Scott Hackwith -- vocals, guitar
Jon Morris -- guitar, backing vocals
Johnny Cornwell -- guitar
Phil Friedmann -- bass
Anthony Smedile -- drums
With their self-titled Radioactive debut album, Dig has quietly but decisively emerged as one of America's most exciting new bands. Avoiding the standard industry routes of hype and gimmickry, the California quintet has carved out a dynamic, refreshingly no-nonsense style that owes little to mainstream orthodoxy or underground snob appeal. With songs like "I'll Stay High," "Believe," "Unlucky Friend," "Green Room," and "Feet Don't Touch the Ground," the effortlessly compelling 12-track collection (produced by Dave Jerden, of Jane's Addiction/Alice In Chains fame) merges sonic aggression, melodic depth and heartfelt songcraft, thanks to the visceral emotionalism of frontman/songwriter Scott Hackwith, the multi-textural three-pronged attack of Hackwith, Jon Morris and Johnny Cornwell, and the solid yet inventive rhythm section of bassist Phil Friedmann and drummer Anthony Smedile.
The five members of Dig--the band is named after Hackwith's dog, who figures prominently in the new album's cover art, and whose much-abused chew toy is featured on the front cover--came together in early 1992, and quickly discovered a shared musical affinity that transcended their varying backgrounds. "There was never any preconceived idea of what we wanted the band to sound like," Scott recalls. "We just had a bunch of songs, and we took it from there."
Dig was signed to Radioactive a mere five months into the group's existence, by which time the band's distinctive sound had emerged through extensive rehearsals and home-recording experiments. With the release of the four-song EP, Runt, in January of 1993, on Wasteland Records (Radioactive's sister label), and subsequent roadwork with the likes of Bettie Serveert, the Posies, Bad Brains, Flaming Lips, Drop Nineteens, Rage Against The Machine and Radioactive labelmates the Ramones, Dig continued to progress rapidly, and the aural results of that steady evolution are apparent on the current album.
Scott Hackwith's extensive home-recording experience came in handy recently, when, despite having never produced an outside act before, he was tapped as producer of the Ramones' new all-covers album, Acid Eaters. "I was definitely starting at the top," he says of his work with the legendary punk pioneers. "The first two days were really intimidating, but after that the chemistry was great."
Still, the priorities of hackwith and his bandmates are focused squarely on Dig's musical future. "Ever since this band started, everything's come together really easily and organically, as if it was meant to be," the singer says. "That's the way we're taking the whole career thing. All we really care about is being able to make music together for a long time. Everything else is just a distraction."