Former Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell will be concentrating on his own band The Dirty Knobs in 2020.
Mike toured the world as guitarist for Fleetwood Mac in 2018 and 2019 after decades with his own bands Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Mudcrutch.
2020 is all about The Dirty Knobs. The album will be called ‘Wreckless Abondon’
“The band is a band I put together about 12 years ago to play little clubs in-between Heartbreakers show,” Mike Campbell tells Noise11.com. “We have Jason Sinay the guitarist, Matt Laug on the drums. He has played with Slash. My bass players name is Lance Morrison. He plays in Don Henley’s solo band. They all have nicknames. Jason is Ape, Matt is Swampfox and our bass player is Crawdaddy. And, of course, I’m called Gator. Bands have to have nicknames. It is part of the ritual”.
The Dirty Knobs will play mainly The Dirty Knobs songs. “We do mostly the songs we have recorded,” Mike says. “We recorded a lot of songs that didn’t make the record but they are all good. Occasionally we do the covers. We might do an Animals song or a Van Morrison song or a Dylan song now and then. Mostly we play our own stuff. We have never toured. We’ve just done a few gigs on the weekend. When the record comes out I’m going to go out and tour with it. Once we start doing it the set will be to showcase our album. I might do a Heartbreakers song now and then to pay homage to my old band”.
The first song we get to hear from The Dirty Knobs is ‘Wreckless Abandon’.
Mike tells Noise11 that The Dirty Knobs is similar to The Heartbreakers in some ways but in other ways very different. “The Dirty Knobs is going to sound basically like The Heartbreakers because it is me,” Mike said. “It has a harder edge and a slightly dirtier sound that The Heartbreakers. ‘I Still Love You’ is one of our favourite songs. Its kind of Zeppelinish, riffy. It is a song about my wife so it has an emotional connection every time we do it. I just love the way the band plays on this. It is kind of intense. Most of the songs on the album are upbeat and fast. That one is slow and heavy. I like it a lot”.
He also says that he is channeling Van Morrison on one song. “There are two songs on the album that are softer. ‘Irish Girl’ which is acoustic based and ‘Anna Lee’ which is finger picking. Those are the two songs that give you relief from the rock and roll stuff. ‘Irish Girl’ was inspired by Van Morrison. It has the vibe of Van Morrison Dirty Knobs style”.
The also edges up to The Heartbreakers with ‘Southern Boy’. “That one is closer to the Heartbreakers. The chorus is like the Heartbreakers but it has a boogie. The Dirty Knobs, we rock and boogie more than The Heartbreakers did. ‘Southern Boy’ has the lyric, the point of view from maybe a Heartbreakers character. It has the rhythm and the southern reference. It rocks really hard and it has a southern sense of humour”.
Another track ‘Sugar’ gets grubby. “We have played it live. It always puts a smile on people’s faces,” Mike says. “‘She got the sugar’. It was one of those quick songs that came together. Writing was instantaneous, really simple and the band just played it. I knew there was something that defines the Dirty Knobs. It also has harmony. A lot of the lyrics in our songs have a comedy tilt to them. It has some innuendo in there. Its just fun. It has a Kinks vibe in there”.
The Dirty Knobs ‘Wreckless Abandon’ will be released on 20 March through BMG.
Wreckless Abandon Tracklist
1. Wreckless Abandon
2. Pistol Packin’ Mama
4. Southern Boy
5. I Still Love You
6. Irish Girl
7. Fuck That Guy
8. Knock The Boogie
9. Don’t Wait
10. Anna Lee
11. Aw Honey
12. Loaded Gun
13. Don’t Knock the Boogie (Coda)