Dr. Dog's Scott McMicken Calls His "a Love It or Hate It Kind of Band"
Your new album shares the name with the recording studio the band collectively built. What was tougher, constructing the studio or the album?
Probably the album, because it's a little more intangible making music than walls. The construction was part of the challenge, but it taught us how to be collaborative and how to be useful. Admitting where you don't belong became a real virtue. The construction was a real good way for us to get together and get started. And as a team, we were able to build something that we're really proud of.
Your concert here at Sunset Cove is at an outdoor venue. Does playing outside change your approach from when you perform indoors?
Absolutely, and we've never been more aware as a band of the difference. We're three weeks into the tour with the Lumineers, and it's been a long time since we've gone on the road as an opening band, let alone opening for a band with such a huge audience.
It's required a shift. Not just because of the environment but because instead of playing in front of our fans, nobody here knows who we are. Feeding off the energy of a crowd and giving it back inside a smaller club is a different game than being on a vast outdoor stage where the bulk of the people look like little specks. All the subtlety and nuance you're used to focusing on in smaller clubs don't translate, and you have to figure out how to open up. It's a process we're learning about a lot on this tour. Coming full circle, it's again about simplification, which doesn't mean you have to dumb it down.
I'll do the dumbing down then with my last questions. How did you guys come up with the name Dr. Dog?
It was just a random conversation between Toby and I many, many, many years ago. Back then in the different world that was our life, it just popped out. There's no grand story; it just came out, and it stuck.
Do you think the name has helped the band's success or been a hurdle?
It's been a little of both. But ultimately, that's to the credit of the band. The name is contentious, but we're a contentious band in a lot of ways. The fact that our name is divisive goes with everything we do. We're a love it or hate it kind of band, and we enjoy that.
Lumineers. With Dr. Dog and Nathaniel Rateliff. 6:45 p.m. Sunday, October 20, at Sunset Cove Amphitheater, 12551 Glades Road, Boca Raton. Tickets cost $35 with fees.
Call 561-488-8069, or visit ticketmaster.com.