By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
"On tour, life is about a lot of drinking and getting drunk," Dinardo says, mouth still full of ice cream sandwich.
Coming from the other end of the phone, as the band rolls through Texas farm country, are Dinardo's genuinely earnest confessionals about the trials of hitting the road trying to get people to hear his new record. You have to give it to the band in one respect; they are going to be on the road 200 days this year, consuming fast food and hauling gear to spread their gospel. ("America, man, it's so fucking big. It's hard to go to the same place twice. It takes so long," Dinardo muses.) But by now, critics have lined up to take pot shots at the more recent, formulaic NYC rock exports, and the message presented on Thank You, Goodnight! has been met with mixed reviews. The super-glossy collection of guitar-strong Oasis throwaways has gotten a black eye from writers who find Dinardo's adopted Brit drawl and mind-numbing lyrics ("Time is a friend of mine/She's an ocean"--wha?) a little hard to stomach.
"Some critics don't like it, but whatever, we're doing what we want to do," Dinardo says. "The British press respects new artists more than they do here. They want new stuff. If you go to Rolling Stone, they are like, 'Yeah, yeah, never heard of them. Forget about it.' In the UK they are like, 'Oh, I've never heard of them, let me check it out.'"
Eventually, no matter how suspect Dinardo's path to stardom is, his unbridled passion to live the rock-and-roll dream is obvious by the tone of his voice. No matter how painful it is to hear him wax philosophical about the on-the-road struggle as an artist, by the way he talks it's obvious he really believes.
"We know those other people in bands in New York, but it isn't anything like that. We don't think about that kind of success," he says. "Those are bands that people fall in and out of love with very quickly. They are very for the moment. Even though they are good bands, it reminds me of the Romantics or bands like that, bands that are all about a fad. We're not really like that. We're fans of Bowie or the Beatles. We are like bands like Aerosmith and Zeppelin--bands that just tour. When things are tough I always go back to the Sex Pistols, who got stuff thrown at them in the Midwest. That's us, man."