Interview with Phil Jones of Dog Bite; Playing the EARL, tonight, June 21

By Jhoni Jackson

Dropping out of art school and moving back home could do well to clog an 18-year-old’s creative flow. But when Phil Jones left the SCAD’s Savannah campus four years ago, he stumbled upon a new medium for materializing his ideas: music.

“I was bored because all my friends were still in Savannah,” Jones recalled. “I started f**king around with GarageBand, and that’s pretty much how Dog Bite started out.”

He haphazardly fell into some luck, too. He set up a Myspace page and, with little to no self-promotion, was promptly scooped up by UK-based label Young Turks—you know, the XL Recordings offshoot that brought us releases from Chairlift, Wavves and the xx, among others.

“I didn’t know who they were. I didn’t really know anything about anything at that time,” Jones joked.

Around the same time, Jones had been trading tunes with Washed Out’s Ernest Greene, whom he’d met on Myspace. It makes sense—both are in tune with an electronic sound that saunters sluggishly along a fine line between pop and ambience.

“I didn’t hear from [Greene] for like a year, then I put out an EP with Young Turks. And he hit me up one day on Facebook and was like, ‘Hey, wanna be in the live band?’ And I said sure,” Jones explained.

Dog Bite’s momentum stalled a bit then, but not for nothing—Jones spent that time traveling the world as Washed Out’s keyboardist.

“I started the full [Dog Bite] band when we came back from break from the Washed Out tour. Ernest, the way he puts everything together, is very similar to me,” Jones said.

Already pals with most of them, Jones gathered Atlanta musicians Will Fussell (Moodrings), Woody Shortridge (Balkans), Cameron Gardner (Washed Out) and Stephen Lusce (Red Sea) for his onstage lineup. They’ve since hit some of Atlanta’s most beloved venues, as well as throughout the South during a short tour with Washed Out last May.

But Jones’ post-college pursuits don’t end with Dog Bite. He recently debuted a side-project called Acid Flashback, and produced EPs for Moodrings and Bosco. The latter you can catch at the EARL tonight—right before Jones and company take the stage.

As if he wasn’t busy enough already, Jones said he’s considering a new project.

“I was going to put together this all-girl band,” he said. “That’s just an idea. I have to work it out first.”


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