Them Damn Dogs to perform at Crush Wine and Food Festival
Original songs, a unique sound and regular performances means a steady growing fan base for Them Damn Dogs since the indie rock band first came together in 2012.
“We’ve been rehearsing, writing songs and playing shows in town and all around Alabama. We’ve been together so long now that a lot of people know who we are and we have a loyal fan base of friends and others who caught us at one show and they continue to come,” Jerome Villarreal, Jr., said. “It’s usually people around our age range in their mid- to late 20s; and we try to stay connected.”
In 2018, Them Damn Dogs were voted second, behind Microwave Dave and the Nukes, for Best Rock Band in the Best Live Music of the Rocket City Contest. They were cool with that because Microwave Dave has been around 20-plus years, he said.
Villarreal said he started playing with Brandon Holmes, drummer, when they were at UAH. They practiced at a friend’s house. Drew Watts, lead guitarist and Chris Salib, bass player, were friends of friends and that’s how they got started.
“We’d get together and play around town,” Villarreal said. “We’re all big music nerds who like to have fun and create original music.”
A few years ago, Watts went to Auburn and then moved to Dallas so Them Damn Dogs was a three-piece band for long time. They recorded and released their first album 2015, “Let Loose.” They’ve also released a few music videos, “Cold Blooded Animals” and “Sell My Soul.”
About a year ago, Villarreal said they picked up a new guitarist, Russ Savage.
“That helped us get back into becoming a four-piece again and finding that sound,” Villarreal said. “He’s been getting up on our playlist and we’ve been developing new songs with him and it’s been cool and enhanced our sound. We’re developing in a direction I’ve wanted to go for a long time.”
Them Damn Dogs has also been back in the studio working with Jeremy Stephen on a new album at Clearway Studios in Decatur.
“Our first one was done in almost like a home studio so it’s been interesting working in a legit studio,” Villarreal said. “It’s sounding good and I think it’s the best thing we’ve created so far.”
The album doesn’t have a name yet, but it will come, much like the band’s name.
Coming up with Them Damn Dogs as the band’s name came from Watts and a situation with his roommate’s dog when the band was just getting started.
“His roommate had this wild, hyper dog,” Villarreal said. “Drew had said to his roommate that this damn dog was going to be the death of him and his roommate said, ‘Hey, what about that as a band name.’”
Watts pitched it, the band said OK, and that was it.
“To me it sounds a bit southern,” Villarreal said.
When they’re not jamming, the members have regular jobs to sustain their lives “outside of having fun, rock n’ roll and playing music.”
Villarreal is a music teacher, Holmes is an IT specialist, Salib and Savage work in the service industry.
The band rehearses once a week and schedule performances every other week locally and out-of-town.
Upcoming performances for Them Damn Dogs
• Aug. 30th at the Barking Dog Arts Theater at Lowe Mill with The World Forgot and G.E.M.S.
• Sept. 21st at Dorm Eleven in Sheffield
• Sept. 28th at Crush Wine and Food Festival, Big Spring Park
• Oct. 4th at The Bar, Campus No. 805
• Oct. 19th at the Upside Down Plaza, Birmingham
• Nov. 1st at Salty Nut Brewery
• Nov. 16th at Voodoo Lounge