HOME SOUNDcheck GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore

 

 
  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

 
  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

Interview:
Heartbreakers' Mike Campbell turns to Dirty Knobs, 5 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

» See more SOUND CHECK

Throughout his music career, Mike Campbell has been most comfortable being on the side.



He's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the lead guitarist and chief collaborator in Tom Petty's Heartbreakers, and he's also a member of the current iteration of Fleetwood Mac as well as Mudcrutch. As a gun for hire he's worked with Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Johnny Cash, the Dixie Chicks, Roy Orbison, Jackson Browne, the Wallflowers and many more.



But with his new band, the Dirty Knobs, Campbell moves out front. The group has been around for a number of years but is just releasing its first album, "Wreckless Abandon," on Friday, Nov. 20 -- after being delayed six months due to illness. The troupe's tour was scratched by both that and the COVID-19 pandemic, but the music is rolling out with all the rocking abandon Campbell and company put into it...



• Campbell, 70 -- who started playing with Petty and Heartbreakers' keyboardist Benmont Tench in Gainesville, Fla. as youths, moving to Los Angeles with their band Mudcrutch -- calls Dirty Knobs "a labor of love. It's something I started doing between Heartbreakers tours to try out new songs and to keep in the groove. We would go and play clubs and do some recordings and it just got better and better. I always had in the back of my mind it would be a great project to do if the Heartbreakers ever took a hiatus or whatever. So now here we are, and I'm all fired up to do this band."



• The big difference with Dirty Knobs, of course, is that Campbell is out front after spending his career to this point as what he calls "a co-captain or support person. That's new for me, but I really am enjoying it. It's mostly my songs, so I've got a deeper commitment to this than I might have to some of the other things I've done -- not to disparage the great things I've been able to accomplish with the Heartbreakers. I'm so proud of that legacy. But this is more MY thing."



• Campbell, who co-wrote a couple songs with Chris Stapleton for the album, acknowledges that becoming the lead singer in particular "was a challenge for me. I don't really consider myself a singer, per se, but I can get the point across. In the beginning I realized I had a lot of tom's nuances in my delivery 'cause we grew up together, so I focused hard on trying to filter that out as much as possible and find my own voice and personality. I don't want to sound like Tom, of course, but I do from time to time 'cause we have the same accents and this and that. But I think I found my own self."



• Campbell is still, of course, mourning Petty's unexpected death in 2017. "I'll never get over it completely. Tom and I were very, very close and we were deep songwriting partners and brothers and we supported each other. I'm still going through the grief stages. There was a short period of just kind of shutting down and shock. Then you pick yourself up and go, 'What am I gonna do? Sit around and be sad about this, or get on with my music? So that's what I'm doing."



• A co-producer of Petty's second solo album, "Wildflowers" in 1994, Campbell also played a role in recent compilations as well as the upcoming "Wildflowers & All the Rest" box set that came out Oct. 16. "One of the discs will be songs that didn't make the record that are really good. There's one disc of Tom's demos, just him by himself, which I think people will find interesting, and there’s some live stuff that hasn't been put out yet. The intention between me and the estate is just to honor his legacy and keep his art alive as best we can." Campbell and Heartbreakers/Mudcrutch keyboardist Benmont Tench performed together as part of the Tom Petty Birthday Bash during October.



• Campbell joined Fleetwood Mac as one of two replacements for Lindsey Buckingham in 2018, taking part in "the longest tour I've ever done in my life" but ultimately happy with the situation and hoping there's more on the horizon. "I would love to do more. I think with me and Neil Finn we could make a great record. I'm not sure that's where there heads are at now; Stevie (Nicks) wants to do a film and some things on her own, and everybody's doing different things and resting up from the tour. But I would love to make a record with them."



The Dirty Knobs celebrates its debut album "Wreckless Abandon" with a live show at 8 p.m. from the Troubadour in Los Angeles via Fans.LiVE. Donations will be encouraged for the National Independent Venues Association.

Web Site: www.fans.live

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
http://www.goanddomichigan.com
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Arbitration