Dead on

The Dead Pockets are influenced by such groups as The Rolling Stones, Kings of Leon and Allman Brothers. Image | Emily Mechling and Emily Flagg

Take some Rolling Stones, mix in a little Kings of Leon and a dash of the Allman Brothers, and you get Philly band The Dead Pockets. 

The Dead Pockets started in late 2018 and formed through word of mouth, family and Craigslist. They are in the process of writing and recording their first EP, and released their first-ever single, “Sunday Drip” on Oct. 22.  

They have gained a small presence on social media with their “Lodi” cover by CCR on YouTube, and from their first live show. 

PW recently caught up with the band to talk about its music and new release.

How did The Dead Pockets form? How did you come up with the name?

It started out with two cousins, Chuck Haegele (guitar) and Johnny Brennan (bass), looking for a singer on Craigslist. They didn’t get any replies from a singer, but they got one from another guitar player, Matt Kelly. We three jammed a lot, and it just worked really well. We started writing songs fairly quickly and our influences were pretty much the same.

After a month, we were looking for a drummer, but both Chuck and Johnny already had this guy named Bill Carley in the back of their minds. They weren’t sure if he’d want to join since he was already in a band, but we asked him to come by anyway. We all knew something was there, so Bill thankfully stuck around. After that, it took a year or two to find our current singer, James Morozin, who was a friend of the band and never told anyone that he sang. He came by just to jam, and we knew we found our guy after going through a few failed attempts in search of a singer. 

The name The Dead Pockets came from just goofing around in our group chat. A lot of dumb names were mentioned, but Chuck said something about a quiet long stretch of a road/highway with nobody on it and that’s called a “dead pocket.” We all liked that and added “The” in front of it, just because, why not? Later on though, after telling our friends and family, Matt’s mom said, “Oh, is that your band name because you guys are broke?” Well, we didn’t really think about that, but we guess so, thanks for reminding us.

Philly band The Dead Pockets dropped their first-ever single last month. Image | Emily Mechling and Emily Flagg

Talk a little about your writing process and the inspirations behind your music.

When we write our tunes, we try to complement each other. Whoever has the main idea, whether it be chords, a riff, a melody or even a whole structure of a song, that person is sort of the “quarterback” and rest of the band helps move the ball up the field. Sometimes it takes an hour to finish a song, sometimes it takes a few weeks, and other times we scrap it because we aren’t getting anywhere with it. If it’s taking too long and feels forced, we normally just move onto something else. 

The guitarists, Matt and Chuck, sort of have this unwritten rule where if one writes the song, the other does the leads and vice versa. Sometimes that doesn’t always pan out, but this way nobody steps on anyone’s toes and it makes the song writing process go much smoother. Our main inspirations come from ‘60s and ‘70s rock and blues. The Stones are a huge influence for us, as well as CCR, The Guess Who, Guns N Roses, Kings of Leon, Sturgil Simpson, etc., but we generally take ideas from all types of music both modern and vintage.

You are in the process of writing and recording your first EP and released your first-ever single, “Sunday Drip” on Oct. 22. Talk a little about how the single came together and how the album is progressing. How will people be able to hear both of them?

“Sunday Drip” was written from the first batch of tunes without our singer James. This was when we were in between singers and weren’t happy with the results we were getting. This song had a few melody ideas but it just wasn’t working out, so we decided to put the song on hold. Until, when James came around, he added a whole new vibe to the tune. James and Matt fleshed out the new lyrics and melody and it was one of the first songs we fully wrote as a band, so we had to release it as our first single. It also features a sort of “guitar battle” going on in the middle of the song that shows how competitive the guitarists can be, in the best way possible. 

For the rest of the EP, we have about six completed songs and a few that need to be worked out and finalized. We will begin recording in mid-November. You can hear our songs on all listening platforms like Spotify, Apple Music etc, but follow us on our Instagram and YouTube pages where we post sneak peeks of our upcoming releases.

The Dead Pockets are influenced by such groups as The Rolling Stones, Kings of Leon and Allman Brothers. Image | Emily Mechling and Emily Flagg

What’s ahead for you after the EP drops? Any live shows in the works?

Once we get the EP recorded and mixed, we will definitely be looking to book some shows in the greater Philadelphia area. We played our first show a few months back at Two Ton Brewing Company with a band called ELI and Powder Valley Bang. So hopefully we can get something together with those guys again in the future. Also go check them out, they are both killer bands!

What are the best ways for your fans to stay current with what you’re doing?

If you want to stay updated with our music and live shows, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Also subscribe to our YouTube channel to see additional original songs, behind-the-scenes content, and acoustic covers of some of our favorite tunes. We appreciate our followers and all of the support from our friends and family, we couldn’t do it without ya. Looking forward to what the future holds with this great group of guys, The Dead Pockets.

  • Eugene Zenyatta was raised on old-time Memphis 'rasslin' and strongly prefers the company of dogs to people. His greatest heartbreak came in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic.

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