Each week, I dig into the back catalog of a band or artist that I should know an awful lot more about. This week was the turn of LA rock band, The Distillers.
What I Knew Before
I had heard the big songs. Who can forget the video for City Of Angels, but that’s a far cry from knowing about the three albums from Brody Dalle and her band.
I was also aware of elements of her personal life, and her position as a muse to both Tim Armstrong (of Rancid) and Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures). Understandably, I had a crush on Dalle, who, with wild eyeliner, a lip piercing and tattoos, was exactly what a teenage Paul Schiernecker was into.
What I Know Now
A 33-year-old Paul Schiernecker is still very much into Brody Dalle and very much into The Distillers. For a young woman to front a band that she is writing or co-writing the vast majority of material for was and unfortunately still is an unusual thing. There’s something very cool that Dalle was doing, and from my social media stalking, is still doing. After The Distillers split, she formed Spinnerette and released an album alongside former Distillers guitarist, Tony Bevilacqua before releasing a solo album in 2014. My thanks to Si Deaves for turning me onto Spinnerette.
There is a ruthless punk attitude to their music, even in the radio-friendlier takes on Coral Fang, that is truly missing from a lot of other bands and music. It’s clear why they made the impact that they did and how Dalle continues to ride high on that. Her vocals and her writing are something else.
I can’t help but divulge the story my good friend Marc shared about the Walmart-friendly album cover of Coral Fang that was thrown into the mix when they refused to take the naked crucifixion cover (Google it).
City Of Angels is still the best, Ask The Angels, Drain The Blood and Beat Your Heart Out
It has to be Sing Sing Death House.