It wasn’t that long ago that Good Doogs were playing their first show in a pub in Mandurah, Western Australia. (“It wasn’t even a live music venue,” says drummer, vocalist and band manager Michael Grainger. “They had to like, push risers together and stuff.”)
Since then, they’ve torn their way through the Aussie music scene with their fuzzy surf pop, and are now embarking on their biggest tour yet. “It’s all happened really quickly,” Grainger says. “It’s really gnarly. It still blows our minds that this is really happening and this many people are coming out. It’s a nice feeling, definitely a good feeling. It’s pretty hectic!”
For Grainger, the biggest change in the last two years (apart from an extra band member) is simply the quality of music they’re producing. “When we started, we hadn’t really played much music, ever. Like, we weren’t very good musicians,” he laughs.
“But now I feel like two years down the track, we add a lot more than we did at the start, to the songwriting process where we kind of contribute a lot more to the songs and the songs are a lot more developed. We’re a lot more mature now as songwriters and as a band, and that’s probably why it’s going better, coz the songs keep getting better and better, I think, as we go.” Public reaction to their new track, ‘Nobody/Alone’, has been roundly positive, and Grainger puts it down to the band’s more developed sound, as well as figuring out their own groove.
Good Doogs will be hitting Canberra for the first time with the ‘Nobody/Alone’ tour. Along with Byron locals Seaside, Good Doogs have enlisted Canberra darlings Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers as their support acts. “I’m really excited to play with them,” Grainger says. “And they’ve got a good vibe and a good message about females in the music industry.”
He elaborates: “Look, obviously we’re a band of four dudes, so it’s hard for us to do anything ourselves for it. But we try to have as much inclusivity on our lineups as possible, and try to shout out bands as much as we can that are doing good stuff and helping wherever we can, and that’s the way we can help.”
With that said, Grainger admits he has no idea what to expect from Canberra. “From our side it’s weird. We don’t know much about the scene there, we’ll see what happens. It should be pretty good, I think? It’ll be good to see that side of the country, see what happens there.”
I’m not one to pass up an opportunity to talk Canberra up – how supportive and close-knit the community is, how much great music it produces relative to its size – and I feel like I can hear Grainger nodding over the phone.
“That’s exactly how it should be!” he says. “A small community should be like that with their music scene. Mandurah’s very different, we don’t have any live music venues, so we don’t have a scene at all. No one goes to gigs because there’s nowhere to go. You kinda have to teach a community that they like live music, like putting shows on. If they don’t see it, they don’t know they like it. They aren’t inspired to do it. I’ve spoken to the government a lot there, the shire and that, to try and get something happening. And they’re like, we’re trying to get festivals going there, rah rah, but they’re talking out their ass,” he vents.
“We’re trying really hard, everything we do, we push Mandurah, we say we’re from there in everything we do, to try and inspire kids who live there to do something, coz music’s sick.”
Good Doog’s new track ‘How I Feel’ premieres tonight and comes out on all digital platforms on Friday May 10.