Artist: The Dead South
Hometown: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Latest album: Illusion and Doubt
Personal nicknames (or rejected band names): answers by Colton “Crawdaddy” Crawford
Editor’s Note: Look for The Dead South at the Blue Ox Festival, held June 13-15 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc — inform your music?
We’re all big movie fans. We love Quentin Tarantino, Sergio Leone, Wes Craven, etc. Those guys make awesome movies with killer soundtracks. Scores from films such as these have been a big influence on our music from the start. Having a cello can add an orchestral feel to the band, and we try to arrange our songs to include a lot of instrumental parts. It’s been a dream of the band to write a score for a film someday.
What rituals do you have, either in the studio or before a show?
Before the show, we get dressed, listen to System of a Down, and maybe enjoy a whiskey or two. Right after we get off stage, we head straight to the green room and listen to Afroman. Then the lineup for the shower begins.
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
I would love to eat a Donair with Tom Waits.
What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?
The scene that always jumps to mind is the first time we ever saw people we didn’t know singing along to our songs. It was a show at the Owl, the university bar in Regina, and there were some people right up front who knew the words to all of the songs. After the show we all asked each other whose friends they were, thinking strangers couldn’t possibly know our music, but they were unknown to everyone in the band.
How often do you hide behind a character in a song or use “you” when it’s actually “me”?
Most of our songs are stories about fictional characters, or sometimes exaggerations of ourselves. We don’t have too many songs, if any, that are meant to be taken literally. As I mentioned earlier, we all love horror and western films, and we draw a lot of inspiration from those films and those characters when writing our songs. We try not to take any of it too seriously and always try to keep an element of comedy (sometimes very dark comedy) in our songs and performances.
Photo credit: Brandon White