Meet the Band: Greg Miller (vocals), Gary Siperko (guitar), Sugar Wildman (bass) and Leo P. Love (drums)
Dresden Dudes: Just last week, the country punk act was touring Germany. "I like to see if we can go to Europe when the weather is more agreeable," says singer Greg Miller during a TransAtlantic phone call. "But our booking agent saw a window for us to do it and the tour has been great. The shows have been very well attended, and we're selling a shitload of merch."
On the New Album: The band recorded Whiskey Daredevils III in Detroit with John Smerek (Detroit Cobras, The Breeders, Reckless Kelly). "We knocked the whole thing out in two days," says Miller. "It's really good. John thinks it's the best thing he ever did with us and I tend to agree. There's ten songs and they're all solid. There's not a bunch of crap filler in there."
His Natural Voice: Miller used to sing with the Cowslingers, a Cleveland-based country punk band that had a good run in the '90s and early '00s. He sees the Daredevils as an extension of that band. "When the Whiskey Daredevils first started, I really wanted to make a conscious decision to change what we were doing and slowly over time I've come back with the songwriting to that fucked up country thing that we do," he says. "I think that's my natural voice."
Why You Should Hear Them: The new album's opener, "Swim the Lake of Fire," starts out as a Blasters-like rockabilly number before turning into the kind of raucous cowpunk track that would make the Meat Puppets proud. It's a perfect balance of country and punk, though Miller says that's not intentional. "My intention was not to be a Stray Cats tribute," he says. "I just liked the juxtaposition between simple honesty of Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard and the vibrancy of punk rock. Our band is a lot like licorice. The people who like us, really like us. The people who don't, really don't."
Where You Can Hear Them:
Where You Can See Them: The Whiskey Daredevils perform with The Torments and Matty B & the Dirty Pickles at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 at the Beachland Tavern. — Jeff Niesel