Dogheart was formed in Portland, Oregon in 2014 by Matt Jenkins, Gray Hildreth, and Cameron Hering. After releasing a debut album in 2016, Cameron ultimately decided to leave the band, leaving it to just a duo. What seemed overwhelming in the beginning turned into an incredible learning curve for Matt and Gray. They established their sound by enhancing their songwriting and learning to the record right at home. After two more albums in 2017, Dogheart knew that they had found their sound. Fast forward to today, Dogheart has released another album titled “Yeah No For Sure” and an EP titled “Blue Guts”. Dogheart is now a 4 piece including the newest members of the group, Ryan Fox on lead guitar and Eric Rubalcava on drums.
Featured on “Blue Guts”, “I Never Knew How I Got Here” is an acoustic single, a soft-rock piece with a certain intimate realness that completely captivates. If the intro alone doesn’t blow you away, the vocals will and especially the honest, profound lyrics. Balancing beautiful metaphors with a clear and unwavering understanding and embrace of the subject matter, “I Never Knew How I Got Here” pours through in a manner that gives it such an emotive and timeless appearance. “I Never Knew How I Got Here” is easily one of those songs that should and will take your breath away a little, each and every time it reappears. Dogheart is a superb band and far from the more common, seekers of recognition. Real independent artists through and through with pure love for the art form. “I Never Knew How I Got Here” is something special. Sit back and let it play.
Listen to “I Never Knew How I Got Here” here
Welcome to BuzzMusic Dogheart! It’s such a pleasure to be chatting with you. You seem to be a band that puts a substantial amount of thought into your lyrics! Who/what has inspired each of you to be the artist you are today?
I think, collectively as songwriters we are continuously being inspired and influenced by the people around us and the ever-evolving roster of bands we listen to- Yo La Tengo, Cass Mccombs, Smog, Wilco.
"I Never Knew How I Got Here" seems like a deeply personal track. Is vulnerability something your fans can always expect from your music? Can you tell us more about this particular song?
MJ- Yes, I think our fans can always expect some sort of vulnerability. I've always been pretty open in the lyrics I write without being too over the top and making it strictly about me. I try and just say what I’m thinking at the moment in hopes that someone else will be able to identify with it and possibly make them feel better because of it. This particular song is about reminiscing on the good ol days as a kid and how easy it was back then. From hanging out in the field to homemade slip and slides, to throwing garbage in the burn pile. Even some of the bad memories become good memories.
How have you honed your songwriting style over time, and what do you think are the main qualities that make a song truly connect and last in the long-run?
I think we honed in our songwriting style by having fun and naturally progressing over time. Never thinking that we’re done learning. Our intent to writing songs is always to make the next song better than the last and to improve our work. We’re always looking to try new things, take advice from each other and be open to new ideas. I think the main qualities in a song to truly connect and last, in the long run, is knowing your audience and who you are trying to speak to. For us, we try to do what comes naturally and add to the song what we feel is necessary or what the song calls for. We like to take our time while writing and not take things too seriously. If something doesn’t click the first time around, we’ll walk away from it and come back with a more clear mindset the next day.
When Dogheart became a duo back in 2016, were there feelings of discouragement during that time? How did you push through and manage to release SO much more new music?
I think we had some feelings of discouragement at first, along with lots of questions as far as what to do now and how to do it but we ended up using some of that discouragement to fuel something better for us. We moved on quickly and bought an 8 track realizing we could write as many songs as we wanted and record em all for way less money. Since then we’ve learned a lot about ourselves in the recording process and how to keep it fun and do it our own way.
Thank you for chatting with us and letting us get to know you in the process! What’s next for you?
We’re expecting big things now that you have a full 4-piece band!
We are currently writing new songs as a 4 piece for a new record!
Thank you for taking the time to get to know us a little. We appreciate you all!