Happy Mondays with Dentist

Written By Laura Curry

Promo photo, found on their Facebook page

The indie, punk, surf rock and garage rock vibes of Dentist’s music pair perfectly with Emily Bornemann’s distinct vocals that just breeze through the air to deliver catchy, relatable lyrics. The fast tempo of their songs keeps you grooving while fuzzed out guitars and rich  bass lines add to the allure of their music. The Pop Break had the chance to interview Dentist about their sound, their evolution as a band and their favorite aspect of performing.

Who are Dentist? (Names of the band members & the instruments you play):  Dentist is currently Emily Bornemann on bass and vocals, Justin Bornemann on guitar and Matt Hockenjos on drums—but this Monday we have Andy Bova on drums.

What year did you start as a band? 2013

As an Asbury Park based band, what do you like the best about its music scene? Where are some of your favorite places to perform in Asbury Park: The best thing about the Asbury scene, and probably any music scene, is making friends and meeting people from playing shows. A lot of our close friends are in bands, write for blogs, own a record label, or just attend a lot of shows. We wouldn’t know these people if we weren’t in a band, so that’s definitely the best part. We like to play The Saint, and Asbury Park Yacht Club, but every place is good in its own way.

Photo found on their Facebook Page

From the surf rock and garage rock vibes of your music to the fuzzed out guitars and Emily’s distinct vocals, what elements or sounds stand out the most in a Dentist song: Probably the things you mentioned already. I would say other common elements are a straightforward song structure and fast tempo.

How would you describe the aesthetics or style of Dentist: Dentist has elements of indie, surf, pop, punk, and garage. We take from the music we like to listen to.

From your debut self-titled album to your second LP Ceilings and your most recent single “The Latter,” how has your music evolved over the past couple years? How has it stayed the same: I think we are always trying to write catchy songs that we would enjoy listening to. It’s definitely a struggle to evolve as a band. It’s usually bad to change your sound drastically, but also bad to keep making the same record. I think there is definitely a difference between our first and second album.  I think the new song (“The Latter”) could have easily fit on to Ceilings, though. I don’t think we are ready yet to change our sound very much. I think we are currently more interested in perfecting what we do. By the time we do another full-length we hope that we will have evolved more, but still sound like Dentist.

Are there any themes that are explored in your music? What are they, and what inspired those ideas? How do the themes on each album compare with each other: I think we like the idea of darker themes in a happy sounding song. Not that we ever get very dark, but a lot of our songs have an element of sadness to them, juxtaposed against a very happy sounding song. We also have songs that are less serious too.

Photo by Nick Kiefer, found on their Facebook Page

What is your new single “The Latter” about? What do you like the most about this track: “The Latter” is about asking someone to be with you, and claiming that you can fix all of your problems and their problems by starting a relationship. I think the song has some innocence to it, but it’s also sincere. I like the vocal sound we have a lot.  

What’s the best part about performing? At the end of your set, how do you want the audience to feel? In what ways do you want your music to inspire listeners: I can get to a point sometimes where I’m not self-conscious or over-analyzing, but just playing and having fun and getting lost in the music. It’s usually when I can tell people are enjoying themselves.

Thinking back, do you have any favorite shows or funniest memories that come to mind? What are they: Our favorite show was when we played with one of our favorite bands, Mrs. Magician, at Anchors Bend last summer.

What song encompasses who Dentist is as a band right now? Why did you choose this song: I don’t really have an answer for that. Our two most popular songs according to Spotify are “Meet You There (In Delaware),” and “Bird In A Cage.”  Both of those songs seem to have the elements that make us sound like us.  My favorite song to play live is “Climbed Too Many Trees,” but that’s just because I enjoy playing the solo at the end.

DENTIST PLAYS TONIGHT AT WONDER BAR AT 7 P.M. WITH OVERLAKE AND PSYCHIC TEENS.

Laura Curry is a Rutgers University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. Interviewing bands and writing about music is her passion. She is a frequent concert-goer, whether they’re happening in New Brunswick basements, Asbury Park venues, concert halls in NYC and anywhere in between. Alternative rock is her go-to genre (i.e. Kings of Leon, Cage the Elephant, Foals, The Maine and lots more). When she isn’t writing for The Pop Break, she works at the North Brunswick Public Library, which offers plenty of Fantasy/Adventure novels to quench her love of reading. Additionally, she takes on creative projects from dream catchers and scrapbooks to paintings and jewelry making. She’s always happy to talk about her furry Maine Coon cat Austen and his knack for playing fetch and hide and seek. Just try not to ask about her next career move, because trust me, she’s working on it.