What are your names? 
Foster Calhoun Johnson, Alec Johnson, Dug Nichols, Travis Ballstadt, Bradley Wait, Scotti Frasier, Handsome Dan Catherwood, Andrew Griffen.

What is the bands name? 
Vegas DeMilo

How did you come up with the bands name? 
There’s an AC/DC song called “Touch Too Much,”
with the lyric: 
She had the face of an angel
Smiling with sin 
A body of Venus with arms

We used to joke that must be the “Vegas DeMilo” that AC/DC was singing about. Somehow that became the band name.

What is your genre of music? 
Rock and Roll.

Give us a little bio about you. 
Vegas DeMilo was founded in San Francisco in 1994 by brothers Foster Calhoun Johnson and Alec Johnson. The two scored an early record deal with Starving Cowboy Records, which led to the release of their self-titled debut in 1996. By 1998, VDM’s rotating roster comprised both brothers, Dug Nichols, Bradley Wait, and Handsome Dan Catherwood. Between 1996 and 2002, the band released three widely praised albums, received airplay at more than 60 commercial rock stations across the U.S. (including LIVE 105 in San Francisco, KROQ in Los Angeles and WXRK in New York), and toured extensively, including multiple appearances at such festivals as SXSW, NXNW and CMJ. 
In 2001, the band celebrated the release of their third album, “Motel California,” with a record release show at San Francisco’s famed Fillmore Auditorium. Released on LA indie, Pinch Hit Records, the album included the single “Payback,” which was heard on Fox Sports and played at sports arenas across the country. The band’s songs have been featured in dozens of films and television shows, including “Felicity,” “One Tree Hill,” “Clubhouse,” “The Osbournes,” “Skate,” “Just Deal” and “Pasadena,” and the motion picture “Scorched.” 
In 2022, eight members of Vegas DeMilo reunited in Austin, Texas, to record new material. “Black Sheep Lodge,” the band’s fourth album, was released in March 2024.

What made you go into music? 
It was never a choice. Musicians live to make music. 

Who are your influences? 
Oasis. Wilco. Whiskeytown. The Rolling Stones. The Replacements. R.E.M.

Are you a signed? 
Our latest album was released by Starving Cowboy Records.

You released your new latest album ‘Black Sheep Lodge’, tell us more about the album and the meaning behind the song. 
Bands are like big dogs; most have a short lifespan. Typically, the time between the first rehearsal and the inevitable breakup is a couple of years or less. Vegas DeMilo lasted almost eight years. That’s a minor miracle in the music business.  In the darkest days of the pandemic, people turned to all kinds of things to escape the ever-present fear, boredom and stress: wine, endless hours of “Tiger King,” long walks, new pets and, of course, more wine. Vegas DeMilo turned to music.  What began as weekly Zoom calls soon became a full-fledged reunion. And it wasn’t just a few former members of the band but almost everyone: Dug Nichols, Bradley Wait, Andrew Griffin, Travis Ballstadt, Dan Catherwood, Scotti Fraser, Foster Calhoun Johnson, and Alec Johnson. There were more guitar players on these calls than in your average ‘70s southern rock band. 
Just as the first vaccines were being rolled out, VDM found themselves together again in Austin, Texas, making their first new record in two decades at 512 Studios with producer Omar Vallejo. 

What is the record about?
Much like the band, the record started as one thing and ended up as something else. One of the band’s all-time favorite albums – and certainly one of the best albums of the 1990s – is Liz Phair’s “Exile in Guyville.” It’s an album of naked emotional honesty that captures the sexual politics of the time in one lo-fi classic after another. Famously, Phair’s album was a song-by-song response to the Rolling Stone’s album, “Exile on Main Street.” When the band began writing songs together again during the pandemic, almost as an exercise, it adopted that same concept as a conceit. Only rather than responding to the Rolling Stone’s druggy classic, the band found itself writing a response to each of the 18 songs on “Exile in Guyville” – but from a very different perspective, typically that of the terrible boyfriend or incorrigible lothario inhabiting so many of Phair’s songs on her record. The “Black Sheep” referenced in the title of the band’s new album.  Originally, the idea was to record a literal 18 song-by-song response to “Exile in Guyville.” But the band ran out of two things during the recording process: time and money. When everyone lives in a different town, it takes a long time to record even one song. It takes forever to record 18 songs. So instead of a song-by-song response to “Exile in Guyville,” we made a song-by-song response to the first 12 songs on “Exile in Guyville.” Then (just to make it a little more confusing) we had to reorder the album sequence to fit all the songs on two sides of a vinyl record. The original track list was both technically (and aesthetically) unfeasible. So, what we ended up with was a song-by-song response to the first 12 songs on “Exile in Guyville” but jumbled out of order, like couples at a ‘70s key party.  If you listen closely, you can still hear the original concept. The album was always going to start with “Charlie Watts,” which is written from the perspective of the oblivious musician boyfriend in Phair’s 
“6’1.” “Imaginary Blondes” is written from the perspective of the (soon-to-be) ex in Phair’s “Divorce Song.” And “Tuesday Night Fever” is a kind of feverish mirror image to “F*ck and Run.” 
With the exception of “Mesmerizing,” the other songs are there, too – in theory, at least – scattered across the 12 tracks that make up “Black Sheep Lodge.” At the last minute in the recording process, the track VDM had originally written got replaced by a song Alec wrote called “Get in the Van.” That song – which has nothing to do with Liz Phair or “Exile in Guyville” – might as well be called “The Balled of Vegas DeMilo.” That song is about an epic road trip the band took from San Francisco to Austin in 2002 to play South by Southwest. Two weeks of misadventures boiled down to four minutes. But it’s really about more than that. It’s both an elegy and a tribute to the journey the band started in 1996 and somehow (amazingly) still finds itself on today.  Someone famously said, “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” That sounds right. Boats sink, bands break up. But sometimes they get back together again. That’s the sound of “Black Sheep Lodge.

Describe each track in two words. 
1. Charlie Watts: A legend. 
2. Tuesday Night Fever: Catch it. 
3. Heaven Can Wait: Wishful thinking. 
4. Holly Golightly: Old School. 
5. California Let Me Down: So true. 
6. Brand New Low: Future tattoo. 
7. Imaginary Blondes: Thanks Liz. 
8. New York City Girls: Scare me. 
9. Here Goes Nothing: Famous (last) words. 
10. Suicide Queens: Theme Song. 
11. Paint by Numbers: Sorry Paul. 
12. Get In The Van: Battle cry

What was the writing and recording process like? 
It was the kind of album that could only be made in 2024. Most of songs happened by trading song demos back and forth via text and email. Then we’d get on zoom to cowrite. We originally had almost 50 songs on the board before we cut it down to the 12 songs on the record.

Who did you work with on the album? 
So many, many people helped us. The basics were recorded by Omar Vallejo at 512 Studios in Austin. Most of the overdubs were recorded and produced by Rich McCulley at Red Hill Recording in El Paso and at Todd Herfindal’s studio in Los Angeles. All three are super talented musicians and producers who added a lot to the album.

Are we expected to see a music videos for any of the tracks, and if so what can we expect from the creative process? 
There are videos for three songs from the new album with a few more on the way.

“Charlie Watts”
“Tuesday Night Fever”
“California Let Me Down”

Do you have any live shows coming up? 
We just did shows in Seattle and Houston with a few more West coast dates in the works. Check our website and Bandsintown as we update tour dates constantly

Let us know where we can get tickets if so. 
Generally, our website has links:

What else can we expect in 2024? 
We’re going to release the rest of the tracks we recorded for our Liz Phair project on an album tentatively entitled, “You Know That the Problem Is You.”

Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years? 
On tour. 

What quote or saying do you always stick by? 
“Don’t blame me. The whole thing was my brother’s idea.”

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget? 

· What song we’re starting the set with. 

· The chords. 

· The lyrics. 

· The name of the city we’re in. 

· How lucky we are to be playing music.

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?

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