Duffy Driediger is the vocalist and one of two guitarists in the Vancouver based band, Ladyhawk. Jason Nocito is a photographer based in New York City, respected in both the world of commercial and art photography. The two collaborated recently on a record/book project under the name Duffy and the Doubters – Scriptural Supplies, available now from Triple Crown Audio. The following is a conversation recorded in Duffy’s living room in July 2010 surrounding their history and the fruits of their recent collaboration.
Photo: Jason Nocito
Jason: So, when did you come up with the idea for the record?
Duffy: Like, recording the record? I don’t know…
Jason: I feel like you started that process a long time ago.
Duffy: A while ago, cause I just felt kinda burnt out, and I felt sort of stalled writing other songs for Ladyhawk but…
Jason: Doing everything else for everybody else…
Duffy: Ya man, time to do something for myself, me! (laughs)
Jason: But how did we ever come up with the idea for doing the book? What happened, was it before I left [Vancouver]?
Duffy: I don’t know, I just remember talking about it, I don’t think I even had any songs yet, but I wanted to record an album and was like, “you should put together a photo book to go along with it, and I’ll put it out myself because I’m tired of dealing with fucking indie record labels” (laughs)…
Duffy: No, non-specific. (laughs)
Duffy: And now that it’s actually at the point where we did that, I’m like, wow, that’s pretty cool, ‘cause I usually just say things and never actually follow through with them.
Jason: That was the big thing I feel like, cause at that period you were getting down on yourself for not doing your own thing…
Duffy: Ya, it’s true…
Jason: I remember that cause you were talking about it for maybe a year before, I swear, cause I’d come over here and we’d talk about it…
Duffy: Ya, probably.
Jason: You know what I mean, there was a real long dialogue about doing your own thing, and you just jumped ship, committed social suicide…
Duffy: Committed musical adultery
Jason: But I think it was a good idea, personally…
Jason: What about the record, does it have anything behind it?
Duffy: I don’t know, cause I don’t feel I really tried to do anything. Cause I find that with writing songs I tend to get into a pattern where I over think everything so much that I really was like, I’m just gonna try to write a bunch of songs really fast and when it’s done it’s done, and not re do it, and not think about it. Try to write it,record it, and release it as fast as possible in contrast to normally how it takes fucking forever to do anything.
Jason: And you put it out yourself, immediately.
Duffy: I was so bummed with how our last record as a band we had to wait a year, 13 months, after we finished recording it until it was released. 13 fucking months. It was such a bummer, I was just like, fuck that. I can record and release records on my own faster, I don’t care if anyone hears it or anything, I just don’t want to have to deal with having to be put on the shelf like that. To feel like you’re on such low priority to someone. I mean I’m not trying to say I feel we deserve more than that but it was such a slap in the face. I feel like this album grew out of spite and anger but I don’t know if the songs reflect that. It was the seed for me wanting to do that. But I think it’s more of the same in that it’s teenage shit. It feels like teenage shit to me. But I feel that it’s more mature in some ways even though the songs aren’t about anything. But I’m happy about it and I think I’ve figured out a new way to make music for myself that works. Instead of getting hung up on shit. I feel like it’s less emo sounding but more emo to me. (laughs)
Duffy and Jason. Photo by Jason Nocito
Duffy: So, how did you choose, or was there a specific system for choosing the images that were to go into the book, or did you have an idea to begin with, or was it just like “I think these ones will look good”?
Jason: I think that the idea was knowing each other, you know what I mean? I think I probably wouldn’t need anything other than our time together, you know what I mean, that sort of created that whole book, even though it doesn’t have direct correlations with specific songs. It is kind of you, in a weird way, even though there’s a picture of you in there, there is either things that you and I did together, or things that probably reminded me of a time with you, like the Crow photo, or things about BC. There’s definitely the whole “BC vibe”. But it does have correlation with the record, randomly, maybe subconsciously I had an idea of the record.
Duffy: But before you heard it you had an idea of what pictures were going to go in it…
Jason: But I changed it, I fucked it pretty hard, last minute, I fuckin smoked it, rolled it up…
Duffy: You had all those pictures before hand.
Jason: There were some pictures there that were newer, they were all pretty much from that year. And “the Flies” one had just been taken.
Duffy: Ya, lets talk about that. So what’s the story? Obviously you were like, “Hey I gotta show you this picture I took, you’re gonna love it,” and you sent it to me, and my mind actually popped
Jason: Like a zit, like a zit on my back?
Duffy: So how did that happen?
Jason: Meghan had just moved into New York, so I was in New York all the time, and we have a little balcony on our porch. I was really stoned, and these fucking flies were buzzing around for like ten minutes, so I was like, woah, they’re like, boning. And I never knew that’s what flies did… people say they see that all the time and I think it’s bullshit. So I just grabbed my Canon with 100mm lens and a flash, you know and took my macro stand out and got it all set up and spent just hours on that one shot.
Duffy: It’s just crazy that you were so close, like what were you a foot, two feet away?
Jason: No, I was like 6 inches.
Duffy: And they didn’t fly away?
Jason: I have a bunch of pictures of it… It was bizarre cause it just kept going on. They would buzz around and then land and bone again.
Duffy: An epic session.
Jason: It was Tantric, it was like Sting, literally, no pun intended. No, but the whole thing was what, like 30 seconds, but it was pretty wild, man. And then I got kinda creeped out by them boning on my porch and me shooting them. And that was it, I’ve never seen those flies again. But I have the memories, forever. And you bugged out over it and wanted to use it for the cover.
Duffy: It was like when you showed me the photo of the mask for the cover of Shots, the second I saw it, it was like “that’s it.” It was like that’s the best picture I’ve ever seen.
Jason: And those photos are kinda similar in a weird way, they’re kinda like…
Duffy: There’s more going on than just what’s in the picture. To me, when I look at either of those pictures. To me, it says more to me than just what it is.
Jason: Getting boned.
Duffy: It says something else… Something that speaks to the darker places in my soul.
A Little History…
Duffy: So we’ve worked together in the past…
Jason: Ya, a ton… right? We met in two thousand… six?
Duffy: Ya I think so, cause it was right when Ladyhawk’s first record came out.
Jason: Ya, it was that day of the Destroyer and Ladyhawk show at Richard’s.
Duffy: And you came to our jam space and took photos of us for The Fader
Jason: Did we get baked?
Duffy: I think so, we bought a bunch of beer… and that was back when we were all about “Let’s drink beer!”
Jason: And I ended up in Vancouver cause my girlfriend at the time, who’s my wife now, is from here and I met her in like 2003. So I was in transit to Vancouver for a long time, on and off, and that’s how I started hanging out with you dudes. And you guys were touring a lot at that time, too. So then I saw you in New York that summer right when I got engaged, then you came back in November and that’s when we had that serious bro down at CMJ. After you guys stole the 12 bottles of Black Bush and everybody went out into the yard and sang camp town songs and we fuckin stayed inside and listened to Sunny Day Real Estate and played air-guitar for four hours…
Duffy: In front of a laptop, and talked about Silkworm.
Jason: Ya ya, and how it’s all about Silkworm – that’s actually how I learned about Silkworm.
Duffy: That’s awesome.
Jason: And then you guys toured a bunch that year and I came to Vancouver, and then we had to do the next record… was that Summer 2008?
Duffy: I have no idea… That’s when we did the cover for the EP? We took those pictures in the alley
Jason: You had the idea of doing them by the dumpster… and then with the amps out by the dumpster?
Jason: Ya, you have the awesome alley outside your studio… But anyway, back to the record at hand… You sent me the song titles and the CD before I made the book, in January, I remember. What about that trip we took… well, I guess we’ve been on a lot of trips together.
Duffy: You’ve met up with us on tour a bunch.
Jason: Ya, a million times. I don’t know, I guess in general, we spent some time together and I think that’s genuinely how that book happened. I think basically being friends and spending time. When I’m here and you get a day off and just getting baked and listening to records over here at your place and talking about the Grateful Dead.
Duffy: Ya, totally.