While many scratch their heads and wonder where the glory days of the music industry went, the rest look toward the horizon. The thought of associating modern musicians with images of sex, drugs, and rock and roll is a fantasy; instead, think of tour vans, exhaustion, and pit-stops. Think of The Dig. This band emerged somewhere between when people stopped buying CDs and when the term “gigging” became relevant. They have been clawing their way to the top ever since. Though the road has been long for these upstarts, the horizon lies ahead.
The Dig Talk Touring, Growth, and What Lies Ahead
The Dig know the harsh reality of trying to make it as musicians all too well. Since touring is the lifeblood of any band, it’s become a major part of their experience. The past six weeks of concerts rest on the strength of their new EP, You & I, and they’re just a small sample size of what the road has meant for The Dig. After years of playing music together, David Baldwin, Emile Mosseri, and Erick Eiser decided to move to New York City and start the band. Drummer Mark Demiglio came later through a Craigslist ad (“the old-fashioned way”) and all the pieces fell together. Now what?
It’s a common question for emerging bands, and at this juncture, the answer is to play live shows. And that’s just what The Dig have done. “It’s never easy,” said guitarist and singer David Baldwin. “It can get exhausting, so you have to figure out the best way to take care of yourself while getting enough sleep. One of those things is bound to suffer.” It appears the sprawling pavement of America’s back-roads have essentially become The Dig’s home. “The 12-hour drives can really throw you,” he added.
The benefit to the journey? Well, in many ways it’s the journey itself, yet one factor rings out among the others: growth. Music is more than simply a day job, and in order to create music that’s “good,” it must embody every part of you. It must be the truth. As any other band, The Dig began just trying to find their sound. Their early material is raw and wears influences on its sleeves, but through the journey, the band found a voice unique to them, culminating most notably with “I Already Forgot Everything You Said.”
This track (from their last LP, Midnight Flowers) proved to be the breaking point in the fractured glass of their early career. You can hear the wear of the road, and the honesty in Emile’s voice as he repeats the title, ruminating thoughts of the sleepless nights of touring that all blur together.
With that, The Dig delve deeper into the dreamy sound that they’ve made their own, that much is clear with their striking new EP. The band has slowed things down with focus, conjuring more gloomy sounds than their early material. Standout “Made My Bed” employs the psychedelic glaze of Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation. It’s an exciting new direction for a band that’s seen it all, and the maturity shows.
“Playing shows is a good way to test out new material and get better as a band. You can judge things based on the crowd’s reaction, which helps as you start thinking about recording.” – The Dig
The Dig have found a way to enjoy the long and winding road, presumably because of the growth (there’s that word again) it’s promoted. They did share one of their secrets, though―playing shows with friends. They voiced excitement about what lies ahead, particularly rejoining Kevin Devine for a show, who they toured with two years ago. They went on to praise the experience with touring mates, Leagues. It seems the wandering paths of modern day musicians (or more accurately, traveling gypsies) often intertwine.
After they wrap-up the last of their shows for this comparatively brief stint on tour, The Dig plan to try doing nothing for a while, and to rest up for the holidays. The year ahead promises to be filled with writing and recording, as they prepare for another full-length release. If the band continues on this rising trajectory, it’s sure to be a memorable one.
“We’re working to get ourselves where we want to be, but we’re not quite there yet. Discovery through things like Pandora and Spotify help, though the revenue isn’t too much. It’s all give-and-take. It’s all relative.” – The Dig
It helps to think of The Dig’s career as a long road. There have been many pit-stops, 12-hour drives, sleepless nights, and the van’s even broken down a few times. They’ve become accustomed to the hard unforgiving pavement―calloused against its burden. Instead of completely stalling out, like many young bands before them, they’ve kept on. While so many look back, The Dig look forward to the open road. There’s no telling what lies on the horizon.
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Article by Nicolas White