An Interview with Dave Curran from Unsane by Wendy WWAD
WW: You guys just toured with the Melvins, how was that? Any interesting tour stories you can share with us?
WW: Drummer, Vinny Signorelli, was hospitalized when I saw you guys in Austin and Coady (Willis) and Dale (Crover) from the Melvins filled in for him before playing their own set that night. Did Vinnie ever get to play on this tour? If not, I guess the Melvins drummers were in killer shape by tour’s end!
Unsane: Indeed they were! Nothing new for them though. Had we not toured together, Melvins would have played two sets anyway. Vinny was taken to the hospital the day we flew out to Cali to start the tour, so he never got to play. We’re talking about possibly doing another one next year when he’s better.
WW: Wreck, released in March of this year, is the first album since Visqueen in 2007. What were you guys up to during the most recent hiatus?
Unsane: I was doing a lot of touring with the Melvins mixing their live shows. I was also busy with our new online label Coextinction and my other band Pigs doing recordings. Chris was in Berlin for a while touring with his other band Celan and did a movie soundtrack or two with Ari from Celan / Neubauten. Vinny started a hostel in Tulum Mexico and was busy running 2 tattoo shops in NY.
WW: How did you guys hook up with Alternative Tentacles?
Unsane: Jello (Biafra) has been coming to our shows in SF forever. When he heard we were label-less, he came to another one of our shows and made us an offer.
WW: You guys teamed up with producer Andrew Schneider once again on this last album…how was that? You guys have been working with him for a while now, correct?
Unsane: Andrew is good friend, he used to play in Slughog back in the nineties when we played shows together / met. He’s been in NY for about 12 years now and once I heard the work he had done with Keelhaul, it was a no brainer for us to work with him. We’ll probably make many more records with him. He’s also a partner in the Coextinction Label which has us doing a bunch of projects together.
WW: Why makes Wreck unique? Especially in comparison to earlier albums?
WW: How has NYC influenced your sound?
Unsane: We get this a lot… Everyone is a product of their environment I suppose. Chris, on a few records, would go out with a recorder and tape a bunch of different sounds (rarely pleasant) around the city. We’d then incorporate those into certain songs.
WW: Unsane has a huge cult following…what do you attribute this to?
Unsane: Is it our smells? Hard to say… Maybe if you hammer something into peoples heads long enough they give in..
WW:I know you guys have had numerous side projects amongst yourselves (Spencer – Cutthroats 9 / Celan, Curran – J.J. Paradise Players Club, Signorelli – A Storm of Light), are any of those bands still active? Or is Unsane the main priority right now?
WW: What / who first inspired you to pick up an instrument and start playing? What instrument was it?
Unsane: For me it was AC/DC. The first time I heard Highway to Hell, I was done for. Worked mowing lawns and had a paper route until I could afford a guitar. Got one for my 10th birthday (my folks paid for half) and locked myself in my basement until I learned Back in Black beginning to end. I know Chris was heavily influenced by bands like the Stooges and Flipper. Vinny was and still is really into drummers like Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker.
WW: Where does Unsane’s intensity come from?
Unsane: A deep, unrelenting mistrust of mankind… I don’t really know! We like loud.
WW: You guys are known for your graphic cover art. Who designs the album covers, and what inspires the shocking imagery?
Unsane: Chris does all the conceptualization for the record art. The influence comes straight from the love of old gore flicks…Bava, Romero that ilk.
Unsane: Check your ego at the airport, bitch!
WW: What do you like the most about the New York music scene? Dislike? Obviously it has changed quite a bit since you guys started out…
Unsane: It has indeed. Not to dismiss any modern scene happening now, its just not one I’m that into. There is however a small resurgence of good heavy/noisy stuff happening with bands like Crooked Man, Julie Christmas, Goes Cube etc…
Unsane: Chris and I usually get together at my place (or his) and hash out song structures in Pro Tools then go to Vinny’s to work out drum parts. Pretty simple really.
WW: I read that you guys were thinking about starting your own record label at one point. Did that ever come to fruition?
Unsane: Yeah, It’s not a label in the traditional sense. We offer digital Ep’s for download. The studio time is free for the bands. We try to set things up in advance enough so that if a band is on tour and can get a day off in NY, we get them in the studio for the day. We’ve recently been in the process of relocating / rebuilding the studio and should be starting recordings again soon.
WW: So you guys will be touring Europe this summer with Big Business…are you looking forward to it?
WW: How does your reception differ in Europe when compared to America? What are your favorite places to play over there? Here?
Unsane: Our reception is about the same. Our draw is greater in Europe for some reason. I like playing, period. So, who ever wants to have, us we’ll be there.
WW: If Unsane had a mission statement, what would it be?
Unsane: Destroy your enemies and always be kind to animals.
WW: What can we look forward to from Unsane in the future?
WW: Any final words of wisdom for your legions of fans?