The Name Of This Band Is Dude

By Robert Gruber

One-word band names have been popular over the past few years consider Nirvana, Bush, Hole, Tool, etc. but one would be hard-pressed to find a name more concise and to-the-point than the one chosen by Louisville's coolest new band: Dude. The band draws its name from guitarist, singer and principle songwriter Dwayne "Dude" Greenlee but you can just call him Dude. Also in the band is drummer Archibald and Roger, who does Rickenbaker bass, vocals and parlor tricks (a fourth member, Greg Sanders, recently left the band).


The band (which may or may not be a power trio) has been together for over a year now, performing a Zappa-influenced blend of pseudo-progressive pop with psychedelic and punk leanings. In addition to the music, Dude's live shows include a great deal of multi-media, such as dancers and slideshows. They also do the occasional "free beer" show where the venues will allow and have performed at Artswatch, Wick's and the Rudyard Kipling.

"We wish there were more places in Louisville to perform Louisville music," says drummer Archibald. "But," Dude chimes in, "The Rud is awesome!"

The band has a CD in the works set to release sometime this year. "We want to call it Dude," says guitarist Greenlee, "but we may call it Greatest Hits or Anthology." Songs include "Happy Until Further Notice," "Letter Bomb" and "Streets of Pompeii."

You may have seen some of the Dude-band's distinctive flyer art around town, or perhaps have spotted one of their T-shirts. For a young band, Dude is extensively merchandised they even have Year 2000 calendars they sell at gigs, with designs by Archibald decorating each month. Archibald, a graphic artist, is the one who comes up with the extraterrestrial look of the band's artwork. Roger is also a graphic artist on the side, and Greenlee is currently working on an indie film, tentatively titled, "This." A Dude-band film may be coming in the summer.

Watching the band rehearse in their practice room at "the Dude ranch," I was impressed first by their decor: Mardi Gras beads bejeweling a mike stand, a "Safe Place" sign and a pink flamingo stuffed brutally into an angled, foam-padded wall. It added ambience to the sound fluid guitar runs over a steady beat, as the bass rendered a melodious swirl. Dude's vocal style is not unlike Lou Reed's calm, measured, more of a spoken-word delivery than actual singing, although they're not opposed to throwing in the occasional surf-style harmonies. The songs are generally short, musically intricate, and yet oddly danceable.

Carving an unusual niche for themselves in the Louisville scene, Dude is the kind of band that will make you dance, think and want to buy merchandise.