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"Dog Has Its Day": An Interview with Toledo

(Photo Credit - Nick Ventura)

We had the opportunity to interview Brooklyn, NY duo Toledo (Daniel Alvarez and Jordan Dunn-Pilz) about their new EP 'Jockeys of Love'. Check out what they had to say!

1. Your music does a great job of tackling difficult themes such as alcoholism, anxiety, etc. while keeping the music more up-tempo. This has always fascinated me in music, can you speak a little to this?

"I think we naturally fell into this. It probably says something about our positive outlook, since we aren’t trying to make light of the issues. We’re just writing about our experiences and trying to have fun while doing so. If you’ve been dealing with anxiety for example, it can be so ingrained that it’s just going to be a tiny presence even in the happiest song."

2. When do you know that a song is done for you (or are you always tweaking)?

"It can be difficult for us to know when to step away from a song. We don’t run out of ideas, so it’s easy for us to add too much. Sometimes we will spend weeks/months adding instrumentation, and end up going back to a more basic session in the end. If the emotion of the song is coming through - that’s usually what we’re looking for."

3. During the writing of this EP, Daniel had just started a new relationship, meanwhile Jordan had a long-term relationship end. Can you share how these conflicting circumstances played out in the music?

"The important part here is that we were both experiencing some pretty heavy emotions. As a result we were writing a lot and trying to process. Hopefully the opposing nature of our experiences resulted in a broader spectrum emotionally. It’d be cool if people could hear the highs and the lows in the same package."

4. Can you speak as to how the pandemic played a role in your writing and recording process of the EP?

"The EP would not exist at all if we hadn’t gone home to quarantine with our families. We were working on a completely separate LP in February. We were in NYC planning our next live set, and suddenly we were back in MA with too much time on our hands. Every song was written and recorded in Dan’s parent’s attic, at some point between March and July. We were really just jamming out and playing music to pass the time. We ended up with about 14 songs (one of them being FOMO) which was cut down to the 6 song EP."

5. What's next for Toledo?

"First off, we really cannot wait to be playing shows again. We miss gigging very much. In the meantime we are backing in NYC, running a recording studio, and working on new material. We’re always working on new things. We still have a full LP to record, and a lot of unreleased demos we might bring back to life."

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