Over the course of 20 years, a veritable ton of gigs, a lot of really friggin' weird albums, and more metric shifts than you can shake a stick at, the ever-evolving Dreadnaught has carved out a musical niche unlike any other. This is because, very simply, we're totally and utterly deranged.
And I can say this for the equally simple reason that I'm partly to blame.
In January 2016, the perpetually idiosyncratic Dreadnaught – drummer Rick Habib, guitarist Justin Walton, and me, Bob Lord, the guy writing this – released our new single from the forthcoming album HARD CHARGIN', "Takin' A Ride With The Fat Man (Fatta Fatta Puck Puck)." The track essentially constitutes, using the words with which the late great John Updike heralded us, “the sound of terror.” Utterly uncompromising multi-movement prog-rock opuses, gritty bar-band Americana, experimental electronic music, music forad agencies and radio stations, even music for orchestra... there's not a lot we haven't done at this point. We're clearly in too deep.
Our first 10 years were wild ones, morphing from a too-out-there-to-be-enjoyable group of young musicians at the University of New Hampshire in 1996 into an avant-rock battering ram with release of the award-winning, genre-nuking THE AMERICAN STANDARD in 2001. When I found myself overdubbing flamenco-style clapping onto a track with drum loops, nylon-string guitar, bass (intentionally, of course) distorted so badly that the actual notes were hard to hear, keyboards that sounded like Kerry Minnear busted something in his amp in a satin-laden haze and kept playing, all presented like a 1957-era doo-wop group sucked into 2057 via a heretofore unknown wormhole… that’s when I knew it was magic.
Our subsequent releases were no more normal and just as logically bizarre. From the fully instrumental, fusioned-up Americana- and electronic-inspired MUSICA EN FLAGRANTE to the spastic, unadorned trio-only musical explosions of LIVE AT MOJO to the more vocally-based yet no less outlandish new material on the double-disc semi-retrospective hybrid HIGH HEAT & CHIN MUSIC, we’ve explored every nook and cranny that our collective hearts desired.
In between were some unusual and enjoyable gigs, like a commissioned cover of The Who’s “Going Mobile” for an advertising campaign, some music for independent films, a recording of a newly-arranged and orchestrated version of a track from THE AMERICAN STANDARD for symphony orchestra, and the theme song for New Hampshire Public Radio's flagship program "The Exchange." If nothing else, we know how to have our cake and eat it too.
Since 2005, we've been the house band for The Music Hall/New Hampshire Public radio series Writers On A New England Stage, and we've composed and arranged music for authors such as Dan Brown (who sat in on piano with us for a ripping rendition of “Birthday” by the Beatles, as a matter of fact), the aforementioned John Updike, Stephen King, Patti Smith, Madeleine Albright, Ken Burns, Alan Alda, Chris Matthews, Neil Gaiman, and US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, among others. The program is heard by hundreds of thousands of listeners across New England and has earned us a reputation as a fun, nice, audience-friendly musical group… and how we’ve pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes is way, way beyond me.
Sure, we’ve done our own things over the years too, but the gravitational pull of this project simply will not let us out of its orbit. We've played in more than half the states of the union and along the way have been privileged to share the stage with artists (and deep band influences) like John Entwistle, Tony Levin, NRBQ, and a ton of others. Our records have won awards and we've won acclaim, but nothing interests us as much as just doing what we love to do: make music that confounds every single expectation one could possibly have.
Really – what is the point of doing what has already been done? We'll leave that to the other folks. Duck for cover... head for the hills... here comes DREADNAUGHT.
/// January 2016 - 20th birthday track
Our new single "Takin' A Ride With The Fat Man (Fatta Fatta Puck Puck)" is out now! 2016 marks our 20th birthday, we're almost old enough to drink. Available exclusively at Bandcamp, check it out:
/// Reviews For GETTIN' TIGHT WITH DREADNAUGHT
Oour 2015 EP received some terrific reviews right up until the end of the year. Here are a few of 'em:
"Imagine Phish after each member of the band downed seven Red Bulls. Or, King Crimson, but more intense. Or, Dream Theater, though with more fusion and jazz. Then, add them all together, hit turbo, and you might come close to the beauty that is Dreadnaught, but probably not."
DPRP's Something For The Weekend?
"Five songs that blend dazzling musicianship and the band’s trademark sense of humour."
"Dreadnaught’s seemingly endless talents and eccentricities have not only stood the test of time, but continue to grow."
Albums Under The Radar
"Dreadnaught come out fighting with fuzz bass, heavy guitar, and roaring rhythms. I haven't heard this kind of fury since the glory days of 'Nucleus' era Anekdoten."
/// We Tweet, You Tweet, Etc
Cats, brussel sprouts, Walken, and prog. Why the hell would you NOT want follow our Twitter feed?
/// Reviews for HAVE A DRINK WITH DREADNAUGHT
Our previous EP has been warmly received by the press, whic was a true shock to us in the band. There's plenty of links on our Twitter and Facebook pages, but here's a sampling of some prime cuts:
Dutch Progressive Rock Page
"One of the best-kept secrets of the whole U.S. progressive rock scene."
"A gentle warning, however: this EP may not be quite so enjoyable for listeners who prefer the simpler compositional aspects of progressive rock music, as it should be stressed that Dreadnaught’s deliverance of weird rock is by no means an understatement."
"A very good mess."
/// Writers On A New England Stage. The 2015/16 season of the acclaimed "Writers On A New England Stage" series from The Music Hall and NHPR featuring Dreadnaught is in full swing. Visit www.themusichall.org for more information, and check out galleries from past events at Clear Eye Photo.
"Country-rock, avant-garde blues, prog-funk, experimental rock - any and all of these labels are accurate, yet each only begins to brush the surface of the band's style." (ALL MUSIC GUIDE)
"This is Art. This is the realization of a dream. This is intention and ambition married to execution and creativity... This is lights-off, lying on your bed, staring into the blackness stuff. Or something to have weird sex by. Your call." (THE PHOENIX)
"Talk about nuts - who else would have the stones to kick off their CD with a reference to Isaac Asimov ("R. Daneel Olivaw") by bouncing tinkling ivories over a thudding industrial beat? Or to name a song after a feisty freshwater game fish ("Northern Pike”), haul out that industrial beat and layer it over with whimsical harmonica, twangy blues guitar, and zippy strings? Gots to be Dreadnaught." (PROGRESSIVEWORLD)
"Imagine Phish after each member of the band downed seven Red Bulls. Or, King Crimson, but more intense. Or, Dream Theater, though with more fusion and jazz. Then, add them all together, hit turbo, and you might come close to the beauty that is Dreadnaught, but probably not." (PROGARCHY)
"The sound of terror."
||GETTIN' TIGHT WITH DREADNAUGHT
(EP, 2015, Red Fez)
HAVE A DRINK WITH DREADNAUGHT
(EP, 2013, Red Fez)
HIGH HEAT & CHIN MUSIC
(2LP, 2007, Big Balloon/Red Fez)
PUCKA PUCKA WITH DREADNAUGHT
(EP, 2006, Red Fez)
LIVE AT MOJO
(2LP, 2005, Horizons/Comet Records)
MUSICA EN FLAGRANTE
(LP, 2004, Big Balloon Music)
THE AMERICAN STANDARD
(LP, 2001, Red Fez Records)
UNA VEZ MAS