(by Jim Appio/Cool Dad)
During this never ending winter, Dentist was like portable sunshine, rejuvenating darkened bars and spirits with surf-rock light. When they’d play, we were able to pretend for just a little while that we weren’t on a snowed-in boardwalk but a warm beach on the west coast, short sleeves and skirts.
Now just in time for summer, Dentist will be releasing their debut album, self-titled Dentist, to flood our cars with their warm-aired sounds. New tunes, new memories. Which is why it’s so fitting that their debut should also be the debut of GoodEye Records, the new label off the very site you’re reading now.
I felt I needed to get to know my band-in-law better, so I sent them some questions to dig into their brains. If you haven’t already been introduced, Dentist is Emily Bornemann (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Justin Bornemann (lead guitar), Andy Bova (drums), Nick Kalblein (bass), and Matt Maneri (keyboard). You should get to know them a little more, too, and then come out to their record release party, which is this Friday at The Saint, to celebrate new beginnings.
Speak Into My Good Eye: There’s so many little questions I’d like to ask in order to introduce everyone to one of Asbury’s best loved surf-rock groups. First, why “Dentist?” I also noticed you have a passion for Dinosaurs. Dentists and dinosaurs. How did the name and obsession come about?
Justin: There is no big mystery behind “Dentist” or at least we don’t have a very good reason for naming the band that. We just thought it was funny for whatever reason. It was actually a terrible decision as far as finding us on Google is concerned, but we still like it. If you look up dentist band you will find us, though
Emily: As far as the dinosaurs are concerned, had I been smart enough, I would have been a paleontologist. I love dinosaurs!
SIMGE: What is the Dentist’s origin story? Where did everyone come from, and how was it formed?
Justin: Emily, Andy, and I all played in a band called No Wine For Kittens. Because the recording process for that band was moving slow, we decided to record 5 songs as Dentist over a two day period in order to have some fun and be creative without the restrictions we were dealing with at the time. No Wine For Kittens ended up breaking up, so we decided to do Dentist as our main project. Andy knew Matt and brought him on board, and I knew Nick and asked him to join. We’ve had this line up for almost a year at this point.
SIMGE: It seems Asbury Park is having a surf-rock love affair. How did Dentist gravitate towards surf-rock?
Justin: We have always loved that kind of music, and it was really natural to write those kinds of songs so we just went for it. It’s a coincidence that Asbury Park is having a love affair.
SIMGE: Your new album, “Dentist” is going to be released this coming week, the first on Speak Into My Good Eye’s new record label. Can you talk a little about the conception of your first album? Were you all prepared for the process, with a clear vision in mind?
Justin: The album is made up of the songs we had at the time. We knew we wanted it to be mostly fast songs, and we wanted it to be the type of music that we would enjoy listening to. There was a conscious decision to end the album with an acoustic song because that always seemed like a cool way to end an album. We are very excited that our album will be the first record out on Good Eye Records!
SIMGE: As a self-titled album, what do you hope listeners, old and new, will think? What would be, in your opinion, what they should take away from your debut?
Emily: We just hope people will enjoy it. It’s not a concept record or anything, but you’ll find a lot of the same themes popping up. Hopefully people will be able to relate to the lyrics in someway, and it would be nice if this was the type of record people would put on at a party.
SIMGE: I know you all probably love every track. But what is one song off the new album you’d choose as a personal highlight?
Justin: Fruit And Cake.
Emily: Fruit And Cake.
Nick: Fruit And Cake
Matt: Koko B. Ware.
SIMGE: What is your favorite venue to play in Asbury? Favorite Asbury show memory?
Justin: Asbury Lanes and The Saint.
Andy: Asbury Lanes.
Emily: Asbury Lanes.
Nick: Asbury Lanes.
Matt: Asbury Lanes.
SIMGE: Do you have any plans to tour in support of the album?
Andy: Yes. We are trying to book it now. Mostly long weekends over the summer along the east coast.
SIMGE: “Dentist” is such a tightly produced album full of sharp songs that sound like they could be heard on the radio any day now. In your minds, what is the dream end-goal – widely recognized success, home-grown mainstays?
Justin: Having big goals is important, but being realistic is also important. We will be taking it one step at a time, but of course we would love to have widely recognized success.
SIMGE: Some lightning questions to help us understand Dentist even more:
Pizza or tacos?
Justin: I love both so much, but I end up eating pizza at least once a week if not more.
Matt: Pizza cause it’s always easier on my stomach.
Star Wars Episode?
Justin: Empire Strikes Back.
Nick: Empire Strikes Back.
Andy: The Empire Strikes Back, non CGI.
Matt: Empire Strikes Back.
Emily: The one with the teddy bears.
Best Netflix binge show?
Justin: Lost and Breaking Bad.
Andy: Mad Men.
Matt: Breaking Bad.
Emily: David Attenborough Wildlife Special.
90s dream band reunion?
Justin: I wish that I went to see Weezer when they were playing only songs from the Blue Album and only songs from Pinkerton. I think this happened a year or two ago.
Andy: Sunny Day Real Estate.
Emily: I’d like to see Modest Mouse play a show where they only play older songs. Nothing after The Moon and Antarctica.
SIMGE: What are you all most looking forward to this summer?
Nick: Combing my hair.
Justin: Eating Andy’s grilling.
Matt: Long walks on the beach.
Emily: Warm Weather.
Dentist’s record release party, with Seaside Caves, Paper Streets, Dollys, and XNY, is this Friday at The Saint.