1996 – present (25 years)
Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona, United States
- Brandon Lawson
- Chuck Epperly
- Greg Forney
- Jason Dubree
- Joseph Heinl
The Official Biography courtesy of roadrunnerrecords.com
"Playing with these guys has really given me an understanding about how different music can hit you," admits Dislocated Styles guitarist Chuck, "I always try and understand why something is popular. Is it the hook, the guitar line, what? And the other guys in the band have taught me to understand how we can rock it like this or like that and make something great happen." And rock it they do! The six piece Phoenix, Arizona group combines heavy rock riffin', funky bass lines, jazzy keyboards, beatbox drumming and a hip-hoppin' mic style that is as unique as it is beguiling. Each member brings his own flavor to the incendiary mix, "When we started, we all listened to different music," remembers Chuck. " I have a '70's rock background and a really strong blues influence - Eric Clapton, BB King, Stevie Ray Vaughn. Greg and I come from a similar place. Brandon and Jason were into hip-hop and Joe was really into funk. We have all these crazy record collections and if you throw them all together Dislocated Styles is what you get."
MC Mesi (Brandon Lawson), guitarist Chuck Epperly, and bassist Joe Boogie had been playing for most of their lives in bands together. Around 1996, the threesome met Jason Dubree and keyboardist Greg Forney and Dislocated Styles was primed to set it off. Though they were based in Phoenix, the band traveled to Tempe to make their name on the local club circuit. People were feeling it, " There's a unity when we play live," says Brandon, "we just go at it and make sure everyone has a good time." They quickly started gathering a strong following, but unlike some bands, you couldn't put your finger on your 'average' Dislocated Styles fan. "It's bizarre how we draw people in," says Chuck. "We bring in people that you wouldn't expect to listen to our brand of music."
As Dislocated Styles' touring circle grew and they started to invade California, the band took the stage with the likes of Incubus, Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Snot, Papa Roach, and Hed (P.E.). One of the biggest moments was when the band was asked to play The Edgefest in Phoenix in front of 15,000 people. The still-unsigned local faves shared a bill with Kid Rock, Primus, and Powerman 5000. "When we all walked out there, we all just looked at each other. It was a really good moment," remembers Chuck. "The crowd was so loud and they were awesome. We blew it up! I remember being so nervous before we went on and then I just said 'Fuck it. Whatever.' I'm not going to see this as anything different from any other gig we've ever done."
Dislocated Styles also found time to put out an EP, Spanking The Funky and a full-length entitled Elevator Music. The Band peddled both records at their shows, but if you'd like to score yourself a copy you'd better check eBay since both records are long gone. Soon enough, the major labels came sniffing around. "It was really strange," says Chuck, "because we never thought it would blow up like it did. We were doing it for fun and then it turned into something we could do for real." Though many wanted the boys to sign on the dotted line, the band was most impressed by the typically heavy-minded Roadrunner Records "We have always gone by feeling," said Chuck. "A lot of other labels approached us, but none of them were as good as Roadrunner. They were so real. I say 'Whatever feels the best,' and Roadrunner felt the best by far." By the end of 1999 the Southwestern collective had a deal and were set to record what would become Pin The Tail On The Honkey.
The final piece to the puzzle was producer Howard Benson (P.O.D., Zebrahead) and his partner-in-crime, engineer Bobby Brooks. In May 2000 the band locked themselves in the studio for six weeks in Sherman Oaks, California with the duo to put their mayhem on tape. Benson kept the vibe loose and free flowing. "He brought a lot of stuff out of us - stuff we didn't know we had," states Chuck. "It was so fun, he was such a good motivator."
Most of the album had already been written by the time the console board lit up, but a trio of tracks did get flushed out in the booth, including what would be the anthemic first single, "Liquefied." Hip-hop rhythms and a phat bass bounce swerve amidst a driving guitar riff as Jason Dubree (turntables) raps "I'm falling and I can't get up/And I tried to walk, but almost threw up/Only took a few shots, but I didn't last/This time Mr. Cuervo got the last laugh." "I think everyone can relate," says Brandon. "Liquefied" is pretty straight forward," agrees Chuck, "It's a common ground I think we all have." The shout-out sing-along chorus urges "Raise up your cup and drink up/It's as simple as that/In the club give me love/'Cause I'll give it right back."
"Fire in the Hole" is a blistering vitriol 'n' venom-filled rant about hardcore relationships gone horribly wrong. Brandon spits out the chorus with a particular vehemence, "Turn the heat up/We be getting' down, till the ashes hit the ground." "It's about one of those horribly fucked-up relationships that we've all had," says Brandon. On the other end of the emotional spectrum, the bouncy pop vibe of "Clocks" celebrates all things green and bluntable. "You have to have a good time, you have to release," insists Chuck. "The way we release some of our negative energy and stress is by having a good time."
Pin The Tail On The Honkey is one of those records that defies categorization, but undeniably surfs the zeitgeist taking in a flurry of influences and spitting them out in a completely new form. Dislocated Styles are set to rip your head off and stick it on backwards with their particular variety of audio chaos.
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