Mike Dillon Band of Outsiders available now! How many artists can claim praise like “punk rock provocateur,” “jazz vibraphone visionary” and “percussion master”? There’s only one: Texas-native Mike Dillon. Whether through his affiliation with artists such as Les Claypool, Ani DiFranco and Brave Combo, collaborations like Garage A Trois, The Dead Kenny Gs and Critters Buggin or bands he’s fronted, including Billy Goat and Hairy Apes BMX, the one and only Mike D has set his own standard for 25 years now.
With his latest effort, Band of Outsiders, Dillon has conjured the perfect storm of all these past endeavors. His manic creative vision meets its match in three young New Orleans-based musicians. Carly Meyers—whom Dillon describes as “a High Priestess of Trombone channeling the energy of Iggy Pop through the chops of JJ Johnson in a second-line”—provides harmonic counterpoint to his vibes and percussion (“All Walks of Life”) as she simultaneously ups the band’s art-rock ante (“Carly Hates The Dubstep”). The rhythm section of bassist Patrick McDevitt and drummer Adam Gertner turns on a dime between snarling punk rock assaults (“Homeland Insecurity”), deep funky go-go (“Head”), ska grooves (“Hero The Burro”) and experimental hip-hop beats (“7AM At The Jazzfest”) with all points covered in between.
Dillon and his band have relentlessly toured the States, both headlining and opening for artists like Fishbone, Clutch and Primus. As a result, these 13 songs bristle with a group mind, spilling over with the visions invoked during countless dead-of-night drives and landing with a sonic assault only possible from a unit that’s played 400-plus shows over the last two years. Indeed, Band of Outsiders is a snapshot of four musicians hitting full stride.
“Two tours of Mexico and a steady dose of Brazilian music was the jumping off point for these new songs,” says Dillon. “Add our love for The Melvins, Deerhoof, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, Trouble Funk and all things New Orleans and this album surpasses our intention to make the freakiest, most vibrant dance music on the planet.”