Dead Confederate is the fast-rising five piece from Augusta, Georgia. Signed by the man behind Sonic Youth and Nirvana’s major label deals, they have been touring like dogs for the past year and a half playing their debut record ‘Wrecking Ball’ to crowds all over the UK, Europe and the US with bands like A Place to Bury Strangers, Meat Puppets and Dinosaur Jr. ‘Wrecking Ball’ is an album of pain, anger and regret which oscillates from a grunge-esque feral intensity to a mournful and heavy hearted release of emotion that exposes their Southern roots. The notion of these roots and their importance to the Dead Confederate sound is where we begin with singer and guitarist Hardy Morris, fresh off stage from DC’s support gig with J Mascis and the Fog. “Born and bred in Georgia, every one of us. Everything about us!” What’s inspirational about that part of the world to so many bands and artists? “I don’t know what it is about the South that makes so much spring from there. Maybe it’s because it’s further from the trend meccas of New York and Los Angeles? By the time the trends make their way out there, it’s kind of played out, too obvious. The scenes are much smaller too - you can’t do the same thing as everyone or people will just say ‘you’re doing the same as them or them’. For instance, in Athens you’ve got bands like us and Of Montreal and Drive-By Truckers. So it’s just the nature of the beast down there. People are forced to do something different’

What about those legends they’ve been touring with, what has a young band like Dead Confederate picked up from the veterans? Hardy is unequivocal about the value of being exposed to those who have been there and done it a million times before. “You learn more about rock n’roll with one night with the Meat Puppets than in ten tours on your own. They are the real deal.” How did Dead Confederate go down with the Meat Puppets crowd? “We’re on odd fit, but then nobody really fits with them! They do their own thing. We all agree in the band that that tour was one the highlights of the year.” Were those bands an influence on the Dead Confederate sound? “In terms of aesthetics and purpose they were. Things like Curt telling me about their records and t-shirts and how they wanted to fill every available space with art. Nothing wasted - why leave anything blank? Things like that.”

Despite all the relentless touring the band’s songwriters Hardy and Brantley Senn (bass/vocals) have still found time to write. “We’re about to go home and do our next record. We’ve got a tonne of stuff written: Brantley has a bunch of songs; I have a bunch of songs. We’re going to hammer it out with our producer and get it together with the band.” What kind of direction are you going in? “Hard to say at the moment, we might get in there and do a mellow psychedelic record or it could be a real fucking heavy album. At the moment thought some of the songs are pretty acoustic based. I’m very excited.”

‘Wrecking Ball’ finally got an official UK release in October and it showcases Dead Confederate’s direct lyrical approach. One of the stand-out songs (and lead single in the UK) is ‘The Rat’ which concerns itself with the activities of the religious right. “Brantley wrote that song but I feel I know it well enough and have heard him talk about it to speak on his behalf and you know, it’s not pro or anti religion it’s about people putting their faith over people. Instead of helping someone they’re ready to damn them and have their faith cloud their judgement. They don’t know everything about everyone. You’re not God”

Following an EP and their debut album Dead Confederate are also giving away a live album ‘Dirty Ammo’ gratis on their blog. What led to this decision? “We’ve been on tour and people have come up to us and been, like; ‘Well I have that and I have that. Don’t you have anything else?’ So, we were going to play a few shows back home in Athens and we just thought ‘fuck it, we’ll record it [the show]’. And, you know, fuck the stores, fuck CD’s we’ll do it for free and press some vinyl for the real fans who actually want a physical product. Who doesn’t like stuff for free you know?”

Hardy and the boys have virtually made the UK their home in the last year and a half on various tours. “It’s been really cool over here.” How’s the reaction been? Different at all? “You know, we’re one of those bands where nobody leaves the room and nobody really flips the fuck out either. People just take in - they take it or leave it. It’s like a painting on the wall some people might want to buy it some folk might never want see it again. But then that’s how art should be. Some nights are good and some nights you think ‘I don’t know if those people really got it.’ Bit like tonight, it was a bit average.”

The band aim to record their second album in February, prior to a spring/summer release, before hitting the road again. Is it fair to say that DC are road dogs? “We’ve always toured a lot, even before we had a record. We’ve always played a lot at parties, anywhere. Sometimes it’s been a stupid idea - driving a hundred miles for zero dollars but you learn a lot from nights like that.”

Being that time of year when every critic is submitting his or her list of records of the year, decade, century and whatever else what has stood out for Hardy? “The new Flaming Lips ‘Embryonic’ record is fantastic. ‘At the Cut’ too; the new Vic Chesnutt record is great and he’s from Athens. Members of Fugazi and Godspeed You! Black Emperor make up the band. It’s folky but has some heavy shit come in on it. It’s great. The new Dinosaur Jr. record ‘Farm’ is fucking great.” That record had certain ‘decibel’ issues didn’t it? [‘Farm’ was recalled in the UK as it was mastered too loudly] “Well, that’s Dino. That happened right before we toured over here with them and their manager was going crazy ‘we’ve got a real fucking problem here!’ I think the last few years have been great for rock and roll. Nothing’s taking over; there’s no feeling that rock n’ roll’s taking over again. But [on the other side] things come and go so quickly it’s hard to find those career bands but ultimately if it’s the music’s good it’ll hang around.” That last statement could so easily be about Dead Confederate but they seem to be making headway and seem built to last. As long as that obvious enthusiasm, work ethic and inquisitive nature remains intact you wouldn’t bet against them being around as long as their mentors the Meat Puppets.