Pavlov's Dog are back. "Prodigal Dreamer" is the band's first album with new studio material in eight years. It's a strong sign of life. Although David Surkamp is only one of the founding members, it sounds like a lost work from the seventies. But unlike "The Pekin Tapes" from 2014, which surprisingly presented songs from the time before the band's famous debut album, the 13 tracks of "Prodigal Dreamer" are all fresh. And a song with a woman's name in the title also exists again.
With their debut "Pampered Menial" and the melodramatic ballad "Julia" Pavlov's Dog defined their unmistakable sound early on: the music of the US band oscillated between Prog, Folk and Classic Rock regardless of musical fashions. David Surkamp's falsetto voice was as much in the ears as Siegfried Carvers' characteristic violin playing and Doug Rayburn's mellotron cloud. The course of her career has been unsteady. After five years the band split up and came together again in 1990 and 2004 for an album and a concert respectively. It was not until 2005 that Pavlov's Dog resumed its work permanently. After the death of their keyboarder and three former comrades-in-arms in recent years, Pavlov's Dog now sail in calmer waters, reports singer David Surkamp.
eclipsed: "Prodigal Dreamer" has become a surprisingly intense album. What has happened in the eight years since Echo And Boo?
David Surkamp: To be honest, the album should have been released earlier. After recording the basic tracks, we wanted to record everything live, but Nathan [Jatcko], our keyboarder, took his own life in January. This completely took the wind out of our sails and we mourned for a few months.
eclipsed: In addition to Nathan Jatcko, three founding members, Siegfried Carver, Doug Rayburn and Rick Stockton, have died in the past ten years. What influence did this have on the new album?
Surkamp: God, yes, crazy to lose so many friends in all these years, but hard to say what that means for the music. Anyway, at mid-sixties, I wanted to bring things together organically in order to get to the core of the songs. No big production, instead we all recorded the songs together in the studio in one or two takes live. There were no overdubs.
eclipsed: How has the material of "Prodigal Dreamer" developed over the years?
Surkamp: "Paris" and "Thrill Of It All" are the last songs I wrote with Doug Rayburn but didn't record anymore. Everything else is new. No, wait, I played "Shaking Me Down" exactly once at the concert in the Hirsch in Nuremberg. (laughs) That's what we released on the live album "House Broken". And "Crying Forever" I had originally written as a blues song for my friend Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown.