FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MEDIA RELEASE
It’s been a couple of years since legendary outfit Dragon released new material, but now the wait for fans is over. The band is gearing up for another highly anticipated release, the first of their forthcoming EPs due out through MGM this month. Dragon will be showcasing the new Chase the Sun EP at an official launch in Sydney at the iconic The Basement on July 21.
Bassist Todd Hunter, whose previous songwriting exploits include not only Dragon hits, but the revered Age of Reason, says the EP has been a long time coming and was recorded in segments. This means fans can look out for several EP releases over the next 12 months, rather than just one full-length album. The EP’s recording process has seen the band dabble with different techniques, bringing a new diversity to their sound. “The nature of recording has changed for us,” says Todd. “We used to stop playing live and go into isolation in a studio for months and keep at it until the recording was finished. Now, with the technology currently available to use, we are recording all the time in many different environments.”
The Chase the Sun EP is the essence of what Dragon’s music is all about. The EP is only the second release of new material in recent decades (after the 2009 Happy I Am album). Despite the 20-odd years between new original material, there is still a strong cohesion in Dragon’s songwriting style. The band’s current line-up -Todd Hunter (bass), Mark Williams (vocals), Pete Drummond (drums) and Bruce Reid (guitar)- have found themselves a musical niche, resulting in more than 25 new songs, from which the five tracks for this EP were selected.
The exciting thing about the Chase the Sun EP is that it means something all new for Dragon. The band itself has undergone a metamorphous in recent years, and this is reflective in their sound and songwriting. “We are releasing this EP because it's what we do and we love it,” Todd says. “The band may have been around for a long time but not in this form. It's a case of old brand / new band and it's thrilling to write and play new stuff.” Chase the Sun showcases strong tracks with the catchy musical hooks Dragon have become known for, but with a modern slant. Produced and recorded by drummer Pete Drummond, the songs on this EP were co-written by Pete and his partner Bec, continuing the strong tradition behind Dragon’s personal songwriting approach.
“During 2010 the band spent a lot of time traveling both at home and in New Zealand,” Pete says. “I was determined to write some songs, so I spent my spare time in hotels and airports etc, sketching ideas and recording rough demos. I took those ideas home and played them to Bec. We talked about lyric ideas and had fun fleshing the sketches out together. Sometimes the demos were already fairly complete and we finished them off together. Other times it was Bec who brought melodies or lyric ideas for us to work on. Most of the songs evolved that way. For my part the lyrics are based on the things I feel about the world around me; the climate we're living in and the social conventions and dysfunctions that we're greeted with on a daily basis.”
The drums were recorded at Linear and Rancom Street studios and Pete’s Pear Studios in the Blue Mountains. “Other bits were recorded into the mic on a powerbook in hotel rooms, band rooms and airport lounges,” Todd says about the band’s collaborations on the songs. “We all made the trek up to Pete’s to do our parts, so it was a day each for guitars, bass and vocals. I'm constantly listening to Pete coming up with different music. He'll start with a guitar, piano or a drum idea. It then sparks an image in my mind and I put that into words. It's usually about stuff from my life. I like that life is random and unpredictable. I guess that's how I like to write - I try not to over-think it. So in short ‘shit happens and then you write a song about it’.”
Having just toured the breadth of the country as part of their British Invasion tour, the band has also been trialing some of the new material on audiences, with positive results. “We have been very pleased with the way they are being received,” Todd says. “People are singing from the second chorus, which is a very good sign and are completely accepting of them.”
The official EP launch at The Basement will be a chance for the band to play the EP from start to finish. They’re also including a set that includes some Dragon rarities and crowd favourites. Chase the Sun five-track EP is due for release on July 21. The EP is distributed through MGM and will be available via iTunes. The first single from the EP, titled 21 (Heart of Gold) is out now.
Thursday 21st July 2011
The Basement, Sydney NSW
29 Reiby Place, Sydney NSW 2000
www.thebasement.com.au | (02) 9251 2797
www.dragononline.com.au | www.youtube.com/dragonnzozmusic