By Janelle Abad
SXSW Press Team
I first saw Dilly Dally at the CMJ 2015 Music Marathon in the middle of New York City surrounded by strangers that would soon become very good friends of mine to my right and strangely enough, Bob Boilen of NPR to my left. I had never heard of Dilly Dally before venturing to the lower level of the Santos Party House, but I was wowed by frontwoman Katie Monks’ consistent, blood boiling howls and the buzzing guitars. The term “dilly dally” itself is defined as “to move or act too slowly; to waste time,” but the energy that snaked across the stage and into the crowd was not that of a slow transfer. At this year’s SXSW music festival in Austin, I sat down with the Toronto, Canada natives before their last two performances of the week.
Janelle Abad: Is this your guys’ first time here at SXSW?
Katie Monks: It’s Dilly Dally’s first time
JA: So you guys have been here before. What has your experience been at South By?
Ben Reinhartz: I’ve been here with a couple other bands and it was a time. It was a time to be had a couple of years ago.
JA: Which bands were you with?
BR: A band called Rituals and another band called Neon Windbreaker.
JA: What are you expecting from South By and what has your experience been like so far?
KM: This week has been super chill and I thought it was going to be very chaotic, but we’re just lucky. There’s so many cool people here and cool people we work with. The shows are very organized from our experience so we just show up and play our songs. It’s kind of wonderful.
I feel like I’m kind of treated the same way at the airport in a way. It’s like people keep explaining a million times, “okay here is where you bring your gear, here’s exactly what time you have to play and how many minutes, here’s water.” I don’t know people kind of treat you like a zombie like you’re at the airport.
JA: That’s interesting that you say that. Has load in been the same kind of load in and everything from venue to venue?
Liz Ball: No, it’s pretty different for every venue. Last night we played the Hype Hotel and that was definitely the most swanky. But everything else has been like okay, load in and do your thing.
JA: What bands are you looking forward to seeing or have you seen already?
LB: We saw Downtown Boys on Wednesday at Cheer Up Charlie’s. It was awesome. That was great.
KM: I got chills. It was so so powerful. I loved it. When we were driving away we saw Downtown Boys walking down the street and our windows were down. We were like, “We love you guys!” And they were like “We love you guys!” It was so cute.
JA: Speaking of band connections, I saw you guys were friends with Bully – or at least you tweeted at them.
KM: We’ve been talking a lot online. We really want to tour with those guys and they want to tour with us too. Hopefully some day in the future. But we’re going to hang out, finally.
Jimmy Tony: Yeah, it would be really fun.
JA: I feel like you guys would get along really well with each other too. Alicia’s a cool girl.
KM: They’re so chill. I dig the vibe – I’m down!
JA: You guys are from Toronto. What kinds of things about Toronto do you see that are very similar to the Austin area?
KM: There’s beards. A lot of beards here. Food is very good!
LB: Food’s popular! I feel like Toronto is a very “foodie” city and I feel like Austin is very “foodie” too.
How did you guys collaborate and make Dilly Dally? How was the band born?
KM: Liz and I started the band six or seven years ago and we’ve had different bassists and drummers. Tony and Ben have been playing with us for two years now and that’s when this first record really came together and things became more momentous. But the dream of it all has been there for a long time.
JA: Talking about Sore, what was the recording process like and how was it different from previous experiences?
KM: We knew what we wanted more. We’d already worked with those producers, Josh and Leon, before for another record that never ended up coming out so if felt like second round.
LB: We recorded a lot of those songs already so it was pretty easy. The recording process is easy. It’s more of the mastering or production – doing the fine tuning. I feel like that takes more work that actually just playing your guitar.
JA: Is it nerve-wracking to see someone else’s hands on your record or did you feel very trusted towards the producers that were working on it?
KM: There were some times of push and pull, of course. I think Leon and Josh were also really emotionally invested in the project. They had ideas as well when we were in the studio so sometimes it’s good that there’s a push and pull. Everybody respects each other a lot as artists – everyone that we work with any way. You hire them because you want their opinion in the room. It doesn’t mean that you don’t disagree with them sometimes, you know? It’s kind of just part of collaborating. It’s a pretty cool process.
JA: What is your guys’ favorite song to perform live?
KM: I mean it changes every night for me. There’s a song about having to cut ties with an old friend. There’s somebody in my life that’s a friend that I feel like hasn’t been around anymore for the past week so that’s been my song lately. It depends on what’s going on.
BR: It really depends on the show. But I like playing certain songs over others because on the drums they’re just more fun. “Gender Roles” is a really fun one because there’s a lot of tom tom stuff and I like Tom. Tom’s a good friend of mine. Tommy boy. It’s fun to play!
KM: It is fun to play. I do like a Ned Flanders scream in it! The purple drape scream.
JA: I can’t imagine being in the studio and going crazy like that. How different is it screaming in the studio versus screaming in front of a crowd? Do you still get nervous before you perform?
KM: Oh! I have a great answer for this because when I’m in the studios singing my vocals, I’ll (often) imagine playing a show – like a dream show, a beautiful show where everyone’s like ‘ahhh!’ Like when we’ve finally made it, you know what I mean? I remember when I was in the studio doing vocals for “Next Gold” I was just imagining a crazy, summer festival party.
JA: Speaking of your dream show, what would be your dream venue or what has been your favorite venue that you’ve played so far?
KM: I mean playing outside is really nice except the sound can be hit or miss. But playing outside is amazing! There’s so many different variables. I think it’d be cool to play in a palace. That’d be dope! Or the CN tower! That’d be sick!
JA: After South By, what are your guys’ plans for the rest of the year?
LB: We have a tour in a couple weeks with Fat White Family and then we’re flying to Europe again and we’re going to do some festivals.