Feverjaw are a relatively new band, or at least they feel like a new band. Such is the effect on time perception the pandemic has had, I was a little shocked to find out that they have been releasing music for nearly two years, but in those two years they have made huge strides, from a string of singles, to their Brightburn EP, to this, their fantastic debut album “All Bets Are Off”. I posed a few questions for the bands singer, songwriter, guitarist and all round good guy Dale Hawkins…

Firstly, congratulations on the album release! It’s really great, packed with earworms and guitar licks, both of which are a staple part of the Feverjaw diet. Tell us a little about the composition of the songs, what comes first and how do they develop?

Thanks! We’re really glad that people are enjoying the record and we’re really thankful for all the great responses we’ve received. When writing songs each one can differ on how they come about. Sometimes it starts with a simple vocal melody idea that I then build a guitar line around. Other times I come up with the riff first and the find a melody to fit it.

You seem to know what you want. From single releases, an EP and now this album in less than two years there’s a palpable sense of structure. Are you an organised person or are you making it up as you go along like the rest of us?

I’d like to think there’s been a plan yes. I’m working very much to a loose idea of where I want things to go but there are times when those plans can change.

You are the songwriter and lead guitarist, but of course it takes a more for a project like this to come together. Who else is involved in the band and the wider process of recording?

Since the beginning of Feverjaw I’m honoured to have worked with several great musicians. Of course, right now we have Lewis Bligh (Drums) and Steve Manning (Bass) who contribute both on record and live. Then we also have Wayne Bassett who helps from a production point of view while also added little musical touches here and there; guitar and keys mainly. Also currently assisting from a studio point of view we have Cait Johansen (Vocals) who helps with extra vocals and to add something more to the melodies. 

For future recordings I have a wish list of potential guests and I’m excited to get to work with all of them.

Due to a certain pandemic the existence of Feverjaw has, aside from 1 or 2 shows, been pretty much a studio outfit. I bet you’re desperate to get out and play these songs to a live audience. Do you have much planned in this respect?

It’s for sure been a frustrating time but I think we’ve made the best of a bad hand! But absolutely we cannot wait to get out there and play the album live. We have dates lined up (some announced, some TBA) and can’t wait to play.

I know what I like the look of and what I like the sound of, but I’m not a huge tech head like many who will read this. What guitars and equipment do you use to assemble the Feverjaw sound?

I could talk gear for hours but will try to simplify this to keep it short. Guitar wise for this album I used a Fender Squire Telecaster Custom, Fender Squire Mustang Bullet that I modified with Bare Knuckle pickups and for the acoustic numbers a Fender Redondo California Edition.

When it came to the sounds and tones, I used mainly plugins like the Fender Tone Pack with the Amplitube software. I also used my pedalboard through the software that has a custom Green Carrot Pedals stomp called the Comfortably Plum (based on the tones of David Gilmour), Boss Digital Delay, and an Electro Harmonix Micro Synthesizer. Oh yeah and my favourite tool the Ebow!

As with your last release (Brightburn EP), this album is on the superb SWND label. How did this come about and can we expect further Feverjaw/SWND collaborations?

It all happened pretty easily, we chatted with Mike from the label who was already a supporter of the band due to his radio shows and it all went from there. The label is moving forward well and I see an exciting future.

This is a little like asking a mother who has just given birth when she is having her next baby…but what’s next for Feverjaw in the studio, or is it time for a break and concentrate on the live aspect?

I have several plans, obviously gigging the album is the main priority for us but then we have a charity covers record we’ll be contributing to this winter and I’m hoping some new original music will start to follow in the new year while also maintaining a live presence. 

“All Bets Are Off” is out now on SWND Records. You’ve heard the man speak (well, you’ve read his words), now go and have a listen to this superb album right now by clicking THIS HERE!

Gavin Facey – 17/08/2021

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