Strong on the heels of their third Post-Echo release, the EP I Don’t Mean to Dwell, Columbia’s Dear Blanca have both a new LP coming soon and even more touring planned. Singer/ songwriter/ guitarist Dylan Dickerson was gracious enough to take some time out of the indie rock road warriors’ touring schedule and answer a few questions for the South Carolina Music Guide:
The new EP is great and we are all wondering when the next LP is coming. Are you through recording and if so, is anything concrete as far as the release schedule yet? Any details about it that you can share before it comes out?
We’ve been pretty productive over the last few months. You can expect news about the next Dear Blanca release very soon. The next Dear Blanca release is my favorite thing we’ve ever done as a band and I’m definitely itching to share it with people soon.
Dear Blanca are real road dogs, especially relative to many South Carolina bands, who usually keep their shows closer to home. How is the response in other states? Favorite places to play so far? Any plans for more wide-ranging jaunts or team-ups with non-local bands?
We’ve played in a few cities for the first time recently. Sometimes that can be a bit unpredictable but we’ve been fortunate in that the shows have gone well and people seem to be responding positively to the tunes. We’ve met a lot of new people who have had very kind things to say about our music. It’s always nice to meet strangers who either already know the music and appreciate it or are hearing the music for the first time and enjoying it. I personally really enjoy visiting Baltimore. The people we’ve met while playing there have always been so friendly and have welcomed us into
their homes & block parties to play some songs for them. Some really down to earth folks hang out around that town.
Lots of influences shine through in your performances, but who (musician or otherwise) would you say inspires each of you, either recording-wise or on stage? What do yall listen to out on the road between shows?
I’ve been reading Cormac McCarthy lately. He impresses and inspires me every time I read something of his. A good novel can pretty effectively give me the inkling to write new material. We all listened to Television’s
Marquee Moon and the new Grace Joyner record in the car today.
It seems like as soon as a South Carolina band reaches a certain tipping point in popularity or experience, they usually decide to relocate to a
bigger market or scene out of state. Do you see Dear Blanca going this same route? We here at the Guide would wish you success but would probably be heartbroken.
No plans to move anytime soon. There are places that we could all see ourselves living happily but Columbia suits us all pretty well for the time being. A lot of people seem to think that it’s the right move to relocate to a town known for being a big music town but I think it’s more important to just get out of town and play the tunes no matter where you live.
Lyrically, Dear Blanca might not seem a pointedly political band. You guys got to play the Bernie Sanders rally here at the Township, though. How was that experience for y’all?
That was a great experience. The opportunity came completely out of the blue and we were all really excited. Getting to meet both Bernie and Killer Mike was pretty incredible and they both were extremely humble and kind to us. I got to make a Weekend at Bernie’s joke to a crowd chomping at the bit to see Bernie so I had a great time.
The band seems to be getting better and more professional as the excellent albums pile up. Where do you see Dear Blanca in 2 or 3 years? Still lots of priority on touring? Any changes to style?
All I can ask for is that in 3 years from now I’ll still be writing the music I want to write with the people I want to write with. I have every intention of keeping touring as a priority but I really love recording and have been writing constantly. So, we plan on consistently releasing new material as well. No sleep til Brooklyn.
Sean Knight is a native South Carolinian who has spent his life bouncing back and forth between SC and Texas, playing in bands you probably never heard of in both states and stinking up open-mic nights in the Low Country for many years. He plays, collects, listens to and probably spends too much of his life obsessing over music.