That's totally where Toby shines, in his ability to come up with that older-than-dirt style of songwriting and lyrical perspective. It touches on a lot of the themes that he's always writing about... He thinks about death a lot.
-McMicken on Leaman
Photo of McMicken and Leaman by

"There's a built-in attitude towards Dr. Dog which is that nothing at any point can be anything other than an awesome thing to be doing. And, that still rings true for me" says McMicken. It's clear this ethos drove the creation of the absolutely awesome new album. We All Belong is also a natural progression for the band. It's in the same vein as 2005's Easy Beat but it's juiced up, more focused and just a better record in every way.

Scott McMicken
Part of the evolution on We All Belong was in direct response to the previous album's success. After the huge underground craze of Easy Beat, Rough Trade snatched up the Dog, gave them an advance and told them to quit their day jobs and get to work on the next record. The band even purchased Soundgun Studios in Philadelphia. After years of recording in bedrooms and basements on 8-tracks, Dr. Dog now had a real studio, a 24-track machine, and more time than ever to realize their vision.

"I feel like Easy Beat is more of a sketch. This newer album is a little bit more techno-colorized. You get a little bit of shading on some of the songs" explains McMicken. The new gear and increased confidence certainly fleshed out the Dr. Dog sound, but they made sure not to loose any of that grainy, earthy tone that drew so many fans in to begin with. "We all really aesthetically take offense to the sound of modern production and that excess of detail and the artificial, sort of collagen implants beefing up something that really isn't there to begin with" says McMicken. "For us it's always been about trying to get things to sit well together and get all these instruments to blend nicely so they can all serve the song to the greatest."

Dr. Dog
For a band on the brink of much wider success, these five friends from Philly are void of all the posturing that can suck the beauty from a rising star. After that first whiff of success they resisted the urge to get a big name producer and gloss up the sound. They didn't jump in the van and move to L.A. And perhaps most of all, these guys are about as nice as anyone you will ever meet in the music business. Egos are gone and there's no question this is all about the music not the business. It's the same as it's always been, two old friends writing songs and a bunch of guys having fun.

"All you really are when it comes down to it is five high school buddies trying to impress each other" says McMicken. "I've realized more and more that all I really want out of a band - or really anyone - is just to be convinced that they like what they are doing. Ultimately, that's what anybody ought to be gunning for, just a sense of self-gratification, because if you start thinking otherwise than you start to think that the world needs your music or the world needs you for some absurd reason, and I think that kind of thought process leads to bad bad bad results and character."

Dr. Dog has just released their best album to date and is about to head out on their first headlining tour ever, and contrary to Scott McMicken's humble belief about his band's music, the world needs Dr. Dog.

JamBase | San Francisco
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 3/7/07]

Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!

You'll receive

show alerts

when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

free tickets

, gain the ability to

share your personalized live music calendar

and much more. Join JamBase!



All Loving Liberal White Guy starstarstarstarstar Thu 3/1/2007 08:57PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

All Loving Liberal White Guy

Awesome write up. Dr. Dog is truly an innovative band.


MaseBase starstarstarstarstar Fri 3/2/2007 10:34AM
+5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I have really been digging Dr. Dog a lot lately. Their music feels so good and I can continually hear their influences by so many groups.
I think this really will be the year of the Dog.
Nice job Kacye!

JKimbell starstarstarstarstar Fri 3/2/2007 11:30AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Dr. Dog is so refreshing. Their influences are somewhat obvious but their sound goes much further than imitation and flattery. They are truly unique.

FreeHawk starstarstarstarstar Fri 3/2/2007 04:34PM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I Dig em

topherjames starstarstarstarstar Wed 3/7/2007 05:11PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

best songwriting out there right now

digggy star Thu 3/8/2007 10:36AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Yea! Great Band! Extremely Innovative! Could you please pass the butter, thanks.

Fred T. starstarstarstarstar Fri 3/9/2007 11:39AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Fred T.


Steph starstarstarstarstar Fri 3/16/2007 12:55PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Nice article Kayceman. These guys killed it at Cafe du Nord last night.

extravagant1 starstarstarstarstar Mon 3/19/2007 07:42PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

i saw them in Seattle @ Easy Street Records on st. paddy's, solid!!!!!!! cheers to the good Dr. Dog

chasetc20 starstarstarstar Thu 4/12/2007 09:18AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Dr. dog blew my socks off i was impressed ''old news'' especially