Showing posts with label Smashin Transistors Classic Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smashin Transistors Classic Interview. Show all posts

Jan 19, 2017

Smashin' Transistors Classic Interview: Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones

(Editors note: It's been a quite awhile since Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones have played in these parts. They're coming around to play the SchwonkSoundStead in Port Huron March 23rd though. This interview dates a even couple years before that. It originally appeared on the original Smashin' Transistors site way back then. 2006, I believe. That site is loooong gone but I did manage to exhume the interview thanks to some crafty tech moves.) 

There ain't much excitement living in a small town. There's comes a point in time where what one does to kill the boredom even becomes boring. You can only tip cows, set fire to ice fishing shanty's, drink budget booze and make prank phone calls for so long til a new kind of kick is needed. Algoma Wisconsin's Casey Buhr found himself in such a prediciment after the band he was in, the Tears, called it a day. What could he do to keep every minute of every day from dragging so much? Well, he get's ahold of fellow Algomians Gus (both of whom were in the Strong Come Ons together), Ted (the three of them were 3/4 of the Knockers) and a math teacher named Josh. With two guitar players and two drummers they formed Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones.
-Interview by Dale

Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones. Interview by Dale
Describe the last time you were (physically or metaphorically) kicked in the teeth.

Ted: Well, Dale, and I address you as such because I know you well mentally and spiritually. I’ve never been K.I.T.T. physically, as I’ve never met a man with the salt. The realm of the metaphorical, though is a very different place: Last week this girl that I totally dig showed Casey her tits. I’m still considering whether I should kill myself. Leaning towards not.

Casey: Recently, on the edge of a flake out there was a crisis moment. Contemplating life tends to metaphorically, in a figurative way literally kick me in the teeth.

Josh: I got stabbed in the neck with a toothpick last week amidst drunken roughhousing. I looked down at my hand and saw half a toothpick and wondered where the other half went…turns out, it was sticking out of my Adam’s apple

Gus: The ride home From the Nathaniel Mayer show.

After getting kicked in the teeth did you feel you lost or won?

J: I lost, but it was worth it for the sake of the story

T: I lost big, my friend.

G: I lost.

C: Though I consider the outcome a draw I understand it is impossible to win. That is the point: existential crisis becomes existential reaffirmation, and with this re-realization there was no flake out and this is why any of this or anything else matters. No bullshit.

When's the last time you shoplifted?

T: Last week Tuesday - a packet of powered beef gravy mix.

C: Stealing fishing lures at the local Hardware Hank. I was fourteen or older.

G: Stealing from Work doesn't count; so I'm gonna say last year, a pair of shorts.

J: Ok, the Mobil doesn't count, ‘cause Gus runs it. I stole some Whisker Lickens’ cat treats a couple weeks ago at Wal-Mart.

Cowbells. I heard Hue Blanc's drummers stole theirs from actual cows.

T: Preposterous to explore the impetus behind an ultimately, wholly false rumor.

J: That’s bullshit. We took the whole fucking cow.

G: Yeah, Cows are stupid.

What role of importance does John Cougar Mellencamp play in Midwest rock-n-roll?

T: For my part he really doesn't play any role at all.

G: Absolutely none.

J: The Bono of the Midwest. Inspiration for bands to give a little back and help out the farmers. Should have stayed Johnny Cougar. If he is such an average joe, what’s with all the name changes?

C: There was an ill-fated (never transcribed nor delivered) interview conducted by Mr. Kellner (Trickknee records mogul) where, I pontificate on the virtues of Mellencamp, it’s much too long and pure to recreate here. In short his importance as far as Midwest rock and roll is concerned: "very little overall" but to me personally, being from the Midwest and playing some semblance of rock-n-roll "very little" but as far as me waxing nostalgic, very essential. Car rides, contemporary radio playing he, and others like J Geils and the like. My formative years. Five or Six years old. It was the early/mid eighties. It was Northeast WI. I played pots and pans on the linoleum of my parent’s kitchen and was immensely pleased with my existence. How things have changed. My mother tried to coax me into saying the word "shit", by asking me what he said in "Play Guitar," or whatever the song is called, the "forget about all that macho shit, and learn how to play guitar" line. It was all repercussion free, and I didn’t do it. That was the beginning of prolonged regret. How things are still much the same.

The story is that you all grew up together in Algoma, Wi. Is that true?

T: Not really.

C: Not exactly. The truth is youthful exuberance, and nescient twatery prevented what Hue Blanc obviously created. He found himself redeeming something in us all.

J: Not really. I moved away from the ‘gomes at a young age, only to gravitate back in time to catch the grunge wave

G:Yeah, Josh used to be one of those Door co. country boys though, he's lucky he met us.

Describe the average Friday night of a 14 year old Algoma dude.

G: I don't know, walking around looking for twelve year old girls, or shooting hoops at the club. I think that's what I was doing when I was fourteen. That and Robotussin.

T: There is no average 14 year old Algoma dude.  The inbred history of this isolated town has mandated a perpetual caste of bubbling freaks who react to puberty, naturally, like it’s an atom bomb.

C: Drive circles around his heart and the heart of other fourteen year old boys whom wish to only have seventeen year old girls to chase. They claim to need you but in the end you’re left alone with people who are much more stylish than you.

J: Drink Robotussin. Walk around. Yell things. Go to bed at 11. Take booze from liquor cabinet. Replace stolen booze with water. Sneak out of house. Meet up with friends at the park. Combine stolen booze in Amoco cup. Walk around. Break stuff. Sneak back into house.

So what does nightlife in Algoma consist of for someone older than 14?

C: Thirty below zero wind chill, perceived danger, facial hair, ego, the ability to make lists of things, especially my jovial, flaming demeanor

T: Death, rape, Warren Zevon, cancer, etc

G:Usually parties at my house or hanging out in taverns. Occasionally Casey will do something to amuse us all, he's great if you don't let him sleep for a few days.

J:  Us- Booze, bowls, and broads.  Them- Some douche in a ski-doo jacket trying to slime his way into the drawers of a chain-smoking mother of two in acid washed jeans.

Which Algoma rock-n-roller owns the most flannel? Are they proud of this fact?

C: Whoever it is they are most definitely proud of it. Mostly for it’s functionality.

T: It’s probably someone I’m not familiar with. Is nickg still considered an Algoma rocker?

G: Probably nickg (Strong Come Ons, the Catholic Boys, the Tears), is he still an Algoma rocker? If not I would say Adam Przybylski, wait is he still a rocker?

J:  Probably Nickg. I used to have a ton. Nye on ten years ago, that shit was at a premium around here- but then grunge died and it all went back to Goodwill. Now the only flannel in my house is my sheets, because I’m so fucking domesticated.

The weather was pretty freakin' brutal cold today. How does one heat up an old minivan on such midwest winter mornings?

T: One sets it on fire

G: Bodyheat, space heaters, masturbation, tangerines? I don't know ask Casey.

J: Love

C: Climb in through the passenger door, crawl across and get settled in to the driver’s seat. Insert key into ignition. Turn key. Turn on heat. Drive and chatter for a while. Warmth is more of a problem for backseat passengers. Opening more than one door from the inside is also difficult. Adding windshield washer fluid, checking oil and anything else "under the hood" can be difficult on the crisp January mornings or on tepid July evenings. But isn’t it all beautiful. Did you see the sky today? Blue in the purest sense. You’d really have to be me.

Will Gus ever be the mayor of Algoma?

C: Yes, but with strings attached. Scandal, backroom dealings, puppet regime, and inevitably the most ridiculous felony conviction imaginable.

T: No. Explain why???

G: Probably not. I'm pretty fucking lazy. Besides I'm sure that job doesn't pay enough for it not to be a fucking huge waste of time. And who would want to do anything for the fuckwads that live here anyway.

J: It’s possible- We did elect Wayne Schmidt, who may be a bigger soak than Gus. Why? Because he will be our puppet, a wholesome face to appease the masses whilst we conspire and construct the secession manifesto. Although, Gus may have too many skeletons…

Tell me a story about a Culvers dining experience?

C: It was in Ripon, WI birthplace of the Republican party and home of Ripon Good Cookies. It was my only time, and wasn’t remarkable enough to recall what I had.

T: Again, a poorly worded question - so here’s this - Justin Obrecht is a young entrepreneur who is buying up Culvers franchises in the greater Chicago area like hot cakes and he is free with his money when it comes to helping out a friend, and he saw HBJO once and professed to like us very much indeed!

G: I know the dude who runs the whole Culvers operation. He's a super-rich douche bag, rich though.

J:  Not a fan, Krohl’s had the butter burger perfected long before they laid claim to it but I do know a guy who knows this other guy that owns Culvers and he saw some dude get killed by a bouncer in New Orleans on new years eve, although I suppose you can’t swing a dead frat guy without hitting a homicidal bouncer in those parts.

If Algoma was to erect a statue of Nickg what pose would you like to see him in.

J: Sitting on a step with elbows on knees and head hanging low, kinda like Ian in that Minor Threat picture, but not cause he’s pissed off at the kids for slam dancing, more like he just took a hit of crack and is about to puke.

T: Contemplative

C: I would imagine Algoma to erect a large hologram that would show three positions of nickg: Vacant stare with hand down pants on balls... Confused walking, inhaling own scent (which is quite pleasant, like rosemary and a meadowlark’s calling)... "Atlas-esque nickg" He tends to control the weight of my world, and hold the freight of the rest. It’s nickg, I’m doing my best not to hate and get a plaster replication of his penis and hold him for the rest of days.

G: Jacking off next to our statue of Greg Cartwright.

So who's YOUR favorite Oblivian?

C: A slight edge to Eric. Given his lineage. In ill-guided minds he is a rock and roll prince. Jack and Greg are tied at a real close second, being a near negligible distance removed from the number one slot. No one gets hurt feelings.

T: I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that the Oblivians are a band great enough to steal songs from.

G: I don't know. Dumb question.

J:  Whichever one is singing at the time though, if I had to pick one to hang out with, it would be Jack, ‘cause he’s the funkiest of the three, although Eric has the BBQ lowdown, so he would be good have around too. Greg would intimidate me too much.

Out of the 4-who's the best power trio-Grand Funk Railroad, Rush, the Oblivians or Cream.

G:I don't think you can consider the Oblivians a power trio, so I guess Cream, because they are not GFR or Rush. I fucking hate Rush.

T: I’m not sure whether all these bands should be considered "power trios" but God knows I’ sure as damn hell like the Oblivians. Because they are (were)... fucking great?

C: I hadn't realized Rush was a power trio. Don’t they have keys? Isn’t a power trio Guitar, Bass, Drums? Grand Funk Railroad "Hey dudes, let’s get it on" and why not? They are truly an American band.

J: Is this a trick question? Doesn’t power trio connote having a bass? In that case, Cream. Because they were fuckin’ heavy.

Favorite Nazareth song?

J: "Hair of the Dog," by default, ‘cause I only know two, and "Love Hurts" is a total pussy song.

C: If you were asking favorite Meatmen song, right now I’d say "Crapper’s Delight"

G: "Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman"

What's your opinion on spandex clad rockers?

G:They remind me of wrestlers, you know like Brutis the Barber. Death and Taxes should wear spandex.

T: I suppose it would vary from one S.C.R. to the next.

C: Depends. And I say, if you’re far away, even if you’re working it, Mellencamp never wore spandex.

J: An extension of 70’s glam rock, but not nearly as fabulous. Good eye candy for dudes who like to look at other dudes dressed like bar sluts.

Ever notice how some spandex clad rockers do really acrobatic moves on stage? Any moves you are thinking about working into the stage show?

G: I'm not an acrobat, I play drums.

C: Saunter, mince,  sprawl, squeeze, shake and shiver.  Each one alone and then all together.  When we get together...

J: Finding a way to get behind the drum sets can be acrobatic at times

Midget porn star Lil' Napoleon is Algoma's greatest contribution to the Nation's (and maybe the world's) culture...Do Hue Blanc have such lofty aspirations?

T: I see now that you’re a truly perceptive cat. And let me just tell you this. Once when I was an adolescent and partaking in an afternoon at the "big park" I started to clown a local retarded kid who was shooting baskets. Lil’ Napoleon, who at that time fulfilled a supervisory role at the Algoma Parks and Recreation Dept wheeled a basketball at me that hit me hard in the ass. I then felt fast the sting of shame for clowning this retard for personal fame in front of my lousy friends, and it was a lesson that has stuck with me ever since. So before we quick to make light of this fat-cocked midget from parts barely known, let us first consider that his little soul may bare instincts more human than all our self-important art-rock crap could even begin to hint at.

C: Do you mean "Does Hue Blanc have such lofty aspirations?" or "Do the Joyless Ones have such lofty aspirations?" and if it is indeed the latter are you asking about the collective aspirations of the Joyless Ones or the individual wanting of the Joyless Ones? No rebuttal eh? Hue Blanc has legal issues to attend to. Other than that he has nothing but lofty aspirations, and we are doing his bidding. As far as collectively, the Joyless Ones hope to please Hue Blanc in ANY and ALL ways possible. That’s all we need. Individually I’d be glad to take a close second to Craiggy when it comes to contributions from Algoma to the World. I plan to dabble in Pornography be it writing, directing, performing, whatever is required of me. I have ideas, just not the ambition or connections. Especially not the ambition.

G: You can't top that. Craig is three and a half feet of pure fucking legend.

J: I don’t think our aspirations extend much beyond having something to do while drinking every Tuesday night…I think I speak for everyone by saying that not having to carry the stand bag ever again would fucking rule.

Find out about all the HBJO current happenings at their Facebook page

Jan 16, 2015

RIP Kim Fowley


     Just read the news that THE PROVOCATEUR Kim Fowley has passed away.
     Jordan and Casey of Wisconsin band the Mystery Girls and myself had some very...umm..interesting exchanges with him when I was prepping to put out their single on my label Bancroft back in 2000.
     The conversations were posted on my original Smashin' Transistors website back then. That site is long gone and though I have the article buried in an old hard drive somewhere in this house it could have taken me who knows how long to find it and repost it.
     Thankfully Daniel James of Indonesian Junk and Ramma Lamma went to do some internet digging and found the interview over on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. You can read it in it's original badly laid out page here.

RIP you Animal Man.

Dec 26, 2012

"I finally realized that I didn't need to be a vegetarian to get pussy" A Smashin Transistors Classic Interview with Pink Reason


(Editors note: This past summer I decided to let the place that hosted the Smashin Transistors website lapse. Didn't feel like paying for it as cash has been tight and it was sorta becoming a secondary place to this one that I was updating. The site was also the place where everything that was on it was hosted and stored there. I did not have any of it backed up on my computer. I scrambled to save as much as I can into my current computer to some day repost the interviews. I have slowly been doing that here.

Kevin De Broux is the brains behind Pink Reason. The band was active for a bit then laid low for awhile. In the past little while though have been showing activity again and have released a couple records. Kevin is an interesting guy in many ways so I figured it was high time to get this conversation I had with him back up on the internet.

-Dale)


Have you ever taken a bullet?

Kevin De Broux: I've never been shot at, but I have had a few guns pulled on me before. It's hard to say how close I came to having someone use one on me though. The closest call was probably after coming home in the middle of the night when I was living on a dope farm. I walked in to find a crazed tweaker on the couch I slept on holding a forty and a pistol. He jumped up and stuck the gun in my face and started yelling at me. I took his forty from his other hand and slammed it, because that's what tough guys do in the movies. He slapped me on the shoulder and told me I was alright kicked open our back door, and shot off some rounds into the air.
After that he rolled up a huge spliff and started telling me a story about cornering Jon Spencer, pushing him around and calling him "Elvis." I'd never met this guy before. I ended up moving out of the place a couple days later, even though it was the best living situation I ever had. A couple weeks later I heard that guy OD'd and died in Minneapolis. He was lying face down in a friends lap for a couple of hours before anyone realized he wasn't nodding. That's probably the closest I ever came. A friend of mine who occasionally plays bass for Pink Reason was shot in the shoulder a while back though at a basement show in Milwaukee. The doctors left the bullet in him because he didn't have insurance.

Guns. Do ya think if the entire country was armed a lot of gansta shit would fall by the wayside or would half the country die in firefights within a year?

KD: I've witnessed the negative effects of gun control first hand. When I lived in Russia guns were illegal so only criminals had guns. What was alot scarier than that was what people resorted to when they weren't able to acquire a gun. When my friend Brock was shot recently, he told me not to believe anyone who tries to play off getting shot like it's no big deal. I was there when he was released from the hospital a couple hours after it happened. The guy was in serious pain. The only thing I can imagine hurting worse than getting shot with a small hot metal bullet, is getting shot with a big, burning flare. When I lived in Russia that is what we carried for protection. The big guys would carry the flare guns, and us little guys got to carry these hand held flares with hard plastic handles. You'd pull off the top and it'd light up like a dagger of fire and then you'd burn out whoever was fucking with you's eyes. I've seen the damage a flare gun does. Nobody wants shit to come to that.
I have no need to carry a gun on me anymore, but I still own a couple. My friend Shaun, who has played with Pink Reason off and on since the get go has a pretty nice arsenal of weapons. He's got an SKS and an AK-47 along with a few pistols and rifles. My friend Czad who is another sometime collaborator of mine has got a few machine guns as well, along with an assortment of pistols and rifles. Come to think of it, alot of my friends and bandmates have pretty large arsenals of automatic weapons and pistols. That said, I don't think guns are toys and none of us ever use them irresponsibly. In fact, playing with guns is the kind of thing that'll cause a severe beatdown around my group of friends. We take that shit pretty seriously.

Didn't you have a deaf guy in the one of the earlier Pink Reason concotions?

KD: Yeah, Dax was the singer of the first incarnation of Pink Reason that ever played live. I saw him about a month and a half ago and he was doing the same shit he's always done. Deaf people can be pretty scary. They're kind of like junkies, once you know one they just come out of the woodwork. They exist on a completely different plane from the rest of society. They have their own culture and standards. I'm sure he's down at the bar right now getting wasted and sexually harassing women and getting violent with anyone calls him out on it.
That guy once cut off part of a dude's lip and tongue with a scissors for grabbing his ass. He got away with it too cause he's deaf. I learned sign language while we were cellmates once. He was in on some pretty serious charges, federal bail jumping and domestic violence and destruction of property. He got out before I did and I was picked up for driving without a license. He had been bugging us for years to let him sing for us before we finally let him. He just happened to ask me once when I was on acid and it seemed like the most brilliant idea ever. At the time we were all convinced that we were going to get rich off of the idea. Unfortunately, when we did play out people just stood there with their mouths on the floor.

On the records is it pretty much just you playing everything so how do the touring line ups come about?

KD: They just kind of happen. The lineup we had for the tour with Psychedelic Horseshit came about because I knew of a few people who were both homeless and unemployed, so I asked them to come out on tour with us. We left for that tour without a drummer and managed to pick up this kid Alex in Cincinatti. We'd never met before, but he's since become a close friend.
Friends of mine from Lafayette came out to the show and just happened to bring him along with. I was asking people in the audience if any of them played drums and he said he did. We basically forced him to come out on the road with us for four weeks the next morning. He was recently unemployed, so he was down for it. Sometimes people offer up their services for the band, which is a pretty new development. Other times I just assemble bands out of members of other bands I'm touring with. It's usually just a matter of assembling a small cast of characters a few days before leaving for tour and then practicing like crazy.

Siltbreeze resurrected itself for Pink Reason and Times New Viking? Is this true or just hype?

KD: Probably just hype. It's true that Tom brought back Siltbreeze for TNV. I was just lucky to have released my first 7" at the right time and sent it to the right person. It was pretty much just a happy accident for me.

I played a friend of mine some Pink Reason stuff and his response was "Junkie psych...Not acid psych." What do ya think he meant?

KD" I think anyone can figure out what he meant, although I gotta disagree. It's not junkie psych, it's more robitussin blues. I can't think of a single song I ever wrote or recorded while I was on dope. I spent most of my time high nodding out or fuckin' my girlfriend at the time in the ass. Junkie girls love to take it in the ass, this is something I know. To be honest, I found the whole dope thing kinda boring after a fairly brief period, but not before ostracizing myself from all of my friends. Back then I'd walk into a show and someone would lead me outside alone and ask me if I was "alright" like I had a disease or something.
Even after I stopped doing the shit completely and had an actual serious problem with meth, I still couldn't get people to stop asking me about dope. It's so taboo, which is why I was interested in the first place I imagine. A year after I had completely stopped fuckin' with heroin and I was a full blown meth addict I had people bugging me about my heroin addiction and I'd try to explain to them that I thought dope was boring, and was past that, and these were people that knew I was up for days at a time shooting crystal, and they still focused all of their attention on the dope. The whole thing is silly to me. Junkies are silly to me. I've been sick before, not as bad as some people, but I never let it get that bad, cause I never saw the point. Junkies act like they've never had a cold before. Drink some fuckin' alcohol and get over it. The behavior of serious potheads and junkies doesn't seem all that much different to me. Dope is just pot for people who wanna be hardcore. Both can be fun in moderation and get real boring when it becomes a lifestyle.

What's the most unusal thing you ever made a (drug smoking) pipe out of? It ain't gonna be some gay hippie thing like an apple I hope.

KD: I've smoked alot of meth out of lightbulbs in the past. That's probably the strangest thing. I have smoked out of an apple before, but it was those hippies in Goodnight Loving who fashioned that. The strangest thing ever though was probably the crackpipe that my cousin (another touring member of Pink Reason) made out of a trumpet I gave him. I wasn't too happy about that either. While the trumpet wasn't in great shape, it still worked and if I would have known he was going to make a crack pipe out of it, I would have kept the thing myself. Still smoked crack with him out of it though.

So you smoked out of an apple with those Goodnight Loving hippies. They're good people but what's your take on hippies in general?

KD: I've always been interested in the darker side of that cultural phenomena. Death trippin'. Manson. The Weather Underground. The Stooges. That kinda thing.

Who in the state of Wisconsin have you done drugs with that you would never want to do drugs with again?

KD: I've had a few people end up in the hospital as a result of their doing drugs with me. I once paid a neighbor close to a hundred dollars to take a chick to the hospital after she OD'd on meth and started having a seizure. I had been up for days. I tried to flush my drugs but my friends made me hide them in the alley instead, which was probably a good idea since there was a whole lot of it and I hadn't exactly paid for it yet. Nobody would take her to the hospital and I knew I would end up in jail if I did. It was a pretty disgusting scene. It was one of the moments when you realize that everything has gone completely wrong. I didn't even really know the girl. She was my girlfriend at the time's best friend and she had just gotten off of methadone. She told me she'd done alot of meth before, so I cut her a bump, but I've got this problem of having a pretty insane tollerance to most things, and I always end up giving people too much of shit on accident.
I also hospitalized a coworker when I was much younger by giving him eight and a half hits of black geltab his first time trying acid. He listened to bad punk music, so I was trying to "fix" him. I turned on a strobe light and threw on some Throbbing Gristle and when that started to freak him out, I put on some Coltrane to mellow him out. He spent a while after that in an institution. The kid's friends were not very happy with me about that and tried asking me why I thought it was alright to give someone that much acid on their first time. I had to explain to them that I was on about eighteen of them myself and that the kid kept on bugging me for more. I ended up convincing the cops that I was sober as they were strapping him down to a stretcher. He kept on asking "have you ever questioned your own existence?" That was the only thing he could say for a couple hours before the cops came. He asked them that too. I got them to uncuff me and let me go. I convinced them on that much acid that I was sober. I was on probation at the time for possesion of LSD though, so I ended up doing a little time for that one later when I explained it all to my PO.

Who in Wisconsin haven't you done drugs that you would like to?

KD: The writer Uncle Fester was a neighbor mine in Green Bay. He literally wrote the book on clandestine methamphetamine manufacture. He also wrote the book that Japanese death cult used to manufacture the sarin gas they used to gas that subway station. Some magazine once called him "The Most Dangerous Man in America." I haven't done meth in a couple of years now. I have no urge to revisit that part of my life again, but I'm sure it would have been pretty interesting to have stayed up for a few days with him talking chemistry.

So what drugs will you never do again?

KD: This one is easy. DOC for sure. It's a phenethylamine. It's a chemical cousin of STP which made big news in the late 60's when scores of users ended up in the hospital. It's effects are like a mix between a psychedelic and methamphetamine. I made a near fatal mistake when measuring out the dosage the first time I experimented with the drug and ended up in a very bad place. I was blinded by hallucinations. Eyes closed or open did not matter all I could see was intense geometrical patterns. Then I started to have a seizure and I began vomiting and pissing myself uncontrollably. Finally I was forced to dial 911 as I was alone. When I got to the hospital my blood pressure was at a critical level. I begged the doctors to give me sedatives but they had never heard of this chemical before and were not sure how to deal with it. I tried calmly explaining to them that if they didn't give me sedatives soon that I would have a heart attack. They ended up agreeing with me and that's about the last thing I remember before falling into an intense dream state where I imagined all kinds of horrible things. When I awoke I had an IV in each arm and a catheter in my cock. I ended up eventually convincing the doctors that I felt sober so they would release me. I was still tripping. I tripped for well over twenty four hours. It was an eye opening experience and nothing I ever wished to repeat.
However, when Pink Reason was in Orlando with Psychedelic Horseshit, one of Rich, the drummer's friends scored us some stuff that was supposed to be acid. I had just told them the night before in Atlanta about my experience with DOC. Anyway, what we took ended up to be DOC and I could tell right away when I tasted it on my tongue. Luckily we all took fairly small dosage, but it was enough to keep all of us from sleeping. I was pretty scared because of my last experience with it. Matt from PH was the only one who liked the experience. We ended up having to drive about ten hours to Mobile without any sleep between the seven of us while all still coming down from this fucked up trip. It wasn't a pleasant experience, but it was an experience nonetheless and made for a good story.

Does Casey of Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones ever call you at really weird hours?

KD: He's done it a few times, but he hasn't done it for a while. I flipped the tables and called him up in the middle of the night one time all wasted just to say "hi" and talk some shit, but it happened to be an evening he had the boy and although he didn't sound upset, he also didn't seem very excited about the call. He hasn't called me late since.

Tell me a little bit about your grindcore past in Hell On Earth..or were Hell On earth not grindcore?

KD: Grindcore? There were definately elements of it in there. I was a huge fan of the stuff at the time. I was listening to alot of Suppression, Napalm Death, AxCx, Discordance Axis and the like, among other things. Others in the band not so much, although, I guess we all listened to whatever else anyone else was listening to as we spent a whole lot of time together. It was a mashup of alot of different influences. Our drummer was turning me on to shit like Zero Boys. He was also obsessed with Mob 47. Our singer loved shit like Manowar and classical music. One of our guitarists listened almost exclusively to Dylan. Our other guitarist added what he called "noise guitar." I think we all kind of just came together with the idea of making something intense. We all wanted to play fast. We were convinced we were the fastest band in the state at the time. I don't know if that was true or not.
Those were good times though. Looking back, not much has changed for me. I was transient back then, as I am now. One of the biggest differences was that back then I survived off of retail theft and dealing acid in addition to the label/distro and screen printing stuff my girl at the time and I would do. These days I'm too worried about prison to sell shit and I haven't shoplifted in years.

A couple of the Hell On Earth guys are in Razorfist, right? What's your take on them?

KD: I believe that opinion on them is pretty unanimous among those who have witnessed them live. It's fun stuff, period. Those guys may be my boys, but I don't think I'm biased here. I can be pretty critical, even with those who I love and respect. If you wanna thrash, those are the dudes you talk to.

Timmy Triplett, the guy who put out the Razorfist CD as well as the Hell On Earth vinyl EP seems like an interesting character. Any idea on what makes him tick?

KD: Tim and I go way back. He is one of the original members of Pink Reason. Him and I used to spend alot of time together back in the day. Around the age of seventeen or so, back when I was in Hell On Earth, him and I started hanging out a whole lot. He just called me up one day and we talked for a long time about music and trippin' on dramamine and for years after that we hung out all the time, smoking shitloads of weed, droppin' lots of acid. He turned me on to Royal Trux. Played me Singles, Live and Unreleased. I had never heard the band before, but we had dropped some acid and he threw it on. It was a pretty life-changing experience for me.
As far as what makes him tick, that's pretty easy, it's the constant search for the "perfect riff." I guess now he just spends most of his time working and running Trigger On The Duten Doo, but I know if nothing else he's still searching the record crates of his mind for that long forgotten stoner jam that contains the heaviest groove in the universe.

Since you lived in the Green Bay area for a bit and hung out with the Mystery Girls from time to time. Have you ever thought they didn't make a good deal with the devil...or they kept missing their appointment with them?

KD: The problem is they kept on trying to find the devil in Canada, and everyone knows the only thing they have up there is beautiful women and good weed. It'd be nice to hear something more from those guys in the future. They were one of the best live bands I've ever seen. I'd have chosen their show over any reunited Stooges or Blue Cheer show anyday. Jordan once accused me of causing the "worst show of [their] careers" after getting a PA taken away from a show we played togeather years ago. He said that we made them sound like Lynyrd Skynyrd. I've always wanted to cover Free Bird and after that I asked Jordan if he'd play lead guitar on a recording of it. He didn't seem amused.

You're not living in Green Bay these days, right? How do you like Columbus? How does it compare to some of the other places you lived in?

KD: Columbus is good. It's not that different from other places I've been in the midwest. The big difference there from Wisconsin is that it's easier for me to make money playing music. My most loyal fans in the world are all in or from Wisconsin, but they're scattered around and their numbers aren't that large. Columbus kinda accepted me in as a local and showed me a good time so I figured it'd be a good place to settle for a while. I needed a change of scenery anyway. Wisconsin was starting to get kind of depressing for me. Most of my closest friends were either moving out of the country, on their way to prison, or else, at the worst "growing up" and moving on, which essentially means spending most of their time with their women and only getting out to goto the bars.
Although I do live in Columbus, so far I've spent as much time hanging out in Lafayette, IN as I have there. I've never really been big about the "home" thing and to say that I live anywhere can be misleading. I've been in a semi-permanent state of transience for the last fifteen years. Moved out of my parents for the first time at twelve years old when I was living in Russia and it's been a trail of couches, closets, vehicles and basements ever since.

How did you end up in Russia anyway?

KD:My parents moved there during Perestroika. They wanted to take part in something important. My mom as always a fiend for Russian literature, and my father has always been pretty nomadic. He ran away from a Boyscout jamboree in Scotland when he was fifteen and spent a summer hitchhiking around Europe. Later in life he was fairly successful for a time as a businessman and spent a whole lot of time overseas when I was real young in places like Japan, Korea and China. When he finally made it to Russia, he fell in love and eventually my parents decided to ditch the relatively comfortable life we had here in the states, sell everything they owned and move the family overseas. I think they sometimes question whether it was the right decision, because it dramatically altered the course of our lives.
My family never really recovered completely from the move. They never reachieved the financial position they were in before we left the country. Things have never really been th same for us since. Personally, I think it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed me as a person. Before Russia I was a very weak person. I was pretty effeminate in my youth and was constantly harassed and physically abused. Life in Russia changed me. By the time I got back at the age of thirteen I had already moved out of my parents, been in street fights, experienced a drug overdose, had a gun to my head, and played a live show with a punk band so I developed a confidence that set me apart from my peers.

How close is Siberia to the way it's portrayed in film and books?

KD: I don't know that I've ever really seen any American movies about Siberia, but it was a pretty anarchic place. Most of my friends from that time are now dead. It was very much like the wild west. At twelve I could head down to the kiosk and pick up a bottle of vodka, and I did frequently. I hung out with hooligans in the courtyards watching them shoot dope. They tried to get me to try it, but luckily I was too scared. Wasn't too scared to try the tranquilizers though and ended up OD'ing on roofies and vodka. I was out for at least a couple of days. I don't know how much danger I was in because the people I was hanging out with just kinda threw me in a room and left me there to die. I just remember waking up, walking out of the flat and when I finally found someone I knew they were really worried cause I'd been gone for a few days. At that time, in that country, life was cheap. That's about all I can really say about it.

Vegans...Should they just shut the fuck up? I mean, it's cool and all and more power to 'em but...live without cheese and meat?

KD: Not a whole lot of people know this, but I myself was a vegetarian for six years. I ended up breaking out of it thanks to help of bratwurst, which is my favorite food in the world. During that time though I did visit Monroe Wisconsin's legendary Cheese Days festival. I was fifteen years old and full of angst and I did not eat a single bite of cheese the whole time I was there, something which I have ever since regretted. Anyway, after six years of not eating meat I finally realized that I didn't need to be a vegetarian to get pussy. Good thing too.

Ever listen to Too Short?

KD: Not since I was about thirteen years old. I used to huff alot of spraypaint back then and hang out with these indians and one of them was really into Too Short. I never cared much for it, I wasn't too big into hip-hop at the time. I mostly listened to 80's hardcore and grindcore back then. I love hip-hop now, but I'm still not too familiar with his stuff. He coined the word "biyatch" though, didn't he?

Yes. Too Short will go down in history books for the word "beyotch" (or however you spell it). What would you like Pink Reason to be noted for?

KD: I don't know exactly what I want "Pink Reason" to be remembered for. I mean, Pink Reason is essentially the creative expression of my life and experiences. I think that I would like to someday be remembered as an explorer and a journalist. I would like to be remembered for searching out extraordinary experiences and sharing the stories and wisdom that those experience gave me.
There's alot more than that, but I feel like this question has me writing my own eulogy. I don't think I have much to worry about in this department. I've always left a strong impression on people, my whole life. Since I was very young people have always reacted strongly to me in one direction or the other. That's something that's always been a source of pride for myself.

What your favorite kind of woman?

KD: I've been with alot of different kinds of women and I like 'em all. My friend Bill used to always say "all women are beautiful in their own way" and it's a nice romantic notion if not always true.
Anyway, what I look for in a woman depends on what I am looking for out of them. Redheads seem good for fuckin'. Black girls are good for the stories. The girls I date are often short, and kinda nerdy with short dark hair. I'm a pretty outgoing, aggressive guy so I like to date girls that are a bit more reserved and submissive sexually. I never limit myself to one kind of woman though.

Ya ever noticed that the out going "crazy/sexy" girls that ya think would be total savages in the sack usually end being the dead fish but the quiet nerdier types seem to be the ones that know how to tear it up?

KD: My father always used to say "I ever tell you about the worst sex I ever had? It was great!" The main problem I've found with girls who are overtly "sexy" is that they tend to be actresses in the sack. Nothing is more annoying that someone acting over the top when yer busy trying to bust a nut. One thing I really like about nerdy girls is despite their sweet and innocent outward appearance, they often have the dirtiest minds, which leads to the dirtiest sex. They are also often alot less jaded and more trusting which can make things alot more fun.

What do you think intergalactic poon is like?

KD: Out of this world, man!

Find out more on Pink Reason here

Oct 11, 2012

Hey Polecat! You Found That Lost Chord Yet? (A Smashin' Transistors Classic Interview)



(Editors note: Since I let the old Smashin' Transistors site at Homestead laspe I have been occasionally posting some of the interview and articles I did over there. Here's a doozy of one I did with Dale Beavers a couple years back. The photos included are ones I took too.
-Dale)   

     Strike a conversation with a blues fan about the music and many topics are likely to come up. It may be about regions of its birth such as New Orleans, Memphis and the Mississippi Delta. It could possibly be about how the sound moved north to Chicago and Detroit during and after World War II in search of  work and better life away from the swamps and cotton fields and where it adopted a louder and tougher sound to match its surroundings.
     Possibly it could be about how in the 60's British bands like the Rolling Stones, Cream and Led Zeppelin took the sound, refitted it and sold it back to white American teens who probably who were, most likely, not familiar with the sound anyway.
    Or it's quite possible you may hear a rant about how most people today think the blues is a middle age white guy standing on a stage with more money tied up his guitar and amp than some of his apparent old time heroes ever made off their most famous songs due to “the man” ripping them off blind of everything.
    One thing that usually doesn't come up though is any association to punk rock.
    Both the blues and punk rock, in their original essences, were music of the downtrodden. Both were pure expression and raw emotion.
    Both howled, wailed and took very little to make a very big noise.
    Born and raised the son of a honky tonk bar owner and Baptist preacher in Arkansas Dale, aka the Polecat (a name that was bestowed upon by a musical mentor one night after some rowdy revelry ) cut his musical teeth playing in assortment of punk rock-n-roll bands. It wasn't until he met and started playing with down home and old raw cats like Junior Kimbrough, Cedell Davis and others though that made up the foundation of what would be Oxford, Mississippi based record label Fat Possum that he found his inspiration of the kind of music he wanted to play “for the rest of my life.”
    “It's people that grew up on punk rock, alternative rock are the one's today that are turning on to blues these days”, states Dale “The Polecat” Beavers.
   “I think blues is the original punk rock anyway, man. I mean, you listen to that Live On Maxwell Street  album (Robert Nighthawk's record from 1964). Holy shit! Is that thing out of control. I remember seeing the album cover and Johnny Young's in the background with a battery powered amplifier and there's Robert Nighthawk with a super reverb in a beat up old recliner sitting out by a fire hydrant” he laughs. “And they're just rockin' it, man. It's always about Muddy Waters when people talk about blues going electric, man but Nighthawk had a few years on him. His stuff was just too wild for most people at the time and still is now.”
    At six and  half feet tall and speaking in an accent as southern as BBQ sauce and thick & deep as swamp made of molasses Mr Beavers pours himself a Fighting Cock bourbon on the rocks and talks of the early 1990's. He was in his late 20's and discovered the kind of music that touched the way nothing else had before
    “I was roommates with Bruce Watson (co-owner of Fat Possum) in college down in Louisiana and he was working in this department store there. Then he got transferred to Oxford, Mississippi. He always had a recording studio going on and started hooking up with Matt Johnson (Fat Possum Records main man). They ended up recording what became Junior Kimbrough's  All Night Long. He calls me the next day saying, “You have got to hear this guy. This is the most insane blues music I've ever heard” and he starts going on and on for about an hour about it y'know. You have got to come up here and check this out. He's got a jukejoint (The legendary Junior's Place in Chulahoma, Mississippi, which his family ran two years after his death by heart attack followed by a stroke until the place burned to the ground in 2000) and you gotta come up here and hang out.”
    At first Beavers just hung around the scene, checking it out, soaking it in, getting up on stage and occasionally jamming with these elder statesman.
    “Then Bruce and Matt and them guys starting working on Junior's 2nd album "Sad Days, Lonely Nights". I was called in to help out as an engineer and whatever . They were recording it at Junior's jukejoint so here we were  in pretty much a shack,” he laughs “I mean, the place was a mess but I ended up playing bass on the record and it was great.”
    “The thing is with those guys is they'd never rehearse. Going out and playing with those guys was what we'd call paid rehearsal”, Dale speculates on why one could consider particular styles of blues direct correlation to punk rock.  “None of them ever practiced before a gig. It was just go out there and do it y'know. Live gigs we're like a free for all. They were great! You'd go out on the road in Mississippi stopping by to pick up Junior or RL Burnside or whoever y'know, get them in the van and spend days playing these little joints all over the place for whoever would want to listen. And you watch these guys playing, and it was a hell of a lot different than listening to the records.”
   “Well, that seems to be the case with most live music”, I said to him “It's the atmosphere of it, right?”
    “Well, yeah there is that but then you sit down and watch these guys play and you realize how fuckin' simple it is. No one else can play it like them though. It's crazy shit, man. Junior doing all this snaky almost Indian music thing coming out of his guitar and whatever. It's more about what's going on with your rhythm hand and the spaces than the notes you're playing with your other hand. It's this whole percussion thing, beating the hell out of the guitar and feeling of the music y'know. As Cedell Davis (Wheel chair bound due to a bout with polio as a child, the 83 year old Davis  is famous for using butter knife to play slide guitar. Beavers played on his 1998 album The Horror Of It All then toured Europe with him) said to me, “As long as you can tap your foot to it. If you can't tap your foot to it, you ain't in time”, and you know what? He was right.”
      From there on he got lessons on the music's spirit and soul that cannot be taught but can only be learned finding himself going on the road with Junior Kimbrough.
    When asked about how he got the Kimbrough gig Dale recollects, “He needed a bass player to go out and play all these shows with.  Gary Burnside (one of R.L. Burnside's 13 offspring) was playing bass for him was a total nightmare to take on the road and Matt and the Fat Possum guys just didn't want to have to deal with that anymore y'know. I got his first album, sat down and learned every bass line off it one night. He's skeptical as hell y'know because most people couldn't understand a lot of what he was playing but I had it down! Every song he hit I had it down. “Meet Me In The City”...all of them, man. He's like “Damn, you can play”! So then I got asked will you go on tour with Junior and I was like absolutely.”
    When thinking about those shows which spanned coast to coast of the USA the San Francisco Blues Fest sticks out in his mind.
     “We opened up for Booker T and the MG's and John Lee Hooker there playing for something like 100,000 people. Man, I was like “I've hit it.”
    But it was a more intimate gig that Beavers fondly remembers most.
    “It was on the same tour as that. We had a caravan of all these guys like Junior, R.L., Paul “Wine” Jones and so on in a bus hitting all these different places. We had left Salt Lake City and we're off to Sun Valley, Idaho. Straight though that Great Basin Desert area up there, right? And the bus blows something in the rear end. So here we are stranded 2 hours from anywhere pretty much. So some guys get off the bus to go wander around amongst the scorpions and the snakes and shit and Junior's like, “I ain't getting off the bus.”, so I sat in there with him. He's got the air conditioner running and there's an acoustic guitar sitting there and Junior sat there for three hours playing every song he ever knew. Stuff he used to play a long time ago, y'know, other people's songs like “Crawling Kingsnake” and all this old stuff but playing it all Junior style, stuff he'd refuse to play for people at that point in his life because he had his own songs. And I was like “Man, this is unreal”. I mean, to hear Junior on acoustic and watching him play it was something else anyway but to hear and watch him play all these song the public would never hear him do...That was my baptism there. There was nothing better than that and I'll never forget it. After that I was like 'Man, I want to be just like that dude”. It definitely changed my life right there. I took that fork in the road and it's brought me to where I am.”
     The way Beavers eyes light up underneath his thick as caterpillar eyebrows it's obvious he likes to reminisce about his times with Kimbrough. He could talk about him for hours, so I ask, “What was he like? What was it like just hanging out with him?”  Beavers is more than happy to fill me in.
     “He was awesome. Coolest dude ever. He'd have tons of money in his pocket and never pay for anything. He'd, like, never by himself a hamburger. “Go get me a hamburger. I'll pay when you get back.”
    He then pauses and laughs, “He'd never pay you back. You know you weren't gonna get paid for shit.”
     Continuing on about Kimbrough, Beavers mentions, “You could never even call Junior on the phone. I drive from Little Rock which is 4 hours away from Holly Springs to go hook up with him because we'd have a show coming up or whatever and I wouldn't even call Mildred, his girlfriend, I was coming over. I'd just drive to Holly Springs and pull in front of Akey Brothers Radio store and there he'd be sitting out in the front parking lot in his Oldsmobile just pimpin' y'know. Like clockwork there'd he be just hanging out all day, every day just being cool. “We've got a gig Junior” I'd tell him. “Well, we better get going then boy.”
    In 1999, Dale Beavers hooked up with another Dale, Hawkins to be exact. Hawkins, who passed away in 2010, was one of the forefathers of rock-n-roll most notably for writing and first performing one of most during songs of the last 60 years “Suzy Q”.
    “I was living in Memphis for awhile but had gone back to Little Rock. I had this friend who did a show on the local independent community radio station there. His name's David Grace. He had been doing this show for 12 years and had never repeated a song twice in all that time. I would record everything I had going as far as bands I was in on 4-track. I would send him this stuff and he would play them on theradio. He was also Dale Hawkins entertainment attorney handling his royalties and what not.  One time he said to me “Man, You guys should go over Hawkins place and get some shit down on tape. I was 'Hawkins? As in Dale Hawkins? The guy who wrote Suzy Q? Are you fer real? And he's, 'Yeah. I've been telling him about you guys.' It would be cool.”
     Beavers learned though that working with Mr. Hawkins was easier said than done as the reputation of him being a little crazy from many years of living the not so healthy rock-n-roll lifestyle proved  true.
    “Let me tell you something. Dale Hawkins was a scorning mother fucker. I mean, he don't like anybody. We got to his door and here is with his cats all walking around his legs and he's got a sawed off shot gun in his hand.” It took a little for the “paranoid as hell and jaded as the day is long” Hawkins to warm up to the idea of recording with a bunch of younger upstarts who wanted to do something akin to his early wild and loose records.
    After doing an audition session for him though, Hawkins was excited about making a new record but still had his own grand ideas floating around in his head.
    “I'm going to get Richard Carpenter (of the 70's smaltz-pop hitmakers the Carpenters) on the phone”  Dale Beavers recalls suggestion being amongst some other outlandish and outdated ideas of who hawkins thought should produce the record.
    “A lot of people thought he was dead. He he was getting his chest wings back and out of his mind. Finally I said, and I had just met him 'Dale, this is the 21 century, man. That's not how you need to it'.”
   But after months of session and dealing with Hawkin's erratic behavior and hanging out in his studio in East Little Rock,  the self produced session were under the name Wild Cat Tamer on a label Dale Hawkins started strictly for the album called Plumtone in 1999.
     “It was pretty cool. People were like 'He's still alive? We helped him out and he helped us” Beavers says but also mentioned how Hawkins never paid a promised cash payment for the work. “I called him one night and was asking him about some money. He tells me, “I was gonna send you some money but I hit a fire hydrant with my Lincoln and had to get it fixed'. He was probably on his to Waffle House to get a pecan pie. So, I paid to fix the guy who wrote Suzy Q's Lincoln. It's cool, man. I ain't worried”.
    Dale Hawkins died in 2010 at the age of 74 from colon cancer.
    Beavers shakes his pack of Marlboro Reds, notices it's empty and asks me if I have some spare smokes. "I'll fix you another bourbon for swap" he offers.
    The 00's brought a lot of different thing to Beavers world. He married, move to Michigan and became the father of two kids but along with a domesticated life he needed to still get out and “lose my mind y'know.”
    Getting into Detroit's garage rock scene in the mid 90's he learned it was just like being down home with its love for authenticity and respect, though not complete aping, of the past. “I never even planned on moving to Detroit” Beavers tells me “but my second (now ex) wife was from Michigan so that's where I ended up".
    Meeting people around the town he thought “Detroit's cool. It's really rough around the edges and all that but I like that. I can hang out with these folks y'know.”
    Not long after moving to Detroit, Memphis compatriots Jack Yarber and Greg Cartwright of the lamented 90's blues punk band the Oblivians were in town to record their 3rd album as their on-going country and southern soul inflected and punk rock rooted project Compulsive Gamblers-the much acclaimed Crystal Gazing Luck Amazing.
    “I think that album is a masterpiece, man. One of my proudest moments. I was living up here for just a few months by then and Greg gives me a call and say's “We're coming up there to record at Jim Diamond's  studio. Do you want to play with us? And I'm like cool-got any songs? He's like 'Don't worry about. You'd be better if you don't know anything and just go in and play.' Top notch band and to just go in sight unseen with some great songs by Greg and Jack and to rip out this rock-n-roll record....That's what it's all about. That punk rock, that's rock-n-roll. That's the blues, No bullshit, Just play it and don't worry.”
     Also in the band was Jeff Meier, who's CV includes Rocket 455 and the Detroit Cobras and again bandmates with Beavers in the Shanks backing up Detroit RnB legend Nathaniel Mayer  both live and on Mayer's 2005 raucous soul album for the Fat Possum label “I Just Want To Be Held”.
    Meier describes those times as “a real drunk-fest. Band, audience, stage crew, doorman... everyone.”
    When asked what Beavers brought to the table in a city rich with its own heritage and style he says,  “He always brings a rock-n-roll attitude and a deceptive simplicity to every group he's in. Some of the stuff he plays seems easy, but you try playing it! There's a hillbilly sensibility, too. Not your typical suburban wanna be redneck... he's the real deal.”
   Daniel Kroha of 90's the Motor City garage soul punk legends the Gories echo's such sentiments as well “That crazy ol' polecat!? “ he grins “He's got the fire and brimstone of a Baptist preacher.”
    Sometimes though, the combination of Detroit and the Polecat with his fire and brimstone would get out of hand. It wouldn't be uncommon for people to have to step back when he decided it was time to get sideways. “He's a train comin’ round the bend, or maybe just a trainwreck.” says Meier “But don't worry, he can take it just as well as he dishes it out. If he messes with you, give it back to him. He likes it.”
   “How many times did he test your patience” I ask.
   “Almost every time I've hung out with him! Seriously, Dale's a rockin’ cat...One that comes to mind is the time he fell down the stairs at Jacoby's in downtown Detroit. He ended up landing on top me and my wife, Gwen. Of course, it was right in front of the editor of one of the Detroit weeklies, so it made the gossip column. He did everything he could to keep his wife from getting a hold of a copy.”
   Pennsylvania based, cigar box guitar builder and musician Christian Beshore, who comes to Michigan on a fairly regular to play solo gigs and to collaborate with Beavers in a band known as the Girls From Hateville, has been a friend of Beavers for several years now. He's had his fair share of wondering “what the hell did I get myself into” moments with him as well.
    “Tested my patience?” he repeats back to me when I ask him the question.
    “Every moment I am around him, or even on the phone with him. The craziest time I ever had with Dale I
won't repeat for you to print.”
     Well, how about one I can print then?
     “The first time he ever really tested me was when we were playing the Detroit Chopper Show and we were out drinking. He insisted we find some bar. We drove around for about an hour in one block, circling the bar...when we left it took the gps on my phone to get us home.”
    The thing is though is no matter how much Beavers does to drive people on the brink of pulling their hair out and leaving him stranded somewhere is his honest to goodness southern “charm." The guy knows how to make an impression. Beshore remembers the first time he met him.
    “He was eating a hoagie, sitting in a La-Z-Boy and watching some cable TV crap. my impression was that he was not that cool. That changed about a minute later when that crazy fool opened his mouth. His “Hey, y'all” voice could not be doubted.”
   Being inspired and crazy comes with a price and Beaver's bill came due in 2010 when his wife filed for divorce. Having two young children he knew he just couldn't pull up roots.
    “New Orleans, Memphis, Detroit, New York. They were cool but I grew up in a small town in Arkansas. My dad did outboard motor mechanics and we were complete river rats y'know. Telephoning catfish, Illegal deer hunting...from boats! You name it. The thought of wanting to live on a small town on the water would always come back to me. Y'know, being a carpenter and having fishing boat type of trip, right?”
    After several gigs over a period of few month in Port Huron, the thought of it being that kind of town kept gnawing at his thoughts. “I wanted to get out of Detroit. I just wanted to get away from all that shit. I took to this place.”
    At first the small but insular underground music in Port Huron took him as a curiosity. Here was this hillbilly who had toured the world and played with some of the most revered unsung legends of Rock-n-Roll and the Blues and for some reason wanted to live in small town away isolated from any big music scene. There wasn't much to offer outside of a house party here and a dive bar gig there and it's not exactly the highest focus of places-especially for someone who had been awarded best Blues Artist in Detroit as he was voted in “Real Detroit” magazine in 2009.
    I mean, here's 6 and a half foot cat that talks like boisterous Foghorn Leghorn standing on a stage with a well used vintage hollow body guitar, playing through a Fender tube amp that looks like it seen many a day in the back of a pick up truck in sweltering and sweating in the southern sun, wailing though a mic akin to the ones guys like Elvis sang through back in the 50's with his rhythm accompaniment  being his right foot coming down and a homemade wooden stompin' box. He's out playing blues festivals and what not all over the country. What would motivate him to move in a podunk like Port Huron, Michigan?
    Maybe they weren't suspicious of him as they were perplexed perhaps.
    As time went on and people got to know him better he became accepted as one of the town's newly adopted sons. As Benny Browsowski, singer of Blue Water Area based greaser punk band Smackmadam put it, “Dale doesn't really fit in the local scene which is a good part of his appeal. Instead of suburban white boys forcing themselves to play music they like but don't feel-he's an instant elder statesman of the blues. Playing music he feels.”
    When talking about their differences in drink of choice, Benny says, “Dale's preference for bourbon over moonshine shows he's more of a gentlemen than a roughneck. It by no means implies he’s not willing to get down and dirty.”
    In the summer of 2010, Beavers signed a lease for a place and now his ID carries a 48060 zipcode. “This is my home now. Ya'll is cool people. You needed some trouble. I'm finding it for you.”

Aug 3, 2012

The BILL BONDSMEN "Smashin' Transistors Classic Interview"


     I remember a time when a band was considered HARDCORE it meant something way different than what it does now. It didn't mean a billion palm mutes then a mosh part, it didn't mean Warped or Ozfest tours, inventive facial hair and faux leather fashion endorsements.
    Detroit's Bill Bondsmen take me back to a simpler time (High School) when it was called Hardcore PUNK.  Pumped with anger, packed with contempt and sloshing in beer they do the full on rage with a dark sense of humor thing the way I remember it. Here's band's mouth piece Tony "Gabby" 4TG and I yakking for a while about a bunch of shit.
-interview by Dale

 
Okay-Both of us grew up in greater southeastern Michigan so we were raised on Bill Bonds logic but we have an international audience here...So before we go any farther could you explain to the fine readers who Bill Bonds is.

I'm sure all over the world there's a guy like him in each town. He used to read the news here on TV but he now does ads on TV for furniture. He challenged the equally crazy ex mayor of Detroit, Coleman A. Young, to a boxing match on TV. If you wanna see him check out "Escape From The Planet Of The Apes" where he plays a newscaster.

What about Detroit's current mayor Kwame Kilpatrick? Does he think he's Puff Daddy or some shit?

Well, since I didn't get an invite to the mansion I'll say asshole. He's kind of an unfunny Coleman Young. He's about as ghetto as Coleman but I don't think Bill Bonds will challenge him to a boxing match any time soon. I'm waiting for him to answer a question at a press conference with "Yo mama!"

When did hardcore get all fucked up and take a turn for the worse?

Ahh there's 100 reasons for that. Part of it is that a lot of hardcore bands seem to only listen to hardcore which makes them really derivitive. Like why listen to a band who sound like whatever band sounded like Youth Of Today who sounded like SS Decontrol and DYS when you could just listen to SSD and DYS? This really applies to any genre. Not only that but when metal came in around 86 it opened the floodgates for the jocks you see that act like the people that kicked people like us' asses in high school. I actually ran into a dude who beat me up in high school for being a "punk rock fag" at a bar a few years back and he was suddenly my old friend. Fuck that! Like Cider said "You're not a part of us! You never fucking were!"

 
How do you react when some moron says that they are "totally into hardcore-y'know like Korn and Hatebreed"?

Well, I'm tempted to go on a loooonng rant. I guess if they're dumb enough to like that crap they kind of already said it all didn't they? Personally I'm trying to bring back "hardcore punk" to differentiate between that crap and what bands I like do. Personally, i'd rather talk about the article I read in the van about the guy from Korn that found god cuz now you can say that "god gets Head". HAHAHAHAHA.

Do you ever wanna walk up to those type of kids and rip their piercing out of there faces and when their crying in pain you can say "What the fuck dude. I thought you were all tough and street and shit."?

Well, I don't really see those kids anymore. I'd rather take some of the gangsta hawdcaw kids and drop em off in a non rebuilt part of Detroit and watch them piss themselves. I'd also like to ask some of these kids who all look the same if they genuinely feel they're any different than the 100 kids just like em. I guess I miss the days where you couldn't go to Hot Topic to buy a wardrobe so we all did stupid shit like draw on our pants or screen your own shirts etc. Back when you spiked your own belt.

What's your opinion on songs that have classical guitar type intros ?

Well, Poison Idea had a lot of neo classical moments ("Plastic Bomb") but those were mostly with pianos. I suppose if done right. The intro to "No God" by the Germs sounds pretty classical but I doubt Pat Smear actually played that. Hmmm... I'll take "Sucks" for 100 Alex?

How heavily were you into Metallica in your younger days. They had classical guitar intros. When did you realize they sucked?

Well, I make it no secret that as a kid (like early grade school) I was really into NWOBHM/thrash metal stuff until about 5th grade when I finally heard punk rock. I used to be waaaaaay into Metallica amongst other thrash bands because they were cooler, back then, than most of the stuff you could find at a record store for the most part. I realized they sucked when I heard "And Justice For All" back in 1988. It was so slow and long and boring that it had no exciting aspects. I recall buying it thinking it had to be cool because Pushead did art for it. Boy, was I wrong. I hadn't felt so let down since I first heard "Join The Army" by Suicidal Tendencies...

What do you consider good metal?

I actually listen to a lot of old metal still to this day. Stuff like Venom, Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, etc still get listened to quite a bit. I still dig it because it's essentially punk if you can get past the solos. I wouldn't call Motorhead metal but I guess some people do. I listen to them all the time. I also like a lot of Japanese stuff that's pretty metal like Assault...

Ron Reagan inspired a shit load of bands in the 80's with their rage...Do you think Bush Jr is making the same mark?

Not that I'm aware of. We have a tune kind of about him but not as much. The real difference is that back when Ronnie was prez there was less access to information so when he was caught in some shit it was a big surprise. Now, we're so skeptical and have access to everything the bastard does that I think we're just lulled into being too relaxed about it because it's no shock. "Oh! He lied again... What's on channel 62?" or "Oh! He mispronounced another word..." 
I honestly think we kind of deserve him. After all, is he any dumber, ill mannered, or ill informed than 75% of the people you run into on a daily basis? I honestly don't think so.Today alone I had to listen to some guy at a bar tell me that the Middle Eastern people just want to be left alone but that Kwame is a"nigger" and if we had a white Republican in the mayor's office blah blah blah. A co worker told me that "if you don't believe in Jesus i've got some work to do" and then tried to sell me on evangelical Christianity (ie the words of the bible literally translated to their suiting. These are the fuckers to be scared of... Reagan and both Bush's believe in the same thing. Anyone who has actually read the bible... Look at what's happening in the Middle East, specifically Israel. These whackos are trying to make "Revelations" happen today... Remember Reagan saying that the Anti Christ was here today? Bush has said similar things about Sadaam and the Palestinians... I could go on and on on this topic...). 
Regardless, everyone is insane around us and most of us with two brain cells to rub together are asleep at the wheel because, much like watching your best friend get killed, we're all desensitized and numb...Besides, the focus has changed in punk rock... It's no longer a baby. No more thoughts of "this could change the world". It's more like "this could change me" or "there's nothing I can do so let's just party!" The only people still clinging to the idea of "Anarchy In (insert region)" are nothing but dogmatic bible thumpers with too much time on their hands...

What up with all the cracks you make about the Kinks?

I will go on record and say that I LOVE THE FUCKING KINKS! All the way up to "Destroyer" which is usually way past most people's cut off points. But! If I hear one more band buttfuck "You Really Got Me" or anything by The Sonics I will fucking puke! It's worse than when ska was big. You worked at a record store so you've had the misfortune of seeing the waves of generic clones for every good idea. If people would take more from the music and do something like The Maharajas from Sweden have done it would be way cooler than rehashed bullshit. Anyone can take any genre and mimic it perfectly but the best bands always add something to it or turn it inside out.


How much fast food and convenience store snacks can a body take?

Well, that's a good question. I can eat burgers like it's goin out of style and my dentist can attest to all the candy i've eaten thru the years. I would have to say that 3 rolls of Sweetarts plus a Jolt and two McDonalds double cheeseburgers is probably the max i've eaten in one day without puking. I don't really eat healthy so i'm probably the wrong guy to ask when too much is enough.

What's your ideal "Power Breakfast".

4 to 5 cigarettes, a diet Mountain Dew (can't handle regular pop unless it's fountain and then I still 50/50 it), and a Starbucks "Double Shot" on a weekday. Maybe a sausage, onion, and cheese omelette slathered in enough hot sauce to kill a cat. That usually puts me in shape to face the world. On a weekend, 1 diet Pepsi, 1 cold beer, 4 to 5 smokes, and whatever I can round up food wise. Usually chips or toast or something lame. Usually while listening to something decidedly "un punk". As of late that means The Faces...

Okay Tony, time for some word association...

-Japan

Musical heaven for me. I will go there soon enough. Too bad about thier porn though...

-Mexican Food

Zumba in Royal Oak.

-Cigarettes

I love you. Now if only my love wasn't killing me at $10 a day.

-Matt Coppens

All around good guy. Looking forward to playing with his crappy band Glorified Trash (Ladies, contain yourselves) in beautiful....(bonus part;) Grand Rapids : Shit hole. Makes Detroit seem stable. Nah, we've had bad luck but there's some cool stuff that goes on there.

-Henry Rollins

"He's not gay. He just does a lot of gay things like weightlifting and poetry." - the only good quote to come from Steven Blush.

-Ace Frehley

The only rock n roll part of KISS. Without him whadda ya got? A snake oil salesman, a sissy who sings nothing but love songs, and a coked out guido who thinks he's Otis Redding.

Vodka or Gin?

NEITHER! Last time I drank vodka I got thrown out of my own show and almost got arrested by the Brooklyn PD. Ended the night passed out in front of some bar. This is after my last vodka moments that ended in me passing out on New Years at 10 pm (smashed my head into the toilet) and the time I threw up at the bar and had to be carried out of the Magic Stick by bouncers and driven home by some girl from another state. Did it all on feeling.... ("You're going the wrong way!") Last time I drank gin I was 15 and I threw up on some christian's birthday cake and passed out on their lawn. I only drink beer now and that's about it.

Can you speculate how Bill Bonds would've handled a Bud Dwyer type situation?

Well, if he was covering it he probably would have just called Bud a pussy and offered to kick his ass despite him being dead. You are talking about the city of Detroit in human form after all. The man is hard as nails! He's our version of Bill Brasky.Speaking of Bill... If anyone has any footage of him, especially his post 9/11 "I'll kick your ass, Osama!" rant, send it this way! I'm also looking for the "groin terrorist" rant about AIDS.

Who's a greater American? Hugh Hefner or John Brannon?

Well, i've never hung around Hef but i'm thinking it's Hef. Isn't the American dream to do nothing yet get rich and have fun doing it? The man could literally glide across a floor of silicone tits any day he wants. He does hang out with some tools but those early Playboys up to the 70's had some style to em. Brannon can sing better but he doesn't have 4 or more hot girls that willingly act as a harem for him does he? The ultimate indicator is who would you rather be? I think we know the answer...