SEPTEMBER 15, 2017


It 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.

ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with keyboardist JIM WOOD regarding the band's latest release. Here is how the interview went.

JUNIPER 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 work?
Every 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 month. 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 and I rock out to it when I'm driving around. I haven't done that with any DISHWALLA record, ever.

And 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?
I 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.

And this album marks the first time people are hearing your new vocalist JUSTIN FOX. Right?
We 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.

And talk about what it is that you feel JUSTIN brings to the role of lead singer in this band.
It 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 on what 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.

Where do the songs on this album come from. What has inspired them?
There were a lot of different inspirations on this record. Every person in the band has a complete idea that they brought into the band  and 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 this album.

Bring 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?
We 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.

Have there been any reactions to JUNIPER ROAD that have surprised you or that you didn't see coming?
I'm 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.

With this album out there now, what's next for you guys musically?
One 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 year.



http://www.rockwired.com/OrangeRoundPic.jpg BRiAN LUSH (FOUNDER, EDiTOR-iN-CHiEF)
Brian Lush is a music industry professional and entrepreneur. In 2005 he launched the online music site Rockwired.com to help promote new music artists in conjunction with the weekly radio show Rockwired Live which aired on KTSTFM.COM from 2005 - 2009. In 2010 He launched the daily podcast series Rockwired Radio Profiles which features exclusive interviews and music. He has also developed and produced the online radio shows Jazzed and Blue - Profiles in Blues and Jazz, Aboriginal Sounds - A Celebration of American Indian and First Nations Music, The Rockwired Rock N Roll Mixtape Show and The Rockwired Artist of the Month Showcase. In 2012, Brian Lush and his company Rockwired Media LLC launched the monthly digital online publication Rockwired Magazine. The magazine attracts over 75,000 readers a month and shows no signs of stopping. Rockwired Magazine also bares the distinction of being the first American Indian-owned rock magazine. Brian Lush is an enrolled member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe. Brian Lush's background in music journalism, radio and podcast hosting, podcast production, web design, publicity, advertising sales, social media and online marketing, strategic editorial planning and branding have all made Rockwired a name that is trusted and respected throughout the independent music industry.

CONTACT BRiAN LUSH AT: djlush@rockwired.com