Dean Clean: We've been together as a band for about three years.
I joined two years ago in July and Dave and Joe and Rodney were together making
noise for at least a year before that.
Dave Blood: I was learning to play my instrument. Joe was teaching
me how to write songs. Joe is pretty much a tunesmith already. We learned together
to play our instruments. What's neat is that me and Joe learned with each other
so that's why we mesh so well. It's helped the song writing in the band.
Dean: And we know our limitations.
Dave: Yes, Now Dean even has written music and started writing
words. I've written lyrics, but I generally try not to. I get a chance to write a lot
of the music, so life's best when everyone contributes.
Dean: I was in cover bands....And one band that was sorta like
Method Actors. We played good shows, with pretty decent bands like Polyrock and
Human Switchboard. It just never went anywhere.
Dave: Hell, this is the first time, I ever played an instrument.
Dean: Rodney, the singer, sort of jumped around until he found
his place. He tried drums before I was in the band.
Dave: Rodney is great. He'll jump into things. He'll go out and buy
a drum set. To bad is he can't play it. He has a harmonica now which he's done alright with.
Dean: He's found his spot, he's a good front person. He can work a crowd.
Dave: None of us in the band could do what he does.
Dean: Rodney sings, the guitar player sings. Dave and I shout.
Dean: I have a real drastic fear of singing on stage.
We all help out on the album, Its hard to sing and play drums at the same time.
Dave: I'd end up singing the bass line. It would sound pretty
Dean: Rodney, writes most of the lyrics.
Dave: We used to play parties.
Dean: We played parties and didn't get paid too much, I guess the first
date we played in Philly was at the East Side Club, on like a Monday night in December,
And it was really bad.
Dave: 43 bucks
Dean: We played with this band called 5cent Rooms from San Franciso,
whom I never even hear of since.
Dave: I thought personally they were ------ band and they probably
thought we weren't very good either. It was on the Immaculate Conception,
December 8. You know, the birth... and all that. We also played an outdoor festival.
This guy said we could play to a lot of people, but he could not pay us except in food
and beer. So first, of all we get there, and he didn't know the name of the band, right.
So he comes up to us while we're setting our stuff up and goes, "So you guys play any swing
music?" I go, "Well, not really," And he goes, "Your not a punk rock band or anything?"
No, no. So we do this crude sound check and across the street some important looking dude
with sunglasses comes walking over- "You guys can't do this, we have a halfway house across
the street. We have some mental patients there and you really upsetting them, okay. I'm going to
call the cops. So the cops come but we had a permit for live music. So this guy who hired
us now wants us to turn up our music because he hates this other guy so much. So we played.
Dean: For five hours.
Dave: We had a lot of songs already.
Dean: About 60 or 70 songs altoghter.
Dave: A lady in a wheelchair rolled up. One of the songs we do is called "Ask Me to Dance"
and its about a girl who has one leg and no one will ask her to dance. So this lady is really
getting into this song. She goes,"I really like you boys, you write such nice songs," Yeah we were
doin' tunes like "Abort This Baby" with all these little kids dancin' around to it. Whooo!
Dean: After that gig we practiced every week. Got our equipment together
and literally just practiced when we could find the space.
Dave: So we recorded every practice and put the best on tape called
"Death Rides a Pale Cow." We decided to send that out to a few fanzines and started selling
it locally. It got reviewed in Maximum R'n'R and we started getting volumes of mail.
And then in the spring of '83, what really kicked us off was playing a radio show on
WXPN live. Apparently a lot of folks taped it. We also made a tape of that and sold it-
well sell anything.
Dave: See, we're not an Anarchy band, we're a Capitalist band.
We love the American system. So finally the East Side booked us again, a great show, it was
with on July 3rd with McRad and everyone has the 4th off so it was the biggest packed house
I've ever seen. We made good money that night and got good exposure. A lot of people liked us.
A week later we played a hardcore show with JFA. So we started playing and the audience
scared the living shit out of us. They knew all our songs. They knew all the words!
We were picking up a following. Unbelievable, real fast.
Dave: We recored in December, we did about seven songs. It's not real
produced. We went in and played like we do live. We wanted the record to sound....
Dean: To sound like we were. We recorded seven songs and then the guy
backing us lost his money. He wrecked his car...It just fell through.
Dave: So I went to visit a friend in Chicago and he knew this band there
called Get Smart. I met Frank Loose and asked him about his label, Fever Records.
Turns out the label is now in Philadelphia. And Fever liked us and told us to record 15 more
minutes for an LP. So we had to do ten more songs (ha,ha). It took another two weeks,
although we recorded those ten songs in five hours.
Dean: This sorta got a lot of old songs out of our systems. The next may
have a few old tunes, too.
Dave: Then the record was delayed. Dean spent a whole week of all nighters
getting the cover done because Enigma need it by a certain date. So we busted our asses. And then
it turned out to be one delay after another.
Dean: The thing about our band is that musical influences are so
varied. We like a lot of different stuff.
Dave: Jonathan Richman.
Dean: Our music is humorous.
Dave: That's how we are, our music is pretty much a representation
of us personally. We're always having FUN. We like to make crank phone calls for example.
Dean: Oh, don't start.
Dave: One of my favorite things to listen to is blues-Albert Collins.
I listen to a lot of classical music and sometimes I don't listen to rock music at all.
I just listen to other stuff. Dean listens to stuff completely different to what I listen to.
Me and Joe are both Beatles freaks. Rodney likes music, but I'm not sure what exactly.
He listens to a lot of hardcore, but when you start talking about music with him it's like,
"Blues, that all sounds the same," or like jazz."
"I used to listen, but I don't like it no more."
Dean: We do covers. We do "Heard It Through the Grapevine."
Dave: It's got a new part in it.
Dean: We do "What Am I doin' Hanging Around?" by the Monkees.
Dean: We do "Ex-Lion Tamer" by Wire.
Dave: Better than Wire. We used to do "Hanky Panky."
Dean: "Rainy Day Women."
Dave: Bob Dylan! "Tombstone Blues." When we do a cover it's not
like we do the original. We make it our own song.
Dean: This is a classic question. We make up a different story everytime.
At the time they formed the band, it seemed like the punk thing to do, to have Dead in your
name..Dead Kennedys, Dead Boys. Rodney makes up whatever, but I think Joe is the one
who thought of the name. Whats the other name you were also thinking of using?
Dave: Husker Du. I'm not kidding.