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Dilly Dally is a Canadian-based band, but you’d never guess it from their punk rock ways and lack of Canuck-courtesy. It’s not that they’re not a bunch of sweethearts, because they are! They’re just not afraid to stir up some trouble.
Katie Monks (vocalist and guitarist) and Liz Ball (lead guitarist) put the band together around seven years ago. The two best friends moved from a Canadian suburb to the bustling metropolis of Toronto, and they were ready to hit it big! However, it didn’t prove to be quite as easy as they were anticipating.
“It’s not like you can roll into Toronto and become the next big thing,” Monks tells BTRtoday. “Which is exactly what me and Liz tried to do.”
Monks says that when they first started as Dilly Dally no one gave “two shits” about them. She admits that they were constantly getting ripped off for shows and they didn’t feel like they fit well within the music scene.
“It took years and years to really find a way to take what was going on and translate our vision into this different context,” she says.
Their sound is heavy yet light all at once. You can really hear their passion and frustrations in the music. Songs like “Desire,” “Witch Man,” and “Green” have fast paced melodies influenced by their punk rock preferences, with lyrics that will stick in your head like Krazy Glue.
If you got Patti Smith to front The Pixies, combined with the crazy on-stage energy of a young Iggy Pop, you’d have Dilly Dally.
Before getting to where they are now–on Partisan Records, touring, and releasing music–they were struggling trying to climb their way to the top, or as Monks so appropriately quotes Tyra Banks from America’s Next Top Model, “it was like ‘wanna be on top?’” They worked in restaurants as waiters and cooks, and even though Ball is still currently a bartender in Toronto, they have high hopes. With good cause too, because they’re fan-base is doing nothing but growing!
In fact, Lady Gaga is a fan! She attended the show that they played in NYC’s Le Poisson Rouge when they were co-headlining with Fat White Family. She even posted pictures of herself backstage on her Instagram.
“She was definitely so beautiful,” Monks says about seeing Gaga in the smoky backstage room filled with cigarettes and booze. “All I heard her say was, ‘I just love the music! I love music so much!’” Monks is convinced that next time they play NYC, Gaga will be dancing topless to Dilly Dally.
Currently, the band is joined by Jimmy Tony on bass, and Benjamin Reinhartz on drums, and they were able to release their first full-length album, “Sore,” just last year.
Monks describes about the meaning behind the album name “Sore.”
“We had such a romantic and naïve childlike dream from the start about wanting to be in a band and do this forever, so it was kind of like when a kid falls over and hurts his knee and cries,” she says. “We’re like kids at the end of the day—we aren’t totally fucked—not like a crazy flesh wound, but kind of like, ‘ouch.’”
Artwork courtesy of the band.
Though they went with a deeper meaning album title, the band name, Dilly Dally, blossomed out of jest rather than depth.
“I had it in a journal entry and I thought it just looked cool written down,” Monks says. She adds that it’s being sarcastic in the sense that when someone states that their profession is being a musician, people tend to think they’re just dilly dallying around.
A kind of a big F-U to those corporate-types who think the creative path is worthless.
Tony and Reinhartz joined the band only a couple years ago, and Monk tells us the process of finding a bassist and drummer was “totally desperate.” She adds that before the total frenzy of searching for their Tony and Reinhartz, they had a solid bassist and drummer that they actually recorded a-never-released album with.
“They kind of fell off the Dilly train,” Monks shares. “I feel like everyone was feeling a little unmotivated at that time.” She also mentions that once the band finally acquired their final members everything clicked into place and started moving much faster.
Most of the songs on “Sore” were on the never-released album they recorded, but no one was willing to put it out for them. Once they were able to really hone in on their sound and vibe, with the help of Tony and Reinhartz, they were able to tweak those songs and add several new ones to create what the album “Sore” is today.
Dilly Dally has great expectations for their future. Monks says she wants it all! “An album cover sitting on top of the CN tower, holding up the middle finger,” she says about the band’s next step. “I don’t know though, Ben’s a little afraid of heights.”
One of their favorite projects they’re currently working on is the hash tag “#DillyCats” that they started. If someone posts a picture of a cat with a Dilly record or merchandise, they always repost it.
“Really we’re just doing it because we really love our cat fans and we know they can’t come to the shows, but we got to give them love on the Internet,” she says enthusiastically. They also use the hash tag “#DillyLife” so they can show their fans their life as a band and so they can see their fans living their life to Dilly Dally.
To hear more from Dilly Dally, tune into BTRtoday’s episode of The Discovery Corner.