Die Strömms is a musical artist based in North Texas. Combining elements of rock, celtic folk, cowpunk and western folk music to create an edgy, diverse sound described as ‘southern celtic cow punk’.
Somewhere in in Texas in the year of the monkey 2016, armed with nothing but a beat up banjo and a poor understanding of the German language ‘die Strömms’ was born. Strömms (always ‘die’ never ‘the’) is a shifting landscape of rock, celtic folk, and cowpunk with a wide net of musical influences ranging from the Ramones to Willie Nelson.
Have you always been interested in music? What is your story and how did you start making music?
I started playing guitar when I was 15, learned from the music I was listening to, but also started in some formal jazz and classical music studies. Through high school and after, I kicked around with some garage bands but nothing ever developed. Eventually I connected with a group that signed with a small label, released an album and did a couple small venue tours, but eventually the band was dropped and never really got much recognition. Over the years I continued to play in bands, but not much happened and didn’t get any closer to making music a career. After a couple more band breakups, I decided to go back to college and finish a degree, which led me to put down the guitar for awhile. After finishing school I got back into holding down a ‘day job’ and started getting the itch to play again so picked up the guitar again and joined another couple bands which led to some travel and recording a couple albums while also learning about other instruments like banjo, mandolin, etc. My interests in songwriting had developed more so I started recording demos and learning vocal and recording techniques which lead to self producing die Strömms.
What are you working on now? Any future releases we can look forward to?
The new album by die Strömms really captures the vibe I have been working towards in developing a brand and style I call “Southern Celtic Cow Punk”. Combining elements of rock, country, punk, celtic music and I feel like I have a home base to continue to make music. Vinum, Et Domina Canticum is my 3rd album for die Strömms and represents the next step for me in blending punk rock, country and celtic music, where as the first to records failed to capture a more even ‘blend’ you can certainly hear the evolution of the music from album to album. Currently working to support the new album with distribution throughout the united states, Australia, Singapore, Germany, Netherlands and UK for CD’s and 12″ Vinyl.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry?
Mostly, I don’t want to have regrets. To be old and to reflect back and wish I had tried and regret never trying. I would rather try and fail to have not tried at all.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
The biggest challenge is being a leader. To get others to see your vision and want to be a part of it. I find that there are many talented people out there and everyone has their own agenda. To be able to have a real career, where you can pay the bills and also employ musicians and technical support to help bring your vision to higher elevations of exposure is a major challenge. It’s not always a ” field of dreams”, because the reality is, just because you build it doesn’t mean people want to come right away. Having the perseverance to keep going and trying harder to learn from mistakes and get better is a life long endeavor.
How do you go about writing a song? Do you have a melody in your head and then write the other music for it or what’s Your typical songwriting process?
I typically go for a ‘vibe’ and start to develop a drum track, rough melody and chord progression. Once I establish whether it is a verse or chorus, I start to get an arrangement together and start to fill it some words and phrases. Early demos might be just instruments, once the vibe is there and I feel confident about the overall ‘vibe’ I might drive around and listen to the demos while I song along and start to come up with ideas for lyrics. Sometimes you go back to the drawing board with a new arrangement, in order to tackle phrasing, sometimes you write a song in 5 minutes. Often those tend to be the better songs. The ones that just flow out almost effortlessly.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business? The business side for the big corporations has moved away from album sales to artist development services. All the money is coming from the little artist who wants to pursue their dream of making music. Pay to play is the reality of the music business. Nobody is buying CD’s anymore. Vinyl has such massive costs and lead times that few artists can afford to release anything other than digital. So the opportunities are there for artists to get something out, but it is a saturated market and the real challenge is getting noticed.
List some famous musicians currently on your playlist
Two of the earliest concerts I can remember my parents taking me to were John Denver and Neil Diamond. They way they sounded in recordings was clean, but live Denver had a bluegrass band that shredded with amazing harmonies. Neil Diamond had a massive voice. Incredible Tone. Michael Jackson’s Thriller was a big deal when I was young and kids in the neighborhood were all into either Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, NWA, Easy-E, Dre and Snoop Dog or Metallica, Slayer and trash metal and were all things I listened to. Some cousins introduced me to post punk/new wave/alternative like Violent Femmes, Pogues, Madness, Go-Go’s, Clash, Police and Stray Cats. My older brother introduced me to Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, Van Halen, Parliament and AC/DC. Guns N Roses Appetite is an amazing record. Some friends showed me Sex Pistols, Misfits, Bad Brains and hard core punk as well as NOFX, Rancid, Bad Religion and Social Distortion. I was in a band with a guy who actually played with HR who was a huge Bowie fan who got me into Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Peter Murphy and Bob Marley. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, STP and Pearl Jam put out some great records. Living in Dallas, I got into Reverend Horton Heat. Tiger Army is really good. I listen to Brian Setzers solo stuff a lot. Mike Ness did a solo record that is great. Of course, listening to Dropkick Murphy’s and Flogging Molly as been a big influence.
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
I read a lot. JRR Tolkien. Comic Books. Just a nerd before nerds were cool.
Would you have any advice for young people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t follow in my footsteps. Be true to yourself. Set achievable goals and celebrate the milestones. Don’t wait on other people or let others slow you down in achieving your goals.
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
The music industry is very closed off and corporate. It is all just really a popularity contest. Getting good exposure is the challenge and staying relevant is almost impossible in the current corporate landscape.
How do you feel about originality?
Being original is essential to stand out in the crowd, but there is also nothing wrong with observing and learning from others. Sometimes you have to imitate before you can innovate.
Is there anything else we should know about you? or Something that you would like to add?
I currently live in North Dallas with my wife an daughter.
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