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Local Limelight: Q & A with Dietrichs

 by Benjamin Horowitz
 published on Thursday, September 22, 2005

Courtesy of the Dietrichs/issues/arts/693987
Courtesy of the Dietrichs
Courtesy of the Dietrichs


Can you remember a time when rock 'n' roll meant something other than a dude with long hair moaning from a 10-foot stage with hordes of screaming fans reaching up, hoping to touch a bit of sweat or perhaps a taste of ego?

Well, so can the Dietrichs. As Liz Dietrich, the group's vocalist and sister to guitarist Mike Dietrich, says, the band operates with a simple enough mission: "We wanted to play dance music without being electronic."

Judging by their fans' reactions, the Dietrichs have succeeded. It's a rare Dietrichs show when the crowd is not moving and/or shaking. The brother and sister form the core of the six-member rock unit, and sat down recently with SPM to discuss recording, playing shows and farts in a sweaty basement.

SPM: After spending three years writing, playing shows and dealing with line-up changes, what is it like finally recording an album?

Liz: It's like marking a certain time period in a certain era for our band. The new music we're writing is so different from what we did on this record.

Mike: We had a bunch of friends come in and do back-up vocals on a song, and everyone sat in the control room. There were like 20 people there, and when we all listened to the song it was a really cool moment.

SPM: Being in a group with six people, is there ever any extra tension?

Liz: With all of us working full-time jobs and everything else, there's been a lot of tension. But we're all friends outside of the band.

Mike: We have fun just playing together. Even when we practice in our bass player's garage, where there's not air conditioning.

Liz: And there are roaches and scorpions and then someone farts and the room smells up.

SPM: Your sound isn't easily categorized. Do you ever have to deal with blank stares or rude crowds?

Mike: We've always been surprised people like us, that they get as into us as they do.

Liz: And that they're accepting.

Mike: We've had experiences where they aren't.

Liz: Especially when we play at a church... There's been a few times where people are just sitting, and the room is all lit up, and it's a cafeteria or something. But we're excited about what we play, so it doesn't make sense not to be into it just because other people aren't.

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