Moonshine Bandits Q&A: Talking about 'Calicountry' (With video)

mrowland@modbee.comMarch 18, 2014 

The Central Valley-born Moonshine Bandits – Brett Brooks , left, and Dusty Dahlgren – will celebrate the release of their latest CD, “CaliCountry,” Saturday at Fat Cat Music House & Lounge in Modesto.

COURTESY MOONSHINE BANDITS

In February, Brett "Bird" Brooks Dusty "Big Tex" Dahlgren returned to Modesto to play a CD release party for their latest Moonshine Bandits release, "Calicountry." The second video off the new album, "Throwdown" came out recently and the Los Banos natives talked about the video and their homecoming.

Q: How was the crowd at you Fat Cat release party, what did it feel like to be back again?

A: It was a proud moment to return to Modesto and play to a sold out show full of rowdy shiners. Years ago, we got our start by opening a show on a Thursday night at the Fat Cat so it was a proud moment for us to come back and play to a sold out crowd. I guess hard work and dedication does pay off! Fat Cat promoter, Chris Ricci, felt we could of played back to back nights at the Fat Cat and sold both nights out. He has been so supportive of our career as well as The Modesto Bee, Modesto View, Chris Murphy and Ruben Porras. They all have really helped publicize our battle in the trenches throughout our musical journey and we are forever thankful to them all. Not only was the Show a huge success, but it was amazing to see all the Shiners that traveled from all over Cali and some even flew in from Alaska and Kansas. It was a loud and rowdy crowd just how we like it. We were also happy to have our friends that are in local bands like Dam, Jeremy Penick & Thin Black Line, Pruno, Ryan Russell band, Christopher Michael all come out to rock the stage with us! We need to keep that spotlight over here because there’s a ton of talent in Central California and it’s the Valley’s turn to shine! A huge thank you to 51 Fifty Energy Drink and Outlaw Moonshine for making our CD Release party a special night to remember.

Q: Why was Throwndown chosen as the Second single & video?

A: The first single was California Country which was basically telling the world where we are from and that Cali isn’t just all about Hollywood and Surfing. We are proud to be from the Central Valley which has an enormous ag, farming and dairy industry that is a major food provider for the rest of the world. Our song, Throwdown, has been chosen as the second single and we feel that it will be a major hit World Wide. It has already caught fire on the internet and the Video hasn’t even been released yet. The song was written with our Southern buddies, The Lacs, who we are set to go on a 33 city “Country Gone Wild” U.S. Tour that will hit 24 Different states in three months. The “Throwdown” Song and Video should set up the tour perfectly. We can’t wait to perform it live with The Lacs.

Q: What did you want to show with the video?

A: The Video was directed by Scott Hansen and filmed in Tennessee. The song is about outdoor living, mud bogs and for everyone that likes to “throwdown” after a hard work week. The Mud Bog culture is huge in the South, but people don’t realize that it’s growing in Cali as well. The Lagrange Offroad Park is proof that thousands of Cali boggers like to roll their 4x4’s out to the mud and get a little dirty and throwdown! We wanted to show that lifestyle in this video. We wanted to create a video for all the weekend warriors, dirt road racers, mud boggers, 4 wheelers that like raising a little hell outdoors!

Q: How'd you get the General Lee & sheriff's car for the video?

A: We have some friends out in Tennessee that have a business called “Hazzard Life” that own the General Lee, Rosco’s sherrif car, daisy duke’s jeep, and they were kind enough to come out and show their support and let us spin a few donuts in the General Lee. When we were growing up, the Dukes of Hazzard was one of our favorite TV Shows of all time. It was so amazing to go from watching that as a kid to actually filming our own music video with us in the General Lee ripping through the countryside! It’s still hard to believe. It was very cool to have our friend, Bubba Sparxxx, come out and play a cameo role in the Video and have him chase us in the Dukes of Hazzard Sheriff’s car. The video was such a blast to film, I think everyone is going to love it!

Q: What have been audiences' response to the new material so far?

A: We received 4 out of 5 stars from Roughstock.com and all the reviews have been good. Not that we care what the critics say because we don’t make our music for them, we make our music for the Shiner Nation. If our shiner family is happy with our new album, then we are happy. Hitting Billboard at #22, then Itunes Country Chart at #6, and Amazon’s Chart at #5 tells me that the Shiners love it, and that makes us feel proud. First week sales have nearly quadrupled any of our past albums. This album is a pivotal moment in our career because it’s really broadening our fan base by the thousands weekly. Most mainstream artists spend hundreds of thousands on Radio and TV to Chart so for us to be able to Chart with our own grass roots campaign and going against the grain with our own style of music, then we are beyond ecstatic. We are so thankful to have such a loyal group of dedicated supporters.

Q: How do you Los Banos roots reflect in what you're doing now, you mention being small town boys in the song?

A: I think our small town roots are pretty clear in anything we do. We are proud of where we are from. We want to prove that because you are from a small town, doesn’t mean you can’t think big, so follow your dreams. We love teaming up with Valley businesses that share our same vision. Our sponsors 51 Fifty Energy are from Livingston, Outlaw Moonshine is from Modesto, and our new sponsor The Memory Tag is from Stockton and all of these companies work just as hard as we do. We also teamed up with Big Foot Jerky in Atwater to help produce our own brand of Jerky. Our goal is to let the world know about the Valley and shine a spotlight on the Central part of California. We tour almost 30 different states annually and the common questions we get asked are if we are from Northern Cali or So-Cal. People forget that there’s a central part of cali so we explain to them about the Valley and it’s deep blue collar roots that it has. We have been told no all our lives ever since our demo’s were getting thrown in the trash by record execs back in 1999, but we’ve never gave up. It’s been a David vs. Goliath battle for us, but we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Our goals just keep getting bigger.

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