An Interview with Dustin Douglas of The Electric Gentlemen

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Image credit: Daimon Paul

Pennsylvania’s premier, Blues Rock, power-trio Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen combine sexy grooves, infectious rhythm, and Douglas’ soaring guitar work and unmistakable vocal for a lightning charged, vintage style all their own.

Led by the transcendent lead guitarist/singer/songwriter Dustin Douglas (Lemongelli, The Badlees), The Electric Gentlemen (Tommy Smallcomb-Drums & Matt “The Dane” Gabriel-Bass) with its retro/modern style a-la (Jimi Hendrix, Rival Sons, ZZ Top, Marcus King) leave even the most discerning music fans with little left to ask for at the end of any live show!

DDEG released its much anticipated new single, “Broken,” on Friday, April 30th,2021 worldwide – on all digital platforms. Accompanying the song will be a video release. “Broken” (the group’s first new music since 2018’s full-length album, (Break It Down) proves once and for all that the Blues Rock genre is most definitely, alive and well.

Andrew:
Dustin, I appreciate you taking the time today. How have you been holding up over the last year or so? What have you been up to?

Dustin:
Thanks for having me! What a year, huh? It still sometimes feels like a crazy dream. I’ve been holding up good. Last year was certainly a challenge for everyone and especially us in the entertainment business, but I feel a whole new respect for what we do will come out of the madness. Concerts are such a release for not only the audience but the musicians as well. After a  year without it, I promise to never take the magic of live performing for granted again.

With the downtime, it was nice to kind of slow down the train a bit, spend time with my fiancé and family, work on new music and do things I normally wouldn’t have gotten done if the machine was rolling. I really try to stay positive even in the worst of times.

Andrew:
Before we dive into your professional career, let’s go back a bit. What first got you hooked on music?

Dustin:
Music has been my passion since I was a baby, and my awesome parents are definitely responsible for that. Growing up, there was constant music on the stereo in the house, in the car, and MTV or VH1 on the TV. Constant Rock ‘N’ Roll being pumped into my young impressionable mind from the start. [Laughs].

Andrew:
Who were some of your early influences?

Dustin:
Elvis was the first influence I can recall. My Grandmother was a huge Elvis fan, and his image, sound, and the whole vibe just consumed me. Then came Aerosmith, Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jimi Hendrix.

Image courtesy of dustindouglasmusic.com

Andrew:
Let’s talk about recent events first. Tell us about your new single, “Broken.”

Dustin:
“Broken” is our first new music since our last record, Break It Down, which was about 2 years ago. It’s a pretty solid example of what we are and what we do. It’s a straight-ahead, sexy, swagger-filled tune with an infectious riff and soaring guitars—Classic Rock with a modern twist.

Andrew:
What lyrical themes are you exploring with your new music?

Dustin:
Lyrically, I write what I know. Whether it’s something personal and specific to me and my own life or something a loved one is dealing with, or a situation we are all dealing with at a certain time.  Broken was written at a time when I was seeing some relationships break apart around me, and I think we all felt broken at some point in the last year or so.

Andrew:
How about the production side of things? Do you self-produce, or do you bring in outside voices?

Dustin:
Myself and Paul Smith (formerly the bassist of the 90’s band The Badlees/currently the owner/producer/engineer of 8 Days A Week-Studio) produced this track. We worked with Paul on our last record, and we just have such a great relationship. Paul understands what I do and what I want to say, and how I want to say it. I feel very comfortable working with Paul, and that makes the process so rewarding.

Image courtesy of dustindouglasmusic.com

Andrew:
Are you into vinyl? Cassettes? CDs? Or are you all digital now? What are a few of your favorite albums, and why?

Dustin:
I have a nice collection of Vinyl at the house and love picking up records and digging through crates when I have the time, but I certainly listen to a lot of my music digitally. The digital platform is here to stay, and there’s no sense in fighting it anymore. No matter how you listen, all that matters is that you’re listening!

As far as my favorite albums, man, that’s tough because I have so many! But I’d have to go with Led Zeppelin I for the raw, unfiltered, pure Rock ‘N’ Roll attitude. It is the definition of Blues Rock. A huge record in my life.

Jimi Hendrix- Are You Experienced. I mean, it’s the blueprint for anything I try to do. He was just an alien that came and went in such a short time.

The Beatles- White Album. No explanation needed.

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light. From beginning to end, it’s just sonic perfection—a truly cohesive, Rock ‘N’ Roll masterpiece. I could go on and on and on and on.

Andrew:
What other passions do you have? How do those passions inform your music, if at all?

Dustin:
That’s a heavy question because really music is my everything for better or for worse. It has been for as long as I can remember. It’s my passion; it’s my career, it’s my hobby, it’s my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But when I do take breaks from work, I enjoy traveling with my fiancé, running with my dog Spike, mountain biking, yoga, and reading a good book. I should really start doing more of all of them!

Andrew:
In your opinion, what is the state of the music business these days? Should artists be hopeful? Scared? Both?

Dustin:
The music business has been and always will be an ever-changing business. It changes on the regular and you need to be ready to adapt to them changes.

There’s never a reason to be scared as long as you’re being true to yourself and doing what you love to do. Never forget the reason you began doing it in the first place. It was never for the money or the fame. It was for the feeling you get from creating something out of nothing with your buddies and seeing how that creation can touch people in so many ways and bring them some sort of joy. That’s what it’s all about. Artists should always find hope in creativity.

Andrew:
Last one. We seem to be nearing a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of COVID-19 restrictions. That said, what’s next on your docket? What are you looking forward to most in the pos-COVID world?

Dustin:
Traveling this beautiful world, playing my songs for packed rooms of smiling faces! We’re going to continue to work on new music. Release another single or 2, then release a full record. There’s so much music I want to make, and I can’t wait to make it all!

Image credit: Beth Schultz

Interested in learning more about The Electric Gentlemen? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Since he was a young child growing up on Long Island, NY, Andrew has always loved writing and collecting physical music. Present-day, Andrew is proud to share his love of music with the world through his writing, and the result is nothing short of beautiful: articles and interviews written by a music addict for fellow music addicts. Andrew lives on Long Island and works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer Music website by night.
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