“Making music is like playing with fire; fun to feel the glow but sooner or later, it’ll melt your eyeballs.”
Putting out heart-wrenching, melancholic tunes that tell of lost love and fragile beauty, Dreadnought is an amalgamation of the vocalist Samuel Chase and DJ/producer, Jack Dunning. With Chase’s band Samuel & The Dragon fading into an abyss straight after the release of their debut single ‘Diamonds on a Boat’ the achingly beautiful magic that they effortlessly conjured, was all over before it had really begun. Dunning’s discography as Untold is home to countless 12”s, comprised of his stylistic dancefloor hybrids and in this partnership as Dreadnought, the tension he explored across his earlier material has devolved sinisterly, morphing into more fastidious and layered sonic territories.
Working from the bare bones of
Samuel & The Dragon, removing narratives and choruses, the tidal waves of sound Dreadnought churn out are still reminiscent of the signature melodies laid down in earlier material. Focusing upon a single modulation of notes, then reverbing, echoing and synthesising into dark and distant regions, the first release from Dreadnought is the
Caroline EP, an arrangement of rhythms that barely move or begin, brazenly offering a listener no solace until each sound finally peters out to an unnatural end. Dreadnought are not meant to be about vindication or escapism, this is reality in its rawest form; dark, heavy, steady and silent. i-D online caught up with JD and SC ahead of their sold-out gig at fabric next week, playing alongside Caribou, Lone and Four Tet
Tell me about the creative processes that went into laying down this track? The Caroline EP was about trying to get as close as possible to the colours and tone. For me, the most potent way of doing this was to paint the picture with as few tools as possible. By limiting chords and the typical movement of a song’s structure, there were very few places for one go to fake expression. So, it spins around itself in the most irritating way. Not always irritating. Sometimes it’s rather a pleasure to listen back. Not that either of those emotions are particularly relevant.
How do you put together your visuals? We are extremely fortunate to work with Callum Bain, he is like another member of Dreadnought and the visual element to the EP is as relevant as the music. He knows what we are trying to do, so it is a rather easy process.
What happened to Samuel and the Dragon? I don’t know. I couldn’t hold onto it and because I was unsure of what it was, I couldn’t communicate with it or around it. I am happy that we were able to release ‘Diamonds On A Boat’. I am sad that I lost a partnership. The only minor vindication for behaving like such a dirty tramp is that I am now making music very close to how I like it.
What’s the deal with JD’s label Hemlock? She’s going through the awkward teenage hormonal phase, but is showing lots of promise in her studies.
What producers, artists, bands or DJ’s are you excited about right now?
Monkey Mafia are making me very happy. Guys Andrews, Breton, Blawan.
What equipment do you work with making your own music? Anything and everything. Any/all of my keyboards and things lying around the studio.
What ambitions do you have to fulfill, how do you quantify success? Making lots of music.
Text: Milly McMahon