The five-piece band known as Dieselhed hails from Arcata, CA. Since the group tries to keep a sense of mystique (not including their names on their albums), it's hard to figure which instruments they play if you haven't caught them live. Atom Ellis, Zachary Holtzman, Danny Heifetz, Shon McAlinn, and Virgil Shaw are all confirmed members; they formed in 1989 and carved a niche for themselves in the San Francisco Bay Area. Drummer Heifetz budgeted his time between Dieselhed and another San Fran band, the genre-bending experimentalists Mr. Bungle, and remains a member of both bands. Mixing the countrified punk of early Meat Puppets with classic countrified rock (the Stones, Flying Burrito Brothers, etc.), the band created a highly original sound that led to a recording contract with the independent Amarillo Records in the early '90s.
Their self-titled 1993 debut was a surprise success, brought on by extensive touring. This led to a good amount of radio airplay and wound up selling out Amarillo's first two pressings of the album. Their next album, Tales of a Brown Dragon, came out in 1995 and helped to expand their already growing fan base. 1997's Shallow Water Blackout was produced by Dwight Yoakam engineer Dusty Wakeman, and was the band's most accomplished effort yet. Dieselhed followed the release with two U.S. tours opening for rock & roll legend Link Wray. The group was able to win over a completely different audience than the one they were accustomed to, and would return to the stage after their opening set each night to back Wray. The band issued Elephant Rest Home in 1998. ~ Greg Prato