By Carlos Ramirez
Dead Country’s Melodic Rock
It’s not often that an influential modern rock station like L.A.’s KROQ playlists a band without a major record deal. But one listen to Dead Country’s brand of revved-up melodic rock, and you’ll understand why their song “Euro Trash,” is being played right next to household names like Stone Temple Pilots and Kings of Leon. Not bad for a group that just formed last year. Vocalist-guitarist Nick Long explains the litmus test that the band uses to know when they’ve written something special, “We always joke about songs like these. Sometimes we will be playing them and it’s hard to sing them because you’re smiling so big. That’s how we know it’s a good song.”
Dead Country’s four members are veterans of the Southern California music scene, and their wide-spread influences have made for some interesting drives out on tour.
“Growing up, some of us were really into the punk and hardcore scenes, while some of us were more into ‘60s and ‘70s stuff and garage rock. The radio in our tour van is all over the place – it’s actually pretty funny.” The band just released a self-titled EP that was recorded by John “Lou” Lousteau at 606 Studios, which is owned by the Foo Fighters – a fellow act that has also championed Dead Country. The recording complex is famous among amplifier and guitar geeks for its array of vintage equipment. “Recording at 606 is amazing! That place is full of amazing people and yes, amazing gear. We spent a week or so there recording the first EP and we have been in and out of there doing things ever since.”
Dead Country’s winning blend of punk rock muscle and arena-ready choruses has made them one of California’s most buzzed-about acts, and since the EP’s release, they’ve been out on the road with bands like Far and The Bronx. Even though they haven’t signed with a label yet, the combo isn’t wasting their momentum and are already planning their next move.
“We are entering Studio 606 later this year to record our first album. Stylistically you can expect more of the same awesome rock, but it’s a longer record so it’s going to have a lot more diversity.” If their swift ascent is any indication of what’s to come for the band, 2011 will be a huge year for Dead Country.