Endless summer

Sacramento sister punk duo Dog Party takes show on the road

Dog Party (from left): Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles.

Dog Party (from left): Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles.

Photo courtesy of Dog Party

Dog Party performs Friday, Sept. 18, at Monstros. The She Things, Cell Block and Astro Turf open.
Cost: $7
Monstros Pizza
628 W. Sacramento Ave.

The members of Sacramento-based garage-punk duo Dog Party keep pretty busy with the day-to-day activities most teens face: school, prom, relationships, etc. But sisters Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles have also found time to record four albums and fit in a few cross-country summer tours and even traveled to Europe to play Italy and Germany. Lucy (17, drums/vocals) is still in high school, and Gwendolyn (19, guitar/vocals) is off studying graphic communication at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, so scheduling band practice is tougher than it used to be when they started the band eight years ago.

But the sisters made the most of their summer break. After releasing a new album, Vol. 4, on Southern California-based Burger Records, they toured all over the West, making a stop at the John Waters-hosted Burger Boogaloo festival in Oakland, and even recording a Daytrotter session. Dog Party is playing Monstros Pizza this Friday (Sept. 18), and the CN&R caught up with the duo to discuss insiration and spending most of their lives playing music.

CN&R: Lucy, I hear you were featured in your school’s newspaper. How did that come about?

Lucy: They were just going around taking photos at prom and they just took a picture of me. I thought it was pretty cool because people at my school …

Gwendolyn: Lucy doesn’t consider herself popular.

Lucy: Because I’m not. People at my school don’t really know what I do as a band. So, it was cool to be in the paper.

What inspired the single “Peanut Butter Dream” (from Vol. 4)?

Lucy: “Peanut Butter Dream” was about how I got together with my boyfriend. From the outside, we don’t really seem like we would be very compatible because he’s really good at soccer and blah, blah. So, that’s why I said, like, “looking through mirrors and broken glass” and “I cannot get the words outside my mouth,” like, you know, when you’re eating peanut butter.

What’s different about writing songs now versus when the two of you were much younger?

Gwendolyn: Writing the songs still comes from the heart. Even when the lyrics seem like they’re random, there are still hidden meanings behind everything.

Lucy: I think it’s weird because [when] I listen to my lyrics [now], a lot of them have a ton of meaning, but I was just singing. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about what I was doing.

Do venues treat Dog Party differently because of your age?

Lucy: We like to be treated with respect. And, it’s totally a bummer when we play a show and we don’t get treated with respect by sound men, or people who put on the shows. There are people that are kind of, like, rude to us at first, but then after we play, they’re like, “Ohhh!”

How do you deal with that?

Lucy: I try not to get too angry about it.

Gwendolyn: At least afterward, they kind of understand. Even though it’s irritating that their first opinion wasn’t as cool as their second opinion after hearing us, at least we justify ourselves. Then, they might rethink their thoughts, like, “Why would I think they’d be bad just because they’re girls?”

Was it your parents who introduced you both to music?

Lucy: Our parents didn’t play music at all. They just shared their love of music with us. We were so inclined to play music and express ourselves musically that it just all kind of happened. They always supported us and always tried to supply us with the means that we needed.

Gwendolyn: We never felt any pressure like, “You need to play, or you need to practice.” That was never a thing either. For me, education is good for the mind, exercise is good for the body and music is good for the soul.