Bring Earplugs and Water

The Set List

By Brian Washburn


Emerging rockers Dead Confederate to join Dinosaur Jr. in Fayetteville

Some say the psychedelic music era died with the ’60s, with Hendrix, Joplin, Woodstock and the free-love hippie movement, which might have spawned some of us and our music credentials. But while this psychedelic era might have ended long ago, a new genre of psychedelic music might be on the horizon, and it is unlike anything the ’60s hippies would have ever heard: loud, dark, alternative and with a bit of southern swagger courtesy of Georgia-based quintet Dead Confederate.
Dead Confederate — vocalist-guitarist Hardy Morris, bassist Brantley Senn, keyboardist John Watkins, drummer Jason Scarboro and guitarist Walker Howie — began their music careers in Augusta, Ga., in 2006. Although the band eventually made the move to Georgia’s big city of Atlanta, they quickly realized that the saturated scene was filled with bands that “people don’t really kind of need,” Morris said.
It was when the band moved to the college town of Athens that they found their sound and their fan base.
“In Athens, a lot of people migrate to you, so when something new comes to town, they check it out. We’re not downplaying the Atlanta scene, but it’s been great to make Athens home,” Morris said.
Even though Athens might be their home, Dead Confederate is spending more and more time on the road, including an appearance at South by Southwest, after inking a deal with Razor and Tie Records and releasing their first full-length album, “Wrecking Ball,” in September. The album had its first single, “The Rat,” hit No. 39 on the Billboard Modern Rock charts.
“It’s good to get acknowledged,” Morris said. “We made a record for people to hear it, not hide away. It’s been awesome to have people enjoy it and play it.”
“Wrecking Ball” mixes several of the band members’ personal influences that Morris says comes out in the songwriting, but certainly wasn’t a deliberate choice to have one song sound one way and another sound different.
However unintentional their genre-mixing talents might be, Dead Confederate has definitely garnered a following, including the ears and eyes of legendary indie noise rock band Dinosaur Jr., who is taking Dead Confederate along on a national tour beginning this month. The two groups will stop in Fayetteville for what should be a night to remember at George’s Majestic Lounge this Friday night. Morris recommends that fans bring earplugs and water.
“I’ve been a fan of them (Dinosaur Jr.) since I was a youngster and first playing music. I am pumped to be playing with them,” Morris said. “We had just kind of randomly played with them last year and it went well so we submitted for a tour and they accepted. We are humbled and excited.”
Though touring with a band you idolized growing up might be the top goal for many up-and-coming acts throughout the nation, Dead Confederate has several more goals they hope to accomplish in 2009 and throughout their music career. The band has been home making demos  this year and plans to record a new album in the fall. With many songs written, Morris said they just need to finish work on a couple of demos and start talking to producers. Even though the record release might seem short notice considering the band just released their debut LP late last year, the six-piece outfit does not plan on vastly changing their style or structure from what they are bringing on stage now, just as long as people keep listening.
“We want to keep making records and have people buy them and enjoy listening to them,” Morris said. “Of course at the end of the day, make some sort of living off your art. We’re not looking to be rich rock stars, but be able to pay for (a) roof over our heads by playing music would be goal No. 1.”


photo: Pamela Littky

Categories: LIVE! In NWA