Q&A: Dove Hunter on Recording and Flying Scorpions

Bring on the flying scorpions, guys! (Lee Setty)
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Dove Hunter has been slowly gaining a reputation as one of the Dallas area’s best new bands, despite having only a few unmastered demo tracks on its MySpace page. But with members hailing from defunct-but-still-beloved local acts like Mandarin, Doosu and Sub Oslo, the group doesn’t face quite the same uphill battle for attention that plagues other start-ups. A reputation for excellent live shows doesn’t hurt, either.

The band began in 2006 when former Mandarin singer and guitarist Jayson Wortham and former Doosu bassist Chad DeAtley started talking about the Stones and Zeppelin rock that inspired them. They brought in guitarist Josh Daugherty, formerly of Pinkston, and Sub Oslo drummer Quincy Holloway for some early recording sessions (at the Garland studio of Lo-Fi Chorus’ Chad Walls and Lance Landing). Rounding out the band is Marc Montoya (also in Bridges and Blinking Lights) on baritone guitar and piano.

We recently talked with Wortham and DeAtley about whether or not they will ever put out an album. While we were at it, we got the low-down on flying scorpions.

Are you recording any time soon?

DeAtley: We are in the process of recording – a very long process – with a man called Stuart Sikes. We are slotted to finish at the end of the month. We’ve pretty much tracked everything, and we have some finishing touches and some mixing to do. I would say that we would probably have an album by March. (To Wortham) What do you think of that?

Wortham: I think that would be good.

DeAtley: We already have artwork and all the other things done, from Jayson’s wife, Memory. We’re pretty much set. Everything is recorded for the most part.

How did you get hooked up with Sikes (a Dallas engineer who has recorded the likes of the White Stripes and Loretta Lynn)?

DeAtley: He came to one of our shows, probably the second show at the Amsterdam, and expressed interest to us. We had already been thinking about going to him. We ended up giving it a whirl. We had actually recorded two songs in January 2007. It was kind of a testing, to see if we liked him and if he worked well with us, and obviously it worked well.

Wortham: He didn’t say he didn’t want to record us again.

DeAtley: Yeah, that’s the key element. So we picked up in August or September 2007 and started really recording. And because of the Cat Power album, it’s pretty much fitting his schedule.

How are you going to release it?

Wortham: We’re going to shop it.

DeAtley: We’ll probably just put it out ourselves.

Wortham: We need to get something out there quick, you know? We’ll definitely, as soon as it’s done, sell it at shows.

Have you gotten any hints (of interest) from any labels, like Bella Union (which released Mandarin’s Fast >Future >Present)?

Wortham: I’m sure we’ll send it to them as well. I haven’t heard from them at all, which doesn’t mean anything. We’ll go through Stuart, too. He seems to know who he wants to send it to.

DeAtley: He has a lot of connects. There’s been stupid little things on the Internet that people have sent us. “Hey, I’m from Epic Records. I’m really interested. Send me some other stuff!” But you know, we’re all in our mid-30s. We’re like, “Man, we’ve seen this shit before.”

Where did the name Dove Hunter come from?

Wortham: I came up with it because I thought it was funny. Dove is the symbol of peace, and it’s being hunted. But then I read about this scorpion they found in South Texas and Mexico that had wings.

DeAtley: It actually attacked doves.

Wortham: Peasant farmers would be drought-stricken, and they were starving, and in the morning sometimes they would find these doves on the ground that they could feed on. And, apparently, it was from these flying scorpions.

DeAtley: It would just land on doves and start jabbing its tail in.

Wortham: So they’re worshipped a little bit, I guess. They would make monuments for them out of dove feathers.

Really? I had read about that, but I had no idea it was real. I figured they were mythological.

DeAtley: It’s like the jackalope, I’m pretty sure.

Wortham: No one’s ever found one.

Dove Hunter performs 8 p.m. tonight with Yeasayer at the Granada Theatre. -- Jesse Hughey

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