The alt-pop group New Dialogue is making music with a purpose. They just wrapped up a tour with lovelytheband, previously touring with Marianas Trench, Small Pools and one-offs for Bishop Briggs. They have mastered writing catchy pop choruses while maintaining their truth and shedding a light on reality. The LA-based band has been crafting their sound for five years before unveiling themselves as New Dialogue, taking their namesake seriously.
The following interview was conducted via phone with vocalist Ela Kitapci on the way to their Detroit show on June 21st. Our questions are in italic.
While I was doing some research and stalking you guys and what not, you guys used to go by a different moniker?
Yes, we did in fact. We were under a different name a little bit over a year ago now. I don’t know if you were able to find it through your searching and stalking, but we were that band for about four or five years, and it was some of the same members in the current lineup now but me and Taylor, the other lead singer and guitarist, he and I have been writing music together since 2010. We’ve been partners a while in music and then we added the rest of the boys about four years ago. We decided we reached a plateau with the previous band that we were and was looking to do something new and write some new songs and start fresh. We had the opportunity through Charlie Park who is super good friends with Small Talk, who manages lovely the band and manages us. It all kind of brewed from there, and they wanted to do something new as well. It all came together from there, and we decided to embark on this new journey.
What made you guys settle on the name, “New Dialogue?”
Essentially, it is exactly what it means. We want to embody important conversations within our music. We want to create a new dialogue every time we speak to our audience about the things we care about and share an important conversation, whether it be about something going on around the world or personal relationships or anything like that.
“Teach Me How to Feel” is your debut EP under New Dialogue. How did you guys decide on those five songs?
It kind of just happened really naturally. When we decided to create this new band, we immediately went into the studio, we started writing and recording and bringing new people in to help us find the sound we really wanted to redefine. We had over about eight months where we recorded these songs and like or two more. By the end of it, it felt pretty clear what songs were the strongest. ‘Are You Like Me’ was the last one we were really excited about. ‘Pilgrims’ came around first, that was when we sat down and put together this is really special and used that as our building block for the rest of the EP.
So, is your songwriting process pretty collaborative between all of you?
It honestly all starts in different ways. Where like Taylor will come in with a half-written song in the studio and build upon that with the band. Or we have a couple different producers and songwriters that we’ve worked with and love to bring in over and over just to have them assist because they’re so good. It may start somewhere different each time and then we finish it off and build it. It’s really cool.
More specifically, I read somewhere that 'Neon Oceans' was written after the last elections; do you guys feel responsible to talk about those things in your music?
Definitely. That’s part of the responsibility that we have is to talk about things that are happening, whether people want to hear it or not, whether people agree or not. It’s really just something that happened that we all felt really strongly about. We were just so confused about what happening. It definitely feels like a good responsibility to have to write about something. That song too is really cool because you can listen to it and interpret it in so many different ways, not just specifically what it was inspired from.
I know you guys have also written music for other artists, how do you know when a song you've written is meant for someone else rather than New Dialogue?
The Kiiara song? That was cool because we went into the studio with Christian Medice and Larzz Principato and Taylor and I essentially went in to write for the band to get something cool for us and you never really know what’s going to happen in the studio once you start creating. You want to allow the song to be made to just happen the way it needs to happen without trying to force it into our world and our box and just allowed it to flourish and write. The direction it ended up going in ended up being super pop, cool vibe. Half way through the session, we all looked at each other and was like this is really cool, but it’s not right for us. We were totally happy with that and just continued writing. Once we finished it, we were like let’s try to push this off onto another artist. It’s really cool the way it worked out. We’re super stoked on the song, and she was super happy to have it, and we were happy to give it to her.
You've been touring non stop the past month spring, how did you prepare yourself mentally?
The touring life is so exhausting in a good way, where like it’s like we’ll take a day before we leave for tour to just get all the music together we want to listen to when we drive, try and remind ourselves not to eat too terribly. We all have our different rituals, but it’s one of those things where you have to prepare for the long, long hours of driving. So, it’s a lot of music, podcasts, bring a couple books to pass the time-- once we’re on the road, it’s like what’s going to happen is going to happen. We’re not going to drink that much.
What podcasts do you guys listen to?
My friend recommended a podcast to me. I don’t know if it’s appropriate to talk about but there’s a podcast, 'Call Her Daddy?'
I love that podcast!
I’m so glad you do. It’s definitely R rated, but it is hilarious. After hours and hours of listening to music, it’s a really nice alleviation. I love it. I think it’s hilarious. It makes me laugh.
What songs have been the most fun to perform live?
I would definitely say it’s between ‘Pilgrims’ and ‘Are You Like Me.’ It’s a draw because ‘Pilgrims’ is great. Everyone gets super into it. Everyone sings along with us. It’s super fun. ‘Are You Like Me’ has a good beat to dance around. It’s fun to wake up and dance, and the bridge is awesome. We have a good time with that one.
Have fans been pretty receptive to you guys?
Yeah, definitely. It’s been really humbling and shocking to see the reaction from people because these tours we’ve been on in the past couple months have been opening for the headliners. So, we go on stage, and we’re trying to win their fans over, and it definitely feels like we’ve been doing that successfully, which feels good. It’s really amazing. After every show we have people coming up wanting to meet us, take pictures and want to say hi and tell us how great the show was and that they have all of our music now and can’t wait to hear more. We have people coming back from previous tours that they saw us for the first time and now coming back around to their city again to come see us again. That’s a really cool thing to have those connections with people.
You've toured with some really incredible musicians, Smallpools, Marianas Trench and lovely the band-- have any of them given you advice that's really stuck with you?
All of them have been amazing and it’s been a learning experience not only watching them do their thing, but I would say all of them have just been so great about telling us to keep doing what we’re doing and keep working hard and staying humble and always staying hungry for more.
This year has been pretty big for your guys' career, do you feel a lot of pressure keep on this momentum?
For sure, we do. But there’s also a lot of excitement brewing because we have a lot to do and a lot to get ready for so I think that keeps it exciting and doesn’t make us worry too much about the pressure that comes with it all. Definitely a lot of excitement, we love touring, and we love being on the road. It’s an amazing thing to be able to do, and we’re going to start recording the next album, which is something we’re really, really excited for and put some new music out there.
So, any other big plans for the rest of the year besides recording an album?
That’s the big ticket for sure. We want to put out a full length. That’s going to be the goal. We want to put together a solid album. We have a lot to say. These five songs have been a part of our lives for over a year now, and with seeing all of the success so far, we’re excited to really let everyone in our world with this full length so definitely excited to get that going.
The following photos were taken at The Majestic in Detroit on June 21st by Megan Gorey: