Dredg are one of the most intriguing artistic bands that have come out in the last 15 years. Formed in the bay area in the mid 90’s, they found success as an independent band when they released their debut Leitmotif (their first concept record) in 1998. Shortly there after in 2001 Interscope records came calling and signed the band. El Cielo was released in 2002. The album was another concept record which was based upon sleep paralysis, a piece by Salvador Dali and was recorded mainly at Skywalker Ranch. Songs such as Sanzen, Same Ol Road, Triangle, and Sorry But It’s Over, really open your mind to a strange insightfulness. During that time Dredg toured with bands such as Deftones, Sparta, Glassjaw and Onesidezero. Their follow up Catch Without Arms was released in 2005 and was produced by Terry Date (producer of Deftones, Pantera and many others). This album again had a concept about positives and negatives. Catch Without Arms featured some amazing songs that take you on a journey of heaviness and melody, all the while showcasing the tightness of the band. The songs Bug Eyes, Ode To The Sun, The Tanbark Is Hot Lava, and Jamais Vu really encapsulate the vibe of the concept. Not long after the cycle was complete, Dredg began working on their next album The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion another concept record based on an essay by Salman Rushdie. This record saw Dredg leave the major label machine of Interscope records. This record featured a more interstellar vibe all the while still rocking. Featuring the tracks Pariah, Lightswitch, Information, Savior and I Don’t Know all showcase why Dredg have never compromised their true nature of being artists. After a break Dredg returned to the studio to work on Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy. This album was a departure from their previous efforts and focused more on an electronic tinge. Dan The Automator was behind the boards for this one, and it shows. There are quite a few standouts on this album such as Another Tribe, Down Without A Fight and The Though Of Losing You. All in all Dredg has always stuck to their guns and stuck with their artistic integrity. The members also are quite remarkable, Gavin Hayes has a silky smooth voice that caresses the lyrics and melodies. Dino Campanella plays the drums with such force it’s almost like he has a dozen arms when he plays. Mark Engles has such a clean guitar tone that really compliments the songs beautifully. Drew Roulette drives the rhythm home with his mighty touch of the bass.
Dredg has influenced quite a few newer bands over the last 5 years. They are also a band that should’ve been a lot bigger than they are, if only the label they were on marketed them properly.
Here is a full show from 2007:
By: Brian Lacy