also gave the band a one-hit wonder status, which was unfortunate. I
felt that songs such as CHARLIE BROWN'S PARENTS and MISS EMMA PEEL
deserved equally heavy rotation. Eventually post-grunge gave way to
this or that pop-thing-y and DISHWALLA got lost in the mix despite a
steady stream of albums that deserve reconsideration , but how likely
is that with a public transfixed by THE VOICE. But why get lost in
the past when you've got an amazing new album such as JUNIPER ROAD,
where the band brandishes a raw, punchy rock sound and the vocal
chops of their new front man JUSTIN FOX.
had a chance to speak with keyboardist JIM WOOD regarding the band's
latest release. Here is how the interview went.
ROAD has been out for about a month now and the critical responses to
it look like they've been good. How do you feel about the finished
time we have a new album, it's always my favorite. But standing apart
from all of that, JUNIPER ROAD in by far my favorite album of ours.
When we finished it I couldn't listen to any of it for a
I just couldn't hear it for what it was at all. After about a month,
I started listening to it and it's the first DISHWALLA album that I
play over and over again. It's in the CD player of my truck
I rock out to it when I'm driving around. I haven't done that with
any DISHWALLA record, ever.
what is it about this album that makes you feel that way. Is it the
circumstances that the album was recorded in or is it something else?
think it's the first album where we capture the full essence of us as
a band. Our band has always been a complicated thing. . We've got
five songwriters, multiple producers and multiple engineers. It
usually takes us years to conceive a record. We start with
forty songs and then we start whittling it down. U2 says when they
make records, the band is always on the verge of breaking up because
it's such a ridiculous process. That's how we've always been. This
time it was a little different. We captured things in a much more raw
state. More than half of this record is live and first takes at that.
You are hearing GEORGE playing that drum part for the very
first time or the first time that JUSTIN has sung that vocal part. We
were able to get these amazing performances. We've always had an
amazing live energy that was so much bigger than us. That
energy has always been an elusive thing for us to try to capture in
the studio. On this record, we got it.
this album marks the first time people are hearing your new vocalist
JUSTIN FOX. Right?
did a 20th anniversary recording of COUNTING BLUE CARS last Summer
with JUSTIN FOX on the vocals. That was our first release with JUSTIN
but now, people are getting a sense of what JUSTIN can do on his own.
This album is JUSTIN in his own space.
talk about what it is that you feel JUSTIN brings to the role of lead
singer in this band.
was definitely a transition. The two of them are very different
singers. Each of them have their unique qualities. It's been a step
sideways and a step forward for the band. JUSTIN has a massive vocal
range and ability. but he's also a front man with a great sense of
showmanship. He's happy to be in front of 75,000 people and jump
around and entertain. That's a unique quality. It's an energy that we
haven't had in a long time. The band started out as a live power
house and then evolved into a studio band. You can hear that
progression in all of our albums up to the one before this one.
Having to change the lineup allowed us to refocus
we love about music. And JUSTIN is in there and going for it. Nothing
is stopping him. That leads to unlimited possibilities when you are
making records. It's been a lot of fun. I'm really happy with the job
he did on this record.
do the songs on this album come from. What has inspired them?
were a lot of different inspirations on this record. Every person in
the band has a complete idea that they brought into the band
the band follows their vision. Some songs were songs we wrote in a
room together. This record is a real mix of personal stories and
other songs that are more collaborative and in the moment. It's a
wide range. We've had a lot of time since the last record to gather
stories and ideas. People will find some interesting Easter eggs in
me back to the time you guys released PET YOUR FRIENDS and the single
COUNTING BLUE CARS. What was that whole experience like, going form
being a popular local band to having a hit song?
were just a local, regional band out of Santa Barbara with this
really big following. It was a different era then. In the early
nineties, people came out to shows. You could be a mediocre band back
then and have nine hundred people come out to your show. That
doesn't happen anymore. There was no internet then and people weren't
glued to their phones. We had built this following and started
importing it to showcases in Los Angeles. We were able to generate a
buzz out of that. It was a very organic start and you can hear that
in the first album. We didn't know anything about anything when we
started. We knew we were going to takeover the world. That was our
expectation when we made that record. It was misguided but we had a
feeling that this was going to happen. When COUNTING BLUE CARS came
out we were surprised. It in our top five or top six but it really
wasn't our favorite song. We wondered why it resonated with people..
It was eye-opening to see what people were responding to. It was a
song that made people think.
there been any reactions to JUNIPER ROAD that have surprised you or
that you didn't see coming?
pleased with the response that we're getting from the record. It's
clear that people are digging it. Over the years we've gone through a
lot of different phases of critical bashing. When you have a hit
record, the only way to go is down. We've gotten some bashing over
the years for albums that I thought were really good. I'm very proud
of the work we've done. For this album, the reviews have been
unanimously good. People who I know don't like our band have written
things like 'I really thought it was gonna suck, but it doesn't
suck!' Coming from them, that is the highest compliment that
they can give you. Reviews are one thing , but it's more important
for us that people enjoy our music.
this album out there now, what's next for you guys musically?
of the traps of this business is that you get into this intense
recording cycle and then this intense promotion cycle where you are
living and breathing the record. But there I point where you stop and
transition over tot he next thing. When you're ready to start the
next record the overlap isn't easy. Right now, we have half an album
sketched out. We have a lot of ideas in the pipeline but we
could take things in a different direction. We never know how these
albums are going to end up We didn't know what our current album was
going to sound like until the mastering. The next album is an equally
open question. I'd like to have the new album out by mid year of next