After the success of the doomy grunge act Dilly Dally’s searing 2015 debut Sore – which was critically acclaimed for its unapologetic, razer-sharp outbursts of feminine and sexual desire – a month-long tour caused seeds of existing tension within the band to bloom.

“When you’re in a van with three other people, it doesn’t matter how strong your friendship is. It is so like, mentally damaging to not have time with yourself, and to not have time to think,” explains guitarist and vocalist Katie Monks, noting that often “taking a shit” was the only way they got some time to themselves. One show in England even saw Monks walk off stage crying mid-song: the band was built on love and friendship, and when those friendships started to deteriorate, it hit Monks hard.

Post-tour, it took long spells of solitude, turning off social media, and working to slowly, delicately cleanse Monks’ mind for the band to return to making music. “It’s really easy to not be grounded, because it is such a thrill. Like it is a total drug: showing up to a new city every day with a bunch of people who wanna be your best friend – it’s not real life,” she says.

Asked about the pros and cons of a swelling ego, Monks laughs. “Well, the pros of an inflated ego are that it feels amazing. The cons: people like my best friends in the band probably found me highly annoying.

“[But] what the biggest con is, when you come home from tour and when it’s all over, and when people stop applauding and the praise goes away – then you’re just alone.”

Monks learnt that this praise needed to come from within in order for her creativity to be sustainable: she had to stop relying on the crowds she was singing to night by night. “So, all of that other stuff, it’s an illusion of success. I mean, I don’t even need to get started on what my bank account looks like. It’s not pretty,” she says, laughing.

Watch the video for ‘I Feel Free’ by Dilly Dally below

After touring Sore, Monks returned to Toronto to find friends had moved on and bands were “talking shit”, demurring Dilly Dally’s success. “You have to go, ‘Oh. Really in my life, for me, for Katie Monks, really all that matters is my best friends, and my family, and like, making sure that my soul is okay,” she explains.

This meant nurturing the friendships between co-founder and guitarist Liz Ball, bassist Jimmy Tony and drummer Benjamin Reinhartz. “It takes a lot of work to turn something sad and heartbreaking into something positive. But it’s so worth it, and at the end of the day you do become a better person,” she says.

Asked how she’s feeling about the release of their follow-up record, Heaven, Monks is effusive. “I’m excited because there’s so many different sides to this album.” There’s the “queer epic tragedy” in ‘Bad Biology’, which moves radically between eerie, soft simplicity and all-in noise; ‘Marijuana’, an ode to the drug’s therapeutic benefits, and ‘Sober Motel’, a denunciation of the pressure placed on musicians to overindulge in alcohol while touring.

“I think a lot of these songs on this record are little reminders for myself and for my bandmates to always remember to take care of yourself,” she says. The frazzling tension in Monks’ voice often drawls out and twists into Ball’s chronically distorted, blistering melodies; it’s as if the sounds belong together, bolstering each other up in a whirl of electric, unified chaos.

A particular track that paved the way for Heaven’s realisation is ‘Believe’, a sonically grinding number that’s imbued with positivity. “Honestly, that song was my mantra for writing this album,” she explains.

“There were so many things I had to peel away in order to feel confident enough to have something to say, and I think as you get older, more and more of the world seems so complicated. The one thing that you thought was 100 per cent real and true, and that you would fight for for the rest of your life, suddenly it presents itself with a different side. Over and over again you’re having to re-learn things that you thought you knew.

Watch the video for ‘Sober Motel’ by Dilly Dally below

“So, I think as an artist in order to feel like you can stand on stage and perform and sing a bunch of words to a huge audience, I felt like I had to dig really deep and find some wisdom there,” she says.

This made Monks return to songs she grew up with. She sings me the chorus of S-Club 7’s ‘Bring It All Back’, and points to the Spice Girls as a point of inspiration. “[They] have lots of songs about like, self worth and having confidence in yourself, so I suppose I wanted to present people with that in a way that would really acknowledge like, all the darkness in the world, hence the kind of doom metal punk in it and the very intimately sad guitar.”

For some, dilly-dallying is nothing more than wasteful procrastination. In a world where our self-worth is increasingly measured by the quantity of work we can produce in a single day, it’s becoming more and more difficult to hit the brakes and bask in seemingly insignificant, fleeting moments. But for Monks, to dilly-dally is a fine art. In fact, her affinity for the practice may have been what helped to save her band from collapsing on itself.

“When you’re dilly-dallying, you’re actually using your time really, really well,” Monks explains over the phone from her home in Toronto. “[You dilly dally] because you get distracted by a beautiful flower on your walk to work, and you wanna stop and pick it and smell it. It’s like, taking your time, living your life, shooting the shit. Just taking time for yourself. That… that’s really good.”

Heaven is out through Inertia on Friday September 14.