Posted in interviews | metal | music on January 24, 2012

DYS

You may know the name Dave Smalley from one of his bands like Down By Law, All, or Dag Nasty, but one of Smalley's first roles was as frontman for Boston hardcore band DYS. DYS reunited in 2010 and have since created new material for release via Bridge 9, dropping a single per month including their latest track "Unloaded" which makes its streaming debut here and is out TODAY via iTunes. Head to Bridge 9 for the previous two singles, "Wild Card" and "Sound of Our Town" featuring Dicky Barrett of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

We cornered Dave Smalley to ask him a few quick questions regarding DYS, the reunion, and the single-per-month model of releasing the new DYS material. The results, and that song stream, are below.

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DYS - Unloaded by brooklynvegan

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Why resurrect DYS? What did you feel was unsaid in the first run?

Dave Smalley: Well, whatever you do in life, be it music or something else, I think it's important to try to do it for the right reason, and to always do things you love. For DYS, we'd been asked so many times to do reunion shows and it just wasn't the right timing or reason, so we never did it. It had to be something special for us, and for our fans and family.

When our longtime friends Drew Stone and Duane Lucia (co-founder of the legendary Gallery East venue) were making a movie about the Boston hardcore scene ("xxx All Ages xxx"), and asked us to headline a reunion show for their film, it really was an easy choice. The Boston Crew was always about loyalty and DYS played some really special shows at Gallery Eastback in the day. So we said "yes," immediately and figured it out from there.

After the sold-out show, which was planned as a one-off only, we all said, "That was really cool and fun." It still sounded powerful and the message and the music still resonated. People were just incredibly supportive, over 1,000 fans showed up. So, based on our performance, we got asked to do more shows: In NYC and with our pals from the Bosstones in Boston at their annual Throwdown in front of 2,500 kids, then onto Chicago, Baltimore, Philly, Gilman, Sound and Fury, the whole thing just kept growing.

As we played together more and more, Jonathan wrote some lyrics that really moved me, and so I wrote some music for them. Now there's new songs too that I think are really strong.

Long answer, but bottom line is we all are doing it for the love of powerful, heavy music that means a lot to us, and hopefully to our fans too.

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DYS

Why release songs monthly? What about the slow release of these songs attracts you versus dropping a full LP at once?

The music industry has clearly changed in the last 10 years and that's changed how fans want - and consume - their content. The demand for deep, conceptual physical albums has been largely replaced by a desire to get something new, something current, something digital, on a regular basis with a low price of entry. To have an easy, ongoing, dialogue of sorts with bands they like or use the Digital format to discover new artists.

It's been a very long time since DYS was an active band, and so it was important to re-introduce ourselves in the language of today, rather than stick with what we knew or felt comfortable with from past lives.

Monthly singles also give us a chance to stay in the musical conversation over a longer period of time, versus the traditional one-time album drop, and to lower the barrier of introduction for someone who may have never heard of DYS before.

It's also been fun to create so much art, so many images, one for each song, rather than just one album cover.

That said, we do plan to "wrap" all the new music into a collection in both digital and physical formats at the end of the cycle for our most passionate, most excited fans. We've saved a thing or two for that time as well.

Any plans for additional dates or a larger scale tour?

Yeah, it looks pretty good for 2012. We're slated for South By Southwest in March and tacked some other Texas shows onto that run. We're coming back to NYC with another legendary hardcore band and - the biggest 2012 news so far - we'll be headed to Europe in April for 10 days worth of shows, including Groezrock in Belgium. We also want to make up the Youth of Today dates that got cancelled at the end of 2011. Crazy after all these years, but good crazy.

I have to say that doing it for the right reasons, because we love it, and because it's powerful, is a great spark for the live performances. And playing with the current line-up, with Al Pahanish Jr., Franz Stahl and Adam Porris has been unbelievably rewarding, musically. These guys can play. For Real.

As an elder statesman in punk today, who do you look to for inspiration, in punk rock and beyond?

And getting more elder all the time! You know, I have so many sources of inspiration. I'm honestly inspired by seeing good people do good things in life every day. I've always been a big believer in, and inspired by, all of us working men and women doing small things and making the world a better place through determination and effort. There's a lot to be said for the difference we can all make onthe planet just in trying to love our fellow human beings and do the right thing.

I am also inspired by great figures of history overcoming tremendous odds -- George Washington is a huge inspiration to me -- if you were betting on the Americans winning the Revolutionary War in 1776, most people would not have taken that bet in a New York minute. One of my favorite movies is "The Great Escape," based on a true story of British and American POWs in WWII escaping from a German camp. Incredible courage and ingenuity.

And, I'm a huge fan of art, of all stripes. Robert Rauschenberg and Frank Stella and Mark Rothko among many others really have done work that is so amazing and moving.

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DYS

You are asked to write your tombstone... Dave Smalley, father, musician, and writer of "_____". What song or album of any project that you have been involved in would you most like to be remembered for?

That is a really hard question. I have deep love for DYS, Dag Nasty, ALL and Down By Law. I've been really blessed to be in those bands and work with some amazing musicians and friends. I know it sounds like a copout answer, but I genuinely could not pick one over the other. I will say that "Brotherhood," "Can I Say," "Allroy for Prez" and "Punkrockacademyfightsong" are all albums that I'm proud to have been part of. But I also have emotional attachments to other albums by all those groups. But to pick one over the other, I can't do it.

What is the current status of Down by Law? Dag Nasty?

Down By Law is getting very active again and it's great. In 2011, we played Punk Rock Bowling, then we played Riot Fest, and now we just signed with DC Jam Records.

There will be a new album out in late spring, and we will tour behind it.

Sam is an amazing songwriter and guitarist, and one of my closest friends, so I'm really excited to have DBL back on the road and in the studio.

I'm a lucky person to have him as a cornerstone of DBL, and Jonathan as a cornerstone of DYS -- two of my best friends in the world and both amazing human beings and musicians.

Nothing at the moment with Dag Nasty, unfortunately. I would like to do something. We'll keep you posted for sure if there is anything coming up.

Many thanks and much peace.

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Thanks Dave.

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Comments (71)

man, I wish Dag Nasty would get back together; probably never going to happen. At this point, I'd be more excited for a Swiz show.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 11:51 AM

The sound of Boston returns! These guys have balls of steel to brave a new world of Internet haters and hardcore purists. For me, anyone who tackles the world of music today is a hero. The new tracks are current as Hell for a band who last recorded in the 1980s. Who else from that era can you say that about? Or even dares anything new?

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 12:13 PM

I wonder if Brian Baker will do a Junkyard reunion soon..they rocked!!

Posted by J | January 24, 2012 12:18 PM

If this song doesn't want to make you run through a wall, you got problems.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPJGqI4tXYY

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 12:30 PM

ugh. love DYS and dag nasty and all but dave smalley is a conservative, GW bush loving idiot. the new stuff is as bad as that agnostic front "for my family" crap. cash grab'd. this shit is corny as hell. feel free to call me a hater though. ;)

Posted by Ronnie Threeballs | January 24, 2012 12:32 PM

12:32 -true. This is rehashed Down By Law. And, John Anastas is quite the tool.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 12:34 PM

@ 12:30..fuck yes. sadly though, dave smalley has become the type of guy that says this (from his wiki page):

To illustrate his views on affirmative action, he uses a musical analogy: "The Beatles were four white men. Should they have had to hire 'someone of colour' to fill a quota?"

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 12:39 PM

B-O-S-T-O-N B-O-S-T-O-N

FOR MY FAMILY FOR MY FRIENDS-- oh wait different song... It was an honest mistake I suppose.

Posted by Lucas | January 24, 2012 12:50 PM

Remember that All song about eating tacos? That was awesome!

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 1:31 PM

"Oh no, he's a conservative! He's against affirmative action! His personal beliefs will somehow take away from me enjoying the music!" Just listen to the songs and enjoy the fucking music you cocksuckers!

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 2:13 PM

Why is everyone from Boston such a douchebag?

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 2:30 PM

lol 2:13 i bet you are wearing one of those stupid fucking pork pie/fedora hats right now (like the guy in the band pic)! i also bet you're a fatbald with a goatee.

i love DYS but this shit sucks and smalley is a fucking ass clown who should stick to journalism and spouting his bullshit on conservativepunk.com or whatever the fuck.

hate on brothers.

Posted by Rawnie James Deeyo | January 24, 2012 2:36 PM

To illustrate his views on affirmative action, he uses a musical analogy: "The Beatles were four white men. Should they have had to hire 'someone of colour' to fill a quota?"

They did, his name was Billy Preston.

Smalley is still a chump.

Posted by junco | January 24, 2012 2:46 PM

Smalley sucks and DYS were the most overrated Boston hardcore band. Compared to the Negative FX record, The Kids Will Have Their Say, Is This My World? or just about anything else from that era in Boston it sounds like shitty, dumb slop.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 2:52 PM

trade in your DYS records for the NEGATIVE FX self titled LP.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 3:21 PM

"Why is everyone from Boston such a douchebag?"


They only seem like douchebags because of attitudes from other people that are like this one.

And this is coming from a New Yorker. Crazy, huh?

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 3:56 PM

Boston and LA are the cities of douchebags. NYC is not far behind

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 4:13 PM

More proof that the music elite is made of of sheep who follow the flock of PC views and fringe music. Who fucking cares what Smalley did or did not say. Get out of your over educated and under employed heads and try to just feel something. If you're trying as hard as you can, and can't see the light at the end of the tunnel but you just won't quit, this song is for you. If you're a working man, not an Red Hook hipster and you just want to sing along to a band, this song is for you. Working music from a working city.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 4:35 PM

In the words of Choke: "Fuck New York"

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 4:36 PM

All you haters are the kind of pussies who hide in the back of hardcore shows in your eye make-up and think you're cool because you hit on my girlfriend when I'm tearing it up on the floor. These guys were louder than the PA when they played in NYC and had more power than most HC bands of teens.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 4:39 PM

Emo

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 6:14 PM

DYS street team IN EFFECT.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 7:01 PM

"Waaaaaaaaaa, DYS Doesn't sound like "Brotherhood" anymore, waaaaaa," Christ! Maybe they are not 14 anymore.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 7:05 PM

Ripping off Dropkick Murphys and sounding like a fourth-rate "street punk" band is not an acceptible substitute

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 7:22 PM

Wow, these guys are really heavy, and tough, and new, and... no, wait, they sound like The Ducky Boys.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 7:23 PM

Maybe if I pump this band thru comments on the internet Jon Anastas will come over and kiss me!

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 7:24 PM

I'm reliving my high school years through the new DYS record. Aren't I tough?

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 7:25 PM

Yeah, man, this is a working man's band. Like, sing along, man. Work, and stuff. I need some tattooed old white guys to remind me about work, and stuff. Hey, isn't Jon Anastas a millionaire CEO for Disney now? Something like that, man. Yeah, a real "can't see the light at the end of the tunnel" type guy.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 7:29 PM

The way these guys just stand there with their hands on their arms, showing their tats, they look cool, man. It's cool. I'm glad they let the guy from Mythbusters stand right there in the middle with them. That's cool.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 7:30 PM

"Jonathan Anastas is a Los Angeles-based marketing & advertising executive, holding executive positions at Mullen, Saatchi & Saatchi, Omnicom's Think New Ideas and Tribal DDB holding Red Urban, where he was president. Additionally, Jonathan ran marketing at Atari, the legendary video game publisher. He is now an executive at Activision." Yeah, man, STREET PUNK. Wrap that tape around you knuckles, this guy's a brawler in a three-piece! DON'T FORGET THE STRUGGLE, DON'T FORGET THE STREETS.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 7:34 PM

You can tell from their tattoos and the way they stand that these guys aren't faggots. We don't want any faggots around here, we're from BOSTON. NO QUEERS WEARING EYE MAKE UP HITTIN' ON MY GIRLFRIEND BELONG IN THE PIT WITH DYS, MOTHERFUCKER

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 7:37 PM

I saw Down By Law at Riotfest in Chicago this year. They rocked. Dave Smalley killed in that show. I would go anywhere to see them again in a heartbeat. And standing by for a Dag Nasty reunion.

Posted by cande | January 24, 2012 7:53 PM

Wow, I can search the Interwebs and see what everyone's day job is. I'd like DYS a lot more if they washed dishes for a living in a Brooklyn bar.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 8:17 PM

Wolfpack! Brotherhood! True Till Death. Got your back DYS.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 8:18 PM

Down By Law was the only show I filmed where a member of the bands crew made me stop taping. punk rock!

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 8:22 PM

DMS vs Boston. The video game from Activision.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 8:24 PM

I saw DYS play in SF and they gave away all the rest of their merch at the end of the night, stayed and hung out, talked to people. Totally down with the fans.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 8:33 PM

We don't care what you do, 'cause we are the Boston Crew! Fucking Trolls.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 8:42 PM

Real working man's music from Boston, yup. That's why Jon Anastas is a marketing executive who lives in L.A.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 8:55 PM

I just bought all the new singles. Franz Stahl is the shit!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 8:56 PM

@Ronnie Threeballs: You HAVE balls for using your real name here and not hiding. Haters hide, men stand by their word. I don't agree with you, but you have my respect. The rest of you w/o names, just white noise...

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 8:58 PM

"I may be unloaded, I just might be spent, but I can not be broken, my values remain unbent."

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 9:07 PM

Yeah, like anyone needs respect from you Boston assclowns. Go fuck yourself and your shitty fucking band, tough guy.

Posted by Dave | January 24, 2012 9:09 PM

Do they ever play songs off the second album live, That was a good album.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 9:56 PM

Wow! Me like art too! Dave you are smart art liker:

"And, I'm a huge fan of art, of all stripes. Robert Rauschenberg and Frank Stella and Mark Rothko among many others…"

Delve deep into art world.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 9:58 PM

Did Dave recruit a new line up of Down By Law? Why keep the name DYS? Or are those his initials?

Hmm…

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 10:46 PM

Dave Smalley has bled, given years and given more passion to punk rock than 99% of the singers out there. For the love, not the profit. Who cares if you like the new music or not, but why the personal take-downs? Seems really really small to me.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 11:12 PM

DYS was very credible at Sound and Fury. New guys seem cool.

Posted by Anonymous | January 24, 2012 11:13 PM

DYS rocked at Sound and Fury. Dave Smalley radiated energy and their lead guitarist was on fire.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2012 12:28 AM

In the two recent DYS shows I saw,the music was real, authentic. They didn't rest on their laurels from back in the day, they weren't above working hard to give a great show.

Posted by anonymous | January 25, 2012 12:41 AM

This is why Boston is better than NYC.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2012 9:26 AM

"DYS rocked at Sound and Fury. Dave Smalley radiated energy and their lead guitarist was on fire." "In the two recent DYS shows I saw, the music was real, authentic. They didn't rest on their laurels from back in the day, they weren't above working hard to give a great show." etc etc blah blah blah

Would be nice if there were some pro-DYS comments here that sounded like they were written by a REAL PERSON, and not a spam robot.

Posted by Dave | January 25, 2012 10:05 AM

That was not a laurel on Dave's head. Just a bad dye job.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2012 10:26 AM

When did this guy become a media analysist? Just release an album. People still buy them if they're good enough.

Posted by Petter | January 25, 2012 10:53 AM

Two guys who actually were in DYS, then one guy who's about the same age from Scream, and two totally new guys.... oh yeah, and they sound nothing like any other era (HC or metal) of DYS.

So why not just play under a new name, except then that wouldn't generate the cash and the interest like calling themselves DYS would. Total fake.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2012 11:23 AM

Overthink! Over-analysis. If the song is good, it's good; if it's sucks, it sucks. Who cares what they do for a living, who cares what their politics are, who cares about marketing. Music is for your gut, not your head and DYS speaks to my gut.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2012 11:50 AM

Hey Petter, uh, you look at album sales? Album sales are down 60% in the last 10 years, Digital sales are up 500%+. People - actually - don't buy full albums in any real numbers anymore. Top selling vinyl title last year? 26,000 units. Whoo Hoo. You know that thing you're typing on? It's a computer and it's hooked up to the Internet. Yeah, ALL music is 50% worse than in 2000 (a real high point for quality wasn't it?). Just put out a "good enough" record and it's like that Damn Internet never happened. Yeah, DYS could be just like all the other reformed Hardcore bands and play the old stuff our keep putting out CDs that collect dust. What you hear? It's called today.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2012 11:55 AM

holy shit 4:35 and 4:39 cannot be real!

@ 4:35..if BV is the music elite i might just fucking kill myself!

@ 4:39...tearing it up on the floor? gimme a fucking break. and besides, i stopped wearing eyeliner years ago. i wouldnt be caught dead with eyeliner on at the atreyu/every time i cry show this weekend. like totally maaaaan. 8=====D~~~~~~~~~

DYS USED TO BE GREAT...they are a 3rd rate street punk, dropkick burpys wanna be band now in it for the cash grab. use your brain guys.

Posted by Johnny Two Tone From Bahston | January 25, 2012 1:33 PM

The hummus is Boston is decent. It's not all that special, but a good "working man" blend that gives decent energy.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2012 1:33 PM

lol 1:33. working man's hummus! oi oi oi! boston is a hummus town. there is an infamous gang there called FHU, they have a dvd out called hummus beatdown. we dont talk about FHU though they will steal yo hummus.

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2012 2:56 PM

How much of a loser do you have to be to be that "into" DYS in 2012? I mean, seriously

Posted by Tommy TwoBits | January 25, 2012 3:45 PM

How much of a loser do you have to be to Troll the Internet and shit on someone else's creative expression?

Posted by Boston Beatdown | January 25, 2012 4:30 PM

Rumor is DYS is hitting the road to play the new songs in March!!! DOWN!!!

Posted by Anonymous | January 25, 2012 9:02 PM

BRING THE ROCK!!!!! THE DEAL DEAL HERE!!!

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2012 12:05 PM

Just bought Unloaded. Sounds like Nag Nasty with heavier guitars which ain't a bad thing at all.

Posted by Anonymous | January 26, 2012 2:35 PM

the guy is wearing a venom shirt
venom shirt
venom shirt
venom shirt
venom shirt
venom shirt
venom shirt
venom shirt

Posted by Venom shirt | January 26, 2012 11:25 PM

DYS IS AT WAR WITH SATAN

Posted by Anonymous | January 27, 2012 5:37 PM

DYS and Boston Hardcore fucking rule!

Posted by Anonymous | January 28, 2012 12:58 PM

I may be Unloaded... Rock, ROCK, ROCKSSSSS!!!!!

Posted by ShammyBoyBoston | January 29, 2012 7:47 PM

DYS is playing SXSW, the Shirts for a Cure showcase. Yeah, they are such yuppie assholes that they did a shirt and a show for a charity for free.

Posted by Anonymous | January 31, 2012 10:10 PM

I agree it does rock

Posted by jordon | August 7, 2013 2:37 PM

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