The Refrain Interview: DOE DILLINGER

Doe Dillinger is an “out the box” artist; mixing Rap, Post Rock, Ambient, and even Celtic music into a unique audio gumbo. Always keeping the subject matter and lyrics close to heart, and honest. Able to provide a real prospective from an outlaw’s lifestyle, capturing his past in vivid verbal-painted pictures, rhythmically bouncing over beat and melody. 

Being from the Midwest, he grew up listening to rap artists like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Do or Die, and Nelly. Along with 80’s rock bands, blaring from his mother’s bedroom; such as Guns ‘N Roses, Def Leopard, and Metallica. By the age of 17 he decided to start creating some himself, and by 19 had joined a rap group called Street Life Cartel. Releasing three albums together before the strain of the lifestyle eventually took its toll on members, constantly in and out of incarceration (himself included), and deciding to go solo.

Since 2012 Doe has released 6 projects, including the latest “Falling Down” featuring his latest single, the genre blending track “Marooned”. The  hip hop/ pop crossover track features Natalie Erez as well as Joey Boswell.

We had the chance to chat with Doe Dillinger four Refrain Interview Series.

Refrain Music Blog: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You have a new single out now. Tell us about it? What’s it called? 

Doe Dillinger: Yes! It’s a song featuring Natalie Erez and Joey Boswell (Songwriters & Gunfighters). 

RMB: What’s the single about? 

Doe Dillinger: Basically, about feeling “alone”. Being along even when you’re surrounded by other people, because of your perspective. 

RMB: What’s the story on how it was recorded? The Who, When, Where etc. Was it a long process or quick? Any good stories about the recording process?

Doe Dillinger: The song actually started from sampling “Marooned” by Pink Floyd. I was just tinkering around with it, wrote a verse, and let Lee and Joey hear the skeleton it was at the time. Lee wrote a bridge for it, and took lead on the chorus. Killed it, but also added a beautiful piano and some other things production wise. She did all that out in the UK! So, we were working with the 3 of us in completely different locations: Indianapolis, North Carolina, and overseas. She’s super talented. Joey and Dan Banks out in NC got ahold of that thing and laid down the guitars, Joey pieced and puzzled that mix together, and wah-lah! Something trippy. 

RMB: Is it part of a larger album? If so, tell us about that. 

Doe Dillinger: Yes, it’s part of the “Falling Down” EP I did with Joey (Songwriters & Gunfighters). Not really sure what to classify it as, but “TripHop” or “Alternative Rap” may work. We wanted to do something different. It features Natalie Erez (on Marooned and Storm), a band “BoneS Fork” ( on Never Say Never) based out of North Carolina. With lots of production and guitar from Joey.

RMB: When is that album out?

Doe Dillinger: “Falling Down” actually dropped on Feb. 13th. It’s out now, and available on all the streaming platforms. 

RMB: How many songs on the album?

Doe Dillinger: There are 5 tracks: Falling Down, Things Aint the Same, Marooned, Storm, Roadless Traveled, and Never Say Never.

RMB: Is this your first album? If not tell us about your previous work and how this differs from your previous work.

Doe Dillinger: This is my 11th project! I’ve been writing, producing, recording, and making music since 17 years young. This project is definitely different across the board from any of my past releases. From the subject matter, style and quality of production, and on top of that… features from some amazing folks. 

RMB: Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you start pursuing music?

Doe Dillinger: I’ve been making music since a teenager, but didn’t really start perusing a “career” in it until about 4 years ago. I love it, it’s what I do… will always. Aside from that I’m a father to an amazing 6 year old son. Pretty much devote my life and time to both these days. Boring ol’ man lol 

RMB: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Doe Dillinger: Rap wise would definitely be Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Crucial Conflict, and underground / underrated! groups like Triple Darkness from the Midwest. After that, It’s all over the place… I grew up in the 80s / 90s listening to all kinds of music from that era. Guns N Roses, Phil Collins, Tom Petty, Metallica, RHCP, Def Leopard. Now days I draw most my influence from Ambient and Celtic music, but I would say folks like them have been a huge influence. 

RMB: What’s the one thing you are most proud of in your career so far?

Doe Dillinger: I honestly haven’t had any noteworthy milestones, but I am proud of the fact that I always keep it honest, and from the heart.

RMB: If you had to pitch your music to a potential fan in less than 10 seconds, what would you say?

Doe Dillinger: “Change your life!”

RMB: What’s one piece of advice you’ve gotten that you think everyone needs to hear or that has meant the most to you?

Doe Dillinger: If you make music because you love it, and it makes you happy, or keeps you sane to do so?.. Don’t worry about what anybody else thinks of it. Don’t worry about being like anybody else, or keep up in with the Jones’s either. Do you.

RMB: If you could go back in time, what’s a piece of advice you would give to a younger you?

Doe Dillinger: lol … there was no hope for that! I would try to tell myself just to “be a good man.”

RMB: What’s coming up next for your musical project?

Doe Dillinger: Planning on shooting a video for “Storm” off the Falling Down EP and releasing it as a single, and getting ready to start a new album! Searching for musicians out here in Indianapolis to work with.

RMB: Anything we haven’t thought of that you want to talk about? Now is the time!

Doe Dillinger: I just want to thank anybody who takes the time to press play! Hope folks out there dig it, if so you can head over to for more, and thanks to you guys. Blessed be.


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