No Cause for Concern? Issue #6 | December 1982 | Page 12 | D.O.A. interview
[click here for the show review]
Left to right: Dimwit, Brian, Dave and Joey
[Photo by Bev Davies]
Interviewed by Janine Frenken, Colleen Howe and Sheila Boyd, on October 19th, 1982.
JF: How long have you been together?
JOEY: As of the present D.O.A.'s been this way for about four months or something like that but the actual band D.O.A. has been going for four and a half years with numerous different people playing all sorts of different things.
JF: How many of the originals are left?
JOEY: One, me.
DIMWIT: Well, before D.O.A. actually started, me Joey and Wimpy were in a band called the SKULLS which was the second so-called punk band that ever started up in Vancouver. It's sort of a different lineup but it's actually more of an original lineup because a lot of the basis of the sound that D.O.A. [had], was created when we were playing together as the SKULLS.
JOEY: Basically the sort of early sound of Vancouver punk was sort of established by the sound of the Skulls then the Skulls broke up and they evolved and VICTORIAN PORK started and D.O.A. started and Victorian Pork sort of split. The STIFFS started and the SUBHUMANS went so pretty well everybody you talked to in the original scene in Vancouver have all played in numerous different bands. Myself, I've played in two and Dimwit's played in the POINTED STICKS, VICTORIAN PORK, SUBHUMANS, D.O.A., and the SKULLS so that makes five. So he's got five credits going for him. I've only got two but that's okay because I've got longevity going for me but I don't know if that counts worth shit.
SB: In the spring you're planning on going to Italy?
JOEY: Italy, Germany, England and it would be nice if we could got to France and Holland. And I'd like to go to Scandinavia 'cause we've been getting tons of letters from Finland and Sweden. We've got one e.p. out in England and it's done fairly well called "Positively D.O.A." and the new record that we have coming out here is basically the same as the one we have coming out there except for a couple of new cuts taken off and a couple of older one on it like "Rich Bitch". And we're trying a combination album of the first two D.O.A. albums and get released over there. Hopefully Alternative Tentacles will be able to get it around the continent as much as possible. Basically, we'll have to go where there's a demand, right? You can't just say "we want to go to Berlin" and then get like one guy at the gig. Actually, we should get more than that. It should be interesting.
CH: Do you feel you are influencing enough people to keep going and keep making music?
JOEY: I suppose, like I mean basically with the changes that have happened with the band in the last year we haven't done too much. The last record we did was in April, May '81. We just sort of got ourselves fucked up and then changed people in the band and we haven't been doing too much. We're re-introducing ourselves 'cause we've got a line-up that we feel is really strong, everybody's solid most of the time. Not too erratic personalities, like people quitting on stage or fighting on stage. We had a lot of problems with that before. In Toronto one time Chuck started throwing drumsticks at Randy and Randy turned around and smacked him over the head with his bass. Then they waked off stage and me and Dave were stuck there looking stupid. So the first step is re-introducing ourselves and the next step is the new record we are working on called "War on 45". We're trying to do different stuff on it. We're doing some in the vane of the early style and we've got one sort of pseudo-funk tune and one pseudo-reggae tune. The second side starts off with "War" which is pretty self-evident, basically the horrors of war. The next song, "I Hate You", deals with war within your head when everything gets so pent up and you feel so frustrated that you can't do anything and you start hating yourself and everything around you. The next song, "War in the East" has a milder approach, that's the reggae one. Three of the songs on that side are covers but we've adapted the lyrics. The last song on that side is called "Class War" which is an old DILS tune. The other side is all original including a version of "Let's Fuck". That's in English, French, German and Italian although some of the people speaking those languages we played it for couldn't quite interpret my garbled pronunciation. Another song is "Liar for Hire" which I wrote with Randy, our old bass player.
JF: Who wrote the lyrics for this new stuff?
JOEY: Well, three of the songs are covers. The other songs, I've written them all. Actually, all the people in the band write songs like Dimwit's written lots of good songs and Wimpy, who now calls himself Brian -- sort of got sick of Wimpy -- he's written lots of great songs for the Subhumans and Dave contributes of lots of great songs all the time but these songs were written just before we formed this lineup and we went down to California and toured and then recorded for five days straight. From six o'clock at night until six in the morning then we had to go back to this stinking hot apartment then try and sleep for four hours and then go back the next day and do the record. But the record's got good sound quality. This Thom Wilson guy we got to do it has worked on stuff like the T.S.O.L. album, Adolescents album, the new D.K.s album so he's got good ideas and a lot of experience so this is actually the best sounding D.O.A. record.
[at this point Joey gets into an involved answer to a question asked by Dedier of "Voyeur" until finally:]
JOEY: Anyway, let's talk about something a little bit more fun, we're getting a little too serious here.
JF: Okay, why did you guys sing "Singing in the Rain"?
DAVE: It wasn't my idea.
DIMWIT: Obviously not. No good ideas spring out of the head of Dave Greg.
JOEY: Well, there's this really funny band, actually a really awful band--
DIMWIT: What did you call us?
JOEY: I said really... awesome. Awesome, that was the word. Called "RUDE NORTON" and Dimwit plays guitar and sings and Wimpy plays bass and sings and both these guys have incredible imaginations for thinking up weird cover songs. [speaking to Dave] Name some.
DAVE: "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime", "Green Beret", "Gilligan's Island"...
JOEY: We're using RUDE NORTON as a testing ground for new D.O.A. covers.
WIMPY: I think "Singing in th Rain" is going to be a big hit. We got to get it on vinyl before somebody else does.
DIMWIT: Actually, probably the only worthwhile thing in the whole rock music since 1977 has been RUDE NORTON. We are the band that has re-discovered rock and roll.
DAVE: At any rate, "Singing in the Rain" has so much potential because if you figure there's all these skinheads that worship the Clockwork Orange type thing. So they see the movie then they hear you play "Singing in the Rain" then they go out and boot over tables and so on.
JOEY: No, that would sort of be poor if that was the only reason to sing it. It's also a joyous song. [sings] "Singing in the rain/What a wonderful feeling/I'm happy again." It's the things that are important in peoples lives. Being happy, being in love and stuff like that.
WIMPY: Lighthearted humour.
DIMWIT: Absolutely stunning melody. Then again, "Green Beret", my God...
JOEY: Well, we sort of turned that one into a joke. "Back at home a pretty wife waits/Her green beret has met his fate/He has died for those oppressed/Leaving her this last request" then the guy changes to "Silicone tits on my son's chest/Dress him up in a pretty pink dress/He'll be a man but he won't confess 'til you get him home and get him undressed". It just sort of shatters the whole patriotic theme of it.
SB: Do you guys still have sideline bands?
JOEY: Not me but these guys jam all the time.
DAVE: When we're broke, we put together weekend bands to get money at the Smilin' Buddha. The big scam is to organize a gig just after welfare day when everybody's got money. Then we rake in big bucks at the Smilin' Buddha.
JOEY: Well, the Friday night always works very well but it tapers off on the Saturday.
DIMWIT: When everybody comes down and hears just how horrible these bands are.
JOEY: For once I'd like to see something good at the Smilin' Buddha. Again it's the same old shit: pa's not working, people are playing out of tune and unrehearsed, drunk out of their minds...
[At this point the conversation digresses and the interview ceases to be an interview.]