Adrian Perry (vocals and bass), Tony Perry (guitar) and Ben Tileston (drums) formed TAB the Band seven years ago in Duxbury, Mass. Eventually, Lou Jannetty (rhythm guitar) joined them to round out their cool, classic-rock sound—which Rolling Stone labels “bluesy, sleazy, guitar raunch.” The quartet just released their fourth album, Verónica (stream it below), and along with it comes a name change: Dead Boots (above, their video for “Saturdays,” directed by comedian Dave Hill). Adrian checked in with The House List to answer Five Questions ahead of their show, alongside Midnight Spin, tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge. “It’s a great room and we always look forward to playing there.”
After several years as TAB the Band, you guys have changed your name to Dead Boots. What was the reasoning behind that? And has it been easy to get out the word to fans about the name change?
Our old name was based on the names of the three founding members, but ever since Lou started playing in the band we’d thought about making a switch. This new album is the first record where Lou was fully involved in the writing, recording and production, so we felt like this was the right time to make the change. It actually has been a lot easier than expected to get the word out about the change, mainly because we could keep our social media accounts and just change the name info (as opposed to starting new accounts and getting people to switch over).
You’ve just released your fourth LP, Verónica, your first in about three-and-a-half years. Does the band have a new sound to go with the new name?
The album is just the next step in the band’s evolution. The name change doesn’t signal any kind of radical departure. This new record is a bit more textured and mature, for lack of a better description. We have some more sonic experimentation and some different lyrical perspectives. But, ultimately, the band is keeping consistent with the basic idea we had from when we first started, which is to write good, simple rock songs.
And now that album is making its way out into the public, is there some sense of a relief that it’s finished and you can move on to the next thing? Or is there some sense of excitement that the songs are never really finished, and you get to flesh them out live onstage every night?
It’s a little of both. This record took a while. We had to deal with a lot to get it done and out, so there is some relief that it’s finally getting out there. We’ve been eager for people to hear these songs. And it does feel like now we can start to work on new material. That said, each night we go out and play the songs, there is a fresh energy since the songs take on different characteristics live.
Do you have any crutches when writing a song—are there certain words or styles you feel you lean on too much?
You call them crutches, I call them tools. It’s no use trying to reinvent the wheel every time. You try to build on what you did before to make it a little better. It’s a gradual process in terms of getting better as a writer, so I don’t think it’s bad to start in a familiar place to get the process going.
What’s the last band you paid to see live?
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Beacon. It was awesome. It was mostly deep cuts and covers. The band had tons of energy. And they sound like one instrument up there. They’re legends for a reason. —R. Zizmor