One Short Reviewer And 3 Of The LA Maybe (Dallas, Driz, Rahsaa, left to right)

One Short Reviewer And 3 Of The LA Maybe (Dallas, Driz, Rahsaa, left to right)

Introduction:

The L.A. Maybe were making their first visit to the UK and despite all sorts of issues outside of the band’s control (more on that later) they still made it to the festival to play a blinding 45-minute set on the Sunday at tea time.

I was lucky enough to sit down with the two guitarists Dallas Dwight and Drizzle or Driz for short. We covered a load of topics and the guys even sang me a song whilst around the table! I have never been serenaded before whilst conducting an interview😂.  This is the trial and tribulations of being a band, changing members, having gigs pulled from under their feet whilst also the good stuff like making and writing songs, the people who are bloody lovely in the industry and much more. It’s epic so grab a coffee, sit back and read on…

The Interview Begins, Strap In:

CGCM: This is your first time in the UK I believe?

Band: both go “yeah”

CGCM: But you have played your first gig already?

Dallas: We have, we played at The Live Rooms in Chester which was great. In fact, everybody we have met has been great so far, very hospitable. So many lovely people and the scenery is great too. I have never been to the UK at all. I have visited the European mainland as a tourist but didn’t get over here. Also, I have never travelled anywhere abroad for my music, so being here is so cool for us. I think most of the others are the same. Our bassist has been in the UK I believe but that wasn’t playing. So yeah, we are new here but it’s been awesome so far. I think this will be our home away from home now!

CGCM: That is great to hear. As someone who was blown away by your albumDallas interjects… “when did you get it?… to which I explained I was sent a promo for reviewing and Dallas said “That will have been Tom” (George their PR person) and Driz remarked “The only reason anyone knows who we are is due to Tom“. They then explained how helpful the PR agent has been calling him a “genuine man” and going on to say “he always has our backs, more so than we even have our own backs sometimes (laughing) he is such a good dude. We love the guy!”

A Look At The Set To Come:

CGCM: I said in my review that if you can do it live as well as on record it should be an amazing show, I admit I have been desperate to see you (Driz goes “we are so excited to play for you“). So can I ask, the album came out over a year ago, have you been able to tour it at all?

Dallas: Not until now. We have played a few shows but no serious runs until last couple of months. So just getting to play the album a year after we released it. All we managed were a couple of weekenders and a couple of gigs here and there. So much has fallen through due to the pandemic. We were due on some tours last summer which all fell through. It was like “are we about to do this?” and then “Oh shit”. After 3 or 4 times we stopped getting excited.  (He pauses) “Where we are now is we are maybe late to the party. We lost a year but we have to say “whatever” let’s not worry about that and let’s do what we can now, even if we did lose some dates in the UK now.

“We are taking the dates we do have and we will try to make them as good as possible (Driz goes “we are extremely determined“) and hopefully sell as much merch as possible (laughing). See if we can get everybody walking around in our t-shirts, we actually have some limited edition shirts for this tour. We are just super excited. That’s where we are now, you know let’s get up there and do the best shows we can and I think you guys are going to enjoy it.

“We have some surprises built into the set. If you are expecting to hear things as it is on the album, you won’t be hearing that. There are lots of changes, readjustments, extra solos, a lotta this and a lotta that, we have a lot of fun with it all (Driz adds “you get the heart or soul of the album but stuff is extended, if you like the album, you get what is on that plus more“)

Serenaded As They Talk About Their Newest Song:

CGCM: Will there be any new songs?

Dallas: Yes. Today we are playing a brand new song, it’s called “Down To Fight“. It kind of came out of a joke… you wanna tell the story? Looks at Driz.

Driz: During the pandemic, we were trying to think of what to do, how to get in front of people, so we thought of doing a podcast. I was buying a new house at the time and there was a shed (I think he says shed) and I thought why not make that into a podcast studio. So we get all the construction equipment, everything we needed and Dallas and I built this studio or shed. Whilst we were building we got talking about this American term “laying pipe” which is slang for having sex with a female (Dallas remarks “it is kind of a stupid infantile tongue in cheek and we were laughing about it as we were nailing shit into the walls and so we started this kind of pirate sea shanty”)… 

Driz (starts singing): well I’m up all night lying pipe better call the preacher cos (Dallas joins in on harmonies) we’re laying pipe”. We just kept going (both of them are laughing as the story is told, oh and by the way the vocal harmonies were sweet as fuck, and neither of these guys is lead singer), he’d come up with a verse then I would come up with another and every verse was followed by “laying pipe”. We were crying laughing at the silliness.

Dallas takes over: After were finished for the day I was like “I gotta get home, see you later” and I didn’t think much about what we had been doing. However, as I drove home he went into his music studio and records a demo for “Laying Pipe”. He wrote a guitar riff and sang the words (Driz goes “and programmed the drums”) and he had sent it to me. All by the time I got home (laughs).

I was sitting there listening to it laughing and I started thinking that there was something there, something we could use so we got talking and we agreed we couldn’t sing about laying pipes and we changed the lyrics to something that would fit and came up with “Down To Fight”. It becomes this new quite aggressive song. It’s all about getting into trouble (both laugh). We are excited to unveil that for you.

A Singer Departs, Another Rejoins, The Story:

CGCM: Brilliant, looking forward to hearing the song properly later today. Changing the subject a little, I am not sure what you can say and I am not looking for controversy (Dallas:you can ask anything you like, we are independent” he says laughing, then  Driz comments “folks that make the decisions, you’re looking at them” also laughing) but you have changed singer from the release of the album to now? You have brought back the previous singer?  How did that all go down?

Dallas: The singer on the album Alvi had a lot of scheduling conflicts so left us in September to pursue other opportunities. We took that as a chance to get Goliath back in. You know patch things up. We were all going through a lot of things when the pandemic hit. It was one of the reasons there was a split. Getting him back into the band has been an amazing shot in the arm, he’s absolutely killing it. Truly fun to see and up to the last couple of shows we’ve had he’s been on fire!

CGCM: So were some of the songs on the album actually written before with Goliath?

Dallas: Yeah, songs that were written quite a while ago include “Reckless”, “Piece Of Mind”, “Take Me Away”, “Fake”, “Sweet”, almost half the album really. 

CGCM: Fake” is a great song. Seems to be about bad management, folks that take the piss out of artists. Would you say this song is based on actual experience?

Dallas: It wasn’t when we wrote it (laughs) but we have definitely had some experiences now. Why do you think 4 of our shows were cancelled? So that song hits differently now!

Driz: We won’t drop any names, at least just not at moment (laughs). We might, then we might never, don’t know, but in our hearts, we think there is a special place for certain people, they know who they are (evil laugh), probably! When we play that song it is now a tribute to them (laughing).

Dallas: Don’t think we will be playing that today as we only have 45 minutes. We want to cram as much cool stuff as we can in that time though. 

Kindly Apology:

CGCM: There is actually a contingent from Bannerman’s Bar Edinburgh here, all I think were disappointed someone screwed up for you.

Dallas: You need to introduce me to them all so I can (pauses) I want to be able to tell everyone individually that it wasn’t our fault, that we were all so excited to get to play there. Would like to apologize to each of them. If we don’t please do so on our behalf. I think the closest we get to where you guys are is Blackpool. Ian Fletcher the manager there has been phenomenal, swooping in at the last second and by his grace giving us another gig. He has been so lovely helping us out.

At this point I ask about where they are from exactly and they explain the Carolinas, living in South but having their base in Charlotte which is in North however both are close together. I mentioned I had been in North Carolina for a couple of Rush gigs so Driz piped up saying he was very nearly going to be Alex Lifeson in a Rush tribute band! This led to a chat about solos and the difference between wanking and playing!  This led me to ask about one of their songs… “When I’m Gone” which I said was “so good”.

Dallas: Thank you, man. We wrote that song for one of our friends who killed themself. It comes from a real place and when we were approached to film a video for it, we did that from a place of reverence as well.

“We wanted it to be larger than life for him. Stuff like using the drone, using locations like the mountains near where we live. Everything in that video was shot within an hour of home pretty much. We went to a lot of locations and shot over 2 days. Was going to be one day but it absolutely poured with rain (Driz says at this point “that’s when you see me dripping wet near the end“) but instead of shutting down and calling it a day completely, I said to our videographer Ridges(?) “Can we get our own November Rain moment for the solo?”

“Thought having something different for the solo to stand on its own!  It was pouring with rain and we had been huddled in this lovely couple’s house who were allowing us to basically use their farm to shoot. I just went… get the camera… get the guitar… let’s film (laughing).

CGCM: There is for me a real Skynyrd vibe to part of the guitar lines at points as well.

Dallas: It’s funny lots of people have said that but oddly I hadn’t actually heard “Tuesday’s Gone” before, other than in maybe passing. It was a song that slipped by me. I obviously know them but I have never dove right into their catalogue. When it started being mentioned I went away and listened to it and was like “Ah, I see what they mean” (laughing) but I’ve never LISTENED to the song. The time signature is odd in it too think in 6/8 (he drums on table to prove point). I wanted a little noodly solo at the beginning, and we played about with it and the song kind of grew from there and the lyrics kind of wrote themselves. It is one of the more powerful moments of our set. We will be playing it today.

CGCM: The thing is as I said in my album review the line is used sparingly, I also said if you are going to steal, steal something classy… (Driz: “What a great idea though” laughing). The song stands on its own with just one melody line…

Influences In Reality:

We discussed some names including ones I mentioned in the review to see if I had any right😀. Cinderella (Driz We have heard that a lot“); Love Hate (Driz: heard that a lot but I haven’t actually heard them); Dallas then remarks they have heard Jackyl along with “all sorts of other names“.

Dallas: The 2 biggest influences on our music would be AC/DC and G ‘n’ RI think we take elements of both of those styles and put them into ours. There are so many other styles in there though. On the surface, it is easy to say it sounds like X or Y but if you dig in there is so much other stuff in there. I mean what Driz is playing on a lot of verses, even choruses, (pauses) most of the time we (both the guitarists) are almost never playing the same thing, we are both doing something different. I mean if you are going to have 2 paint brushes you might as well make them different, that’s how we feel about having 2 guitars.

Driz is often doing some funk things, coming from say Prince or even Nile Rodgers or something like that. A lot of the choruses have big harmonies, at points in the set the 5 of us are singing, I mean that comes from JourneyThese are not things DC or GnR do. Those are things The L.A. Maybe do. Hopefully, these are things that make us different, unique even. They might not be totally obvious but they are there.  All things stack up to make our sound.

They Love Singing:

CGCM: There are a couple of tracks that sound a bit gospel

Dallas: “When I’m Gone” literally has a gospel choir, the other tracks are just the 5 of us singing. We love vocal harmonies. Like last night whilst driving from Chester randomly all 5 of us started singing “7 Bridges Road” by the Eagles. Everyone goes to a different part. I always go kind of middle up to Driz and down to Rahsaa at the bottom. We all know where we all go. We just ended up jamming, singing and having a good time you know. It’s actually good practice but also good fun. We have a fascination with harmonies and there are a lot of them in our music, probably not so common in dirty sleazy rock ‘n’ roll or hard rock in general. 

CGCM: Sometimes you can hear lots of backing tracks live with bands… Dallas jumps straight in with “we don’t use any backing tracks live. It’s raw (Driz very raw” laughs). Everything you hear is from our mouths hands and feet.

Deluxe Edition/Going Forward:

CGCM: So what is next for you guys and in general going forward?

Dallas: We have new music in the works, but the big thing really at the moment is promoting the album that is out. We have a deluxe version that is coming out some point soon although there is no release date for it yet. There will be some new tracks, 3 I think will be acoustic versions of songs on the album, 1 is brand new and 2 will be demos of older songs. It will keep Dirty Damn Tricks in people’s faces a bit longer due to the pandemic. It is opening up a bit more now which is great. We don’t want to lose any more traction on it. We are kind of hitting the refresh button. That will buy us time to finish up the truly new stuff we are working on. 

How To Change Singer And NOT Have Anyone Notice😀:

CGCM: Of course today we have the “new”/”old” singer. I was wondering about the conversation. That must have been a bit awkward?

Driz: It was super easy man. No trouble at all.

Dallas: You said earlier that changing can be tough, but man we played several shows with Goliath and we didn’t tell anyone, we never announced the change and not one person seemed to notice (Laughs). Not even by the look and these guys couldn’t look MORE different (again laughs). I mean one is clean-shaven with short hair and the other looks like a mountain man. (even more laughing).

Driz: He hits everything, you will be surprised. You will hear more grit in the songs that need it and you will hear him clean and melodic on the songs that need that. He is knocking it out of the park.

CGCM: Are you hoping to come back to the UK at some point? To maybe tour a bit more?

Dallas: Absolutely. I think the second we get boots on the ground back home we are going to plan the next run here. What that will look like I can’t say, but we will be planning as soon as we are back. We have learned a lot this time. We know we need to take matters into our own hands rather than rely on others. If they drop the ball then you look bad. We are not the type to point fingers and bitch, we’re not petty that way, although in the van there is all sorts of things said (both of them laugh away nodding at each other and me)

In Conclusion:

At this point, there is general chit-chat (they are very friendly guys) about coming back to the UK, arrival (or non-arrival) of contracts etc. Which they remarked in amongst it all that they plan to try and work with the venues direct next time so no one is let down. I can honestly say I laughed plenty and was kept engaged by their quick wit and sheer honesty in places.

I am still surprised how long they allowed me to ask questions and the length and depth of their answers. It truly was a fabulous way to spend over half an hour of my day. Thank you to the band and to their PR guy Tom George for sorting things out. Roll on the next proper UK tour. Just to mention right near the end of the interview Rahsaa the bassist of the band arrived so he is in the photograph but not the interview…

L.A. Maybe Official Website // Official Facebook

Call Of The Wild Official Website // Official Facebook

CGCM‘s Full Coverage of the whole event can be found here: CALL OF THE WILD FESTIVAL 2022