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The first show I ever went to in the Coachella Valley was a Fever Dog show—and the fusion of blues and psychedelic rock introduced me to the local music scene with a bang.

That performance cemented Fever Dog’s place in my mind’s Hall of Fame, and the band has received a fair amount of attention beyond my fanboy self. It was a part of a European tour in 2015 with Fatso Jetson, and the band’s music has been well-received across various streaming services.

Fever Dog is Danny Graham and Joshua Adams, joined by Ramses Lopez and Alex Galvan. A listen to the band’s earlier work on Volume One and Second Wind will take any rock listener back to the ’70s—albeit with a unique desert twist. Heavy-hitting tracks like “One Thousand Centuries” and “The Great Tree” are rockingly reminiscent of Sabbath and Zeppelin, if those bands had included stoner rock in their songs. The band’s latest EP, Mainframe (2017), offers three tracks that are pure psychedelic rock jams, with the title track sounding like a Pink Floyd B-side.

This takes us to the present day. The release of “Freewheelin’” earlier this year made stereos everywhere sparkle; the track is four minutes of every glam-rock fan’s dream. A second single release, “Solid Ground,” made it clear that the band was prepping for something big this year--so I decided to check in with my Fever Dog friends.

“Our album is planned for release this year, hopefully not too long from now,” said frontman and guitarist Danny Graham during a recent phone interview. “We’re going to try to book some tours as soon as that’s out; hopefully a European tour an Australian tour, and maybe a small American tour, too.”

The upcoming new album is slated to be called Alpha Waves.

“We are shopping for a label right now,” Graham said. “We really want the next album to be released under a European label. The last time we went to Europe, it would’ve helped to have a vinyl release. It’s the best thing to have on your merch table, and we wanted to make sure that we were able to press it on vinyl this time.”

With a big 2020 ahead, Graham looked back on the band’s humble beginnings.

“I was brought up on almost exclusively KISS, and a lot of ’70s rock music,” Graham said. “Me, Josh and Nathan—our old bass player—went to elementary school together and started playing together in 2006. We all picked up our instruments around the same time.

“When we first started, we were mostly a hard-rock, AC/DC-style band. As soon as we started going, we decided that we needed to do this for real and make a recording, even though we were only in the sixth-grade. We wouldn’t have done that, though, if we didn’t have the resources for it. My dad was in a band, so we had a lot of help to make that happen.”

Fever Dog is known for its epic live performances. Long hair flies all over the place, and the jams keep coming as Graham’s disco-ball guitar shines onto audience members’ faces. I was curious whether all the different sounds that Fever Dog has featured would still be represented live.

“For live shows, we’re doing a mix of everything,” Graham said. “We’re doing about half new songs and half old songs, with some improvisation and changes added in. We’re trying to blend pretty much everything we’ve ever done.”

With the change in sound came the addition of the aforementioned two new members. The group didn’t have to look too hard to find them.

“Josh knew our new bass player, Alex, from one of his old bands, The Active Kissers,” said Graham. “He also met our keyboard player, Ramses, through Twitter. They were just friends and then we realized that he also played music, so we asked him to join.”

It’s been pretty lonely in the local music scene without Fever Dog; the band’s two recent single releases are the first in three years.

“We took a break and didn’t really have a specific goal on how anything was going to sound,” Graham said. Josh and I just started recording whatever we wanted. Instead of deciding what kind of songs we’re going to make, we just kind of went for anything. This upcoming record is pretty much a blend of everything we’re into—all the’70s rock, progressive rock, experimental stuff and a lot of glam rock.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/feverdogrocks.

Published in Previews

If you’ve never seen a Fever Dog performance, you’re missing out. Fix that by checking them out when the band performs at 8 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 11, at Club 5 in Indio. The band’s heavy psychedelic sound has a genuine desert feel. Danny Graham, Fever Dog’s front man and guitarist, is also a visual artist with a blog full of art. For more information on Fever Dog, visit www.facebook.com/feverdogrocks. Here are Graham’s answers to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

I used to go see a lot of old punk-rock bands play locally in my hometown when I was around 12 or 13. So it was probably Agent Orange or The Dickies … something like that.

What was the first album you owned?

The first CD I ever owned was The Colour and the Shape by Foo Fighters, but the first vinyl record I ever owned was KISS’ 1974 self-titled album.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, and Tame Impala.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

I don’t get 95 percent of the things people love.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Led Zeppelin, live around 1974-1975.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

You shouldn’t feel guilty for liking something others don’t. I wouldn’t put on a Yes or King Crimson album if I’m with someone other than my two bandmates, just because people usually aren’t into progressive rock. It’s not because I’m ashamed of liking it, though.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I honestly don’t have one. I’ve never been to or played a venue that I really liked that much. At least, so far I haven’t. We have our first European tour coming up.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

The chorus to “So Far Away” by Carole King.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

KISS. They’re one of the first bands I liked, and I’ve loved them ever since—even the really bad stuff.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I guess I would ask Nathan Wood of Fever Dog what the one question is that he would ask any musician, and also what musician he chose.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Ride Captain Ride” by Blues Image.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

It’s probably The Dark Side of the Moon (by Pink Floyd), but I haven’t thought of that much.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

The entire Free Your Mind …  and Your Ass Will Follow album by Funkadelic. (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13