an upcoming album project. The entire output from Dosser is nothing short of captivating, from their powerful collection of songs to the intricate details found in their artwork, all adding to this fantastic DIY raw essence that made genres such as grunge and pop-rock, such a worldwide phenomenon.
The band note early influences such as Weezer, Jaw Box and the early Foofighters albums. After being submerged in the bellowing wall of sound that Dosser produce, I can certainly take note of the references, whilst also being entirely aware that everything that the band do, is with a fresh and unique approach.
I thoroughly enjoyed diving into the band’s debut EP and new single, and was lucky to be able to interview the band about everything they have coming up.
Watch the music video for ‘Joy Thief’ by Dosser
Hello guys, welcome to IAMUR! I firstly just want to say thank you for taking the time for this interview. To begin could you tell our readers about how Dosser first came into existence back in 2018, and how would you describe your music to new listeners?
Dosser started in 2018 when the four of us were either out of bands or in bands that had dwindled down. Before that, I had booked Max and Bret’s old band Bested in my living room in 2017. The three of us played shows together a few times, and realized we all had very similar music tastes. I liked their band, and they liked my previous band Graver. I set up a “jam date” so to speak after Max told me he was serious about wanting to start a band after a show at a bar in Frederick, MD called Guido’s. We realized we needed a bassist, so I tapped Eric in as I was impressed by his bass playing in whenskiesaregray and Leveless. My friend and former guitar teacher Nate Jensen texted me “I’m not sure if this is ‘punk’ or just good rock music” after Joy Thief came out. I think that’s the best description I’ve heard of us so
Your EP ‘Brainscan’, originally self-released in 2019 and remastered for vinyl in 2021, perfectly reflects the raw and gritty sound of the band. What can you remember about those first few recording sessions for the project, and how has the relationship with those songs changed since its re-release?
In comparison to the most recent recording session we did, I would say we were a lot more pressed for time, and had a smaller budget. Still, Kevin Bernsten was willing to take us on, and did an outstanding job. I think we did that album in three-four 8-10 hour days which is amazing to me. However, my bandmates are as meticulous as I am when it comes to being a “tight” band live and on record, so I guess I’m not too surprised. We also demoed the entire album with my childhood friend Joey in his basement/bedroom beforehand. He accidentally deleted Max’s drum tracks after too many bong hits, and Max had to re-record them immediately after he finished. I still have a good laugh about that
After throwing myself deep into your music, I was stunned by the sheer power bellowing out of the speakers. What was the catalyst for you to decide to begin making music in this genre? Was there a particular song or artist which captured your attention?
I don’t think there was a particular song or artist. We all like 90s indie/alternative stuff that’s really loud and kind of sad. Sparklehorse, Hum, Failure, etc. Eric and I grew up playing in everything from ska to punk to screamo bands. Bret and Max were more on the noise rock side of things. As far as more modern bands go, I think we all dig Big Bite, Slow Pulp, and Webbed Wing.
You certainly look set to be pretty busy over the next few months, touring around the US with ‘Piano’s Become The Teeth’. Is there a particular show that you are most excited about during the tour, and which show to date has been your most memorable?
I’m really excited to play Detroit, MI. I grew up listening to a lot of bands from there, and always came close to playing there, but always somehow missed it. Baltimore was my favorite show so far. I grew up going to Ottobar, and always dreamed of playing a packed out show there. That was incredible
Last month you released a new music video for ‘Breather’, which perfectly mirrors the raw power of the track. I was really captured by the simple yet thought-provoking nature of the lyrics, which seem to ponder on themes such as mental health. Where do these themes and ideas come from in the writing process? Is there something in particular that you find keeps grabbing your attention and makes you want to begin writing?
I can’t speak to Bret’s lyrics for Breather cause that’s his song, but there’s some overlap in the way we write. Neither of us want to be too blunt or direct, but it’s all personally anecdotal to some kind of mental health battle, relationship, or life struggle. Writing about those things and connecting with others at shows or people that message you online about the record always makes you feel a lot less alone.
I love the way that the visual aesthetic of the band is as gripping and striking as the music, from the live videos, the intricate artwork and of course, the music videos. Is this side of the band something that is given a lot of thought, and could you tell us how the artwork for ‘Brainscan’ came into being?
I copped the name Brainscan from a horror film from the 90s starring Edward Furlong. It’s based on a virtual reality video game in which the main character subconsciously kills his neighbors, but doesn’t realize that it’s actually happening in real life. I gave my good friend David Van the description of the film, as well as me and Bret’s lyrics, then he came up with the artwork. David is a die hard Guided By Voices fan, so he enjoys making collage art out of stuff he finds thrifting and pages out of books/magazines/etc. I think what I was getting at was listening to the album was supposed to be like going inside of me and Bret’s brains where you can subconsciously take on us as characters like Edward Furlong does in the film with the serial killing monster
There have been some little hints on your Instagram page, suggesting that some new music may be on the way. Is there anything that you could tell us about upcoming releases or plans you may have for the rest of the year? Perhaps an LP is on the way?
We recently released a single/video for our song Joy Thief. We have plans to release a couple more this year and the new full length record will be out early next year via Really Rad Records. Oh, and playing LOTS of shows in the DMV area!
In 2020, you announced your signing to Really Rad Records, an awesome DIY label that appears to be continually growing from strength to strength. After first beginning the band by self-releasing your tracks, what was that change like to then be working side by side with a label?
We love working with Garty and Em. It’s basically like having a fifth and sixth member to bounce ideas off of and take on some of the logistics of being in a band. They also help us out financially, so we can focus on spending our money on cool Adidas gear.
When I first came across your music, the band name instantly took me back to the heated Tyson Fury boxing press conferences labelling all his opponents as ‘Dossers’. Is that where the band name came from, and could you tell us how you came to that decision as a band?
I watch a lot of British television and films. I guess I have my mom to thank for that. She’s obsessed with all things British. I came across the term a few times watching shows and movies, then looked up the definition. I felt it kind of resonated to where I was at in life. Never living in the same place for more than a year tops. Drinking too much. Not holding a job down for very long before getting tired of it, and quitting. Thankfully times are a lot less tough than they were back then, and I’m happily getting married next year to the love of my life. Follow my instagram @bill_sharkey if you want to see lots of photos of our weird, haunted Baltimore rowhouse and our cats.