interview: Harvey Jay Dodgson – let the ‘Alligator’ swim your mind

"As well as hopefully finding music that you can dance, let loose and sing along to, I write in a way which lets the listener put their own meaning to the song."
19 May 2023

Before going on stage at the Glastonbury Hive Stage on June 22, Portsmouth’s Harvey Jay Dodgson released his indie-rock EP Alligator – and it’s awesome!

Dodgson explains: “Ominous, elusive, dangerous. Alligator sweeps through the shallowest of waters. Alligator creeps to the shadow where the shore is. Attack, defeat, it’s over. 

Through eerie verses, soaring guitar lines and gritty breakbeat drums, uncover the struggles and releases of an unforgiving mind on its frustrated, timeless journey. Lyrics of honest betrayal, gospel inspired vocals floating on rough yet rigorous edges. Each track has been written upon pent up angst and emotion. Subjects which resonate. Feelings relentless. 

Produced raw and bold by Damon Minchella and Tom Manning; sprinkled with tension-building backing vocals  recorded with Michael Smith, Alligator is the title track of my second EP, concluding chapter two of my project, gearing up for a debut album in the near future. So lock in, zone out, follow the beat, and let the alligator swim your mind…” 

Dodgson puts his raw talent and voice to this small yet powerful showcase. No filters here, just 4 tracks with hard-hitting lyrics and stories that show youth and power, whether it’s about self-esteem or just for fun, everything’s fine here.

This thrilling indie-rock project has a sense of youth and vibration, and you never know what Dodgson will do next.

Dodgson always brings the heat with his whisky-soaked vocals, plus a killer hook that shows why indie-rock has a place in the music scene today. Every track is super catchy and impossible to resist.

It’s pretty clear that Harvey Jay Dodgson is going to have a huge 2023. We recently had a conversation regarding his new EP, Tea, Perfect day, Music Industry and Full English…

Hey Harvey Jay! I’m sure you’re getting excited for your big debut at Glastonbury! What’s going through your head? Anything you want to say?

Yo! I think Glastonbury is a bucket list tick for most artists so I am over the moon and honoured to be playing there this year.  Can’t wait to enjoy the rest of the festival after I have performed too!

What do you want people to take away from listening to your EP Alligator

As well as hopefully finding music that you can dance, let loose and sing along to, I write in a way which lets the listener put their own meaning to the song. Although each track means something to me, I want people to let the music mean something to them too.

You said: “As the alligator swims the darkest rivers of the mind, the track’s searing melodies of self-acceptance meander through the overdriven breakbeat drums and their cries for help…” Where’s the Alligator right now?

The Alligator still swims in my mind in various different ways, but is now swimming in through the ears and into the minds of anyone who listens and feels the new EP.

What was it like working on the project with Damon Minchella and Tom Manning?

A brilliant experience.  They’re great guys which make creating music even more enjoyable, but their chemistry, experience and skill meant I was able to take my ideas into the studio and come out with a powerful, meaningful record.

If you had to describe your sound in three words what would they be?

Gritty, mysterious, prolific.

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?

I don’t like tea. I am a shameful Brit.

If you were a drink, what would you be?

Not tea.

How would you describe your perfect day?

Full English, BBQ on the beach, play a gig and then a few drinks in the town. Bring on the summer…

What changes would you like to see happen in the music industry?

Music with meaning, people actually making music because they love creating art which people can connect to, not because they want to get famous or make money. Push the copy and paste music to the side and let real music come through.

What’s next for you?

Writing. I’m always writing, but now I’m working towards a bigger body of work – an album. So keep your ears out for new, fresh music.  
Thanks for having me!