Culture Wars Interview


The Austin-based trio features lead vocalist Alex Dugan, Mic Vredenburgh on guitar and electronics, and David Grayson on drums. The buzz on Culture Wars has been building since the release of their self-titled EP which debuted on Earmilk. Lead single “Money (Gimmie, Gimmie)” premiered on PopMatters, and Culture Wars was also featured in Apple Music’s “Breaking Alternative” and “Breaking Rock” official playlists. They will be making their debut at SXSW 2018 in March. Read on for this interview!


Where do you as individuals and as a band entity draw your inspirations and influences?

Wherever it will come. We really all collectively listen to so many different things that it really keeps the writing process interesting. The most far right and left we get is when Mic is thinking of a symphony or cell piece and I’m relating to something from Hip-Hop or Cuban music that I like. It really just depends on where are heads are at.

What music genre do you feel has most shaped your current sound?

I would say rap/hip hop. Guitars and rock stuff is fairly formulaic, so we really enjoy getting out of our comfort zone and trying different beats, sounds, and even vocal deliveries.

How has “Culture Wars” evolved since its formation? Have there always been a goal/underlying initiative, or has the overall focus and drive of the band changed throughout the progression of your music?

It’s only really been a year or so of writing, so I can’t say it’s moved too far off from where we started, but I think our songs and writing ability have been consistently improving. As my buddy says, “I like that it keeps getting better every time.” Hopefully that will continue to be the case.”

How do your band name and band persona fit your music, and what messages are you trying to get across with your music?

Being able to combine and cross different genres within our music is one half of it. I would say the other half is being able to ask those bigger questions about love, greed, and anger. 

How does your songwriting process usually work?

Mic and I write the basis of most of the songs and then take it into the studio as a band with our producer Rob afterwards.

What is your focus for the remainder of 2018? Are you working on any projects?

Touring. Building out our radio footprint and traveling to put on a great show for those people. 

Where do you see “Culture Wars” within the next 5 to 10 years? Where do you want to be as a band? In every/any sense.

Wembley Stadium.

What new music have you been listening to lately, as individuals or as a band?

Hmm it’s constantly changing, but here’s my current playlist: Miguel’s new record, SZA, Tame Impala B-sides, Sir Sly, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s new record, Dua Lipa, Camila Cabello, Future, Goldfrapp, and a couple tracks off Justin Timberlake’s new record.

What are your band pet-peeves while touring?

I really hate being in a car for extended periods of time, so until we are lucky enough to have a bus, I’m just going to have to suck it up!

Do you have any band rituals?

Mic and I will give each other a lil’ hug. That’s about it. 

Band on the rise

Austin rock trio CULTURE WARS have lined up a mini Texas tour in support of their self-titled debut EP. The Texas natives, led by frontman Alex Dugan, fuse electronic textures with punchy guitars as they sing about social ills and searching for solutions.

The leather-clad rockers’ first single “Money (Gimmie, Gimmie)” comes “blazing out of the gate with an addictive electro-rock sound and swagger” according to PopMatters. The Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers) produced single, is the lead track off their adrenaline-laden five-song EP, Culture Wars, with production by longtime collaborator Robert Sewell and mixing by Manny Marroquin (Kanye West, Imagine Dragons) and Moulder. Pulling their music directly from their environment, writing and recording both from home on laptops and in the remote setting of Sonic Ranch, located just 45 minutes toward the border outside of El Paso, TX.

CULTURE WARS is not only a band name but a mission statement. Through their music, Culture Wars seeks to bring people together, incite conversation, and spark a greater picture. Lyrics like “inflated egos, irritating sense of entitlement” and “head in my hole, can’t you see that I’m not home?” point to something bigger for this band. “There’s enough anger and bullshit out there. We just want everyone to drop it all for a couple of minutes and let loose.”


2/1 White Oak Music Hall w/ Deep Cuts, Camera Cult – Houston, TX

2/2 House of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX

2/3 Sofar Sounds – San Antonio, TX

3/1 Stubb’s Indoors – Austin, TX

3/12 SXSW – Austin, TX

Culture Wars Music




Photo Credit: Roger Ho