by Wendy WWAD
I read that you guys formed in Chicago in the mid-80ís as a
garage punk outfit called Suburban Nightmare. Who were the
Dwarves members from that band? What prompted the move from
Chicago to San Francisco? And how do you think it affected the Dwarves
Julius Seizure, Sgt. Saltpeter, HeWhoCannotBeNamed and Sigh
Moan, with visits from Slambeau and Fudgie. Even
then we had goofy names. We played 60s garage tunes, rockabilly
and some hardcore, just to be contrary. Also, arty stuff and some
moved to San Francisco because we thought it was warm and had good
looking women. Oops!
Who are the current band members?
Blag the Ripper, HeWhoCannotBeNamed, Fresh Prince of Darkness, Clint
Torres, Rex Everything, Gregory Pecker, Chip Fracture, Father Pat
OíPhile. Each one a credit to his name!
Your sound has undergone numerous changes over the years. "Known
for their simple, loud, yet nuanced punk repertoire, and controversial
lyrics", you guys seem to have expanded your sound to include
numerous elements of a variety of musical influences. What do you
attribute this development to?
Iím a fucking genius with a great band and we get bored easily!
I read (http://www.myspace.com/thedwarves)
that The Dwarves Must Die was "hailed as the most eclectic
and bizarre of all Dwarves records". Would you consider
this record a pivotal point in your career?
It was a real high point. It answered the musical question Ė
"Can an old punk band with no management or record label or
support of any kind make a record with every conceivable hard music
genre, including death metal and hip / hop and surf and garage and
noise, and hold onto their nasty edge and pop sensibilities at the
same time.† The answer was Ė yes, if they luck into a top ten producer
and beg a lot.
Who does your album covers? And where did you find the dwarf
and all the hot naked chicks to pose for you?
Michael Lavine took most of the classic cover shots and Jodi
Wille did a great one, too. Nudity is a good thing, unless youíre
Your shows were once notorious for violence (on both the stage
and in the audience), and for their brevity. However, you guys seem
to have longer sets now, and get pissed off less easily. Would you
guys say you have mellowed out? Or the crowds have?
Itís more like they know what to expect, unlike the old days
when we had to fight just to be heard and respected. Shit still
happens though, and just when you think the Dwarves have
mellowed you get a boot to the groin or a guitar to the head just
to prove otherwise!
What label is The Dwarves Are Born Again (2010) on?
GREEDY! Thatís our label, and we distribute through MVD,
but we like to whore around the music industry as much as we
Does anyone really know HeWhoCannotBeNamedís name? And
does he ever take the mask off?
Yes and yes. But you donít want to know and you donít want to
see it. Trust me.
When you issued the "press release stating their guitarist
HeWhoCannotBeNamed had been stabbed to death in Philadelphia"
which turned out to be a hoax, did you have any idea that Sub Pop
would summarily drop you from the label afterwards? Or did you think
they would dig the tactic because it drummed up publicity? Why did
you do it?
It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. This was also
how the Captain of the Titanic explained his little mishap. As for
Sub / Pop, they never dropped us, we made all the records we were
contracted to, and with a label like that you canít really tell
when youíre dropped because they donít do anything when youíre signed
What was the reason for the breakup in the mid 90ís?
We hadnít come to terms with getting old and fat yet.
What do you think contributes to your bandís longevity? How
could you get along with each other, while surviving the ups and
downís of the music industry for so many years?
By ignoring what everyone else said, did or thought. Rockíníroll
is its own reward. Fuck the industry, we play music because its
fun and you can get your cock sucked in middle age.
If the Dwarves had a mission statement, what would it
If you canít be good, be forceful.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 albums would
you take with you?
Iíd take a million old scratchy 7"s and a close and play
What is your definition of success in rock-n-roll?
Is it true that, in 2000, you offered the track "River City
Rapist" to George W. Bush as his campaign song? And did he
The Beatles offered Dick Cheney, "Do You Want
To Know A Secret?"
BLAG, I actually read your book, Armed to the Teeth With Lipstick
(1998) years ago, and was wondering if you had any other literary
gems in the works or out that I just donít know about.
That book was fun and had some great Marc Rude drawings,
but itís pretty surreal. My last book, Nina, stuck
more to the minimalism Iím known for. And teenage sex! A one handed
read, and a must have for any literature buff.
RR: I know you guys are involved in a number of side projects.
What are the main ones you have going on now?
I did a retro duet kind of record called Candy Now which
had a great female vocalist, Angelina Moysov and Tom Ayers
playing pretty much everything else. Iíve been slowly recording
some of my solo acoustic funny guy comedy songs (titles include
Ė "Canít We Just Cuddle and Talk About Feelings?", ĎBitch
I Love You!" and "Anne Frankís Hot!")
Would you like to give a plug for Radio Like You Want It?
Thatís my new radio show with Mike Routhier. We spin all kinds
of punk and garage records, interview notable icons, and talk a
lot of shit. Dirty stories and bad music is our credo. Check us
out at Ė
or on the Punkradiocast.com
What can we hope for / expect from the Dwarves in 2011?
Another classic record, The Dwarves Are Born Again is
due Spring 2011. Then itís more touring of the USA and the entire
world and sleeping with your little sister! Check us out at http://www.thedwarves.com