Buried among the long list of influences in the music of Stockholm-based four-piece Ditches is the ferocity and melody of The Marked Men. So, it seems only natural that the band would have The Marked Men co-founder Jeff Burke involved in their debut, self-titled LP.
Along with producing, Burke also added some backing vocals on the album, which is out now on Drunken Sailor Records.
“Well, there’s no question about it that we all really like what The Marked Men put out over the years,” says Lonegran. “So, when we recorded the 1000 Elephants EP, we reached out to Jeff Burke and Mark Ryan who, at the time, ran Cool Devices Studio, and asked them if they’d be interested in mixing and mastering the EP, which they did. Since we’ve always been happy with the result, it seemed like the next natural thing for us to do. I think we started talking about it when we opened up for Radioactivity in Stockholm back in 2018, but it took a bit more than a year to make it happen.”
The band met up with Burke in New York for a couple of weeks last summer to work on the record. They spent three to four days in a Brooklyn studio before relocating to Burke’s apartment to work on backing vocals.
“Overall, everything went pretty smooth, and I think we have some precious memories and gained some experience in the making,” Lonegran says. “Jeff is not only a really good musician, he’s also a great guy, and super fun to hang out with. I’d sure love to do it again.”
Ditches combine equal measures of garage, power pop, and punk rock to come up with their sound, and despite having some obvious influences, their personal music collections are pretty disparate.
“We all share the similar core influences, coming from the Swedish punk scene in one way or another. But I think we all also have pretty broad musical influences of our own, which, of course, finds its way into our song writing,” Lonegran says. “Everything from hardcore punk to indie pop, or 60’s doo-wop.”
For now, the band is not expecting to tour the U.S., but it’s always a possibility.
“No plans at the moment, but we all would of course love to go on a U.S. tour,” Lonegran says. “It’s been in the back of our heads since we started the band. If there are any tour managers in the U.S. reading this, get in touch!”
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Photo credit: Ela Strand