It shouldn’t be this way, Johnny Moss thought.
It was April 2004, and Moss, architect and advanced man of adept jailbait accouterments Dirty South Revolutionaries, was abashed by what he saw activity bottomward at the Jailbait Strikes Aback anniversary at Tremont Music Hall. The accident was meant to bless D.I.Y. attitude and music in Charlotte, but bands, admirers and factions weren’t accepting along.
“At the time metal amount was still adequately new,” Moss remembers. “These [metal] kids were advancing in and accomplishing that bedrock ‘n’ cycle activity area they [felt they] had to breach bottomward the foundation in adjustment to eventually become allotment of it.”
So the metal kids started authoritative fun of the jailbait bedrock guys, and carnality versa, Moss continues. In that pre-iPhone era, confrontations were face-to-face. Jeering commenced. Insults were slung. Fights bankrupt out.
“I thought, ‘I can fix this,'” Moss recalls with a chuckle. “Me and my big ego.”
Moss absitively to bandy a absolutely wide-open D.I.Y. music show, a big covering activity area all genres were welcome. He appointed as abounding cipher metal amount apparel as old academy jailbait bands on the bill, while additionally accumulation rockabilly, bedrock ‘n’ cycle and more.
“I said, ‘Let’s do all this together.’ There’s no point in angry and authoritative fun of anniversary other,” he continues. The aftereffect of Moss’s fix is the Dirty South Fest, which acclaimed its 14th year aftermost summer. A abatement adaptation of the event, artlessly abundant alleged Abatement Dirty South Fest, bliss off its additional abundance Oct. 24 at Skylark Social Club. Before that, DSR plays a set at the Milestone Oct. 19.
For those who accept followed Moss and his bands — in accession to DSR, he additionally fronts the outlaw country bandage Johnny Moss and the Bastards Out of Carolina — the all-embracing attributes of these festivals comes as no surprise. A assorted mix of genres — metal, , jailbait and alike a bit of country — has been the authentication of DSR’s complete anytime aback they appear their admission album, Queen City Underground, in 2004.
“We aloof accomplish what we want,” Moss says of DSR’s sound. “Since we’re such a awe-inspiring mix of people, the music comes out [as a mix].” Stocky, antic a bristling bristles and cutting added rings on his fingers than rapper T.I., Moss looks the jailbait dude, but the soundtrack of his adolescence was archetypal country. He grew up a Deep Gap in the mountains of northwest North Carolina, area the songs of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr. seemed to be arena nonstop.
“Some ability accede it a third-world country aural the United States,” Moss describes his adolescence home. He remembers active with his mother in places afterwards active baptize or calm plumbing. Aback he was 6 or 7 years old he met an illustrious neighbor. “I was at Deep Gap General Store and there was a man arena guitar by the pot-bellied stove in back,” Moss says. “My mom told me that it was Doc Watson, and that he was appealing accepted in those parts.”
Moss’s country affiliation runs in the ancestors as well. On his mother’s side, he’s kin with Johnny Cash. But aback Moss started authoritative music at age 14, it was jailbait bedrock and grunge that afflicted his blood. He approved out for a bounded bandage on guitar, and while he was at it he affective the mic. While Moss’s bandmates told him that he was a abhorrent player, they admired his chapped vocals. Soon Moss bare to get into a bigger music arena than rural Appalachia, but aback he fabricated the jump to Charlotte it wasn’t appetite that prompted his move, it was homelessness.
“I was all over the place,” Moss remembers. “Living, bouncing and squatting.” He acclimatized in Concord, area he co-founded DSR in 2004. Things started accident fast. DSR got active to Covering City Records, a characterization run by Choking Victim bagman Skwert. The bandage was appointed to almanac their admission anthology in New York City aback Moss’s mother died.
“I bethink abrogation my mother’s burial and aition one night, and again activity to new York City to almanac the aboriginal anthology afterwards that,” Moss says. The adolescent jailbait bandage accomplished their album, started touring consistently and fell for every bedrock ‘n’ cycle pitfall possible, Moss says. “We had egos the admeasurement of Texas,” he continues. “We couldn’t airing through the aperture they were so big.”
Drug corruption took its assessment on bandage members, and the accumulation additionally fell in debt to their acknowledgment to ample recording costs. In the years since, Moss has paid off the debt and looks advanced to actuality able to advertise DSR’s admission at approaching shows.
The band’s bouldered banking alpha aggressive Moss to acquisition a way to advice added adolescent bands abstain the music business accessories that bound his band. In effect, Moss began to put his different circuit on D.I.Y. Moss articular that, in accession to accomplishing it for yourself, why not advice others do it too? Around the time that he started the Dirty South Fest, Moss launched a almanac label, Mechanical Pig Records — but he cautions that the chat “label” is an inaccurate term.
“We about followed what [English agitator jailbait band] Crass did,” Moss explains. “They didn’t accept in ownership, so I don’t absolutely own the label.” Mechanical Pig is a apart collective, and Moss is aloof the guy who makes some of the decisions, he continues. He brought the bodies calm and they all started allowance anniversary other.
“We aloof put a agglomeration of contacts calm — T-shirt printers, studios and venues.” Like Moss’s bandage and the anniversary he launched, the aggregate is not accountable by agreeable genre.
Mechanical Pig teamed with self-described “student loan-core” bandage Dollar Signs to absolution their 2017 EP Life is Ruff.
“That’s a bandage you’d never anticipate we’d be associated with,” Moss says. “But I debris to anticipate that it has to be one way or the other.” Meanwhile, DSR goes from backbone to strength. Moss credits the band’s constancy to his songwriting affiliation with Adam Lane.
“Adam’s been by my ancillary for 15 years now, and he’s helped me through it all,” Moss maintains. The bandage has gone through three lineups by Moss’s count. While above associates who brought a disorderly activity accept collapsed by the wayside — Stephen Stoner has reportedly gone off the filigree assimilate an amoebic acreage and Pete Ager is in bastille beneath suspicion of annihilation — Moss and Lane accept ashore it out. The brace is currently autograph the band’s aing album. Moss says that the new almanac will be a back-to-basics bedrock album, affairs aback from the go-for-broke array of their 2015 absolution Dead Astronauts.
“We’ll reel it in a little bit,” Moss says. “That anthology was too all-embracing alike for us. We’re a bandage and we had a bluegrass allotment in there.”
Those bluegrass elements accept begin a abode in Moss’s country band, but accurate to form, Johnny Moss and the Bastards Out of Carolina is aloof as all-embracing in its own way as Moss’s added projects. Drawing on Moss’s adulation of Americana, bluegrass and outlaw country, the bandage has admiring a ample spectrum of Charlotte musicians, including Nic Pugh from Jaggermouth, the Alternative Champs’ Dave Massi, Scott Roby from Prowess, and adieu Abatross’s Dréa Atkins, whom Moss is dating.
“We’ve had so abounding accidental bodies that you’d anticipate would never cantankerous paths in a band. In the aforementioned outlaw country bandage we had a atramentous man, a feminist and a gay man,” Moss says. “This is what we are, and it’s great.” With decades in the music business, Moss attributes his success and backbone to — accept it or not — actuality humble.
“Being egotistical, disorderly and anarchic is one thing. It makes for abundant belief but at the end of the day it doesn’t absolutely get you anywhere in music. You charge to arena yourself and be yourself,” he says.
Given Moss’s acknowledged action of coupling a D.I.Y. access with his aptitude for affairs bodies calm to assignment for the aggregate good, it’s astute counsel. And Moss has one added allotment of academician advice: For God’s sake, don’t change your band’s name.
“It’s the affliction aberration you can make,” he says, abacus that your bandage name is your brand, it’s how bodies apperceive you. “At the end of the day, I fabricated a cast and I ashore to it, and that fabricated a hell of a lot of difference.”
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