Sometimes with music today, I long to hear down and dirty ROCK n ROLL!! You know what I am talking about, right? The kind of Rock that has you with your fists in the air, drink in the other hand and just raising some hell with your friends. Those were the good days but wait, they don’t have to be in the past. There is a great band that I saw last month, Shotgun Harlot when they opened up for 12 Stones at the historical Phoenix Theater in Petaluma. You can revisit my review of that night here: “‘Get Infected with 12 Stones”. That was an awesome night and I really fell in love with Shotgun Harlot. Well I recently had the opportunity to interview Dylan D. Waltz lead singer of the band and here is what he had to say:
Music Junkie Press: How and when did Shotgun Harlot come together?
Dylan Waltz: I was in the process of piecing together a new band when a mutual friend of Joe and I’s had asked me to go checkout these guys that are forming a new band & looking for a singer. After three attempts of telling our bass-playing mutual friend that I wasn’t interested in joining an existing band, I finally went to give them a listen. I was still really set on putting together my own band but I liked the promise in what I heard in my two visits out to the band compound. Heavy, groove-laden tunes that just clicked! Fast forward a bit & I ditched the plan of forming my own band, re-worked some existing tunes the guys had, added a 2nd guitarist (Bruno), wrote new material, & hit the scene for our debut show in April of 2011.
Music Junkie Press: How old were you when you first got the music bug and did you start with any other instruments?
Dylan Waltz: I was really young. At 3 I had my own little variety show singing & playing John Denver tunes on my little plastic-stringed guitar for my family. I loved it and knew at an early age that music was a huge part of my makeup. I’m a hack at guitar but I still love to play & write riffs that I’ll bring to the table for the band sometimes.
Music Junkie Press: Who were some of your biggest influences in music?
Dylan Waltz: Wow, this is a list that could be never-ending. Many artists have influenced me in many ways. Most notable Rock & Roll front-menwomen that have inspired me are Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, David Lee Roth, Ian Astbury (The Cult), Steven Tyler, Janis Joplin, Linda Perry, Eric Martin. I spent a lot of time as a tween with Eric Martin, and he was a great mentorbig brother. I think it was being with him & seeing his stage presence and of course the attention made me decide the guitar was cool and all, but being the frontman was where it’s at, ha ha. Ultimately, I don’t think I’ve ever seen another performer like Freddie Mercury though. The man could hold 10’s of thousands of people in the palm of his hand, he was truly one of a kind.
Music Junkie Press: I am a firm believer that music heals the soul and just can change your mood at an instant. So many young people today are grateful for having music to help them through their lives. Do you have a particular time in your life where music helped you through something?
Dylan Waltz: Yeah, the last 40 years! Music for me is that ever-present force that gets me through anything. It provides my sanity, outlet for expression, and is more emotionally gripping than any other form of art. Music will always be there to make your highs higher, but inversely makes the lows lower too. So I am beyond grateful to always have music in my life to some degree or another.
Music Junkie Press: If you could go back and talk to your 14 year old self, what advice would you give to your 14 your old self?
Dylan Waltz: Don’t ever give up your passion, what drives you. Even if you’re not part of ‘the norm’, stick to your guns. Oh yeah…and keep all of your band shirts, magazines, tour books, concert ticket stubs. My biggest regret is not holding on to those over the years.
Music Junkie Press: Do you have any favorite songs that you would like to cover or completely remake a song from a different genre?
Dylan Waltz: Yeah, far too many. I can get easily carried away with “Oooh, I wanna cover that, and that, and that!” I think I’d really like to do “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles, give it a really gritty overhaul.
Music Junkie Press: Growing up, what was your 3 favorite albums that stand out in your memory?
Dylan Waltz: WOW, that’s a very tough question. I’ll start with AC/DC’s ‘Powerage’, as that was the first tape I purchased back in 1978! Next would have to be Judas Priest’s ‘Screaming For Vengeance’ as the soundtrack to my tween years, and lastly Willie Nelson’s ‘Stardust’ as I spent many hours singing along to it being my Mom’s sidekick.
Music Junkie Press: With the 80s making a comeback these days, if you could pick an 80’s song for your theme song or life anthem, what would it be?
Dylan Waltz: AC/DC’s ‘It’s a Long Way To the Top if You Wanna Rock & Roll’
Music Junkie Press: What are the next plans for Shotgun Harlot and upcoming shows?
Dylan Waltz: Really trying to focus on getting a quality demo completed, play more shows out of the area, and keep the buzz going. We put a lot of energy into our live shows & we want to keep that momentum going & really get the word out. The scene is so over-saturated with extreme metal bands screaming at you from start to finish & fake rockers with their $200 haircuts, tight jeans, and designer t-shirts that simply got no soul. Shotgun Harlot likes to play gritty, balls-out, Rock & Roll with a southern flare & heavy groove. We want you chanting the choruses, playing air guitar riffs, and having a kick-ass time.
Music Junkie Press: If you could have the perfect concert lineup and perform with any 4 dead or living performers/bands on your bill, which would they be?
Dylan Waltz: Wow, that’s a tough one. I’d have to say Stevie Ray Vaughn, Queen with Freddie, Janis Joplin, and Zeppelin. If I had to choose one living performer I’d have to say The Cult. To be able to sit & watch Ian Astbury do his thing night in & night out would be quite educational for me.
Well, thank you very much Dylan for taking the time to talk with us at Music Junkie Press. We hope that everyone gets a chance to take a listen to this incredible KICK ASS band and get your Rock n Roll Fix! They do not disappoint and just like Dylan said they “play gritty, balls-out, Rock & Roll”. That is the truth and I for one am enjoying this band! Here is a video from earlier this year of Shotgun Harlot playing at the 2012 Haight Street Fair.
Make sure to take a listen and get to know this up and coming Rock Band.
~Crank it up loud, Marisol
Shotgun Harlot is:
Dylan D. Waltz (Vocals)
Greg Mills (Drums)
Joe McIntyre (Bass)
John Post (Guitar)
Bruno Peterson (Guitar)
Shotgun Harlot Facebook: www.facebook.com/Shotgun-Harlot
Shotgun Harlot Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/shotgunharlot