Mike Scott of Detroit’s Critical Bill Talks New Album, Dirt Fest + More
In a decade of heavy-duty rocking, Critical Bill have blasted their commanding mix of rap, hip-hop and hard rock throughout their hometown of Detroit and far beyond. The band are slated to play Dirt Fest this August, plus release a new album in September, and I chatted with guitarist Mike Scott about what’s new with Critical Bill and why he’s stoked to share the bill with Clutch on Dirt Fest.
Critical Bill are playing Dirt Fest this year! Is this your first time playing the festival?
Yes! We’ve played Machine Shop quite a bit, but this is the first time we’re playing Birch Run’s Dirt Fest. I’m excited. The event is always cool. I’ve attended it in the past, so to get the chance to play it will be exciting. I’m glad something like that happens in the middle part of Michigan.
Who are you most stoked to play with at Dirt Fest?
Hands down, Clutch. We’re all big fans of theirs. They have a unique sound, and I think they’re one of the most underrated bands of their generation as far as their genre. I’m really excited about it. All the guys in the band are also fans of Hurt and In This Moment, and we’ve done shows with a bunch of the bands on the bill at Dirt Fest. But, Clutch will definitely be the highlight for me.
What bands have you already played with on the Dirt Fest bill?
In This Moment and Hurt. We’re friends with a lot of the bands from here who are on the bill, like Wilson and It Lies Within. We’re done shows with Psychostick, too, and those guys are hilarious and a great bunch of guys. It’s a cool, diverse lineup this year. It’s my favorite lineup so far, and it’s not just because we’re on it!
Critical Bill have a new album out Sept. 8, the follow-up to ‘The Underground Kingdom.’ Tell me about the set.
Yeah, we’ve been touring in support of ‘The Underground Kingdom’ ever since it came out, and we have a month break here and then we’re right back at touring for this new album. We’re still debating about the title, but as far as sound, this new record is a lot more rock-oriented.
Critical Bill is kind of a mix of hip-hop and rock, and our singer is a really fabulous MC, but he’s also a phenomenal singer. His dad was a Motown guy, so he has that soulful, really cool voice along with his rapping ability, and this new record is definitely going to be the most rock-heavy record. Matt Dalton from Dirt Fest is helping us with the record, and we’re really proud of how it’s coming out.
Critical Bill is Powerdise, Michael Scott, Phil Thacker, Mark Causley and Tom Sawyer. Check out the band on Facebook, here.