Dali’s Llama still rockin’ desert underground

October 3rd, 2013 | by Bruce Fessier | Comments

Dali’s Llama is one of the last bands from the days of generator parties and tuned down guitars. They’re celebrating ”20 years underground” Saturday with what is almost a re-enactment of those days.

Dali’s Llama will join about a dozen desert rock bands and solo artists, including Rubber Snake Charmers, The Freeks, Whiskey & Knives and Josh Heinz, in a venue almost as remote as the sites of the old generator parties in the low desert. They’ll play from 2 p.m. into the late night at The Palms in Wonder Valley, where they’ll also show a documentary about the scene that produced the likes of Kyuss, Fatso Jetson and the Pedestrians.

Here’s a story I wrote about Zach Huskey and Dali’s Llamas on Oct. 24, 2010:

 

By Bruce Fessier

The Desert sun

By day, Zach Huskey works inconspicuously in the Palm Springs Public Library.

By night, he leads a band that represents the desert rock sound to thousands of listeners around the world.

Zach and his wife, bassist Erica Huskey, formed Dali’s Llama in 1992. They’ve released nine albums in 18 years.

They sell so many records in Europe, they have a fan club in England.

But don’t expect to see Dali’s Llama at the McCallum Theatre or one of the casinos any time soon. They’ve always been an underground band in the Coachella Valley, supported by a small, but growing coterie of devoted fans.

They’ll perform tonight at the Indio Performing Arts Center in a preview party for the Desert Rock Music Series as part of a lineup featuring The Hellions, The El Miradors and Whiskey & Knives.

The series is sponsored by mydesert.com and produced by Mario Lalli Jr., who organized many of the desert’s legendary generator parties of the 1980s and ’90s that produced artists that have gone on to play with Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, the Silversun Pickups and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Huskey says one reason Dali’s Llama has grown in local popularity may be, “we’re the only band still around after 18 years.”

But Erica Huskey says they’re not only adding new fans, they’re retaining fans approaching middle age.

“Even if the sound changes, they’ll stick with it because it’s still Dali’s Llama,” she said.

“They’ll even buy the solo albums,” added Zach Huskey, “which is interesting because the solo albums are completely different. We had a side project called Primordial Blues.

“The popularity of the band grows slowly. Some of the people are (fans) just because of the desert thing or the time period and who we’re associated with. If we record an album with Scott Reeder (from the platinum-selling desert rock band, Kyuss), which we did the last three albums, they’ll latch on to that and buy the back catalog.”

Dali’s Llama recently celebrated the release of its CD, “Howl Do You Do,” co-produced by long-time friend Mikael Jacobson, at J. Dee’s Landing.

It may be their most accessible CD to date. Jacobson adds a rhythmic layer on organ and Zach Huskey’s songwriting is more riff-oriented.

“We just wanted to do something that was totally ‘Nuggets (Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era’)-inspired — inspired by those bands from the ’60s (on that compilation album), and the Sonics and Seeds and all that stuff,” said Huskey. “I just wrote a bunch of songs with organ in mind and decided to take it in two directions — still down tune it, like the desert rock stuff we do normally, but get a little bit more poppy and spooky and fun.”

Huskey’s favorite albums are “Who’s Next” and “Live At Leeds” by The Who. His writing has changed direction a few times over the years, but The Who remain his inspiration.

“When we play live,” he said, “I want to do ‘Live At Leeds.’”

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