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Dwarves
by Wendy WWAD

RR: 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 musically?

BLAG: 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 Frank Zappa.

We moved to San Francisco because we thought it was warm and had good looking women. Oops!

RR: Who are the current band members?

BLAG: 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!

RR: 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?

BLAG: Iím a fucking genius with a great band and we get bored easily!

RR: 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?

BLAG: 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.

RR: Who does your album covers? And where did you find the dwarf and all the hot naked chicks to pose for you?

BLAG: Michael Lavine took most of the classic cover shots and Jodi Wille did a great one, too. Nudity is a good thing, unless youíre a hippy.

RR: 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?

BLAG: 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!

RR: What label is The Dwarves Are Born Again (2010) on?

BLAG: GREEDY! Thatís our label, and we distribute through MVD, but we like to whore around the music industry as much as we can!

RR: Does anyone really know HeWhoCannotBeNamedís name? And does he ever take the mask off?

BLAG: Yes and yes. But you donít want to know and you donít want to see it. Trust me.

RR: 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?

BLAG: 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 either.

RR: What was the reason for the breakup in the mid 90ís?

BLAG: We hadnít come to terms with getting old and fat yet.

RR: 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?

BLAG: 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.

RR: If the Dwarves had a mission statement, what would it be?

BLAG: If you canít be good, be forceful.

RR: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 albums would you take with you?

BLAG: Iíd take a million old scratchy 7"s and a close and play phonograph.

RR: What is your definition of success in rock-n-roll?

BLAG: Failure.

RR: Is it true that, in 2000, you offered the track "River City Rapist" to George W. Bush as his campaign song? And did he accept? haha

BLAG: The Beatles offered Dick Cheney, "Do You Want To Know A Secret?"

RR: 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.

BLAG: 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?

BLAG: 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!")

RR: Would you like to give a plug for Radio Like You Want It?

BLAG: 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

Radiolikeyouwant.com or on the Punkradiocast.com

RR: What can we hope for / expect from the Dwarves in 2011?

BLAG: 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

Hail!

BLAG!

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