Wreck N Sow
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Wreck N Sow

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Americana Country


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Making Hay with Wreck N Sow"

By Naughty Mickie

I can't remember when I've had a better time in a garage with four guys. Before your mind takes the wrong turn, let me clarify. I spend a good part of my interviews sitting down with bands where they rehearse and record and, more often than not, this means sitting down with them in one member's garage. OK, now you can let your mind wander...

Taking an evening out of my busy schedule to talk with Wreck N Sow was more than worth it. First off they found me a fairly comfortable chair and then they handed me a cold brew. I'm not sure if they were trying to butter me up, but they didn't need to, as I've seen these guys live and they rock, well, er... they bluegrass, but this ain't your parents' Americana memories, Wreck N Sow has a style all their own.

Pierre Dupuy on guitar, banjo and harmonica, fiddler Mike Stave, mandolin player Andre Dupuy and bassist Randy Cochran make up the core of the group, all pitching in for the vocals. Dan Leahy steps in on dobro and guitar when he can and then there's an assortment of other musicians who take a turn now and again on stage with the band.

Wreck N Sow has self-released "First Harvest" and has played at the Stagecoach Festival in Coachella and the Colorado

Street Bridge Party in Pasadena.

"Pierre and me have had a relationship from another band with another guy named Colonel Gibber," Cochran begins. "We had a band called Stringbeans, Pierre played drums, I played bass and Gibber played guitar and we all did a little bit of singing. It was a power trio, kind of like cow-punk. We played around for quite a while."

"That's when we started the Self Medicators," Pierre Dupuy picks up, "which instead of being an electric deal was more of a folk deal. In that configuration, Randy started playing the upright bass and I was playing banjo and harmonica and our buddy Gibber was still playing guitar and we had a girl singing. That was sort of the second step and that's when we met Mike."

"Mike joined the Self Medicators," says Cochran.

"Yeah, and started playing with us," Pierre Dupuy goes on. "Meanwhile at the same time, I was jamming with some guys from around town here, including Dan, who was in Altadena also and so Andre had been sitting in on those just starting to play mandolin and sing. We started doing that and then Colonel Gibber, who played guitar with me and Randy, moved away, split for Austin to seek his fame and fortune, and they turned to me and said, 'Well, you play guitar.' I said, 'I guess.' That's what we ended up doing."

The quartet started out with additional member, Emily Ensley on vocals, but she left in 2006 for a new life in the Northwest.

I ask them to describe their sound.

"I'd say it's alternative folk, alt bluegrass/alt folk," Cochran replies. The guys chime in with country bluegrass, old timey music and more, so he adds, "You could lump it into the Americana genre too because it's a big umbrella for everything that's rootsy."

Pierre Dupuy says, "Back when I was in fourth grade I got hooked on Flatt & Scruggs, who are a bluegrass band. That planted the seed for me and ever since then I've liked bluegrass, folk, Americana."

"Our parents had very eclectic tastes," Andre Dupuy offers, "one of them was the Carter Family and then Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass."

"Yeah, they were into all sorts of stuff," Pierre Dupuy agrees.

I take a moment to get to know each member a little better.

Pierre Dupuy starts, "In kindergarten we had music time and I grabbed the tambourine and drums and played that. I really started playing music in fourth grade. We had a guy who was working on my folks' stairway, he was a part-time actor and he played guitar and he taught me and my sister three chords- a D, an A and an E. We had some old Spanish guitars that my dad picked up over the years, so that got me started playing. It was trying to figure out each song I could with the chords I could learn. And then I switched over to drums. In eighth grade I could have an electric guitar or drums and a drum set came up for sale and then I played drums pretty much all the time."

He didn't play in school bands, but rather in original rock and roll bands through the time he met Cochran. He owns a video production company and likes mountain biking, bass fishing a working on cars.

Cochran's life is a little more colorful, "Clarinet through grade school and junior high and my first year of high school. I owned an acoustic guitar and I bought a bass guitar and those were laying around, I always messed with them. By the time I was out of high school, I was starting to go over and have jam sessions with my friends. That led to when I get to be about 20 years old, I wanted to play live and be in a band, something serious, and by the time I was 21, I was doing that pretty regularly.

"After that I kept playing bass guitar and was in different bands." Cochran goes on, "The first band that I was really in that was playing around a lot was a rockabilly band back in the early '80s. We played with bands like the Rocking Rebels, Junior Mustangs. My roots were always more punk rock and in the late '70s I was into the Sex Pistols and the Dead Boys and all the punk bands. I played in glam rock bands for a while too."

At this his band mates all start laughing and I tease him that I'll ask for makeup tips later.

"There were no makeup tips, we just put the stuff on and by the time you went home it was dripping off your face," deadpans Cochran. "I played in a band called Marshes of Glen and we right before Alice in Chains broke and even Guns 'n' Roses did, we opened up for all of those bands in Hollywood at places like the Coconut Teazer, Hollywood Live at the Roxy, the Whisky, all the usual places there. That lasted for a while and then I got back into playing pop/punk rock stuff with our friend Gibber. We always had country roots, which led to the String Beans. I've always been a bass player when I've played in a band."

He is a freelance computer graphic artist, who also does Web design, manages data bases and incorporates them into online shopping. He is also the band's Web master.

"Any spare time I have, I'm writing music for these guys," Cochran states.

"I took an elective in high school and I played the recorder," Andre Dupuy boldly states. "I still have my recorder."

We all give him some grief, as recorder is usually taught to kids in elementary school and Cochran says Andre will have to play a recorder solo now.

"It's more difficult than you think," Andre Dupuy remarks and explains that he had a school system where you took electives during a certain semester, so he signed up for recorder.

"I like music, but I've not been musically inclined most of my life," says Andre Dupuy. "It has not been my dream to be in a band, but here I am and loving every minute of it- I tell ya, I'm having the time of my life.

"Pierre was getting together and jamming with his friends and I said I wanted to come over because I always sang, I did plays and sang in high school, and I said I wanted to come over and sing bluegrass because I love bluegrass." Andre Dupuy continues, "Pierre said you have to play an instrument if you're going to come over. He handed me an old mandolin that he had and a chord book and said, 'Learn C, G and E and you'll be OK.' I went to Massachusetts for seven months with my job and while I was there to fill the hours I would just mill around with and when I came back, I sat in with Pierre and his friends in the garage. We would just sing and play. That's how I got into mandolin, it was sort of an accident. I love the instrument, I'm glad he handed me that one."

Pierre Dupuy adds, "He used to stand over to the side and play along with us, we'd all be over here and we let him move in and about a month later he was all the way into the circle."

Andre Dupuy works with his brother's video business and is also a CGI animator who does 3D animation.He's a "Jeopardy" fan and plays Scrabble and poker too.

"I'm the low man on the totem pole because I'm the last one to join the band," Andre Dupuy sighs. "As Mike says, I'm the rookie. Until we get a new member, I'm the rookie."

"Would you like us to kick Mike out for the day so he can be the rookie?" Pierre Dupuy asks and everyone chuckles.

"My older brother played bluegrass music," Stave tells me. "He came home one day and told the family that he wanted to play violin. They just happened to enroll him with a bluegrass teacher and so I grew up listening to him play and I decided to play. I have another brother who plays fiddle too. Our families would cart us around to different things and we played three violins. We would play competitions.

"I'm the youngest. My middle brother stopped playing violin and played guitar." Stave goes on, "We used to play old time fiddle competitions and I used to play up against a local fiddle player around here, the guy's name is Gabe Witcher. He's an old L.A. guy here and we used to play in competitions in California."

The judging was serious because there was money involved, so being a cute kid didn't help, but talent and musicianship did. At 14, Stave won the California Fiddle Championship. He also won the Calico/Barston Fiddle Competition and other contests. He has played at the Follows Camp Festival competition in the San Gabriel Mountains and the popular Topanga Days.

Staves teaches high school geometry and mathematics and finds time to play in four different bands.

Wreck N Sow's "ghost fifth member," Dan Leahy, mastered their CD and has a great ear, as he is a recording engineer at Mattel Toys.

I ask the band to explain their writing process.

Cochran takes the task, "When the Self Medicators broke up and him and me were left, we thought, 'What are we gonna do?' We had a couple of residencies that we played at all the time and we want to keep playing there. I said,' We've got some songs we can start with. We can use some of the covers and some of the old Self Medicators stuff.' And Pierre had some songs, so we just started with that. I keep writing songs with this band in mind. It was just me at home with my acoustic guitar, sitting there.

"In the beginning," Cochran goes on, "I would say that I had the most to bring into the band at the time that was ready to go, that we could learn, but pretty quickly everybody else started picking up the creative torch - Pierre did right away - and started writing some great songs."

Usually one player will bring in a nearly completed song and the others work together on it to finish it. Sometimes they jam and something comes out of it.

"Generally somebody comes up with a notion for a song and brings it in," Pierre Dupuy says. "Usually it's fairly complete, but sometimes it might need something. We all have ideas, these guys have thrown a great lyric here and there to me or there's just one little place where you need something, like when I help Randy with a bridge. I think everybody is pretty good. Mike just came up with a song recently too, it has a nice fiddle instrumental. Everybody is writing their own lyrics pretty much, but we do collaborate a little bit time to time."

"Somebody might have a song with all of the verses written and most of the choruses, but they just need a line for the chorus and somebody comes up with it or they think they need something else," Cochran explains.

"Randy definitely has a very wry look at life and pens some really humorous songs that are great, simple, really universal," Pierre Dupuy adds.

"I'd have to say that's my strength," Cochran agrees. "He's a bit more composed, not in his demeanor, but in his writing. His stuff is more composed sounding, whereas as mine is more simplistic -1-4-5 don't add anything extra, get the song or the story out and go home."

I prod them as to how they select their cover tunes.

"Some of them are holdovers from the Self Medicators, we started with those," Cochran states. "The ones we've added, I started bringing in a lot, at first I learned them on the guitar at home and then bring them and we'd have to play them because they were the only songs that somebody knew the words to."

"Everybody's got a lot of favorite songs and so all of us have those," Pierre Dupuy adds. "Our sets are pretty much what we've been doing. Everybody brings in stuff and if we have time we work it up and get it in the set. We're trying to broaden out our scope of music all the time. But the originals have been taking a little more precedent lately as we're trying to finish up our second CD."

Cochran picks up, "We're working on the second CD right now and we probably have enough songs that are done, coupled with some songs that are solid ideas, for our third album. It's already there."

Pierre Dupuy goes on, "It's weird because of all the years I played drums in a band I was in I rarely did any writing. As a drummer I was responsible for a lot of arrangements, but I really didn't bring in songs of my own, I didn't feel the stuff I liked would fit the bands I was in. But when this happened, writing in the folk mode is totally comfortable for me and it's been easy to write songs."

"I think it's been the same for all of us," Cochran says. "It's liberating because you can just concentrate on the song, the meaning of the song and the words, you don't have to worry about the presentation so much because you already have an idea of what the presentation is going to be. It's not anything that's going to be over-the-top in the way of big long solos and movements in the song, we're going to play it like a folk band."

"Where do you fit in the scene?" I ask.

"What is the scene? Who cares?" Pierre Dupuy replies.

Cochran steps in, "There's always been an underground roots movement. I think that depends on what's going on in different parts of town or different scenes."

"There's more places to play now that do country, there's venues that that's all they have," Andre Dupuy adds.

"The thing about it is it's more the time for all of us where we are all at a point in our life where we want to do this and we all

happened to cross paths." Pierre Dupuy goes on. "It's weird, for all the other bands I've played in - and I've played in a lot of bands - this band appeals to a broader range of people than any band I've ever played in, from little kids to senior citizens and everybody in between."

With all this friendly banter, I have to ask what it's like to work with brothers in the band.

"I think twice I've see 'I hate you looks' from these two and that's it," Cochran says.

"I remember a comment I heard at the Barn Burner last week," speaks up Stave. "The guy goes, 'You must be brothers, huh?' Because he saw you guys bickering about something."

"But don't they say that about the whole band?" Andre Dupuy tries.

Stave volleys, "I grew up with two brothers, I bicker with them all the time, so it's nothing that the band's feeling really here."

"That's the beauty of having a brother in the band, we can fight all we want, but eventually he's my brother at the end, I've got to make up with him," Pierre Dupuy states.

"It's such a cordial and respectful environment," Cochran says looking serious.

To this, all guys start acting up and teasing each other being quite rude.

Cochran lets the rabble die down, "The reason that that happens means we like everybody in the room."

"Andre's first role in the band is not to be the brother, but to be the rookie," jabs Stave.

"Yeah," Pierre Dupuy agrees. "He has other siblings, so he's got three other people telling him what to do in the band. That's perfect."

Cochran tries yet again, "Like I said we're very respectful of everybody's creative input and we're very appreciative to hear a good idea, a bad idea, just that we get the feedback and bounce the stuff off of each other. We're all happy about that."

"Really we end up getting so drunk that we don't remember anything," Stave concludes.

Wreck N Sow is 80 percent done with their next effort. They are recording and mastering it in their own studio and hope to release it in the fall. They're also hoping to find someone to help take them to the next level, such as a manager or agent and they want to play more festivals and country and folk shows.

"We do all our recording here. We're totally a self-distributing, self-medicating band," Pierre Dupuy states.

"We're proud that this garage has consumers of the top million of alcohol,." sums up Stave.

"Firestone Pale Ale sponsors us," Andre Dupuy adds.

Cochran, with his quirky humor says, "Of course we pay them for the sponsorship."

Find out where you can set a spell with Wreck N Sow at http://www.wrecknsow.com/

Also visit my blogs at http://mickieszoo.blogspot.com/ and www.insidesocal.com/doodah
- DaBelly.com

"Wreck N Sow @ The Echo"

Los Angeles weather confounds me. How did it go from 50 degrees to 90 in just four days?! The climate may be bipolar here, but I’m not complaining too much. Yesterday was a gorgeous day to spend out. I was going to see some punk bands play an early show at the Echoplex, but the weather was so nice I didn’t feel like ripping stuff up. Instead, I was lured to the Echo’s upstairs Country Music and Sunday Barbeque. Inside, I found beer, hot dogs, and Wreck N Sow playing full force. It was like a mini state fair in there!

Wreck N Sow were very, very old-school country. I’ll admit it, I was a little hesitant at first. I mean, I enjoy Southwestern rock… but these guys were wearing matching overalls. Guitarist/banjoist Pierre Dupuy had a full-on billy-goat beard and Mike Stave played a fiddle. They sang funny, upbeat songs about wishing for billions of dollars and Tennessee family reunions (with lyrics like, “Uncle Keith has no teeth, so come with me if you want dance with a triple amputee!”). As upright bassist Randy Cochran admitted, “we’re used to playing to the farm boys in Bakersfield.” Hmmm. Was I too cool for this band?

Well, if you knew me, you’d say: “No Rachel, you’re not too cool for any band.” (And then I’d say, “Oh snap!” but that’s another story). Anyway, there was no way I could look down my nose at Wreck N Sow’s old-fashioned country sounds. I was too busy having a great time! I mean, I do go to a lot of really wild shows. And I have seen many a crazy, drunken mosh pit in my day. But the very best thing about Wreck N Sow? Seeing families with kids at the Echo, enjoying live music together. One little two-year-old was totally jamming along to the music. Everyone had a smile on their face, just enjoying the lovely Sunday afternoon that it was.

When I finally left the Grand Ole Echo BBQ (full of beer and hot dogs, no less), I saw a huge group of punk kids hanging around. For split second, I felt the total opposite of hardcore (softcore? That doesn’t seem right…). But with Wreck N Sow’s home style sounds still in my head, I was pretty glad I left my Doc Martins at home.

-Rachel K. - Loudvine.com


First Harvest - LP - 2007
Second Thoughts - LP - 2009



Wreck N Sow is a four piece string group that specializes in playing a blend of bluegrass/folk/country/Americana/roots music for audiences around the southland. Together since 2005, the band has played a variety of venues and events including The Colorado Street Bridge Party, The Sierra Madre Centennial Celebration and the 2007 Stagecoach Festival. They currently play regular shows at The Pike in Long Beach, Mother's Tavern in Sunset Beach, The Gallery at the End of the World in Altadena, The Press restaurant in Claremont and Me N Ed's Pizzeria in Lakewood. They've also played shows at The Grand Ole Echo in Echo Park, The Doll Hut in Anaheim, Viva Cantina in Burbank and Ronnie Mack's Barn Dance in Hollywood.

In 2007, the band released it's first self-produced CD, "First Harvest" to coincide with their appearance at the first Stagecoach Festival in the Coachella Valley. In 2009, they followed it up with another CD, "Second Thoughts" and they are currently at work on their next CD, tentatively titled "Third Rail"

Each member of the band contributes original songs with the author generally singing the lead vocal. Because all four members write with a slightly different style, their shows offer a comfortable change up of memerable songs which feature beautifully forged three and four part harmonies. The songs are honest and straight forward with a universality derived from the collaborative synergy the boys bring to the music. Whether they are singing around a campfire in the middle of the Mojave dessert or playing a major festival, these guys are having a great time... you can hear it! These are just some of the reasons Wreck N Sow appeals to such a broad audience

The band consists of Pierre Dupuy (guitar, harmonica), Randy Cochran (bass fiddle), Mike Stave (fiddle) and Andre Dupuy (mandolin).

Pierre Dupuy has been a musician since the fourth grade and has played drums or guitar for a number of bands including The Mystery Band, Honk if Your Horny, The Ringling Sisters, The Devil Squares, The Stringbeans, and The Self Medicators.

Randy Cochran has also performed with a wide variety of musical acts including The Rockadiles, Gypsy Trash, Marshes of Glynn, Shemp, The Nashvillains, The Stringbeans and The Self Medicators, playing guitar or bass.

Mike Stave started playing fiddle as a young boy under his mother's watchful eye. He competed in many musical competitions and at age 14 won the California Fiddle Championship. He has previously played with The James Theroux Band, Boss Hogg and The Self Medicators

Andre has been singing and playing with his brother Pierre since birth. Wreck N Sow is the first band he's played with and he's having the time of his life.

The band's music appeals to listeners of all ages. If called upon to do so, Wreck N Sow can play up to four unique sets of music, each roughly one hour long. They are available for parties and private functions as well.