DUDE YORK is Sincere as Fuck
Story / Gina Tron
Photos / Ashley Armitage
According to Seattle-based Dude York, they are the love child of Blink 182, The Cure and Black Sabbath. Guitarist and vocalist Peter Richards, bassist and vocalist Claire England and drummer Andrew Hall make up the vibrant rock trio. Sincerely, is their sophomore album, an earnest rock record with grungy anthems that inject a more reality conscious sound to the music charts.
Peter said that many of the songs on Sincerely are personal messages to himself, reminders for when he is feeling low to look up and forward, rather than looking down and looking back.
“For the listeners who feel down I want to bring them back up and it’s also to lift myself back up when I am feeling low,” he said, adding that he is a positive person and that positivity comes through in many of the songs. Claire mentions that she is also a naturally positive person, which adds to the album’s optimistic vibe. Listen to “Tonight” and “Love Is” for a jolt of good vibes.
“I personally really enjoy music that sounds uplifting,” said Peter. “It’s beautiful to create something that is positive.”
Themes of the album include finding solace of art and the power of friendship, but the album is not all positive. Some of the happier sounding songs have dark undertones.
“I feel like there are some directly negative messages in there,” said Peter. “Specifically in the song “Giving Up.” It has a lot to do with recovering and grappling with depression.” The song stems from his personal experience that sparked the juxtaposition of negativity and the positivity on the tracks. Its influences are noticeable.
The album ends on a melancholy negative note with its last song, “Time’s Not On My Side.”
“That song is really a movie about taking stock after a long time of not,” explained Peter. “Realizing that things have changed a lot without recognition. The strange feeling about things changing around you and you also changing without noticing.”
Creating the album was therapeutic for Peter, and for the band as a whole.
“A primary therapeutic element of it was the way we come together over the process of making this recording,” he said. “It’s a testament to our dedication to collaborating with each other and the care that we feel for each other as a band. Our devotion and love to our music and each other has doubled.”
Claire said that the production of the record made them a lot closer.
“We spent a lot of time making something together in a small space and we did it right,” she says lovingly.
Their end goal was for the band to be universal and accessible. The band wanted everyone who was listening to Dude York to feel like the songs were written for them. Peter mentioned at one point in our conversation that when he writes songs, he often focuses on mental health and homelessness.
“So, songs that boil down to class for me,” said Peter, “Race and gender are also important but more complicated to write about as a white ally. It’s difficult to write about issues that he is not directly affected by. You distant yourself from compassion when you are imagining real people. You are doing them a disservice. It’s easier to write about a personal experience and to extrapolate other people from your personal experience.”
Song lyrics aside, Dude York said that being an activist in times like these is a no-brainer.
“It’s not a choice anymore,” said Peter. “You’ve got to act. When you are confronted by a fascist takeover government you have to act. For us, it’s a process of trying to figure out how to support our communities and what role is best played by us as allies to black lives matters and other groups.”
Claire’s previous musical experience brings an energy to their live shows. She said their shows are a whole lot more than just three people standing in front of microphones or sitting behind a drum machine. Before Dude York, Claire was in electro-pop band Brite Futures where she played keyboard until 2012. A few of Brite Future’s songs required Claire to play the bass guitar so she purchased one. Now, it is her primary instrument.
“One night Andrew and I decided to start a band and never looked back,” said Peter like they just met, “But with Claire, the dream was fully realized. When he heard Claire’s voice he knew that the real Dude York had arrived.
When he heard Claire’s voice he knew that the real Dude York had arrived.
“Without Claire, it lacks the dynamic quality that I think that it has now.” He continues.
Claire jumps in with more love, “Between Peter’s theater background and my previous band performance experience we like to put on a show and make it more than just playing songs,” she said.
“In theater school, I learned that revelation is space.There are expectations that you have when you are looking at something and when that something can sway your expectations that are a very exciting experience for both performer and audience,” explained Peter, “This is what Dude York aims for.”
02.23.17 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey (ALL-AGES) (tix)
03.07.17 – San Francisco, CA – Above DNA (tix)
03.08.17 – Los Angeles, CA – Resident (tix)
03.09.17 – San Diego, CA – The Hideout (tix)
03.13.17 – 03.19.17 – Austin, TX – SXSW
03.21.17 – Atlanta, GA – 529 ^ (tix)
03.22.17 – Durham , NC – The Pinhook ^ (tix)
03.23.17 – Washington, DC – Songbyrd Music House ^ (tix)
03.24.17 – Philadelphia, PA – Ortlieb’s Lounge ^ (tix)
03.25.17 – Brooklyn, NY – The Knitting Factory ^ (tix)
03.27.17 – Boston, MA – Great Scott ^ (tix)
03.28.17 – Montreal, QC – Bar Le Ritz ^ (tix)
03.29.17 – Toronto, ON – Smiling Buddha ^ (tix)
03.30.17 – Detroit, MI – The Underground at DIME ^ (tix)
03.31.17 – Lakewood, OH – Mahall’s 20 Lanes ^ (tix)
04.01.17 – Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge ^ (tix)
04.02.17 – Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club ^ (tix)
04.03.17 – Omaha, NE – The Slowdown ^ (tix)
04.05.17 – Denver, CO – Hi-Dive ^ (tix)
04.06.17 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court ^ (tix)
04.07.17 – Boise, ID – The Olympic Venue ^ (tix)
04.08.17 – Portland, OR – Analog Lounge ^ (tix)
^ – w/ PAWS