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Singer, rhythm guitarist Wallace Dietz learned guitar in his college dorm following along to a Neil Young chord book. Since then, he has fronted his Feelies-inspired indie guitar pop band The Silent Boys, recently signed to Too Good to Be True Records.


Ready to get back to his folk-rock roots, he formed The Grain Hoppers in 2022, and their debut album, “Driving Evil Spirits Crazy,” found a receptive audience with over 75 stations playing their songs, including Rodney Bingenheimer’s Sirius XFM Underground Garage show.


Wallace met longtime Lenny Kravitz keyboardist, George Laks, when he was recording at Sound Of Music studios with Amanda Shires on a layover between shows. Wallace, a partner there, befriended George and later asked him if he would play keyboards on “Butter Churn.”  George uses a  Hammond B3 for a gospel undertone, giving it a soulful vibe that carries the song into the heavens. Fortunately for the band, George sticks around for the whole album.


In addition to “Butter Churn,”  standouts include the 60’s psych-infused pop song “I’m Not In My Right Mind” with its sweeping strings and the head-bopping, hard edged rocker “Bad News,”  tinted with addictive New Wave synth lines. The gang slows things down with the soul-searching ballad “Lonely Eyes" - Neil Young just might be hanging out with Wilco instead of REM on this one.  And you don’t want to miss the closer, “Billye Sings,” a dreamy lullaby, inspired by Wallace’s non-verbal daughter.


Since every song would stand out on a compilation album of similar bands, we encourage you to sit back and take in the whole collection of vibrant and engaging tunes.

The Grain Hoppers don’t care about “stinking badges.

Richard Farnell,  bassist for shoe-gazing group The Suncharms, said it best: "Some really strong songs and one of the things really shining out is the honesty of this music.  No bullshit, not trying to be trendy or fit into any niche genre, just real music with feeling."


Interesting fact about the group:

Their alter-ego band Unknown Pleasures plays to standing room only crowds when they perform their Joy Division tribute with all the twitching and flailing included.



Richmond, VA’s Wallace Dietz must be one restless hombre. Leading not one, not two, but three stylistically-different- bands—plus a Joy Division tribute band!—might seem like a lot of guises for one guy, but every one of his/their

the Silent Boys, Steam Trains Hearts, and The Grain Hoppers records shows unadulterated musical love invested.


Like 2022’s Driving Evil Spirits Crazy, this particular group takes the rootsier elements of STHs and bathes it in pleasant countrypolitan/americana rock instead. With Dietz’s pleasant shepherd voice tending the flock (including, this time Lenny Kravitz keyboardist George Laks), there’s just enough pretty twang (instead of overdoing it) in the melancholic-sweetened “Lonely Eyes,” a Morricone-done-C&W “Ghost Riders in the Sky”-ish instrumental, “Brisketti Western,” or the delighted, romantic desire of the more upbeat “Butter Churn.” Plus there’s one harsh, squalling indie rocker (standout), “Shake Me Loose.” Sometimes more is more!

The Grain Hoppers are proud that they hit the “X” on “Fireflies Trapped in a Jar” and want to share their music with as many ears possible.  We enthusiastically welcome all interviews, reviews, features, and premieres.

Contact  Wallace and The Grain Hoppers at or (804) 937-3697


from the 1st album

What if the Devil had a son who wasn’t
exactly the brightest flame in the hellfire?

I can't hear you.  I can't hear you.
Here comes that sinking feeling again...

Our hopes and dreams are with you.



Wallace’s latest music pop-up is The Grain Hoppers.

His new batch of tunes didn’t quite fit the template for any of his other groups- nowhere near the post-punk somber jangle of the Silent Boys, missing the punk angst and sarcasm of the Shattered Hopes, and too smooth for the rough and tumble indie rock Steam Train Hearts.

Realizing that these songs needed a sturdy backbone, the first thing Wallace did was reel in the veteran, power-packed rhythm section of Blee Child (Steam Train Hearts) and Michael Click (the Silent Boys).

New tunes require new tones, so Wallace began searching for a lead guitarist with a background including indie rock, punk, and country but excluding jam bands. When told of these requirements, drummer-about-town Blee blurted, “Grant”.


Grant Oliver fit the “versatility” bill, having played in an indie rock group, a country ensemble, and an “X” cover band. Furthermore, he could spin a web of melody and deftly shift gears from chaotic to angelic. With Grant in the mix, the “perfect storm” for brewing ear bending music for pop addicts was now in place.

We are the Grain Hoppers …….. because that’s the best ride when hopping freight trains.


"We can easily recommend anything/everything Dietz and his associates release.  Refreshingly honest and resilient, his albums (the Silent Boys) could make people of all ages fall in love with music all over again."  "While listening to Dietz's music we get the distinct feeling that these guys are making music first and foremost because that is what they enjoy doing.  They don't seem the least bit interested in jumping on bandwagons or trying to ape current artists and that is, perhaps, why (Dietz) music comes across sounding so refreshingly genuine and real." 


"Fish gotta swim, singer-writers gotta… hop trains fulla’ grain, adding addictive Americana accents to the superb standout “That Sinking Feeling” (it produces the opposite effect), with lead licks out of old Buckaroos or Wynn Stewart platters! Plus there’s jollies in “I Promise to Be Good Santa” and the rather curious “Daniel Johnston Says (The Mountain Dew Song).” You dew you!"


"Such a great blend of folksy, blues-fueled, garage rock sounds. Production and musicianship are top-notch and the songwriting is exceptional as well. 'Rise Above' was my personal favorite out of the bunch, but 'The Mountain Dew Song' was just so damn melodic and catchy... that's another winner for sure! Some killer guitar licks sprinkled in throughout the record, too! Very impressive effort here..."



"Some really strong songs, and one of the things really shining out is the honesty of this music. No bullshit, not trying to be trendy or fit into any niche genre, just real music with feeling. Man that guitar solo on the Mountain Dew song is a stunner! Clarence White vibes. Definitely going to be right up there with one of my favorites of the year."

~Richard Farnell (bassist) / THE SUNCHARMS

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