Dead Man's Whiskey

Dead Man’s Whiskey Interview

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On Sunday, I had the absolute privilege of interviewing James and Elliott from Dead Man’s Whiskey. We talked about the band, the album and their influences and more:


  1. Could you take us through what inspired the name of the band and what your influences are?


Elliott “How we got to the name of the band is kind of complicated. So some of the guys were in a band called Whiskey Chasers beforehand, and when that ended we wanted to use that name, but were told we couldn’t. Then we came to Dead Man’s Hand, but found that there were a lot of bands using that name, so we stopped using that, then we decided to merge the two names and that’s how we came to Dead Man’s Whiskey.”


James “ As for influences, it’s quite varied, be it Guns N Roses, Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, Maiden, Prince. It’s a mix between what our parents got us into and what bands we discovered ourselves.”


  1. Could you talk us through the process of writing your album Under the Gun and what the inspirations were for it?


James: “Some of the songs on the record are older than people realise. Live, Loud and Ready and Rooster Crows were written by myself and Billy when we were living in some shitty apartment. As for inspiration it’s mainly about the struggle you go through trying to make it, and the love of playing music. That’s definitely embodied in songs like My Year, Make You Proud.”


Elliott: “Then there’s Hoe Street, which is quite tongue in cheek.”


James: “Yeah, Hoe Street’s about this place where myself and Billy live, which is quite I guess famous for certain things. Nico came down and he couldn’t believe a lot of what he saw and heard, so he wrote this song filled with double entendres and it’s very tongue in cheek.”


  1. What was it like being able to play alongside a band as iconic as Diamond Head?


James: “We played alongside them for the Islington show, and it was great, they were really down to earth, humble guys. Who were more than willing to talk to us and share advice about the industry. I remember mentioning to Brian Tatler that I loved the song ‘Sucking My Love’ and he was amazed.”


Elliott: “It was great, they’re really nice guys and they don’t have any ego whatsoever, they’re really easy to talk to as well. And they had awesome riders.”


  1. What plans have you got for the future?


Elliott: “We’re going to be quite busy. Our tour starts in February and runs until May, going to be booking a few festivals soon as well. We’re heading into the studio to record two new singles as well. Maybe do some extra stuff for the first record, and we’re also writing new material as well.”

James: “We’re also honing our live show, getting a new box of tricks. Something that we learned watching Diamond Head play.”


Cairo Son, Dead Man's Whiskey, Diamond Head

Diamond Head With Guests Live @ 02 Academy Islington, Review.

On Wednesday 6th December 2017, the masses converged on the O2 Academy, Islington, to watch three great bands give it everything they had.  It is often said that rock and metal music are not long left for this world, that the general public especially young people just aren’t interested. This gig proved why people who make such comments are uninformed, and should really venture into the realms to which they offer such free nonsense.

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Dead Man’s Whiskey was the first band on stage, and they were the best openers I’ve ever seen. Performing balls to the wall heavy music, with bite, and snarling tooth grins, music that made the head move and the feet tap. Their riffage and their vocalist got the crowd going, and ensuring that everything was suitably warmed up. Some shredding solos ensured that they would be remembered forevermore, keep an eye out on these guys, they’re going places!

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Next, to grace, the stage was Cairo Son. Hailing from London, by way of Germany and Egypt and Poland, they delivered a swelling of doom, ballsy rock and good time blues, that got people moving.  They benefitted from the crowd’s first taste of quality rock in Dead Man’s Whiskey. There was singing, headbanging and even the odd mosh pit as things continued.  The end of their set was met by demands for more, another band to keep an eye on.

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The final band of the night were the band that for me changed everything. I was thirteen the first time I heard Am I Evil on a terrible speaker somewhere in Dundee, Scotland, and I never forgot it. Diamond Head have influenced countless bands and musicians over the years, most prominently Metallica. For me, getting to see them was a dream come true, there was a sense of anticipation as their crew moved gear around and set things up, then their intro music came on. As soon as Ras, the vocalist stepped on, the crowd went wild. Starting with Shout At The Devil, and finishing with Sucking My Love, Diamond Head delivered punch after punch. They got mosh pits going for Helpless, Its Electric, The Prince and Shoot Out The Lights.  They showed why they are rightly considered one of the greatest bands to ever come out of Britain. When Am I Evil started, the crowd lost its collective mind. Singing, mosh pits, headbanging, all of it was around and plentiful.

A great night of metal, and one that will never be forgotten in my mind. Brilliant, and showing that metal and rock is alive and well, kicking and screaming, teeth bared, snarl firmly in place. Just as it should be.