On Sunday, I had the absolute privilege of interviewing James and Elliott from Dead Man’s Whiskey. We talked about the band, the album and their influences and more:
- Could you take us through what inspired the name of the band and what your influences are?
Elliott “How we got to the name of the band is kind of complicated. So some of the guys were in a band called Whiskey Chasers beforehand, and when that ended we wanted to use that name, but were told we couldn’t. Then we came to Dead Man’s Hand, but found that there were a lot of bands using that name, so we stopped using that, then we decided to merge the two names and that’s how we came to Dead Man’s Whiskey.”
James “ As for influences, it’s quite varied, be it Guns N Roses, Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, Maiden, Prince. It’s a mix between what our parents got us into and what bands we discovered ourselves.”
- Could you talk us through the process of writing your album Under the Gun and what the inspirations were for it?
James: “Some of the songs on the record are older than people realise. Live, Loud and Ready and Rooster Crows were written by myself and Billy when we were living in some shitty apartment. As for inspiration it’s mainly about the struggle you go through trying to make it, and the love of playing music. That’s definitely embodied in songs like My Year, Make You Proud.”
Elliott: “Then there’s Hoe Street, which is quite tongue in cheek.”
James: “Yeah, Hoe Street’s about this place where myself and Billy live, which is quite I guess famous for certain things. Nico came down and he couldn’t believe a lot of what he saw and heard, so he wrote this song filled with double entendres and it’s very tongue in cheek.”
- What was it like being able to play alongside a band as iconic as Diamond Head?
James: “We played alongside them for the Islington show, and it was great, they were really down to earth, humble guys. Who were more than willing to talk to us and share advice about the industry. I remember mentioning to Brian Tatler that I loved the song ‘Sucking My Love’ and he was amazed.”
Elliott: “It was great, they’re really nice guys and they don’t have any ego whatsoever, they’re really easy to talk to as well. And they had awesome riders.”
- What plans have you got for the future?
Elliott: “We’re going to be quite busy. Our tour starts in February and runs until May, going to be booking a few festivals soon as well. We’re heading into the studio to record two new singles as well. Maybe do some extra stuff for the first record, and we’re also writing new material as well.”
James: “We’re also honing our live show, getting a new box of tricks. Something that we learned watching Diamond Head play.”