Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Dawes takes Iron City tonight


The phrase “Roll Tide” can be heard anywhere in Alabama at almost any time, and has been used as an exclamation, greeting and remark, just to name a few. But thanks to the band Dawes, it’s also found its way into alternative rock as a slap-in-the-face to an ex-love’s new man. The track “Roll Tide” is featured on their 2016 album “We’re All Gonna Die.” 

“It’s not really about college football, but there is that associative quality,” said the band’s drummer Griffin Goldsmith. “It’s just about a girl who ended up dating a guy from Birmingham after she dated our friend.”

Tonight, Dawes will take the Iron City stage in Birmingham as part of their “An Evening with Dawes” tour, which features their longest setlist to date. Not only will they croon the “Roll Tide” lyrics “Your boy from Birmingham seems nice enough to me / But unqualified for you, and your heavy vibes,” but will also treat the audience to hours more of their distinct live sound. Last week, Rolling Stone featured a video of their 2009 breakout “When My Time Comes,” praising them for harmonies and audience interaction. 

The first four performances of the tour were recorded and compiled into a live album titled “We’re All Gonna Live.” The album’s cover includes a phone number for fans to call.

“I think it was just for that purpose, to get people to call so they could leave messages and we could listen to them,” Goldsmith said. “It’s all in good humor. There’ve been some [interesting messages] for sure.”

Bass player Wylie Gelber, along with Dawes’ lead singer Taylor Goldsmith (brother of Griffith) were in another band called Simon Dawes before this group came together. They are joined by Alex Casnoff on guitar. At the time the current group formed, Taylor Goldsmith and Gelber were living together, and Griffith Goldsmith would ride over to their house to jam out. 

“I would drive over from Malibu and we would start jamming and playing songs,” Goldsmith said. “Eventually we booked some gigs in L.A. and came up with the band name and that’s kind of how it started. It was just organic.”

From their first album “North Hills,” named for their Los Angeles suburb, to now, the band has garnered a serious fan base and played thousands of shows. Their sound has been organically growing and changing along the way.

“I’d like to think Dawes has more of an identity now than we did from the first record because we were still trying to figure out to how play our instruments at that point,” Goldsmith said. “But now I’d like to think you could put on a Dawes song and you wouldn’t mistake it for anything else.”

Indeed, their live sound both on stage and on a recorded album is unmistakeable Dawes. For Goldsmith, one song in particular has been a joy to play lately.

“Lately my favorite song has been ‘Less Than Five Miles Away’ because when we recorded it it was kind of piecemeal,” Goldsmith said. “There were a lot of different thigns happening percussionally. I have a lot of fun with that one on stage because it’s a challenge and a lot of fun to play.”

“We’re All Gonna Die” is available on iTunes and streaming sites now. The album is an honest story from start to finish, and Dawes’ unmistakably honest lyrics give it a clean vulnerability that matches the live sound. Taylor Goldsmith does the songwriting for the group, but they draw influences from everywhere. 

“I think sonicly it’s very different and it kind of speaks for itself,” Griffith said. “We’re always listeing to different stuff and changing and influencing one antoher with what we listen to.”

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