Get to know the alternative rock New York-based trio, Dry Clean Only! This band consists of Joey Wunsch – Vocals/Guitar, Connor McClelland – Bass/Vocals and Ronnie Bruno – Drums/Vocals. They formed in the summer of 2005 and after starting out playing block parties, house parties and school dances, things progressed and they began performing at different venues throughout New York City as well as out of state shows.
In 2011 Dry Clean Only released a three track demo titled “Ladies Love My Neckbeard” and then in 2013 they released a self titled EP titled “Swamp Donkey“. In 2015 they put out a ten track album titled “Dumbfounded.”
Later this year, they will be putting out their newest album “Handsome Head.” “Lonely Love” is the latest single from this forthcoming collection.
Connect With Dry Clean Only Online Here: WEBSITE
Learn more about Dry Clean Only in the following All Access interview:
Thank you for your time. So given these unusual Covid-19 times, what does a typical day look like for you? How have you adjusted to these times?
Thank you for having us here at All Access! So, we’ve been a band for a long time and we feel like it’s important to stick to a certain routine. Ronnie always get up at 5:47am to feed the neighborhood cats and get in a solid 8 hours of water polo practice. Joey usually wakes up at 7:30am and makes his way to his day job at Flux Studios here in NYC where he is the assistant manager and engineer, and after will usually sit down for hours at night working on our music. Connor frequently wakes up around 6pm and goes to the nearest gas station in search of the freshest sushi, and is usually only about half an hour late to our nightly rehearsals where we have to re-teach him the songs every time.
What has been the hardest/most challenging part about being quarantined? Is your city starting to open up more now?
Aside from not being able to play live shows and being unable to physically interact with people the most challenging part about being quarantined has been staying focused, motivated and hungry to keep working. This situation that we are currently all experiencing can really have an impact on your anxiety or just your mental health in general and we are so lucky we have eachother to lean on. We live in New York City and things seem to be slowly opening up in a safe and healthy way. Live music venues are still closed but now as rehearsal and recording studios begin to open up it’s starting to feel a bit more like normal. Even though were able to write and rehearse at Connor and Joey’s place in Brooklyn it’s always a great feeling to get back into comfortable and creative spaces to do what we do best.
How have you been able to use social media during these unprecedented times? Are you finding that you use it even more now to stay connected to fans and other musicians?
Now more than ever before social media has been a master tool for us. Not only are we able to broadcast the latest news in the world of Dry Clean Only but we can talk to fans individually and connect about anything from how the current state of the world is effecting us all to songs they would like to hear us cover. We’re so lucky to have such a loyal fan base, most of which has stuck with us since the beginning and we’re always looking to impress anybody that listens to our music! We’ve been utilizing our social media accounts more than ever to promote our music and because there is currenty no live music it forces artists to be as creative as humanly possible, which in our world is always a great thing. Why don’t you take a few minutes right now to follow us! Facebook.com/dcodrycleanonly, Instagram and Twitter: @dcodrycleanonly, and check out our website: dcodrycleanonly.com!
What has it been like having to reschedule your spring, summer and fall shows? What shows in 2021 are you are already excited for?
The current absence of live shows has been hard on us. As a band that thrives off of the connection we make with an audience it’s been honestly heartbreaking for us to have to postpone/reschedule our gigs. We were actually in the middle of a five week European tour with another amazing project we are part of, called SUSU, when the quarantine and mandatory shutdowns began taking effect, and were forced to fly back only three and a half weeks into it. We’re currently scheduled to to finish up the remaining tour dates in this coming November and we really hope to get back on the road then!
We are currently working to make 2021 the most successful year for Dry Clean Only yet. We’re finishing up a full length album right now, which we are calling Handsome Head, and working on the release. The current situation may have set us back a little while but if anything it has given us a chance to perfect the release even more. You only get one chance to release something and we want to give the music a proper entrance into the world. This is going to be such a fun album to tour on, and we cannot wait to once again be playing live shows and having fun with everyone!
Since we are all desperately missing live music, can you recall a favorite show of yours from the past? What do you think ultimately makes for a great show for you? What about a favorite show of someone else?
As a band we feel it’s important to always keep improving our live performances and we always want our most recent show to be as memorable as possible. The last Dry Clean Only show was in late December 2019 at Bowery Electric in New York City, and was probably our most fun show of the year. Considering that there isn’t live music right now we also were recently featured in a series of live stream concerts from Studios at Fischer in Canyon Lake Texas. Being that venues are closed it’s amazing to see the jump in not only the number of live streamed sets but the quality of them as well. Fans may not be right at our fingertips for the time being but we will always jump at the oppurtunity to play! It’s also fun to figure out different ways to connect with people. Our most fun memories of a show we saw all together was Amnesia Rockfest in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We took a little road trip in the summer of 2015 for Ronnie’s birthday and got to see a number of great bands live including Rancid, The Offspring, Goldfinger, Coheed and Cambria and The Descendants just to name a few. We were so happy we got to experience that as a band and it inspired us to continue to do what we love.
How did you come up with your band name? Was it hard to come up with a name that accurately described your sound and the music you hope to create?
So our name, Dry Clean Only, has a pretty innocent and funny origin, and we love answering this question! When our drummer, Ronnie, was walking home from elementary school one day with a group of his friends one of the girls he was with asked him what his tag was. He had no idea that she was referring to a graffiti tag so he took off the sweater he was wearing and read the inside tag which said Dry Clean Only. We were all so young at the time, Ronnie was 11, Connor was 10, and Joey was 9 years old, that we thought it was the funniest thing in the world at the time. Yes, Ronnie is totally oblivious but this story had such an impact on us that it’s what we named the band! The name just fits both our individual and collective personalities so well that it stood the test of time.
Let’s talk about your newest single “Lonely Love.” What was the inspiration for this track? How does it compare to anything else that you have released?
“Lonely Love” is the latest single off our upcoming album Handsome Head, and we are so stoked for people to hear it! There really wasn’t a particular event in any one of our lives that inspired the song, rather it felt like something that everyone could relate to on some level. When you dive into the lyrics of the song you can feel the emotional tension of two forces craving to be one by any means, and it feels dirty because it is dirty. While it has that true Dry Clean Only sound I guess what makes this song different than most others is that “Lonely Love” isn’t necessarily based on an actual experience, it’s more of a story we created that we are confident everyone has experienced in one way or another. It was important for us to paint the picture of both the pain of longing for someone you want to be with and the satisfaction of getting it.
Do you plan to release more new music soon and a full album of new songs? Are you working on new material now?
Yes, we plan on releasing our next full length album in the very near future! The album is called Handsome Head and we are currently putting the finishing touches on it, so keep your eyes and ears open! Handsome Head is a nickname Ronnie has for one of his cats. We loved the alliteration of the phrase and we feel like it conveys what this collection of songs means to us. This is probably the one time in the history of the band that Ronnie being a freak has paid off. Also, no matter what we are always writing. You never know when a melody or idea will hit you and you’d be foolish not to try to extend on any idea you have because nobody ever knows where their next song will come from.
How do you think future music is going to be influenced by this incredible and absolutely necessary Black Lives Matter movement that the US and even the world is going through now? Is it inspiring you and your music today at all?
We know that the future of music will absolutley be influenced in a positive way. Whenever there is call for necessary social change music has been there for people. It is important to keep having the right conversations and to always be present and listen to what people have to say. We are constantly inspired by individuals and groups that are fighting for vital change and the messages they bring with it. We hope that this change is the catalyst to make the world a more loving place for everyone.
If you could get into the studio with any artist today and collaborate on a new song for you, who would it be and why?
This is a tough one because there are so many incredible artists that have influenced us both individually and as a band. We’ve been reaching out to John Mayer to see if he could replace Joey but thus far attempts have been fruitless…however, Connor has been throwing around the name Billy Ray Cyrus a bunch and we feel that anything is possible! But in all seriousness we would love to collaborate with Green Day. They have probably had the single biggest influence on us collectively as a band and honestly we would just like to drink a little bit of their sweat for good luck!
What would your dream music video look like right now?
We put a lot of thought and preparation into all of our music videos and each time strive to create a dream video. We recently finished the video for our upcoming single “Lonely Love” and the experience in itself was a dream come true. We had such an amazing crew to work with while shooting down at Studios at Fischer and it helps having such a creative team of professional individuals all working for the same goal as we are. There’s a lot skin, sun tan lotion, animals, and some plastic pool toys involved and we know you guys are going to love it!
Would you like to share anything else about yourself or your music with our readers?
Yes!! “Lonely Love”, the first single off of our latest album, Handsome Head, is set to be released on Friday, August 21st on all platforms, and this includes the music video! We cannot wait to finally begin the release process for this record, which we worked so hard on. We love all of our supporters and hope to make some new fans along the way. If you guys are interested in keeping up to date with all things Dry Clean Only follow us on all of our social media accounts, and please always reach out when you need us or even if you just want to go get some gas station sushi. Stay safe, we love you all!