SAID DOG is Paul Jago and his partner in crime, Aidyl Jago. They are a progressive acoustic rock duo, now based in northern British Columbia, Canada after a three and a half year stint in the southwestern U.S. For a small outfit, they make a ton of noise - huge vocals, challenging harmonies, pounding guitars and a kick drum keeping the driving beat, which Paul plays while attacking his guitar parts and singing.
Paul's songwriting has it's own unique signature as well. Rooted in the most peculiar chords (he literally makes them up - he says he envisions a strange chord, then finds it on the fretboard), his lyrics speak directly of his life experiences, on this earthly plane and otherwise. Nothing contrived, and nothing held back. Aidyl adds rich and soothing vocal textures to calm and compliment Paul's raucous vocals.
You may remember Paul as the lead singer and primary creative force behind the alternative rock band the gandharvas, from London, Ontario, Canada (for full details on the career of the gandharvas, visit www.myspace.com/firstdayofspring). The gandharvas had a successful decade-long run in the 1990s, releasing three albums with Watch Music/MCA Hollywood, touring extensively across Canada and the US, and building a loyal and passionate fan-base on both sides of the border. Praised by rock music critics across the country, the gandharvas set a new standard for alternative rock music in Canada, and are often cited in the media as a reference point by which young bands and rock singers today are measured.
However, SAID DOG did not exactly pick up where the gandharvas left off. In Paul's words, "I write songs. Always have. It has been the art form in which I have been documenting my ideas for many years - my journal so to speak... Whoever remembers the gandharvas will hear something familiar in SAID DOG, since I was the principal writer in the band, and my voice is fairly distinctive... The tone of the music builds upon such acts as the Beatles, Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, or maybe Steve Miller I guess. Bluesy, rootsy, progressive rock with hooks. It's not retro, or copycatting anything. There is no 'pretend' going on. And it's definitely not corporate sounding. It's honest."
After the gandharvas disbanded in 2000, Paul Jago turned to his other passion - plate tectonics. He began a six year journey of academia, returning to the classroom in 2001 to study Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto, then completing a graduate degree in Geological Science at the University of British Columbia.
"I made this decision years ago when I was living in Toronto. I wanted to find a way of making a living that would allow me to personally fund my music, and not be reliant on a record company, or to have to schmooze (yuck) the music industry community. Also, it had to be something that interested me. I developed an interest in geology after touring through the Canadian Cordillera with the gandharvas, plus I've long been keen on evolution theory, plate tectonics, and deep time. I have a bit of a fascination with time - a common motif in gandharvas songs. As to the relationship between geologist, and musician, I am kind of like Happy Gilmore. I'd rather be playing music (hockey), but I'm really good at geology (golf) and lately, it pays the bills and treats me better."
Geology is what offered SAID DOG the opportunity to relocate to the southwestern United States. The Yavapai and Sonoran desert, the Rocky Mountains and open-pit mines give physical context to their three EPs:
"NOTHING, AZ" - released March 2009, recorded in the SAID DOG home studios in Bagdad, Arizona
"GOD DIAS" - released December 2009, recorded in the SAID DOG home studios in Bagdad and Tucson, Arizona and at the H&H Motor Lodge in Idaho Springs, Colorado while on the road
"TEN MILE RANGE" - released February 2012, recorded in the SAID DOG home studios in Copper Mountain and Idaho Springs, Colorado
SAID DOG's latest EP "TEN MILE RANGE" is their semi-acoustic offering, no drum kit or electric guitar in the recordings, attempting to capture the essence of their live performances. The first single, "Branes of Brahman", is an epic spiritual journey from beginning to end, complete with intense instrumental interlude mid-song. "TEN MILE RANGE" is also SAID DOG's first foray into cover recordings, but in signature SAID DOG style, they are the most unexpected cover songs: Motown, Bacharach/David and Jackson Browne.
And, so, SAID DOG says, "SADDLE UP!" They're back, and ready to ride in the Great White North.