Dino DiMuro, in many of the releases he has produced since the mid-1980s, he has played everything except drums, and on recent albums, he has taken on the role of the percussionist. He released a series of albums in the eighties and nineties. His music is described as “Walt Disney on Acid ” and is often compared to the music of Frank Zappa, and Captain Beefheart. winning an Emmy, a British Academy Award, and several Golden Reels. Among his films featured Ridley Scott, Cameron Crowe, and Oliver Stone; the Burne Series; Revenant; and the sound design for the Netflix series NARCOS, and now has a solid schedule of two to three CDs released per year.
- “Like An Almond Joy” is an interesting song! You mentioned in your EPK what caused it, but can you provide more details for the readers?
Yes! Having been a fan of Captain Beefheart since I was a teen, I’ve always wanted to create a whole album of Beefheart covers or tribute songs. Though this never happened, I’ve been revisiting the demos I recorded. “Safe As Milk” was the Captain’s very first LP, and I already did a tribute to that album’s “Electricity” on my CD “The Dunning-Kruger Effect.” For my upcoming CD I chose to create an alternate version of “Abba Zabba” which I’ve also released as the first single.
- Where did the idea for your song “Like An Almond Joy” come from?
The song it was modeled after, “Abba Zabba,” is partially based on the candy bar we all grew up with, but also deals with Beefheart’s childhood fascination with apes. Conceptually for my version I chose a different candy bar, and instead of apes I talk about chocoloate chimps, monkey toys, and a child who eats so much chocolate he gets diabetes.
- You said that no matter how hard you try to imitate someone else’s music, you will always leave your mark… so what melodic variations/your imprint did he make in your song?
Like most great songs, the Captian Beefheart original is pretty much perfect as it stands, so it’s very difficult to come up with something different that sounds similar but still works. Basically your brain wants your fingers to play the same parts the Magic Band did, because they work so well. I wound up keeping the drum beat and the structure of the tune almost exactly the same, but then I took each part and analyzed it. If a melody went up, I tried to go down. If there was a bass solo, I tried to create a “mirror image” of it. And since I am vocally no match for Beefheart, it was easy to be different there.
- We know you’re working on a solid schedule of two to three CDs a year. Tell us about this year’s projects?
My upcoming double CD is called “Heatstroke Alley” and is close to being finished. After that I will be working on an unusual project called “Machine” that will be based on drum machines, sample loops, and a few specifically recorded drum tracks by Scott Steadman of Kritters. I myself won’t be playing live drums: they will all be generated from tapes or samples. There are other projects after these two but they will take up most of my year.
- You released a series of albums in the ’80s and ’90s. Do you think this is the right time for this type of music to come back?
The kind of music I make has never really been popular, even for many of the artists I admire. In the early 90’s I did have a strong fan base for a cassette artist, but with the rise of the internet I think it’s much harder for a single, unknown artist to make their mark. There are many more opportunities to be heard but thousands of other musicians vying for attention. So, all I can do is continue to make music that certain people enjoy and a few others may discover. One big difference is that you can have your entire music catalogue on Bandcamp or elsewhere, which anybody can sample at any time. In the old days, you either had to own the albums, or hear a track on a mix tape or underground radio show. Having active digital archives is an amazing change.
- Choose a recently released series/film in which you liked its sound engineering, and tell us about it?
“Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” both have amazing sound design. In fact I wrote a fan letter to the sound designer but he never answered. What’s interesting is that the sound of “Breaking Bad” started out fairly commonplace but became better as the show progressed. Now with “Saul” there isn’t a moment that doesn’t ring out beautifully with sound. The whole reason I recorded “The Ballad of Heisenberg” was to profess my love for the Breaking Bad Universe. Not surprisingly, that song is seeing a resurgence on Spotify thanks to the upcoming return or Walter White on “Better Call Saul.” I’ve retired from sound design but I was very proud of my work on seasons two, three and four of “Narcos.” It was a great way to go out!