Firekid is the project of guitarist and singer Dillon Hodges (you may know him and the second youngest person ever to win the National Guitar Championship at the age of 17 #prodigy).
Since gaining recognition as a bluegrass artist, Dillon has transformed himself, taking on the moniker firekid and expanding his genre. He has also signed with Atlantic Records and will be putting out his first full length album this spring.
We grabbed a few minutes with Dillon to talk about the recording process, summer touring, and of course, his upcoming album. Check our interview below, and Athens readers, be sure to get over to the 40 Watt tonight to catch firekid opening for Delta Spirit. Gonna be a great show.
Vinyl Mag: What made you decide to record in Muscle Shoals? How did it influence your sound?
Dillon Hodges: Muscle Shoals is my home. It’s where I grew up and where I’ve recorded ever record prior. It’s always been a part of who I am, and I didn’t want this new project to be missing that.
VM: Where does the name firekid come from? As a singer-songwriter, why not stick to your name?
DH: If the firekid project had been more singer-songwriter, I think I would’ve kept my name; but, when the tracks started to fall into place, it became apparent how much of a departure from previous works it was. The name sort of tells that story. It’s a rebirth.
VM: How did it feel getting signed to Atlantic? How did that come about?
DH: Being signed is a dream for most artists, but I couldn’t have imagined being associated with a legendary label like Atlantic. The history and romance between Muscle Shoals and Atlantic runs deep. The label is largely responsible for the putting the music of The Shoals on the map, and The Shoals is responsible for some of the greatest works the label ever put out.
VM: You’re playing at Hangout Fest in May. Are you excited to play a huge fest in your home state?
DH: Hangout has been on the bucket list. I’ve never been before, so it’ll be perfect to experience it for the first time also as a performing artist.
VM: Who are you most looking forward to seeing there?
DH: Tough call…definitely planning on seeing Foo Fighters, Beck, and Joey Bada$$.
VM: “Magic Mountain” is a strong departure from your “Dillon Hodges” sound – what inspired the new direction?
DH: The inspiration for the project definitely comes from a change in the songwriting style. The songs themselves were the inspiration for the sound. They dictated a lot of the production.
VM: How have followers reacted? The reviews have been fantastic (congrats!).
DH: Feedback from friends and fans has been encouraging. Much time and love has been poured over this project. Positive reviews were never the goal, but they can certainly let you know if you’re on to something.
VM: Do you have anything coming up for Record Store Day? Are you looking forward to any releases?
DH: Firekid doesn’t have anything coming out on RSD this year, but I’ll be picking up The Black Key & Junior Kimbrough record and J Dilla “Love.”
VM: Can you give us any info on your upcoming album?
DH: The record will be out in a couple months. Most of the content was recorded in Florence, AL. Overdubs took place in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. It’s a record driven by the songwriting; however, my flatpicking will be featured more on this record than any previous release.
VM: Are you releasing any more singles soon?
DH: We’ll be putting out a live EP in week or so!
VM: What is next for firekid?
DH: We are currently working on rolling out a ton of new online content. It’ll feature new music and live performances. We’re also excited to be continuing our tour. We’re constantly adding date, check out my page for updates!
*See you guys tonight at the 40 Watt!
Apr 14 40 Watt Club w/ Delta Spirit Athens, GA Tickets
Apr 17 The Music Farm w/ Delta Spirit Columbia, SC
Apr 22 Hal and Mal’s Jackson, MS
Apr 23 Scruffy City Hall Knoxville, TN
Apr 24 Bourgie Nights Wilmington, NC
Apr 25 Isis Restaurant & Music Hall Asheville, NC
May 13 Zanzabar Louisville, KY
May 14 High Watt Nashville, TN
May 15 Hangout Music Fest Gulf Shores, AL
May 16 Hangout Music Fest Gulf Shores, AL
May 17 Hangout Music Fest Gulf Shores, AL
Emily is an over-enthusiastic lover of music, books, movies, fashion, and culture in general. Her love of music spans across all genres (what is a genre anymore? she waxes poetic to herself), though she was nursed on true punk and will never understand “redneck country” music – tractors are not and cannot be sexy. Emily currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and considers herself to be a great wit, though she is still waiting on validation from a credible source.