“If there’s one thing we’re not, it’s an indie rock band!”
As lead singer and guitarist Addison Chase makes clear, Dressed for the Occasion doesn’t seem to fit neatly into any single genre. While heavily influenced by raw delta blues, classic rock, folk, and rockabilly music, the rockers are constantly surprised by the types of people that end up liking them. The band was incredibly well received by the punk and hardcore scene while opening for street punk legends The Hudson Falcons, they’ve played with Foghat (the band behind the classic rock hit “Slow Ride”), they’ve played at weddings, and they’re “apparently huge in the car and biker scene now,” according to Chase and bassist Alex Ferrero.
When asked to describe their music without any genre names, Chase proposed that it was like “watching a freight train crash into a volcano.” (Ferrero, however, argued that they have a little more finesse than that.)
Needless to say, the band did not expect to find enthusiastic fans in these myriad scenes—they expected to fit in more with Boston’s folk music crowd. But Chase explained that since three of the four band members grew up together in the same small New Hampshire town (with a population of 5,400 and zero stop lights), they aren’t exactly a reserved bunch. “You’re able to meet a lot more people and be more comfortable with everybody. And everywhere we go, we just seem to meet really great people. They’re fucking weirdos, and we love ‘em.”
The band’s small-town origins shine through in everything they do. Chase recounted childhood tales of playing in garage bands with the band’s lead guitarist Pat Hopkins, and Ferrero still has pictures of the bandmates in Mrs. Pike’s 6th grade class. People who have seen them live have raved that the band’s camaraderie and shared experiences come off on stage during their rowdy shows.
Not only has this small-town background allowed the band to connect with their fans, it has also shaped their music and their recording process. For upcoming album The Devil In Your Head (due out February 3), the band returned to their hometown and worked for two years until they were satisfied with what felt like the best work they could produce. For their self-titled first record, on the other hand, they just wanted to get some music out there and pumped it out in a one-hour recording session. Chase described the self-produced The Devil In Your Head as “a real power album” for which they worked meticulously on the tracks that audiences had already responded to.
The band recorded at their own pace—one that apparently “no professional person would be able to handle”—and when they needed to release steam, they’d hop into a Jeep and drive into the middle of the woods in a foot of snow and blast Miley Cyrus. The band itself is like a small town or a “self-sustaining community,” as Ferrero described it, complete with a mechanic, an engineer, an artist, and a lumberjack.
In the new album’s first single, “Simple Life,” Chase longs for the environs and lifestyle of his childhood home; the upcoming music video for the song alternates between footage from a live show at Copperfields (a favorite Boston venue for the band) and the half-destroyed remains of an old paper mill in their New Hampshire town. The degradation of this ancient mill is ongoing—giant sheets of metal flew off the building towards the band while they were setting up the shoot.
Most of the band’s songs feel like the narration of a story, filled with personal reflection. “I want to connect with people on an emotional level… I don’t want to just write about how my baby is gone, and how pretty she is or how expensive love is,” Chase joked in reference to The Beatles classic playing over the bar sound system. “I want other people to find some sort of solace in what I write, something to make their life a little easier, something to take a little weight off their shoulders, ‘cause I know there are lots of people out there dealing with the shit I’m singing about, and I wanna deal with it together.” This sentiment is the mission statement of the band, and fans get incredibly passionate about what the group is doing because it’s simple, straightforward, and classic.
Already honored with multiple New England Music Award nominations and causing bars to sell out of PBR, Dressed for the Occasion is slated for a big 2015. With a new album and a seven-week cross-country tour with the Hudson Falcons in the coming months, there’s plenty to look forward to. When asked about the band’s desires, Chase smiled and said, “We just want everyone to be comfortable with us. We just want to have some fun for a little while. That’s why we’re playing music. So come to a show and get drunk!”
The Devil in Your Head is available for pre-sale with a free download of single “Silver and Gold” at https://dressedfortheoccasion.bandcamp.com.