Dad Bod Discusses forthcoming ‘Pastels’ LP

Michael Marinos of Dad Bod discusses their forthcoming 'Pastels' LP, to be released October 29, 2021. He talks with Puddlegum about their writing and recording process.
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Dad Bod is a Salt Lake City six-piece band comprised of three brothers and three friends. They recently finished their second full-length called Pastels, to be released October 29.

We caught up with Michael Marinos, and talked about the album in the works. The conversation began in April, 2021, while they were working on the songs. The Drifter had been released a few weeks prior.

The Salt Lake City band tends to track together, laying the foundation of each song as a band. You can hear this in their music; there’s an energy and dynamic that is unique to live tracking. Their music video for The Drifter catches them tracking together in a home by a frozen lake.

When I asked Michael about this recording approach, he said, “We do! Luckily three of us being brothers and all of us living so close we’ve been able to record together during these crazy times. When everything started last year we quarantined together.”

When the Marinos brothers were quarantined together during 2020, they began the initial work on the songs. But most of the process took place in Michael’s home studio. “The album was all of us. I (Michael Marinos) mixed and tracked the whole thing and then we had Brian Zieske (Off Axis Audio) master it.”

On top of this, bandmate Russell Allphin also releases music as Adult Prom. He recently self-released an album called Mild Horses that is well worth your time.

Dad Bod’s line-up

Michael Marinos – vocals, guitar
Marcus Marinos – drums
Matthew Marinos – bass
Russell Allphin – synth, backup vocals, guitar
Jonny Seegmiller – lead guitar
Kevin Castañeda – guitar, shaker, backup vocals

Dad Bod – My Own (SoundCloud)

Pastels has a timeless feel, not to be cliché, but it does. I asked Michael about this, and he shared, “It wasn’t something going into it that was intentional, but it definitely turned into that because of our influences. There were definitely tones and sounds that I was drawn too that I felt created a sense of nostalgia and emotion that I really liked.”

As for influences, “We definitely each have our own influences, but collectively we have a few that we always are influenced by… The Beatles, Loving, The Beach Boys, Father John Misty, Weyes Blood to name a few.”

You can hear the influences as you listen to Pastels.  It feels like an album that has influences from the 60s and 70s… the minimal mic technique on the drums, the guitar tones, the synths they use, and the way things are spaced in the mix. Yet, it doesn’t sound like they cloned sounds.

You can hear this in their single, My Own, which is also on Pastels. The consistency extends from this song throughout the entire album.

The ten tracks have a psychedelic sound that pulls you in. It flows like a complete album, one that you don’t want to pause once you’ve started. Pastels is a standout album that will deserve the attention it receives.

Dad Bod – Pastels track listing

  1. Pastels
  2. Wasting Another Heart
  3. Tenderness
  4. The Drifter
  5. Talking
  6. My Own
  7. Pages
  8. All Of My Life
  9. Jean
  10. Out Of Order

Writing and Recording Pastels

When were the songs written? “A few were written back in 2019, but most of them were written in 2020 during the pandemic,” Michael explains. “‘Tenderness’ was one that we literally got together, and Russ and I combined two songs that we had both written, and jammed it all together. It was written in one jam session. So fun.”

It takes time for a band to develop that chemistry… unless you’re brothers. “We feel very lucky we have that connection. I think it helps with being free to say what you think and want.”

Michael shared about their recording process, “We go off of each person. If everyone feels good with that take, then we are good to go! Tracking is so fun but it can be so much work and frustration. But we have loved doing it on our own.”

Dad Bod – Drifter (SoundCloud)

While tracking drums, they take a minimal approach to mic’ing. “Our current mic set up for the drums which have really been stoked on is an SM57 on the top of the snare, SM57 on the kick, and then a shitty lil Samson condenser mic as an overhead and another under the snare. It’s been getting some great stuff so we are rolling with it!”

As for recording guitar, they use a Shure SM57 microphone, “most of the time. Sometimes we will DI it. Always experimenting. Typically we DI the bass. Matthew just got this Hofner Contemporary bass that sounds so good on its own.”

Michael explained, “I have been working on a lot of the songs on the album alone at my place. I have a little bedroom studio in my wife and I’s apartment. Typically that’s where the songs would start and then I’d bring them to the guys, we’d jam them, and make them better. A couple of the songs just came about by us just jamming together though.”

When they jam, they all bring their tastes and influences. “Everyone brings their own flavor to it. It’s been great.” Their process is open, and generally comes from each member contributing. “I’d say we are allowing the songs and sounds to take its shape naturally. They are definitely inspired from various artists and sounds but they eventually turn into something new and original.”

Honestly though, I think we are really lucky with the six of us we have. It’s such a great environment because we are friends and just enjoy hanging out. There isn’t an ego problem.

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Kevin Flick
Kevin Flick

Kevin Flick founded Puddlegum in 1997 and has been engaging in music journalism off and on since. He's also a recording/mixing engineer and loves to help bands work through the creative process. He has coproduced and mixed for artists such as Saeyers, Midi Memory, and Cathedral Bells.

Rumors are that he's a Brighton Hove & Albion FC fan. He's also obsessed with coffee. Kevin resides in the college community of Bloomington, Indiana, where he studied at Indiana University.

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