Throwing pretentiousness out the window and always ready with a collective middle finger to be waved at convention, Las Vegas’ WICKED GARDEN aren’t bad guys – they’re just not fond of mainstream ideals. “Who wants to play the same boring songs every other band in town is playing? It’s annoying”, says lead singer/guitarist Dominick Muzio
Formed in 2011 by guitarist Shawn Trojahn simply as an outlet to play some of the favorite tunes of the 90’s, the current line up solidified in 2016 and the quartet began drawing crowds quickly and steadily. They quickly racked up three consecutive “Best Cover Band “awards from Las Vegas Weekly (2016, 2017 and 2018) and headlining slots at the cities hottest clubs. With success on any scale comes backlash and animosity and some locals began “talking,” saying the band couldn’t write their own material. So, they decided to prove them wrong. “It was kind of a ‘We’ll show you!’ situation.” says Muzio.
February of 2018 found the band holed up in National Southwestern Recording with engineer and producer Ron Corso putting the pieces together for what would eventually become their Shock Records debut album, Post Dystopian Leisure Music. “Dominick and I were having some beers and trying to come up with a name. As a goof he started mock interviewing me and I was using a terrible British accent. He asked, ‘How would you describe your style of music?” and I said, ‘It’s post dystopian leisure music’ and he just said, ‘That’s the title!’” remembers Trojahn.
Post Dystopian Leisure Music is a collection of songs inspired the band’s love of alternative rock. The first single, “Already Gone” is a power chord heavy throwback with a catchy chorus that sounds retro yet fresh at the same time. The song features Michael “Doc” Ellis, one of Las Vegas’ top guitarists on lead. “Doc is just a beast. We love the guy and he plays so good he makes you want to cut your fingers off,” Dominick says. Also guesting is Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators bassist, Todd Kerns, who duets with Muzio on Trojahn’s haunting ode to Las Vegas “I-15 South,” “Todd is incredible. We brought him into the studio and he had never heard the song and he just crushed it,” says drummer Jay Dardano. From the grungy stomp of “No Fear” to the punk/pop “Ask Me If I Care” to the almost gothic sounds of “Hey, Bitch” and the gloomy metal sounding “Second Hand”, the band moves in and out of different genres with ease. “There is a little something of everything with us, we all have so many influences that we approach each song from all angles and see what works,” explains Bassist Troy Spriggs.
While most bands try their best to find out where they fit in amongst all the other musicians in the crowd, WICKED GARDEN has set their own path by daring to be different, doing things their own way, just because they can.