Hayseed Dixie (a linguistic play on the name of the band AC/DC) is an American band which formed in 2001 with the release of their first album, A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC. The band performs a mixture of cover versions of hard rock songs and original compositions in a style that is a unique fusion of bluegrass and rock music and they are acknowledged as the creators of the musical genre "Rockgrass".
We heard they were appearing at Beautiful Days Festival this year and thought it was time to get in touch with them and have a chat. We were lucky to grab 10 minutes with the lead singer John Wheeler, here's how we got on....
You're playing at Beautiful Days Festival in August, which of the other acts performing are you excited about seeing?
I'm always excited to see any other bands. When you do a tour, you see just your own show every night. But at a festival, you get the opportunity to watch a load of other bands. I'm personally looking forward to watching Frank Turner and New Model Army, but I want to see some stuff I've never heard before too. That's the great thing about festivals.
Will you be hanging around after your show or do you have other shows to get to?
We always hang around after the show and meet people. We have somewhere to be the next day, but not until the next day!
What is it that you enjoy the most about music festivals?
Like I said to question 1, the opportunity to get less insular than a tour usually is.
Please tell me your top three tips to surviving a music festival.
Stay hydrated. Don't make the late surge early. It's always better to have options you don't need than to need options you don't have. I'd say the same about life actually.
You get some pretty weird and wonderful food at music festivals, what's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?
Grilled whale steaks at a festival in Tromsø, Norway. This would usually violate some ethical chunk of my person, but it was already on the grill . . . so what the hell . . .
Are there any songs out there at the moment that you feel would benefit from the Hayseed Dixie treatment?
There are whole careers of songs I'd like to do versions of. Would they benefit? You'd have to ask somebody else that!
You cover loads of classic tracks, any plans to cover anything by Iron Maiden?
We probably should. Refer to the previous question!
You spend a lot of time in the UK and Europe, would you say that your fan-base here is bigger than it is in the USA?
We go where the work is. And for the past decade, there has been more demand in the UK and certain other European countries, so yeah. I suppose that means there are more people who want to see us in Europe. But the US is a very big country with a very spread-out population. In terms of raw numbers, I reckon there are as many people who like us there as in Europe, it's just logistically difficult to get them all together in one place. Europe has a fantastic festival scene compared with the US.
Are you working on any new songs and will you be showcasing any at Beautiful Days?
We probably should be! Maybe now we will. Every show is a bit of an experiment and an exploration for me . . . much to the annoyance of the rest of my band sometimes, as I go off on tangents they don't expect sometimes. It all depends very much on the audience. We're just the hosts of the party, the audience is the party. And if the party is leaning in a certain direction, I tend to follow it!
If you could choose the three headline acts for Beautiful Days 2018, which would it be and why?
We'd like to thank John for sparing the time to chat to us when he should have been learning some new songs (preferably a few Iron Maiden classics), we wish the band all the very best and look forward to catching them live when they play at Beautiful Days Festival which takes place just outside of Exeter from 18th - 20th August 2017.
You can keep up to date with the whereabouts of Hayseed Dixie by visiting any of the following sites;