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At A Glance
The General Lee, Lynyrd Skynyrd, moonshine and hot rods. Welcome to The South . . . and welcome to the world of Artimus Pyledriver. A combustible mix of hardcore riffing, southern guitar fireworks and down home boogie, Artimus Pyledriver deliver stompin odes to fast cars, faster women and the land that they call home. More substance than image, the AP boys dont just write music about the South they live it. Artimus Pyledriver was formed in Atlanta in 2001 by lead singer, Dave Slocum and guitarist Jimmy Hall. Both Slocum and Hall had been knocking around the local scene in various hardcore and sludge/doom metal bands for the better part of a decade before they joined forces. Michael Faulkner followed shortly thereafter on bass and second guitarist Damon Goldsmith came into the fold in 02. Drummer, Travis Owen, rounded out the five-piece in 03 when the bands original drummer split. They gigged locally with bands like Mastodon, Suplecs, Dixie Witch, Zeke, and Murder Junkies and hit the road for national tours with both Hank III and Nashville Pussy. Influenced in equal parts by the twin Blacks of hard music - both Flag and Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The James Gang, Melvins and Helmet, AP take these seemingly incongruous sonic ingredients and toss em all into a blender to create a sound that is perhaps best described as Southern Stomp-ass. Much like fellow Atlanta noise-merchants Mastodon, APs sound is difficult to define. Elements of stoner and traditional Southern rock abound, but to limit them to either of those monikers would not do the band justice. Basically, explains Slocum, we wanted to create music that bridged the gap between David Allen Coe and Black Flag. We love the Southern rock feel with the twin guitar leads and all, but then we just want to shift gears into half-time riffing. And switching gears is a truly appropriate term for a band comprised of self-professed gearheads. Were all hot rodders, explains Slocum. We all build cars old stuff, new stuff. Early 30s to late 60s its a hobby close to all our hearts. Its a whole lifestyle. Were the kind of guys that gaffe tape the muffler up to the frame just so we can get to the hot rod show. So its not surprising that songs like Swamp Devil (Three more stops to make, yeah - Johnny Law getting hot on tail - Lord cant save me - Burnin up the pavement, Gotta get on outta here) and Ride On (Panhead, rollin toward the ocean - Loud pipes, whiskey, and a cold beer - Lord if theres a heaven, I done found it here) are rife with imagery of big Block Chevys and the open road. Elsewhere, APs lyrical content taps into a rich heritage of outlaws and whiskey-fueled story-telling that dates back to Johnny Cash and beyond. We live and breathe the South! exclaims Slocum, Everything in our musics genuine. Its just kind of who we are. There is not a goddamn thing fake about what we do. Songs, such as Dirt Road White Girl and Natural Progression, hammer the point home; the former with its reprise of Shes my dirt road white girl, roots and all - Come on baby doll, just gimme a call set to buzzing guitars and a stomping backwoods beat and the latters aggressive southern twang rolling in Homes that stretch of road, ol Atlanta highway - Live down South with them backwood hillbillies. Though Southern born and bred and fiercely loyal to the scene , Artimus Pyledrivers introduction to the music business did not come via Nashville or Atlanta or any other hotbed of Southern music, but rather from the unlikely locale of Santa Barbara, CA. It was Dez Fafara of Coal Chamber and DevilDriver fame that brought AP to the attention of DRT Records. Dez came through with Coal Chamber about seven years ago, Slocum recalls, and he told me that if I ever got anything going, to just hook him up with a CD. Seven years later Dez rolled into town with DevilDriver and Slocum hooked him up with a copy of Artimus Pyledriver. He's a man of his word, Slocum adds of Dez, Not many people would, but he did what he said. Its not often that a band comes along that can at once draw so generously and so genuinely from its roots and bring to the fore a truly original sound. Artimus Pyledriver are the real deal. When they sing about moonshine its because they drank it. When they sing about fishing in the river, its because sometimes that was the only place they could get their next meal and when they sing about the open road, its because that is where they feel most at home. Music is the one thing that has gotten all of through to where we are today, Slocum explains, when we were moving from trailer to trailer or one of our dads was hauled off to prison or whatever we always had music to pull us through. So, were just gonna play our asses off, and if people like it cool, and if they dont well, they can kiss our ass! Yee-ha!
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