Dallas Taylor talks overcoming personal disasters and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster

Dallas Taylor talks overcoming personal disasters and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster

When life happens and all hell breaks loose, one would say there is no other choice but to keep moving forward. There is someone we need to thank for giving us the inspiration to never give up — and his name is Dallas Taylor. You might know him as the former vocalist and founder of Underoath… or perhaps you’re keen to his current metal outfit, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. Either way, what he’s overcome to be here today is nothing short of a miracle.

Dallas Taylor shares about a tragic accident and how it has changed his band (and life) forever.

Dallas’s bandmates are his brothers — his rocks — and together, they are now on this new journey to not only conquer, but to do it their way this time. There is no bullshit and no apologies with their latest multidimensional sound, the most intensity you have seen this band experience. This is just the beginning of a new vision in which they are in full force. The summer of 2016 was the summer that changed their lives forever… but, imagine an enormous, exploding, fiery phoenix bird rising from the ashes of disaster in a blaze of glory. That is Maylene. That is Dallas Taylor. Plus, the band is back in action!

Hey Dallas, thanks so much for sitting down with me today! So, where are you based out of?

  • DT: Ocala, Florida and was born and raised as a 6th generation Floridian. Moved away and then came back.

Tell us about the 2016 accident. What happened?

  • One day I was riding around on a 4-wheeler here in Florida and I hit the brakes. As I tried to correct it, I hit a metal sign. The 4-wheeler landed on my head. And that is when my whole life changed. I have been here in Ocala ever since and still recovering. I love Florida and after having gone through what I did, I could not have had a better place to be when the accident happened. I have a lot of support over here.

That is so important to have for sure. You got to have those rocks to get through and help keep you going.

  • The doctors were saying that it was a miracle that I survived. I even met my paramedic later after. They had said I was so submerged in blood, they were surprised I didn’t drown in my own blood. Many people do not survive these types of accidents due to the injuries inflicted to the brain.

You really do inspire the heck out of many of us out here! What about a place you in the love outside of the U.S.?

  • We love Australia!! Every time we went over there, we had such a great there.

Tell us how your Maylene project got its name and how the creation has evolved?

  • I grew up in central Florida. When I was a kid, I used to go to reenactments where Ma Barker and her sons were held at this little house in Ocala. The FBI tracked them to a house in Lake Weir, Florida from letters found to her other son Arthur in Chicago, when he was caught and arrested. They had a shootout. The whole house was shot up!
  • As a kid, I would go to these reenactments eating cotton candy, watching these people getting shot, and it looked so real! It was the craziest thing! In my old band, I tried so hard to get away from my childhood and country music. Then when you get older, you really embrace your childhood. We would practice a lot in Maylene, Alabama. So, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster is the name representing Ma Barker and her sons. Kinda like divine justice — of what comes around, goes around.

Has your band been playing since 2004?

  • Yes, something like that!

September 22nd, 2022 was your first time back onstage, playing at the Orpheum in Tampa since your accident! And then you also played Furnace Fest! How’d it feel?

  • Yes, it felt great!! The reason I wanted to do music again is that I wanted to help others. My accident has completely changed my life so much; I feel like we are all in this together and maybe my story can help others that are going through a tough time. I believe that is why we are put here on this earth — to help others.
  • I remember I was giving samples to the guys and at the same time getting off pain meds. They had me on 25 different types of medications, if not more. The guys totally stuck with me. I quit pain meds cold turkey and it wasn’t an easy thing doing… it is now the gift that keeps on giving. Once I got off them, I wanted to get my story out there to help others. We were thinking we would need a teleprompter because my memory is so bad that sometimes my brain will just go blank. It just kicked in memory of the songs and the music. It was wild and even with major depth perception! My guys get kind of nervous sometimes when I am trying to get into the crowds. It felt like I was sharing my story through music. All of us were just rooting for each together.

You could see your pain and glory wrapped up into one at Furnace Fest, along with your bandmates and the crowd. All of you were just totally in the zone. I totally had a tear go down watching that. That crowd was like “Look at Dallas, if he can get through that, we can too!”

  • Before my accident, I used to be a crazy guy, running doing front flips into a crowd or jumping off the tallest thing I could find! So last year, I had this surgery where they burn the nerves off my spine, so I couldn’t feel the pain signals to my brain. I overheat badly and must wear ice helmets.
  • After the shows when the adrenaline wore off, all my energy was drained. For weeks after, I did not know what was going on and after researching that, after a super traumatic thing, a human is profoundly affected in so many ways. I tell people I can do anything on adrenaline. I am now starting new meds, but will never take pain meds again. I am just so blessed to be alive and healed every day! It is a blessing, because now I do not take anything for granted in life.

That is amazing.

  • I have learned a lot about patience. Before my accident, I was a depressed person. I hated myself because I did not have the guts to go through with taking my life. Then I had my accident and it just completely changed me; it was such a revelation and I realized all the things that I thought were big really weren’t. That shit does not matter when you are fighting for your life. I think the big reason I survived is because I was in a dark place and now I am not. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

So, on the music note, tell us about your newest song “Burn the Witches”. The music video is insane! What was your inspiration behind writing this?

  • This is verbatim of what happened to me during my accident. When I was coming in and out of consciousness, I came to and I thought I was in the hands of a serial killer, to tell you the truth. I could not see, walk, talk… my hands were strapped down, I could not hear, and I didn’t know where I was at.
  • Then, I would go back out of consciousness. I was in a coma for a little while. The song is written about me coming in and out of that. The only thing I remembered once in a flashback was trying to get out from the 4-wheeler, rubbing my arm into the ground, trying to get up. My hand was only connected to my body by skin and my bone was sticking out. Then, I went unconscious. A girl on a bicycle found me.
  • I tried to capture the emotions of the accident in this song. The first few lines I was laying there, trying to get off pain meds. I just yelled my heart out and we kept the same audio from that. The guys really came together to help me try and get what I experienced across when we were writing it.

Any last words of inspiration to keep going and never give up?

  • When I started music, I remembered I did worse than good. Life can be tough and horrible. Remember you are not alone and you are loved. Whatever you want to call it… a higher power or some sort of energy. Every person is so special — please just remember that. We are all in this together.

This band has overcome more than we could ever imagine and are not stopping anytime soon. These guys are now, doing it their way! Keep your eyes out for them on the tour circuit. What you see is what you get! This band deserves all the greatness coming to them.

Interview by Stef Sanchez; cover photo by Scott Hansen

Artist Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify

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