Here's a band that makes the type of music that you don't hear every day. The type of funky and groovy big-band jams that your friends and your parents will both jive to. We introduce to you, The Dip, a seven piece ensemble from Seattle, Washington. What started as a group who was just trying to rock house parties at the University of Washington has now rocked stages with bands like The California Honeydrops, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Earphunk and at notable festivals, like Sasquatch! What The Sound recently caught up with The Dip's co-founder and drummer, Jarred Katz, to talk about the band's newest EP, relationship with Beat Connection, bands they want to support in the future, and much more. Follow our interview below to read our conversation with Jarred and indulge yourself in some premium Northwest soul.
What The Sound: How did The Dip begin?
Jarred: Basically it was a group that wanted to play house parties at local house shows at University of Washington because we all were studying music in the jazz program. A lot of the music that we were studying was pretty challenging and we would hold concerts every quarter. It was pretty experimental, weird, avant-garde stuff that was really great to study but it was really hard to get friends out there. So we thought it would be really fun to get something going for parties, just to have a jam group. The first iteration of the group had a vibes player, we had the dude Ray Dalton who sang with Macklemore, he sang with us at a party or two, but it was called Buck Nasty then. We were big fans of Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, and James Brown, and all the great soul, so we were thinking, “What if we tried to make a group like that?”
WTS: Did Beat Connection start before The Dip?
Jarred: Yeah. Beat Connection started out as a duo between Reed and our friend Jordan, who's no longer in Beat Connection. It started out as an electronic duo in 2011 and they were doing house parties. Actually, there was a house party where it was Beat Connection and Buck Nasty played which was really funny. The first iteration of The Dip and the first of Beat Connection, they weren't a band and Tom had recorded with them but he wasn't performing live. Especially at house parties.
WTS: How many people are currently in The Dip?
Jarred: Seven. There was a while where it was nine. We had a percussionist and a keyboard player but we just settled at seven.
WTS: Can you walk us through The Dip's discography?
Jarred: First we made an EP that we recorded in our bedroom to have something out, that was in 2013. We decided that we wanted to do shows, Reed was doing some work at Neumos and booking out Barboza, and so we booked a Barboza gig at the end of the summer and did an EP release show. That was our first gig and it went really well. After that, we made the album which came out in 2015, just The Dip, self-titled. Then recently we just put out our instrumental EP called Won't Be Coming Back which we recorded in our practice space to a cassette tape so it's super crunchy, super tight. Very minimal mics, we used one mic on the drum set and tried to get that old school sound that a lot of the Daptone and truth and soul record labels used. We all really liked the way it came out.
WTS: Was there something that The Dip was trying to achieve with Won't Be Coming Back that differs from the older albums?
Jarred: Yeah, definitely. I think the sounds -- we tried to get much simpler here. Last time it was all 9 of us in three days recording our last album, it was kind of rushed. We didn't quite get the mic set-up we wanted and the sounds. It was fun being in that space, all nine of us, but this time we wanted sort of a crunchier sound, using much simpler recording equipment too with the tape machine. That was the goal, simplify and get what you get.
WTS: Are there bands that your band has mentioned wanting to open for?
Jarred: Yeah, there's a lot. Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields. Obviously those guys for sure. Any of the legends, like Al Green. St. Paul and the Broken Bones, or Alabama Shakes, groups like that. Orgone is pretty cool.
WTS: Have you guys ever decided to go downtown and busk on the street?
Jarred: We've done that. Not downtown but we used to do that around UW street fairs. I think we might do something weird, or maybe try to get an intimate night at the Seamonster in the fall.
WTS: Any Northwest bands that you really vibe with?
Jarred: Yeah, there's a group called Grace Love and the True Loves, they just opened for Charles Bradley last night. They're really similar to that Daptone vibe and they're really great people, great players. Polyrhythmics too. We want to play a show with them in the future. There's a great group called Lonesome Shack, they're kind of like old-blues style.
WTS: My parents are a fan of The Dip. My mom said it sounds like Chuck Mangione and my dad said it sounded like a '50's big band.
Jarred: Oh yeah, parents love The Dip. That's how we finance our tours. One time we played at one of our band member's parents' house for a BBQ. We just sold CDs and shirts and they almost cleaned us out, and that was crazy. That just doesn't happen.