Recently we grabbed some time with Robby Staebler, drummer for the Nashville-based delta-psych quartet, All Them Witches. As found on their brand new album, Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, the group offer up a potent mix of psychedelic, bluesy soul, and thunderous rock all with s sweet, Southern swagger. We’re digging this band and so should you… so let’s learn about them together.
Your new disc Dying Surfer Meets His Maker recently released. Now that it is complete, how do you feel about it and what has been the response so far?
Staebler: We love it. It’s different than our past albums which is how it has to be. Natural progress. People also seem to really dig it. Party!
When you guys write, do you do so with the live setting in mind or do you write a song just for the song’s sake?
Staebler: When we write we don’t really put a lot of consideration into the live translation because it doesn’t fucking matter. We don’t rely on recordings or studio tricks to sound good. We are a live band!
Along those same lines, do you take advantage of technology and email riffs and parts back and forth? Or do you get together in a room in a more traditional sense and write together?
Staebler: We do take advantage of technology. Sometimes I have recovered emails from my trash folder with demos I should have listened to.
What is the story behind the album name Dying Surfer Meets His Maker?
Staebler: One time we were all in the desert running around under stars under the influence of shamanic power plants and shit started getting really interesting. Parks was trying to catch a coyote by disguising himself as a cactus and by stuffing tuna fish in his pockets. As we all watched with complete amazement from a distance the coyote began approaching cautiously. At a point parks was close enough to grab its scruff so the crazy bastard nabbed a fucking coyote and the god damn dog freaked out – of course – and ran off.
Parks tripped and landed throat first on a really gnarly spike plant. It lightly pieced his jugular and a micro stream of blood was shooting out of his neck like a pressure washer. Luckily we had this blood stop kit with our first aid gear. We dumped all this powdery stuff on his neck and almost had to choke him with gauze wraps to get it to stop. That was a really scary and exciting night. We all spoke with our makers and Parks literally could have bled out.
Tell us about the support you receive from your local scene.
Staebler: Nashville is our local scene and they have been really awesome to us. Our first show was played there – it was well attended and well received. The radio loves us there and we have badass shows a few times a year in that town. We are grateful for such solid fans everywhere, not just in Nashville.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
Staebler: Probably orgies in the van, or the time that Allan played Grand Theft Auto for 19 hours straight.
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you on tour, or at one of your shows?
Staebler: Strange is the wrong word for our experiences. We call our tours power journeys. These journeys always have interesting twists. With that said – the most interesting of our power journeys came to is in New Mexico in the form of a golden eagle landing on one of our drum cases just in time for lunch. Allan gave it the trout he caught the night before. We rested well that night.
Check out song “Dirt Preachers” here.