Joey Shithead from canadian punkgroup D.O.A. have took a little time to answer some questions from me. They have been around for a very long time and they are really a good band. And the best thing with the band is that they´re still around and that they´re still kicking ass. This interview was done in the beginning of 2005.
It was a while since we last heard something from you, what have happened during this time?
-Not sure when was the last time you heard from DOA, but in a nut shell Live Free or Die is our 11th studio album . We have been touring around most of the world fairly continuously for the last 27 years
I spend a lot of time working on my record label Sudden Death Records , we have 58 releases out www.suddendeath.com
I have run for the Green Party 3 times in provincial and local elections in 1996 and 2000
I wrote an autobiography called "I Shithead, a life in punk"
I put out a solo acoustic album in 1999 called "Beat Trash"
I worked as a talk show host on the radio in 2000-2001
The new CD Live free or die, is there any thought about the name of the CD?
-Yes it is obvious, to preserve your freedom you must "fight" for it, work for it
Also the cover and the title takes aim at the US Patriot Act.
What about Bush winning the election again?
-Well it sucks , but people have to realize the fight doesn't stop with the loss of an election, people have to be activist at a local level, that's how you really change your local world and consequently the "larger" world.
How did you react when the terroristattack was, was it with anger, fear or did you say "What did I say"?
-I always feel a great deal of sorrow for any innocent victims when these things happen. At the same time I am never that surprised by these events, governments and would be terrorists defy logic all the time
Can it happen again, are people afraid of that?
-You must be talking about 911?
Sure it can happen again.
It will probably never happen in this world, I mean peace love and understanding, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to work towards it ( and I mean everybody not just the "usual suspects")
You have some new influences in your music, ska for example, but you still have your own sound in the music, is it important to take your music a little bit further?
-It is allways good to branch out, defy the odds , take on the critics, do what you feel like doing creatively and not give a fuck about what others think you should be doing.
What´s the difference of playing music today if you compare with then you started to play punk back in time?
-Punk was brand new and original, so it was more fun. I play because I love writing and I love playing guitar and singing.
What does the word punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-To me it is state of mind "think for yourself, be your own boss" I don't really care what people do with the whole lifestyle aspect of it.
How would you describe your music in three words?
-Anti-authoritarian, loud and fun!
I have heard a lot of description of your name DOA, what does it mean?
-Dead On Arrival, it what we put on a body (on a toe tag , when they get rushed to the hospital partly alive , but they arrive dead President Kennedy is the most famous example of this
I took the idea from the 1956 Edmund O'Brien movie "D.O.A."
You did a CD with Jello Biafra once, nothing like this on it´s way again?
-No not really, he jumps up on stage once in awhile and sings a song or two with us.
Kill ya later sounds a little like Dead Kennedys, which other bands are you being compared to?
-I think that song is heavier than the Kennedys, I would call it "motorcycle rock"
In the early days we were always compared to The Clash.
Can you understand that reviewers compare you other bands? Or is it only irritating?
-Yes I can , people always need a frame of reference when you are trying to describe something.
Do you care about reviews?
-Well I like them to be really good or really really bad , then it becomes fun , especially when we meet in person the one that wrote the really bad review.
Which is the most peculiar review you ever have got?
-New York Rocker magazine in 1980 when they reviewed our 1st album "Something Better Change" their usual reviews were one column long, this reviewer slagged us for 3 whole columns, calling heavy metal trash with short hair cuts, kind like what Mick Jones of the Clash called us. Now that's good!!!
What is the most peculiar which have happened during your time as a band, in the audience or on stage?
-There are plenty of them(read "I Shithead") but maybe one that sticks out would be about 10 years ago in a little town in BC called Prince George, where a full scale riot went on at our show and the cops turned off the PA and then they turned it back on and asked us to ask everybody to clear the hall, but when they turned the PA on We started playing songs about the cops, then they would turn off the PA , then ask us again to do the announcement, so we would start playing again. We played about 3 half songs in this manner.
Please tell me a little about every member, bands before, age, family, work, interests and something bad about every one?
We are Candian , so of course we all love hockey and play it as well (my favourite technique is elbowing and cross checking!)
We love beer.
We love to work at nothing all day.
Damned Dan is the bass player he comes from Edmonton
The great Baldini is the drummer and he never met a bottle of gin he didn't like! (Gin! Yuck! That's a fucking English drink isn't it!)
How many members have been in the group during all these years?
-Holy fuck ! Maybe 17???
How does your average audience look like?
-It's a real mix, 15 to 50 years old, you know kids to would be bikers.
Which of your own record(except the last one) are you most satisfied with?
-The 1st 3 records
Something better Change
War on 45
are all cool.
Which is your most frequent song and which is the song you always want to play?
-We almost always play "The Prisoner"
I like playing "Woke Up Screaming"
You do Eve of Destruction(a fucking good song) , which other covers do you do?
-Christ there's about a whole album of them
Takin Care o' Business
and so on.
Why a cover?
Because hey are fun and they can mean something special
.What do you know about Sweden, what is typical swedish?
-Let's see, they are good at hockey( not quite as good as Canadians) There are about 7 Swedes on our hometown team The Vancouver Canucks led by Marcus Naslund
Sweden is fairly flat, alcohol is completely over taxed and over priced. Kids get really fucked up before the show starts???
Volvo's are expensive
Turbo Negro are probably the most over rated band of all time
Have you heard any swedish bands worth to mention?
The Bones are cool
Please rank your five favourite records, five favoruite concerts and five most important things in life?
-Never Mind The bollocks
Paranoid Black sabbath
Bo Marley live
Iggy Pop 1st three albums
Bob Dylan 1st three albums
concerts and five most important things in life?
DOA with Noam Chomsky 2004 in Vancouver
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-My mother bought me the 1st record I ever owned, I wanted Alice Cooper and she got me Chicago instead
Never paid more than $20 for a record
Have not bought a record in years.
Most embarrassing record in your collection?
-Not sure , I like lot of stuff,
Which are the futureplans for the band?
I will work on ( kind of at the same time two different solo records , both kind of weird I suppose)
I am working on getting back into political radio broadcasting.
I am working on(at the same time ) 3 different books.
-Just working on working around my house
-Yes please let me know where I can acquire some?
Something more to add?
-Naw that's good , ask more questions if you like
take care Joe Keithley