The DML Cartel, a Houston, Texas, based rock-n-roll hybrid has been reincarnated and propelled back into the music scene. This labor of love from founder Dodd Michael Lede (DML) has undergone half a dozen member changes over the last few years in an attempt to create a band with the longevity and desire to go the distance. Bringing together a group of musicians that offer their own diverse influences to extend well beyond the traditional territory of rock music.
Fueled by many years of performance experience, DML Cartel’s fire to perform still burns hot and bright. This rejuvenated group shares a keen focus on the music, a deep enjoyment of playing together, and a singular vision of where they want the band to go. Despite ties to other musical projects, they were somehow brought together by a strange and powerful chemistry that cannot be denied and shows in every note they play.
“This is a rock and roll science project.” Lede muses, “It all has to do with chemistry. The chemistry between the players and of combining various influences together just to see what it would have sounded like if they had thought of it first.”
Lede, the frontman, has the vitality, soul, and big personality that makes it easy to see the influences of such artists as David Lee Roth, Steven Tyler, and Kid Rock. His witty banter and showmanship transcend the typical moody performances of today’s younger bands. He has an infectious rhythm, and his complex songwriting, harmonic sophistication and warm voice, guided by a swinging sense of phrasing, make for a diverse repertoire of songs.
“Lede’s vocals brim with charisma and self-confidence; this is no unfocused young pup at the wheel. You can feel the belief that Lede has in his material. He delivers each line, even the clichéd ones, with conviction and energy” – Adam Harrington, Whisperin & Hollerin [UK].
Guitarists Richard Ruiz and Rob Perez share both lead and rhythm guitar duties, while weaving lyrical chord structures, hooks, harmonies, sweet melodies, and technical instrumental passages into catchy tunes that continually push the boundaries and re-invent their distinctive style.
Laying down a thick foundation, the powerhouse rhythm section consists of Jude Cwalenski on drums and Bobby Tapia on bass. Jude’s reputation as a master of timing is borne out in the band’s rhythmic solidarity and drive. Bobby shores up the bottom with a solid groove and big, warm tone.
The band is always sharpening their evolving musical arrangements, so don’t expect every song to sound alike (which is the case with so many bands today). Their compelling combination of rich pop layers mixed among elements of rhythm and blues, soul, funk, and rock, combine flawlessly, making for a dynamic and versatile musical journey––an autobiography of true stories set to music that are stirring and evocative.
“I would get bored writing or performing in a single genre of music. I prefer to blend genres together to create something a bit more unique.” Lede says, “I find enjoyment in writing everything from country to hip hop, and I continually challenge myself to write outside my own box. I like to push boundaries, not be limited by them.”
By aligning their unwavering dedication to the do-it-yourself work ethic with a signature sound, this revival of the DML Cartel has stepped outside the cookie-cutter trap that most bands fall into. Not to invent a new genre, but to create a musical experiment that breaks down musical stereotypes and unites listeners with a diverse range of musical flavors to suit all tastes.
The band is signed to their own music label, Sonic Smack Records, and are currently creating new songs in the studio as well as producing and creating beautifully filmed, innovative music videos. This group’s bond is strong and their commitment and enthusiasm continues to cultivate a loyal fan base all over the country.