Devil Riding Shotgun is not out to make stoner rock or a specific branch of metal or anything-core. Instead, this three-piece replaces genre with enough stage energy to sustain a set alongside any knob-cranking monorocker in town. "I do like the feeling of standing in front of your amp and having your pants billow from the sound waves," says guitarist Alan Edmonds. "You know something's happening behind you."
Edmonds, singer/bassist Neb Fixico and skin-beater John Stroh aren't fresh-faced kids assured of their eventual fame in the rock music industry. "We're already old. We're just not an old band," says Edmonds. In their year and a half together, they've managed to avoid the pitfalls of their past projects and focus instead on that tempest in their trousers. "I've been in bands with people who've got bad attitudes, who are hooked on various substances, who wouldn't show up, who pawned their gear all the time," Edmonds says. "You begin to learn how hard it is to get a group of people together that are all moving in one direction." They put out one other recording, just something to use to book shows. Fixico calls their new self-titled release the band's "real disc." What you see is what you get on Devil Riding Shotgun. "This sounds like us live," Edmonds says. "We can pull everything off."
Edmonds credits a whirling Fixico for DRS's spry stage presence. Fixico came to Albuquerque from Oakland, Calif.'s punk scene. Rain or shine, in sickness and in health, Fixico doesn't miss a gig. "Sometimes we've sounded really crappy, but it doesn't matter," he says. "I did my best."
Edmonds remembers one band-history-making set with Fixico in a cast, his foot busted and pained. Although it was in his best interest to keep still, DRS is not a sit-down kind of band. "He was jumping up and down with a cast on his foot. I thought he was going to go right through the stage."
The guys in DRS are a little older, more settled, more responsible, Edmonds says. "When I first got into music, it was like, 'Aaaargh! This is great. I can have drugs and girls coming up to me after the show.' That's not what it's about. It's about making music, and I always loved the music, but it was sort of just the excuse."
Neb interrupts: "I still want girls."
"You can have ’em now. I'm married. John's married."
"I still don't get ’em. We need a second guitar player who looks damn good."
So much for the little three-piece that could.