an interview with the Dwarves & pics from The Kingsland
The Dwarves are the music version of a horror movie franchise; violent, formulaic, ridiculous, surreal, campy, and they just won’t stay dead no matter how many times you watch them die. And just like any popular horror protagonist, they’ve relentlessly bludgeoned their way to a blood-spattered legacy. Their songs are short, fast, happy, and catchier than VD. With the musical hooks of the Heartbreakers, morality of Ted Bundy, and chemical predilection of Keith Richards, they write songs about getting high, having sex, killing people, getting high and having sex, and getting high and having sex and killing people. And they seem to enjoy every second. Nick Oliveri from Queens of the Stone Age has been touring and recording with them for a while again and Saturday night (5/12) their tour hit Greenpoint’s The Kingsland in support of their new record Take Back the Night on Burger Records. Hot Blood from New Jersey is on tour with them (who I shot) and SpEd, Crippled Earn and Night Screams opened (who I missed). Pictures are in the gallery above.
I caught up with singer Blag Dahlia after the show to talk about the new record and Dwarves life in general. Read on for our chat…
How did recording the new record come about?
The great Josh ‘Freebird ‘ Freese called me up saying he’d written a Dwarves song about Rex Everything and Vadge Moore called “Everything & Moore.” He also had a couple instrumentals he thought we’d like. The rest of the Dwarves wrote some punk tunes and I wrote some garage tunes and suddenly we had a record. Burger Records heard it and said wow you guys are the best band ever. And history was made.
How did you guys end up working with Burger?
The Burger guys were introduced to me by Todd from Recess Records. Sick minds think alike. They’ve carved out a really cool niche, it’s rock & roll that’s homemade and warped.
How many different members are on this record?
The Fresh Prince of Darkness, Rex Everything, Josh Raisins Freese, Hunter Down, Andy Now, Blag the Ripper, Sgt. Saltpeter the Doctor of Scatology and of course HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED. Wait, what was the question?
How do you guys split up song-writing?
Everyone in the Dwarves writes songs that’s part of why we’re so much better than all the other punk ass bands.
Why ‘Take Back the Night?’
It was a little too early to call it #MeToo.
Any funny stories you wanna share about recording album or about new songs?
Yeah, I got one. Dexter Holland from the Offspring sings on our last few records. He sings the bridge on the song “Julio” on this record. After the session in Orange county I took him to the airport and he had me drive right out onto the runway. There’s a plane with an anarchy symbol on the tail, turns out he flew his own plane out to the session. It kind of made me reconsider some of my career choices.
Kinda late for that isn’t it? How long have the Dwarves been around now?
It’s been well over 3 decades.
You got another 30 years in you?
We’ll quit when we’re dead!
So next week? When you recorded ‘Lucifer’s Crank’ in 1988 did you think both you and HeWho would still be alive 30 years later?
Fuck no! I’m surprised that neither of us died, but we’re all still respiratory and only kind of brain damaged. But really, how can the elderly get oral sex without rock?
Is Nick gonna be playing with you guys a lot now? When did he first play with you, how did that come about?
He joined us in 1995 during the early stages of ‘Young & Good Looking’ and he’s played on every record since. He sings, writes great songs, the man is a genius and a legend! Rex Everything- Master in the Game!
What did you think when you saw the Dwarves crossed-erection-skull logo tattooed on his arm?
I was proud as a freshly washed child.
Of course. Speaking of children, you’ve released some pretty……uh……graphic songs over the years. Have you ever thought, ‘yeah, maybe we shouldn’t release that?’ or does everything come out?
No way. If we put out everything we talk about in the van they’d string us up on a lamppost and set our corpses on fire.
Any festivals or tours coming up?
How’s your podcast going?
We Got Issues! It’s an advice show I do with NoName Nelson and Heather Haman. Damaged advice from damaged people, send your issues to- email@example.com. We solve all of your problems so you don’t have to!
Nice. I think that should do it. Thanks Blag.
photos by Keith Marlowe