Tuesday, December 5, 2023






there are times when playing music opens the door to another dimension, 


to another world.




it's a world of sonic ecstasy. 


no rules.     


no judgements.

just existing in the flow of a great, powerful energy.


a trance state of sorts.



the state i call, "down."



my goal is to find my way into down.



to hold the door open for those who wish to enter.


hence, intodown.









Andrew: I saw your show last night and I thought the jam pieces were incredible. So, I guess a good place to start is to tell me a bit about your musical influences.

Michael: Well, I'm glad you came out to see what we're up to! In terms of musical influences, I'd have to say that Peter Green, Eric Clapton of the Mayall and Cream era, and Jimi Hendrix are influences. But, so are many of the blues guys like Otis Rush, T- Bone, PeeWee Crayton, Gatemouth Brown, B.B. King, Magic Sam, Hound Dog Taylor and many other great players. Dick Dale is an influence. So is David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. And, Hollywood Fats for sure.

Andrew: So you blend these styles into your playing? 

Michael: I don't really know. It all goes into the psyche somehow and comes out the way it does. I don't consciously try to do anything but play what seems to be emotionally wanting to be heard.

Andrew: So your sort of a conduit?

Michael: Exactly. My goal is to get out of the way. Let the guitar become transparent. Just be an expression of what seems to want to be heard at that moment. That's my goal, anyway.

Andrew: But many players I have spoken with seem to really admire your library of guitar licks.

Michael: Ha! I appreciate that, but I don't think I have any licks per se. I mean, I guess I do within a certain context. But, I don't think of guitar playing in terms of licks.

Andrew: How do you look at it?

Michael: In terms of phrasing. In terms of pure expression. Telling a story. A story that's not so much my story. It's the story that's being given to me at that moment.

Andrew: By whom?

Michael: I don't know. The spirit guides I guess.

Andrew: Does this relate to your interest in psychedelic music?

Michael: Psychedelic music plays a role. Maybe an important role. At least if we look at some forms of psychedelic music as having the goal of expanding the mind musically. Sort of putting Huxley or Leary or certain philosophical constructs to music.

Andrew: So psychedelic music is a big influence.

Michael: Well, not all of it. Not very much of it, actually. I would say mainly the 13th Floor Elevators. They changed the way I looked at music probably as much as Hendrix did.

Andrew: How?

Michael: When I saw them for the first time, I was in a band that played Beatles, Stones, Animals stuff. We opened for the Elevators. We were all dressed alike in our Beatle boots, matching jeans, silk shirts. We did our set and then the Elevators played. I was transported into another place. I knew I could never go back to how I was maybe an hour before. So, I joined the psychedelic music scene. I got into "The Psychedelic Sounds Of" very deeply. I'm still there.  It is a record that always speaks to me.

Andrew: And you bring that into your playing today?

Michael: I attempt to. It's my interpretation, of course. But, it's in my blood. Maybe I should say it's in my mind! Or in my cells! Ha!

Andrew: Do you like any of the current guitar players?

Michael: Sure. Jim Thomas of the Mermen is fantastic. The fellow who plays with Radiohead is cool. I like some of the Nine Inch Nails stuff in terms of what they do with the guitar. The guy who played with Portisehead was very tasteful.

Andrew: Are there guitar players you don't find very interesting?

Michael: Well, yes. In some ways, I think we are in a very low point in music. I'm not fond of guitar players who think the instrument is about how fast they can play scales. What's that about? I find it dull and boring. It's like they don't know how to express feeling and emotion, so they just play scales fast. I appreciate the dexterity, but it's like little sterile, plastic computers spitting out 0's and 1's.  I think they should give Jimi Hendix a listen.

Andrew: What is intodown all about? What does it mean?

Michael: It is a state of mind, a feeling, a place of origination. "Down" is sort of that mind state that is below the radar. Somewhere melancholy. Pensive. It is where the mystery lives. It is that in-between place of here and there. The rabbit hole. I invite people to join me there. intodown.

Andrew: So it's a state of being?

Michael: Perhaps a state of non-being. It's a trance state of sorts where you step outside yourself into another world or dimension. I give control over to something else. I get out of the way. I release my grip on things. It's like jumping into river with a slow - well sometimes slow - moving current. Just go with it. No questions. No answers. No right or wrong. It's go with it and try to stay in it without trying too hard. Trying too hard will take you out of it.

Andrew: So that's where some of the great guitar playing comes from?

Michael: Yes. But, please know that I don't take ownership of it. It's being given to me. It's up to me to be a good translator. To be able to play on the guitar what is coming through me. My job is to build sufficient facility on the guitar to perform an adequate translation. My task is facility. The more facility, the more I am given to express or translate.

Andrew: So what's next for you?

Michael: Well, I'm completing a new CD project that is very important to me. It's mostly improvisational, psychedelic rock and roll. High energy, edgy stuff. I'm very excited about it. Basically bass, drums and me on guitar.

Andrew: Well, I really look forward to hearing the CD! And thank you for your time!

Michael: Thank you for your interest! I've enjoyed speaking with you.


OBSCURE SOUND Review of Brave New World

Whether you are a musician or not, it is easy to understand how difficult it can be for up-and-coming artists to get the meager attention of a label. With our technological age providing ample opportunities for any willing individual to promote their music on their terms, there are so many different types of artists attempting to push their music to the top.

Usually, to attain a fan base outside of their mothers, they have to decide which aspects of their music truly differentiates them from the hordes of fame-hungry individuals attempting similar methods of recognition. For the Texas-based collective intodown, such classifications are not that easy.

If a record label executive were to ask them which “type” of music they play, I would not be surprised if the various members of intodown blurted out a variety of different coined genres. Stoner-rock! Surf-rock! Prog-rock! Psychedelica! As overwhelming as it may initially be, it is in this degree of stylistic indecisiveness that makes the music of intodown such an enjoyable listen.

Their sprawling sound is undefinable and their influences, though obviously present, are largely untraceable. Dullness is never a word used to describe intodown; their diversity and high level of ambition makes their sound ceaselessly exciting.

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SKOPE MAGAZINE Review of Brave New World

Michael Clark leads the psychedelic decent into the rabbit hole with a variety of drummers, bass players and multi instrumentalists.

Brave New World is a skillfully executed instrumental rock album that reverberates below the radar of mainstream pop with Clark making exquisite us of power chords, riffs, and improvisation. Clark has studied the blueprints of early hillbilly rock, black blues, the late-'60's Clapton-Green-Page mob, and past and present garage bands. He relies exclusively on the use of a Gibson guitar and Hi-Watt amp, which provides sonic consistency as the band effortlessly, trips from an epic musical muse to an extended wild-ass jam.

The arrangements on the album range from 5 to 20 minutes in length, and although one is getting a great musical value, and one heck of a magical adventure, the songs may be too long for today's attention deficit disordered consumer. As Clark and his band of subterranean lurkers speak in musical tongues about the past, art and existentialism they may very well be the future of rock'n'roll. Review By: S.D. Peer

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David DiPietro - Drums - intodown veteran of the Dallas/Deep Ellum Music Scene and an avid collector of more than 2,500 garage, psychedelic and punk rock records, David DiPietame

After attending a Led Zeppelin concert (with his father chaperoning) at Dallas Convention Center in April 1977, DiPietro decided drums were his calling and began playing the instrument (first on a friend's set and soon after, his own) in May of the same year.


From 1995 to 2009, DiPietro was the drummer for the Bat Mastersons, a Dallas band, who along with the New Bohemians, are credited with giving the Deep Ellum Music Scene it's first airplay and recognition outside the Dallas area. DiPietro has also teamed up with Byron Lord, bassist of the Bat Mastersons in their new band, Slam Bang Theater, which debuted in November 2008.


A self-confessed music junkie, DiPietro has attended over 2,000 rock concerts since 1977. He considers some of his many drumming influences to be Simon King, Aynsley Dunbar, Ian Paice, Michael Giles, Keith Moon, Carl Palmer, Bill Bruford, Mickey Hart/Bill Kruetzmann (old school) and
D.J. Bonebrake, John Maher, Chuck Bisquits, Rick Buckler, King Coffey, Scott Miller, Todd Barnes, Philthy Animal Taylor, Steve Roberts and Rat Scabies (new school).

He continues to live and work in the Dallas area.






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