June 27, 2007
Interview with Dallas Taylor from Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
I heard the name of the band came from a 1930’s mob boss, is there a story behind that?
When we were thinking of the band name we wanted to go back to our roots. When you’re growing up you hate the things your parents get you into. I’ve seen so many country artists and I used to hate them but the older I’m getting the more I like them. When I was younger I used to go to re-enactments, she was gunned down in my hometown and I would be sittin’ there eating cotton candy watching her get shot up. The story of her life told a story how people like Hitler end up justifying what they’re doing even though it isn’t right. And she was a Bible thumper and she thought she was raisin’ her kids in the ways of God but every one of her kids was shot and killed. When we started this band we wanted to tell this story of playing the role of her sons and just telling people that what you do in life is going to come back around to haunt you.
How did you end up in Alabama?
I knew so many people… I just moved there for a girl.
Many sources credit you with starting a new genre of music, what are your thoughts on that?
I guess it’s weird because it doesn’t feel new for us. When you do something you don’t ever think about how your music sounds you just do it. It’s cool people think we’re doing our own thing. I don’t think we were doing something different as a whole but we were doing something different individually. When we first started people thought it was the stupidest thing ever. I think people expected us to sound like our old bands.
Did you intentionally put the two (Southern rock and metal) together or did it sort of just happen?
We practiced two guitar riffs and said ‘this is just too typical.’ Then when we started writing this other style we started getting into it. We were like, “man, people are going to hate us for this.” We all loved it.
Your new album seems like you take on the personality of the characters in the story. Was that your intention?
The first album was the story of the family. We wanted it to be a concept album but when we were putting the album together this concept developed. A lot of the songs I wrote were nothing to do with the concept at all.
The story of Ma Barker or our take on the story. There’s three or four songs about that but the others are about personal stuff I go through. But it kind of ties into that because the story of Mother Maylene is the story of any individual where some go through certain things. It relates to any family or any body.
Now that all the family is dead what are you going to do for your next album?
There’s so many takes you can make on it. Maybe like the sons are talking form the grave like a lot of old country writers used to do. Or we can go back in time to when we were kids and look at what made them go wrong. It’s a lot of fun when it’s time to do the layouts or figure out the album concept.
How have you grown and changed since your first album and how does your new album reflect that?
When we did the first record we had just started playing not even a year. All the songs we’d written were on that album. We hadn’t grown as a band or done a lot of touring. We’ve matured a lot as a band and gotten used to playing with each other.
What’s your take on being labeled as a Christian band?
We didn’t get boxed into the Christian category. We’re pretty blatant with what we believe but we don’t ram it down other people’s throat. With the album concept it’s a weird take on a Christain belief where they’re paying for their sins. A couple of the sons are aware of what they’ve done and are accepting of their sins and are ready to die despite that and there’s the other sons who wished they would have changed their life around but haven’t.
We just try to level with people and let them know that we love them and Jesus loves them and hopefully they can respect that. I think anybody who is happy with who they are can respect what other people believe.
What are your favorite Christian bands?
I don’t listen to much Christian music. A band I used to make fun of and joke about all the time we just played a festival with them like a week ago and the best live show I’ve ever seen was this band called The Newsboys. I’ve never seen a live show like that.
What are you favorite country artists?
George Jones The Possum, Willie Nelson, Wayland Jennings, huge John Anderson fan, Charlie Daniels.
Influences and inspirations?
My biggest influence on lyrics I think would be Tori Amos. I like how she writes her lyrics, she writes from her heart. Inspirations include a lot of the people back home that never change. I like that.
What’s in the future for Maylene?
Touring a bunch. We’re pretty open dudes. The reason we do this isn’t to try and get big but maybe help people if they’re going through some of the stuff we’ve gone through or whatever. So a lot of touring and making a lot more friends and just lovin’ on people.