NAME: Dean Ashton Michaels
Birthplace: Birmingham, United Kingdom
First Band: My first band was called Grin, the usual covers and a few originals. We even got a feature on Central News and recorded a session at Pebble Mill which was pretty cool for a youngster.
Other Bands: In my old Punk band Beat Union we were lucky enough to play Donington on the same stage as Motörhead, Judas Priest and Kiss. The crowd hated us but I loved it ha. Another band I played for called The King Blues, got to play main stage at Reading Festival, which was a pretty huge!
Even though the other boys give me a lot of stick for this, it's Kiss! I went through different fads growin' up, Metal, Cock Rock, Punk, but I've never stopped listening to Kiss. Getting to play with them in one of my old bands was pretty crazy. Got to see the original boys at Donington '96 too!
I get stick from the boys for this also, but it's Rocky IV. It's one of them ones you never get bored of. The fight scenes, James Brown, the soundtrack, a fair few montages and even a robot! It's got the lot.
Mexican food. Steak Burritos and Fish Tacos in particular. Hard to find decent Mexican food in the UK though.
Daft Wee Stories by Limmy. I've got a pretty short attention span, so this is perfect for me. Limmy is my favourite comedian too. Cried laughing reading this, which is pretty awkward on quiet train journeys.
Fender Precision. I got it fitted with a Seymour Duncan SPB-3 Quarter Pound to angry up the sound a bit, which definitely works!
Ampeg SVT-2 Pro, I also used an ENGL E1060 on the US tour, which is a wicked amp. Just as much growl as my Ampeg
I've got an Ampeg 6x10. Ideally I would've liked an 8x10, but this one fits in my Citroen Saxo a treat!
Diamond Head InTuneGP .88 Tortex. I like to have a bit of flex for the faster stuff.
Heavy gauge of Elixir strings, which are awesome.
Most memorable performance
With Diamond Head, Bloodstock 2016 was amazing! However it was only my second show, so I was still finding my feet, shitting myself in other words. But the gig at Islington Academy was a pretty perfect show. We all played our arses off and the crowd were awesome. One of them ones where you don't want it to end.
What do you like to do to relax on tour?
I like to disappear for an hour and go try one or two of the local beers. I also like to make little video blogs for the band.
What is your biggest touring essentials?
Pretty sad, but my phone and my laptop. Mainly for creative reasons though. Filming and editing for the blogs and making posters and whatever weird stuff I can think of. A well stocked music library is pretty handy for disco napping in the van too. Also, the download feature on the Netflix app is a lovely touch.
Firstly my older brother who brought a cassette copy of Appetite For Destruction home from school one day. I pretty much copied whatever he was into. I remember listening to Metallica's set at Milton Keynes Bowl on the radio, where Diamond Head played earlier in the day! GNR and Metallica got the ball rolling for me, then Skid Row became my favourite band. Rachel Bolan was the main reason I wanted to play Bass. Also, because it looked easier.
First gig attendance?
Bon Jovi at the Milton Keynes Bowl. 2nd and 3rd gigs were Aerosmith and Donington 94 with Sepultura, Pantera and Extreme 🤘🏻
Desert island, which 3 records?
Kiss Double Platinum, couldn't pick a studio album as they're guilty of fillers. Meliora by Ghost as they're my favourite band at the minute and I can't switch it off. Lastly the Purple Rain album by Prince.
Words of advice?
Pretty boring but, wear ear plugs. If they ever suss out time travel I'm gonna travel back to 14 year old me and slap them words into him.
Photo by Moritz Hedrich