Dane Erback (Jetsam-Flotsam)
SPB: What is your favorite 1980s artist?
Dane: My wife and I run the label together, but I work with the bands and manage production.
This is an easy question. Oingo Boingo is my favorite ‘80s artist. I was born in the ‘80s and my entire childhood pre-elementary school was in that decade. My parents listened to music all the time, and I remember the Only a Lad cassette lying around a lot. The weird thing about Oingo Boingo is that, when I rediscovered them as a young adult—stole my mom’s copy of Dead Man’s Party on CD—I realized that I recognized so many of their songs already. I guess their musical vibe was ingrained in me as a kid.
Their music is really different. There’s a sort of punk energy, lots of new wave synths, ska and soul rhythms, a beefy horn section, weird time signatures, dancey beats, and smart, political lyrics. Because of this, their music is almost impossible to describe, but there’s also no band or artist that captures their sound. Danny Elfman, the band’s frontman, went on to be a well-respected soundtrack composer, and you can hear his songwriting style in his scores as well—especially in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, and The Nightmare Before Christmas (and plenty of contemporary ones too).