Dirty Diesel Outlaw Orchestra are a group of five passionate musicians taking influences from all over the musical spectrum drawing from bluegrass to metal. Their sound is unique and includes a wide variety of instruments showing off the talent of these artists.
I caught up with the guys from Dirty Diesel Outlaw Orchestra to see what they had to say about the band and their debut self-titled album. These five guys are comprised of Paul Richardson (Harmonica and Vocals), David Roux (Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Ryan Smith (Drums and Percussion), Alex Barter (Double Bass and Vocals) and Stephen Welch (Banjo).
How did Dirty Diesel Outlaw Orchestra form?
Stephen our banjo player, who is 20, was in Pauls old originals band since he was 16. Paul contacted Stephen to mention that he’d found a badass guitar player and said “let’s all have a smoke, sink a few beers and play some music”! At this point the band consisted of Paul, Dave and Stephen
Dave met Paul at a gig his old band were playing out in The New Forest and they were chatting outside. When asked about how Dave’s covers band was going, he then mentioned he was looking for an originals band to join. Whilst Dave was in the States doing session guitar work, Paul messaged him and asked if Dave wanted to meet up with him and Stephen to jam out some sounds!
Paul had known Alex for about 5 years but they initially met at a Legendary Shack Shakers gig in Brighton, who we are big fans of, and as they both coalesced in similar social circles and music scenes, Alex got together with the others to make it a 4 piece! At this point they had someone doing percussion duties for a short period of time.
During the time with my old electro rock band, I also played in a Southern rock covers band with Dave for a number of years. The covers band ended and I left my electro rock band. I also knew Alex initially, who played guitar at the time, from a Psychobilly originals band I drummed in for a while before that band went its separate ways. So around February/March 2016,as the final piece in the puzzle as it were, I joined Dave and the others to complete the band making it a 5 piece. Then we had our first gig a month later and the rest is history
Where did the band name come from?
The opening track from Paul Westerberg’s (best known as the lead singer and guitarist in The Replacements) 5th studio album ‘Come Feel Me Tremble’ is called ‘Dirty Diesel’. Paul was listening to this track from a free cd he got with Uncut magazine and the song and the title stuck in his head.
Dirty Diesel as a band name wasn’t distinctive enough. The music we were writing was in the style of ‘Outlaw Country’ so we had Dirty Diesel Outlaw…but as we are a 5 piece and we’re all more or less multi-instrumentalists…we thought tagging ‘Orchestra’ at the end was apt and so Dirty Diesel Outlaw Orchestra was born! A bit of a tongue twister but it’s fun hearing people trying to say it quickly
Who are your main musical influences?
To be honest, the sound is a melting pot of five seasoned players from bare Bluegrass, Louisiana style Roots music to Metal and we meet somewhere in the middle to create something very unique! It is a sound that is not too out of place with the styles of classic British 70’s classic rock such as Humble Pie, The Faces and not forgetting America’s Black Crowes and The Allman Brothers!
The sound is a unique blend which showcases the musical individuality which each band member brings to the fold, having the musical maturity to mix high energy with moody soulful rock. We also listen to a cornucopia of varying styles of music and that certainly comes across in the music we write and play!
How would you describe your sound in three words?
Energetic, Feelgood, Unique
What are the main themes of the album?
Each song has a different vibe and character with varying tempos, textures and rhythms and they can be interpreted in many ways.
Some songs like Whiskey Drinkin’ Liar are about lovable rogue characters who fall down due to a love of whiskey and laziness and call out to the stronger woman they were once with, be it a pole dancer who left them.
Voodoo Queen is about being a messed up kid seeking the advice of a crack cocaine smoking voodoo shaman woman from New Orleans.
Send some Whiskey Home is about a guy left with just his dog and asks only that the woman he was with to send him Whiskey to numb his loss.
Willie Nelson is about a guy who is so stoned and a second rate player and blowing it all with a hot hippie chick but doesn’t realize.
Chicken Bones, is just a mad hillbilly jam that occurred in between songs which actually turned into a pretty cool song and is just a wacky fast paced energetic roller coaster ride of a song to just let yourself go and enjoy yourself!
So really the themes vary from song to song and the album takes the listener on a journey down different paths, with twists and turns a plenty. No song is really the same and doesn’t conform to any specific sound.
What is ‘Another World’ about? It is a very diverse and interesting song.
Every song is open to personal interpretation and how you can relate to or connect to it. This song is about ones freedom of choice and gaining personal confidence in various avenues and outlooks in life! It’s about reflecting on choices you’ve made and are yet to make and if you were in another time, place or under different circumstances, would you have made that choice. In conclusion it’s about not being afraid to make choices.
What is coming up in the future for Dirty Diesel Outlaw Orchestra?
2016 was a great year for us, performing around Hampshire, gaining many loyal followers across the South Coast, gaining lots of airplay over in the USA and even gaining a fan in Texas Outlaw Country singer songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard. We closed 2016 with a performance at a sold out multi-band-bill show at Portsmouth Guildhall.
2017 has shaped up to be even better than last year. We gained endorsement from Swedish Rock n Roll Craft beer company ‘Pistonhead’ lager which has seen our social media audience really grow. It has helped us secure numerous shows up and down the country which includes headlining the packed ‘Dive Bar’ indoor stage at Bristol’s U.S style beer and BBQ festival called Grillstock alongside the likes of The Darkness and Hayseed Dixie. The debut record we did was also endorsed by the brand too, which again has spread our social media reach further and on Saturday 2nd December 2017, Pistonhead are putting on a special gig alongside another endorsed artist called Charley Hicks at London’s rock n roll dive bar venue ‘The Big Red’.
Very recently we gained endorsement from an independent spiced rum company called ‘Cloven Hoof’ which again, has seen our social media following grow and grow, which leads me on to what is planned for 2018. They will be working closely with us putting us on a lot of big festivals they work with and securing airplay on a few big radio stations too!
We are appearing at Planet Rock’s Winters End Festival on Sunday 25th February, which has pretty much sold out, alongside the likes of The Quireboys, The Temperance Movement and Phil Campbell (ex Motorhead guitarist) and The Bastard Sons.
We plan on recording some new material as we go into the new year as well as going on a few tours. One promoter we’re working with (Alec at Crazy Cowboy), who works closely with bands such as Tyla’s Dogs D’amour, The Dirty Strangers and The Main Grains, has a lot of bands on his books of whom we’ll be gigging with soon and will hopefully be going on tour with!
Other than that, we’ll be hitting the festival season hard and hopefully doing some shows abroad too! We get a lot of people in the U.S asking us to go over there and play, so that’s one plan we’re hoping to achieve
Check out Dirty Diesel Outlaw Orchestra’s self-titled debut album available to buy from their website, at gigs, on iTunes and Amazon and you can also stream it on Spotify and Deezer.