Artists on Trial: Drew Black and Dirty Electric

(Photo by Randy Pace)
For the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring artists playing the MidCoast Takeover fundraiser shows, sponsored by Midwest Music Foundation.
Starting as a solo project with the early 2012 release Wanderlust, Drew Black (formerly of The Belated) soon enlisted frontmen from two other powerful KC bands (Terra Peal of The Quivers and Zach Hodson of Dolls on Fire) and multi-band drummer Michelle Bacon. The result is Drew Black and Dirty Electric, a dark glam sound with a rhythmic powerhouse. We sit down with a few members of the band and discuss what they have going on.
The Deli: Gun to your head: 1 sentence to describe your music. What is it? 
Terra Peal: Dark Sexy Glam with a fist full of rock-n-roll.
Drew Black: I’d like to think that it’s modern glam with elements taken from T.Rex, Bowie, Ladytron, and Queens of the Stone Age.
The Deli: Let’s talk about your upcoming EP. What can we expect? 
Terra: BOOM!
Drew: It’s beat-heavy and guitar-driven. When I wrote this group of songs I wanted to write with tempos that would make the ladies shimmy and shake. The lyrics tend to be dark, but border on playful and sexy too.
Michelle: Our EP, Dead Kings and Queens, was mixed and mastered by the great Duane Trower at Weights & Measures Soundlab. We’re hoping to release it digitally this week and plan to have albums pressed by March.
The Deli: What does supporting local music mean to you? 
Terra: Contributing, viewing, and heckling as much as possible.
Drew: Being in a band, I feel like that means we have to foster a community. For me, it’s not enough to just go to other people’s shows. If I am in the position to recommend a band to a venue then I will. To me it’s more than: go to a show, buy a CD… I feel like you’ve got to go and have a conversation with the artist and let them know you appreciate what they’re doing. Many times, as a local artist, we don’t get kudos. We leave a gig feeling like it went well, but everyone kind of shies away and doesn’t say anything to you. A simple “I really enjoyed your set,” goes a long way.
The Deli: Who are your favorite "local" musicians right now? 
Terra: Schwervon!, In Back of a Black Car, Soft Reeds… so many great artists out there right now! Way too tough to name em all!
Drew: I really love Victor and Penny, The Latenight Callers, and of course Radkey is making a wave lately. I also love The Quivers. I feel blessed to live in a city where the music scene is so vibrant.
The Deli: Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the upcoming MidCoast Takeover fundraisers?
Terra: Antennas Up, The Latenight Callers, Molly Picture Club.
Drew: We’re playing with She’s A Keeper, Molly Picture Club, and Antennas Up. I know that’s going to be such a good night of music. I think I’m, selfishly, just really looking forward to being a part of that night and supporting such a great cause.
Michelle: Tiny Horse, The Latenight Callers, Six Percent, Rev Gusto, Cherokee Rock Rifle, and everyone we’re playing with this Saturday.
The Deli: Who are your favorite not-so-local musicians right now? 
Terra: Thee Oh Sees, Queens of the Stone Age, Peaches, Nikki & The Corvettes, Prince, and anything else with Soul and Balls.
Drew: Oh, I’ll get into trouble for this! Somewhere along the line I started listening to music all the cool kids scoff at. I have been pretty obsessed with Lana Del Rey since the past summer. She sounds like a damsel in distress, but I just KNOW she’s hiding a knife behind her back! I also spend a lot of time listening to Ladytron, Queens of the Stone Age, and recently, Black Joe Lewis.
The Deli: What is your ultimate fantasy concert bill to play on? 
Terra: T.Rex, Sparklehorse, Queens of the Stone Age, and Stephen Malkmus.
Drew: That’s a tough one. I’d like to rewind time and open for Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust era. But heck, is it too much to ask to open for Lady Gaga? I’d also like to be the fifth Beatle while we’re at it.
The Deli: Would you rather spend the rest of your life on stage or in the recording studio? 
Terra: Stage is where I come alive.
Drew: I feel the most elated after playing live. I love the studio too, but I feel like if you only record music and don’t play it live, then the songs kind of die. They will always remain the same. Playing live gives me the opportunity to breathe new life into the music. So, my vote goes to playing live.
The Deli: A music-themed Mount Rushmore. What four faces are you putting up there and why? 
Terra: Otis Redding, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Keith Moon, Marc Bolan. None of these should need an explanation.
Drew: I’ll put PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Kurt Cobain, and Bowie up there because those artists have been pivotal in shaping my sound. They retaught me how to listen to music and they gave me the inspiration to start writing songs.
The Deli: Okay. Where on this crazy web can you be found?
Soon, we hope to have a Bandcamp to let you download our new EP!
The Deli: Always go out on a high note. Any last words of wisdom for the Deli audience?
Terra: Tacos will save you when you least expect it!
Drew: We all have delusions of grandeur, but the point is to create. Start where you are. Be confident and get out there. Don’t wait for anything to come to you. Go get it!
Michelle: Trust me; I'm Asian.
Drew Black and Dirty Electric is:
Drew Black – vocals, guitar
Terra Peal – bass
Zach Hodson – lead guitar
Michelle Bacon – drums

You can catch Drew Black & Dirty Electric this Saturday, January 26 at the first MidCoast Takeover fundraiser show. The group will be playing at 10:30 pm, after She’s A Keeper, and will be followed by Molly Picture Club and Antennas Up. The band was also one of over 40 KC bands selected to play the MidCoast Takeover showcase at SXSW from March 13-16 at Shangri-La in Austin, Texas.