Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dern Rutlidge. From the vault...

Originally posted on Roadrunner Records site Metalshop.com on my column, Desert Highways, May 2001.

Put your balls in your back pocket and rock out to Dern Rutlidge!
‘Johnny No Stars’ album launch, review and interview with Dern bassist Jason P.C.

Dern Rutlidge are definitely here to kick some arse with their first long player ‘Johnny No Stars’. The force of the album gunning you down like buffalo running wild on the rawk’n’roll plains! These guys are here to prove that not only are their song writing skills beyond most but that they can also deliver it with the strength of eleven Hulks!

Straight up the albums weight is hefty with a build up of feed back and heavily distorted guitars winding up your senses for the fat and meandering riffage that is ‘Far From The Metal’. With a solo you could curl up in for the winter, this track is a great intro into ‘Johnny No Stars’. No glitzy showmanship, no pretense, just strong guitar-driven rock laid over driving rhythms with stripped-back raw vocals.

The title track is definitely one of the albums highlights. Always pushing you forward to get closer to the speakers to fill that “little addiction”. It builds into an adrenalised chaos and throws you headlong into the first single lifted from the long player, ‘Lines On The Table’. An intimate and laid back subdued groove.

Another superhero is ‘Loaded’. With its abrasive vocals and in-ya-face attitude you just gotta love it! Once more that rolling thunder guitar-pushing power. As the saying goes, there is always strength in numbers, so crank it past ten on your stereo!

One minute DR deliver cranked distortion with punked-up mayhem on the Misfits track ‘Where Eagles Dare’, then racing through their guitar-driven stupor on ‘Smells Like Teen Pregnancy’, to their beautifully tripped-out loungeroom-esque cruise of ‘My Survival’.

Dern definitely don’t seem to pigeonhole themselves. They create new areas for others to explore.

Every track is killer, and what better way to complete the onslaught than with ‘Broken Girl’. Like the entire album, it packs more punch than a Holyfield fight, never biting off more than it can chew.

Dern Rutlidge musical strength and vocal styling individualises their sound that much more compared to other bands strumming on the same stage. The song writing and recording on this album is by far one of the best I’ve heard for a while. (Thanx guys!) In some albums their seems to be moments where something lacks, where someone has lost an idea or they just weren’t paying attention, ‘Johnny No Stars’ has no such moments!

Available direct from www.highbeammusic.net ( Unfortunately no longer. You can buy the Johnny No Stars digital download from craigwestwood.com ), this album will never leave your stereo.

Complete track listing:
1. Far From The Metal
2. Johnny No Stars
3. Lines On The Table
4. Smells Like Teen Pregnancy
5. My Survival
6. When I’m Rockin
7. Loaded
8. On The Juice
9. Where Eagles Dare
10. Walk In The Night
11. Broken Girl


“A Little Bit Louder Now!”

Dern Rutlidge Album Launch
Saturday, 12th May 2001
The Punters Club, Fitzroy. Melbourne.

One listen to DR’s album will prove that they can rock. But how does that translate live? Into immense, powerfully thick walls of sound burning through your mind! And as we all know, those fun-lovin’ metal stances thrown in now and again only adds to the overall sound!

They came on a bit late (gotta hate it when strings can’t cope!) and opened with ‘Far From The Metal’, the lead-in track from the long player ‘Johnny No Stars’. As I mentioned, a great intro into their album, and also into their live set. Loud good ol’ guitar-driven rawk’n’roll!

Stoked that they also threw in ‘Silverball’ and the legendary ‘7 Mile Of Highway’ off their ‘High As The Sun On This Midnight Run’ EP.

Also gracing the stage with the mighty Dern was Legends Of Motorsport’s undisputed king of keyboards, Andy Christ. Adding his own frenzied take on ‘Smells Like Teen Pregnancy’ and the albums title track ‘Johnny No Stars’. If you haven’t seen Legends live yet, it’s truly worth the experience!

The few hundred or so punters that turned up certainly didn’t leave empty handed. Everyone left with their eardrums still pounding out the Dern rhythms and some were lucky enough to score a CD. Copies of the album thrown out to heckles of “Kick it to me…Kick it to me”.

Complete set listing:
1. Far From The Metal
2. When I’m Rockin
3. Broken Girl
4. Silverball
5. 7 Mile Of Highway
6. Loaded
7. Smells Like Teen Pregnancy
8. Johnny No Stars
9. Lines On The Table
10. On The Juice
11. Where Eagles Dare


Dern Rutlidge bassist Jason P.C. took some time off stage to answer a few questions…

 First of all – what are the thoughts behind Dern and what continues to push you in terms of your playing?

The drive of Dern is just the desire to play good music, no more no less. There are a lot of bands with a complete life sucking market strategy that places them in the realms of the mundane and I guess our wish is just not to be one of those bands. If you want fashion tips we ain't the band for you, if you want a band that does what it does with no bullshit then we are probably for you.

 What album was the turning point for you in terms of really shaking you up and making you wanna rock?

Well for each member of the band it was different, I’ll speak only for me, the first thing that made me want to rock was Kiss. Gene Simmons was the biggest influence on me. Later on there were others but gene still remains a hero and a source of inspiration. Everyone used to put on kiss concerts in there back yard didn’t they?

 You’ve all had experience in other bands (Blood Duster, Christbait, Drool) how does Dern differ from them?

We don’t fit nicely into a “scene”. And we have the freedom to play pretty much anything that we want to. Our other bands didn’t really have the ability to go in different directions, but Dern can. We can pretty much play whatever comes out naturally. We are one of those things called a band. Not a stoner band or a heavy metal band or a pop band just a plain and simple no frills band.

 What did you want to get out of recording your latest long player, Johnny No Stars as opposed to your previous releases?

Well our other releases had no budget or time to do things exactly as we wanted, this album was approached slowly and with a pretty clear idea of what we wanted in terms of sounds and I think when you listen to it you will find that it sounds pretty honest. We are all pretty happy with the record, we just hope that other people get into it.

 You guys are on High Beam, who do a lot for Australian music. How did you first hook up with Jeb and how’s that been going for you?

We had just finished our deal with another label and we sort of put the word out about finding another label and there they were. Its like they were waiting for us. Like fucking vultures. He he. We are really happy with High Beam I mean they have given us their time and there money so hopefully we will be able to repay them with some album sales.

 Last time I saw you guys was at The Corner in Richmond, the new songs rocked and everyone got into them. How have you found your new material is being received?

Really well, I think that as a band we are getting better with each show we play and the songs that Craig has been writing are getting better and better. I think the crowds can tell we are getting a lot more comfortable with the songs and the stage.

 You’ve played with the likes of Henry Rollins, Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet and the Hellacopters, what’s been the highlight for you in terms of the perfect live show?

Every show for us is rewarding, some of the best shows have been really small gigs where we don’t feel as nervous or that we have to live up to a standard and we can just chill and play our shit the best we can, I think they are the shows that we all enjoy the most.

 Got any classic Rawk’n’Roll tour stories for us?

How about the Richard Cole/John Bonham red snapper in the red snapper story from the Zeppelin days at the Edgewater Inn? That story was pretty fucking rawk. Or do you mean us? Umm we don’t have anything really.

 It seems there are more and more bands escaping their garages to play on stage, but venues are disappearing. Do you think that everyone wants to play now instead of watch? How strong do you think the Melbourne scene is?

The Melbourne scene is very strong there are some really fucking cool bands out there it’s just that you have to find them. There are still some great venues that have been around forever like the tote and the punters club the corner and the empress that support local bands and have gigs almost every night of the week. And of course everyone wants to play!! Its every kids dream to be a fuckin rock star and that ain’t bad I think it’s very healthy.

 Music on the internet is ever growing, what importance and role does the net have in Dern’s future?

Who knows? It’s changing every week with all the file exchange things popping up all over. I mean most labels have plans for or already have in place some kind of mp3 sales systems where you build your own cds and whatnot direct, and that’s good I just don’t know where it will lead. It should make shit cheaper and more accessible so that has to be a good thing. Our little bit of the net is www.dernrutlidge.com .

 Any bands that you think should get a mention that don’t?

Goatsnake are probably the band that I think don’t get enough props and of course Legends of Motorsport and the Dwarves can never get enough promotion from me.

 Thanks very much for taking the time out for the interview. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Um not really just thanks I guess to everyone who has read this. Go out and have a listen to the album and if you like it buy it. Maybe recommend it to a friend or something, we will be very grateful.

Rock on.
Jason p.c.


Checkout www.dernrutlidge.com for more info.
Or check out www.highbeammusic.com to pick up a copy of their first long player ‘Johnny No Stars’ and the first single lifted from the album, ‘Lines On The Table’.


This was and is still one of the greatest kick-arse rock albums of all time. I was stoked then and am to this day that some of my review was quoted to promote the band.

Front page when you logged onto their site, June 2002.

Part of their High Beam Music July 2001 Tour e-mail out...


Dern Rutlidge on:
Digital downloads available from Craig Westwood.com


Anonymous said...

Johnny no stars is in my top three of all time, wont even begin to describe what those tunes do, epic all time album.................damn

Something Sweet To Throw Away said...

Yeah, it's kills it every time!