Michael Dolan grew up in New York, spending time at places like CBGB’s and soaking in the heady ethos of city’s punk and hardcore scenes. He carried that attitude with him into his tenure with greaser surf-punk outfit The Turbo ACs. After several albums with them he decided to focus more on his passion for heavier music. Local cover bands playing Motörhead and Thin Lizzy followed, but the need to create went unfulfilled.
“The whole time I was in The Turbo ACs,” Dolan tells AXS/Examiner, “I still loved hard rock and heavy metal. I was constantly going to see Motorhead, and The Melvins, and Monster Magnet and any kind of thing like that; even though The Turbos weren’t really in that direction.”
This hunger to build something new led to the formation of The FTW, an acronym best known as F#@k the World. That philosophy plays out in Dolan’s lyrical content and the bold temperament of The Major Nelson’s razor-edged and bluesy guitar riffs.
“I didn’t even have anything written. I just had an idea and I knew that I wanted to move in a harder direction—a heavier direction. I was listening to a lot of early Grand Funk, Cactus and Deep Purple; all the stuff that I loved.”
Nelson and Dolan have created a potent and formidable songwriting partnership and the resultant music sounds like Motörhead meets a modern equivalent of proto-metal stalwarts, Dust. There is a strong undercurrent of NWOBHM in the mix, but the bottom line is this is 100% heavy as balls, American rock and roll. To power the beast that is The FTW, the guys got their hands on the commanding percussion skills of J.J. Meraz.
The result of all this heavyweight power is the debut album, Vendetta Kind of Mood: The title taken from a Christopher Walken line in the movie True Romance and a scene with Dennis Hopper.
“I just always loved that scene and I love to do Christopher Walken impressions. For me it just meant a lot, just from the movie and just in life in general, because the album is—there’s a lot of songs that are just kind of an outcry about different things that can definitely put somebody in the vendetta mood (laughs).”
This week AXS/Examiner connected with Dolan to talk about the band’s formation, the New York attitude, his fondness for movies, and what he sees as the seminal Motörhead album. He also talks in depth about the debut album, Vendetta Kind of Mood. Check out the full interview in the video above.