• 2015 Drummies Artist Awards - Runner up Percussionist of The Year
• 2014 Downbeat Critics Choice -- Vibraphone
• 2014 Downbeat Readers Poll Winner - Vibraphone
• 2012, 2013 and 2014 Downbeat Rising Star
CONGRATS The Mike Dillon Band for their 2014 Big Easy Music Award
• Best Mixed Bag
CONGRATS Mike Dillon and The Mike Dillon Band for their 2012 OffBeat Nominations
• Best Other Instrumentalist
• Best Contemporary Jazz Artist
• Best Contemporary Jazz Album -> Urn - Mike Dillon Band
How many artists can claim being praised a "punk rock provocateur," "jazz vibraphone visionary" and "percussion virtuoso" in the same sentence? There's only one: Mike Dillon. Whether through his affiliation with artists like Les Claypool, Brave Combo and Ani DiFranco, collaborations such as Garage A Trois, The Dead Kenny Gs and Critters Buggin or bands he's fronted, including Billy Goat and Hairy Apes BMX, the Texas-native has set his own standard for 25 years now.
Pulling from an arsenal of musicians Dillon has played with and known over the years, he will be touring with some of the "baddest" musicians on the planet including Claude Coleman Jr. (Ween), Norwood Fisher (Fishbone), Doug Belote (Ernie K. Doe), Andre Chomondeley (Project Object), James SIngleton (James Booker) , Patrick McDevitt (Band Of Outsiders), Johnny Vidacovich (Professor Longhair), JJ Jungle (The Coup), David Butler (American Babies), Brad Houser (Critters Buggin), Robb Kidd (Papa Mali), and many more.
Dillon's most recent recording Band of Outsiders was crafted at Studio Center in Miami with the help of co-producers Gary Vandy and Richard Maloney Jr. Vandy is an old school engineer whose work includes over 200 platinum records predominantly in the disco and dance genres. His love of Zappa is what attracted him to Dillon’s work. In the age of pro-tools chicanery, the production is straightforward, capturing Dillon and his band playing live in a room.
“Two tours of Mexico and a steady dose of Brazilian music was the jumping off point for these new songs,” explains Dillon. “Add our love for The Melvins, Deerhoof, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, Trouble Funk and all things New Orleans and this album surpasses our intention to make the freakiest, most vibrant dance music on the planet.”
Lyrically speaking, Mike Dillon draws from his love of Miguel de Cervantes, William Burroughs, Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Anton Wilson to tell stories of New Orleans debauchery mixed with age-old themes of travel, love, self-destruction and greed. Delivered with Dillon’s trademark vocal rasp, the record has the intensity of a Tom Waits-meets-Frank Zappa black comedy. Rumor has it that Dillon lived in the same apartment that Waits shared with Rickie Lee Jones for the past seven years. However, Dillon discounts those rumors: "This apartment has housed dudes from Morning 40 Federation, Ani DiFranco, an old Conga player and a bunch of heroin addicts.”
Taken in its entirety, Mike Dillon's Band of Outsiders is a snapshot of four musicians hitting full stride. Having relentlessly toured the country in 2013—both headlining and opening for artists like Fishbone, Clutch, Primus and Galactic—its 13 songs bristle with a group mind, spill over the sides with the visions invoked during countless dead-of-night drives crisscrossing the country in a van and hit their target with a sonic assault only possible from a band that’s played 400-plus shows over the last two years.
“People are always trying to figure out how to describe our music. Maybe we should call it New Orleans punk jazz Brazilian math rock? It’s a gumbo of tribal percussion, The Meters, old school hardcore, Brazil, hard bop and anything else that might move us,” concludes Dillon. “But you know, I really don’t care what you call it. We kick out the jams harder than anyone, and we also know when to heed the lessons of The Minutemen's Double Nickels On The Dime and keep things straight to the point. There’s a reason we called the record what we did. We’re the living, breathing definition of a band of outsiders, but together we deliver simple majestic beauty, let’s leave it at that.”
"All Walks of Life" single
"Dillon is the rare musician who can take tropes from any number of disparate musical worlds-metal and brazillian samba school for example-mash them together and create something truly fresh and new."
"The music of Mike Dillon combines many sources, yet comes out sounding unto itself. This latest report from the mind of Mike moves all over the map. Overall, it is punk rock as played by great instrumentalists, with the lead voices being Dillon’s mallet instruments and Carly Myers’ trombone. It is most reminiscent of the Minutemen with its commitment to all styles and ability to play them and of the Dead Kennedys in its attitude and phrasing."
"With this disc, multi-instrumentalist Mike Dillon (Garage A Trois, Les Claypool, Critters Buggin) may have given birth to a new musical genre: Afro-Brazilian-punk-jazz-art-rock.
SPLINTERS & CANDY
"When jazz hits you in the face with a stack of bricks, Mike Dillon is there twisting chaos into order before turning it back on itself again."
"Mike Dillon delivers a sublime elixir of stealthy jazz vibes, street poetry raps and post-punk sonic carnage."
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER
"A body in motion tends to stay in motion, at least when Mike Dillon is supplying the dance music. The psychedelic rock group shakes and gyrates with heavy, vibraphone driven grooves, delivering a steady stream of infectious rhythms and hypnotic percussion."
"Mike Dillon’s music is not your granddaddy’s bebopping, finger-snapping, shades and beret, too-cool-for-school jazz. It has an intensity and attitude taken from punk rock and a slightly dirty, loud sound that is found more on rock ‘n’ roll and electronica records. The songs have a deceptive complexity — they sound simple in that you can sing and dance to them, but they change textures and parts on a dime. Few musicians combine the chops and vision of Mike Dillon."
RESIDENT MEDIA PUNDIT
"Equal parts inspiring, provocative and wholly infectious."
"On one hand he exudes the musical chops absorbed from countless hours spent with Milt Jackson records, on the other hand he thrashes about with visions of Iggy Pop hard-wired to his frontal cortex."
"Dillon & Friends spread the fever with songs off his upcoming album Urn. The highlight of this show was the young Kim Basinger-looking trombonist dressed similar to a girl scout troop leader. On this night, the crowd saw how her instrument could help mold together transitions between opposing genres. From punk rock/ska to hip-hop with a two-step beat, this solo player equated an entire brass section, showing the crowd just how to blow without ever sucking (no pun intended. No, seriously, no pun.)"
Review from Bear Creek Music Festival 2013