So many people over the past few months have asked me if I’ve seen Cross Dog play. Unfortunately I haven’t yet, but I’ve heard so many good things. After listening to their album online I understand why people are talking about them so much. I had a chance to chat with the band recently about their first year as a band in Peterborough and what they’ve got in store for next year.
Cross Dog got together in January 2013 and since then Tracy (lead vocals), Mark (bass), and Mikey (drums), have been playing shows at a torrid pace, kind of like their music. They are an emotional, bass-driven band that mixes hardcore punk and classic rock n’ roll into a sound that has been winning people over wherever they play.
Mikey has been drumming in another local act, The Lumberman, and Mark played bass with them for a while. Mark explains, “Mikey and I would jam together while the other guys took smoke breaks.” This was really the beginning of Cross Dog, which was later confirmed when they were joined by Tracy on vocals.
“I liked our first show. It was really exciting,” said Mark.
“Yeah, totally. We felt like we had been working at it for so long that it was really time. We wrote and practiced weekly for, like, six months before we played that show. It was pretty satisfying, and very, very sweaty,” added Tracy.
This past October when legendary punk rockers The Misfits came to Peterborough, for what would have to be considered one of the biggest punk rock shows in the city in recent memory, Cross Dog was one of the opening bands. So what was it like sharing the stage with one of the most known and recognized punk rock bands over the past 30 years?
“Obviously the Misfits show was rad. [There were] so many people and it was such an honour to open for them. So that was awesome. We got a wicked response,” said Mikey.
Even before playing their first show in July, the band decided to record a 10-song album and have it posted online for people to listen to. Now their self-titled debut album is available on CD and can also be purchased from iTunes and Amazon.
When asked what made them decide to record an album before even playing their first show, Mark explained, “Why bother wasting any time? I have played in bands before that play together for years, and never really record anything and then you break up with nothing to show for it. We recorded first for a couple of reasons. Number one, so we would have something to sell at our first show, and two, because the recording process, in my opinion, makes a band tighter.”
After listening to their debut album and watching the video they made for the song “Black Hole,” it’s easy to see how tight of a band they are and how intense their live show is.
Tracy added, “our first 10 songs happened relatively quickly. It feels like the album was us trying to find out what we were going to be as a band. We didn’t really know what was going to come out of us at first. Now, we are excited to keep writing because we are so happy with how it worked out.”
In addition to keeping busy playing live shows, Cross Dog has also kept busy writing new material. Their debut album was only released in July 2013, but they are already planning to release their second album in 2014.
Since that first show in July, Cross Dog have played numerous shows in Peterborough and also played many out of town shows in Barrie, Sault Ste. Marie, Toronto, and Ottawa. Now that they have a van at their disposal, there`s no plans to slow down in 2014. In addition to continuing to play often in their hometown they are also looking at the possibilities of an Eastern Canada tour and maybe even a Western Canada tour.
If you haven’t seen Cross Dog yet, I suggest you head to The Spill (414 George St) on Saturday Nov 16 to check them out. Joining them will be The Mad Murdocks from Whitby, Black Stab Gospel from Trenton (who also opened for The Misfits in October), The Dead Sparrows from Kingston, and Broken Foot from Peterborough.
The show is only $5 for 5 incredible bands and starts at 9 pm.