As a solo artist, Jason Simon’s songwriting, vocal style and sonic aesthetic is instantly recognizable due to his many years as the frontman of Washington DC stoner rock band Dead Meadow. He’s releasing his new solo record A Venerable Wreck on May 22 and today we’re excited to premiere a great new song from the album, “Red Dust.”
Like much of Simon’s solo material, “Red Dust” explores a sound that’s more stripped back than what we’ve come to know from his work in Dead Meadow. There’s an undeniable Americana and blues influence to the song, though as he states, there’s also major inspiration from JJ Cale of The Velvet Underground. The song has a shuffling boogie feel, with reverberating electric guitar leads piercing the mix and Simon’s effects-drenched vocals swirling over the straight-ahead groove. Simon is joined on the track by several psych-rock veterans: bassist Nate Ryan of The Warlocks, drummer Ryan Rapsys of Heroic Doses and additional guitar from Jeff Davies of The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
“‘Red Dust’ definitely owes a nod to the late great JJ Cale in its attempt to create a trance-like atmosphere starting out as a simple bar room boogie and becoming increasingly psychedelic as the song progresses,” said Simon. “Chinese hermits, in their high mountain-top retreats, would refer to the land below, with all its needless hustle, worries big and small as The Land of the Red Dust. It seemed an apt description of most of the cites I’ve inhabited…well at least it used to…now we’re all in self imposed hermitages of sorts and the streets are for the most part silent.”
A Venerable Wreck sees its May 22 release on Chilean record label BYM Records (BYM stands for Blow Your Mind), which has released records from Föllakzoid, Chicos de Nazca and The Ganjas. Dead Meadow has been taking longer than average breaks between full lengths, with their last one, The Nothing They Need coming in 2018 after a five year break. Before that, they also took five years between releasing Old Growth (their final LP for Matador Records) in 2008 and Warble Womb in 2013 – though they did release a Peel Session in 2011.