Mike Campbell talks new Dirty Knobs record, 'Vagabonds, Virgins & Misfits'

Mike Campbell and his band The Dirty Knobs' third album, Vagabonds, Virgins and Misfits, is out now, and Campbell tells ABC Audio the record shows them coming into their own sound.

He says the first two albums proved they were “a rock 'n’ roll boogie band mostly,” but they're evolving. 
“We're expanding our songwriting as we go along and getting better,” he says, “and I'm finding my voice as a 'stylist,' not a singer.”
After so many years in the background as guitarist and songwriter for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Campbell says it hasn’t been hard for him to step into the frontman role, but it was certainly an adjustment.
“It's mostly coming out of a little insecurity and getting used to the sound of my own voice,” he says, noting he made some adjustments to his voice because it had similar nuances to Petty's.
“I wanted to filter those out so I didn't sound like a clone,” he explains. “It was mostly confidence, just building up my confidence that, yeah, you can do this.”

The album features guest appearances by Graham Nash and Chris Stapleton, with Campbell sharing that songs on the record were influenced by the music he grew up listening to in the '60s, like The Beatles and The Stones.

"That's the stuff I emulate," he says.
As for the album's title, Campbell says it’s inspired by the songs, which are filled with “desperate people” trying for a better life. 
“And I thought there's a lot of desperate vagabonds, misfit-type people,” he says. “And I threw virgins just cause it sounded good.”

Campbell and The Dirty Knobs hit the road starting June 21 in Skokie, Illinois. More info can be found at thedirtyknobs.com.

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