The Dirtiest rock n roll you’ve heard in years, pipin’ hot and fresh out of Atlanta! The Dreaded Marco stands as a reminder of what named the South dirty.
The show was at 120 Tavern and Music Hall and there were fans of all ages 18-69!
“They rocked us with the Riffs and amazed us with the Lyrics!”
Brain child of Charlie Sheets (Echovalve, Circus House Band) and Dixie Duncan (Echovalve, Eye Empire), long time friends and veterans of Atlanta’s rock music scene. The two booked studio time with engineer/drummer Mike Froedge (Black Label Society, DoubleDrive, SpeedX) at Open Sky Studio in Atlanta and began working on songs together. Five weeks after the decision to form the band and make an EP, the boys stepped into the studio with riffs they really loved playing, melodies that just stuck out to them, and an open mind to how far they could go with their ideas. Raw rock n’ roll, nothing but sonic attitude, hip shaking grooves meet head banging beats. The addition of Scott Williams on bass guitar brought another jazz groove and boogie influence into the Marco style. The listener truly hears the different influences of the members, ranging from the original American rock n roll that folks now call country (Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Elvis, etc.) Motown, blues and jazz, classic rock to industrial, and modern rock. The sound or genre the band would be classified in was an afterthought for The Dreaded Marco, and that freedom birthed a truly original sound.
“Charlie’s Amazing vocals are a perfect match to those lyrics”
Charlie Sheets started singing in choirs at a young age and continued to do so throughout college. He started playing the guitar at eleven when he heard Weezer’s Blue album, specifically the song, “Holiday”. He then began writing songs at fifteen and formed his first band. His band, Echovalve, won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2004, and toured both nationally and internationally. Charlie attributes a lot of his songwriting style to his chorale upbringing, and the wide variety of his musical taste.
“Dixie is a Genuis”
Dixie Duncan is a multi-instrumentalist and composer from Atlanta. His experience with music began at age 4, when he would play holiday songs by ear on the family piano. At 12 years old, Dixie played drums, trumpet and trombone in the middle school band, and for the next few years, he developed an understanding of drumming and basic percussion concepts by watching drummers in music videos and listening to the radio. Around age 13, his family moved from Atlanta to a small town in Mississippi where there was nothing but big fields and dirt roads. He found an old acoustic guitar that belonged to his stepfather, and after being shown 1 scale (by his stepfather), spent all of his time teaching himself scales, chords, and eventually, whole songs. After being in Mississippi for less than a year, Dixie moved back to Atlanta, now with a new found love for playing the guitar. But simply playing music wasn’t enough.
It wasn’t until 5 years later that Dixie joined his first band, TENTILFOUR. Less than a year later, they began performing for large audiences. After playing together for 8 years, recording 3 CDs, and performing with many national acts, TENTILFOUR disbanded (bad pun intended). By this point, Dixie had combined his love for playing music with his love for performing. Still, that wasn’t enough.The next few years were some of the most defining years (musically) of Dixie’s life. He played with many other bands on guitar, bass, drums, and sometimes keys. During this time, he also spent a lot of time studying a lot of different musical instruments including (but not limited to) violin, cello, and bandura. He began to learn that not only was he able to perform for many people, but he was able to share a part of himself through the music he was playing. However, after some time, Dixie realized it was hard to find musicians who were interested in playing music for just the love of playing and performing. The concept of expressing emotion and experience through music had nearly been lost, and Dixie became less passionate about the music he was playing. In September of 2006, Dixie decided to pursue a career as a solo artist. Dixie is currently recording music for 2 albums. The first of these, mostly comprised of solo acoustic guitar work, will be released in early 2008. He is also writing music for 2 other albums, playing drums with Cemetron, doing studio sessions, and performing almost every night of the week.
In 2005, while touring with Echovalve, Dixie was awarded #1 bass guitarist in a worldwide band competition Emergenza USA soon after. He was named “Best Instrumentalist of 2005” in Creative Loafing (Atlanta), and once again, “Best Instrumentalist of 2007.” Also in 2007, Dixie won 1st place in an acoustic guitar competition.
“Scott passion brings such depth to the MUSIC “
Scott Williams at a young age expressed an interest in music so his parents got him a guitar. He took some lessons and after starting to play upright bass at the age of 12 Scott made the switch to bass guitar. He was highly influenced by John Paul Jones, Jack Bruce, Geddy Lee, James Jamerson, Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, and Scott LaFaro. Scott is also an undergraduate student at the Georgia State School of Music studying Jazz Bass Performance.
“Mike is WICKED behind that kit”
Mike Froedge played drums in high school. Then was a “music major guy” in college (and has spent his entire career since then trying not to sound like it!) Played in orchestras, symphonic bands, marching bands, jazz bands, blues bands, percussion ensembles, cover bands, country bands, rock bands, metal bands, rubber bands… you name a style of music, probably beaten on things in the background of it at least once.Eventually, he had a great rock band with a major-label record deal. Had the big rock radio hit single. Toured all over. Living the dream! Mission accomplished!… Right?… Wrong. Was still broke as hell. Left major label deal.Had another major label deal. Spent truckloads of money this time, on bigtime producers and bigtime studios. Had another even bigger rock radio hit single. Toured all over. Yep, you guessed it… still broke as hell. Walked away from major-label record deal #2.Started doing things his way… Playing on sessions for other artists and producers…. Playing on tours for other artists and bands… Playing in his own bands that refreshingly didn’t have A&R guys breathing down their necks…eventually opened his own studio, where his make records on his OWN terms… He produces a LOT of bands, mix a LOT of albums, drum on a LOT of other people’s records… Sometimes even drumming for people from the other side of the world, people who he has never met. And he still tours with people sometimes too..This crazy little career just gets more fun and interesting as time goes on… It has taken him all over the US, Canada, South America, Europe, Eastern Europe, Australia, Japan, Cuba… He has played with people that everyone has heard of, played with people that no one has heard of. Played for 80,000 people, and has played for 8 people… and everything in between. Mike says, “I beat on things with pieces of wood. People pay me for this. I know, it’s crazy, but it’s true!”
Questions for the guys:
What is your writing process? Let’s see. The writing process for the band typically begins with a musical idea on the guitar. My position in the band is one in which I’m bringing most of the ideas to the table. We work out parts, transitions, and the arrangement of the song, and then begin working it out together, getting familiar with our own parts and the ways in which they work together. I always write lyrics after I’ve written music. I feel like music is a language in itself, and when listening, the mood of the song kind of “tells me” what to write.
Highlite of your career to date? The highlight of my musical career to date would probably be touring in Europe in 2004. Any time you get to travel playing music is fun, but getting to go overseas to play music is hard to beat!
Describe Scott.And now the best question of all, describe Scott. Well, I’ve only known Scott for two and a half years now. Scott is hilarious, he’s always quick with a joke. Musically, Scott brings a lot to the band. As a jazz student, he looks at chord progressions and musical structure in a slightly different way than the rest of us. But in a very compatible way. Scott seems to always be able to make a melody out of his bass lines, and I don’t hear many bass players that do that. Scott was a real pleasant surprise, how he fits in with all of us. We’re all a lot alike, and we get along so well, but we’re also all very different. Scott is Han Solo.
Advice for New Players? If you love it, keep going. If you think it’ll make you rich, stop immediately.
Who are your Musical Idols? Al Di Meola, BB King, Jimmy Herring, David Gilmour, Dennis Chambers, hell I could list em for awhile, but there’s the first five I could think of this time, lol.
Describe Mike. Mike was sent by the gods of Rock n Roll to make your head nod, and your ass shake. His strength comes from his hair. Star Wars…
If you could share the stage with anyone dead or alive who and why? I’ve got a pretty wide range of people that I’d like to play with. As far as drummers go I’d have to say some Dave Grohl or maybe some Stuart Copeland…those guys can really influence songs with their playing. Danny Carey would be another example of a drummer who can make a difference through a variety of styles. As far as guitarists go it would be really fun to play with David Gilmour and Pete Townshend. I also wouldn’t mind being in Stevie Wonder’s band.
What is in your playlist right now? My playlist is along the lines of The Police, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Queens of the Stone Age, Tears of Fears, Nine Inch Nails, Pre-Bitches Brew Miles Davis, and The Beatles…whole lot of The Beatles…
Describe Dixie. Firstly it is damn near impossible to describe Dixie. He’s always immersed in shadows and surrounded by bats…like 24/7. That shit is crazy. The best way I can describe Dixie is by using a nerdy metaphor, but those who are “in the know” can understand what I’m saying. Dixie is the Death Star. He has so much talent on so many instruments, however in The Dreaded Marco he focuses all that talent into his guitar playing…and it blows up planets…well just Alderaan if we’re splitting hairs here.
Tell me about the new Cd what should we expect ? When will it be released? The Dreaded Marco release will be an EP… 3-5 songs, some of which we have already finished… the new material definitely heads in some cool directions that are different from the first album, but it still sounds very characteristically “Marco”, so… I think everybody who dug last year’s album will dig this too. Also got some acoustic stuff in the works… some cool covers… We don’t have an exact release date for the EP yet, but it will be soon, and we’re about to hit y’all with a LOT of stuff in the next few months!
Whats coming up for Dreaded Marco? We also have a big, rockin’ New Year’s Eve show coming up at
The Clermont, with our brothers from Ledfoot Messiah.
Describe Charlie. LOL… One of the nicest, funniest, most humble dudes I know… and has an amazing voice and songwriting skills too, of course. He and I have also been in my studio recently working on his solo album, but I’ll let him tell ya’ all about that next!
Photos ©2012 by Bonnie M. Morét
Check out this oldie but goodie with Ange Alex and the boys at Mike’s Open Sky Studio