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Dog Eat Dog biography 1996 - 1997

Dog Eat Dog may be a household name to people nowadays, an overnight sensation to others, but there's a lot more to the story than that, so here goes...
 

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1996-1999 Play Games
Now they returned home to record the new album. Having no new songs written after their extensive touring, they set down to write the whole record at once, something they had never had to do before. At first, things moved a little slowly, but once everyone got into the groove things came together quickly. But with the summer festivals rapidly approaching, and Roadrunner demanding a single by spring, the boys were rushed into the studio with the album not even written.

They finished songs, and wrote lyrics in the studio, sometimes singing whatever came to mind, never even being written down. In one song, the band joked that what John was singing was SO heavy metal, it wouldn't be right for ANYONE to sing it like that except the metal legend RONNIE JAMES DIO.
Well, the idea was overheard by the label people, who decided to contact Dio's management and see if he would be interested in doing a guest vocal on DED's record. No sooner said than done, Dio himself showed up and was soon singing in the studio with them. After spending time listening to what they had been doing, Dio hung around all day and talked about Black Sabbath, sports, and BEER with the boys. They all had a great time, and it was a great experience for DED.

Another collaboration the band did on the new record was with the RZA, the genius behind the the WU-TANG CLAN. Having the same lawyer as DED, the RZA and John met in the waiting room of his office and started discussing music. John was saying DED was interested in working with a hip hop producer on the record, and the RZA said he was looking to work with a live rock band anyway. So after a few quick phone calls, DED and the RZA met up in a New York City studio with a lot of BEER, wine, and weed. After a few short hours jamming, Step Right In was born. The band recorded the first half of the record with the infamous "Butcher Brothers", Phil and Joe Nicolo. The Butcher Brothers had already produced multi-platinum acts such as Cypress Hill, The Fugees, Urge Overkill, and many more. Working with well known producers opened up DED to new ideas in the studio. They tried things they had not yet done on record, such as full horn sections, and additional musicians to fill out the overall sound.


DED with Ronnie James Dio
(click to enlarge)

Halloween show '96
(click to enlarge)

Then they went home to New York to finish the second half of the LP with producer Bob Musso. Bob was known for his work with some of NY's finest such as Murphy's Law, and Praxis to name a few.
The album entitled PLAY GAMES was finished and set for release in the summer of 1996. With PLAY GAMES out on the shelves, DED was now ready to once again hit the road. This time the band traveled to many countries for the first time. The band did a full tour of Asia, and South America, as well as Greece, and Spain. DED played in over 35 countries!

The band also shared the bill with many of THEIR favorite bands. DED found themselves playing with bands such as Rage Against The Machine, No Doubt, Sepultura, as well as HUGE acts like OZZY, KISS, and METALLICA.With DED's reputation as an unstoppable live band, they found themselves playing some of music's biggest festivals like Donnington, Reading, PinkPop,Roskilde, Dynamo, and many others. They toured extensively throughout 1995-1997, sometimes playing as many as 25 shows in a row without taking a day off!!!

When DED returned home from the PLAY GAMES tour, a few more changes took place within the band. Listening back to PLAY GAMES, they realized that the horns were drowning out the guitars and the vocals, making the music less prominent. The band came to the conclusion that the horns needed to take a back seat to the music, and Scott Mueller was asked to step down as "permanent" horn player for DED. At the same time, guitarist Marc DeBacker also expressed a desire to persue other musical interests and left the band. They all still remain friends and see each other often.
 

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