We're proud to introduce a new series here at Scene Point Blank: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook or twitter and we'll post one interview every Monday-Thursday. Well, okay, in our premiere week last week it was Tuesday-Friday, but we're still getting the hang of things.
Each week we'll post a wrap-up here at the site. Check out our quickie Q&As below with Frank Turner, Jello Biafra, Lauren Denitzio, and Blag Dahlia.
SPB: How old were you when you first picked up an instrument?
Turner: The first instrument I came across I couldn't pick up - it was my mum's piano, which had been her 21st birthday present from her folks when she was younger. It was in the corner of the living room and I used to mess around with it from a pretty early age. My parents actually got me piano lessons when I was about 8 but I hated them and never practiced because I didn't like the music they were making me play. Just as I quit that I got my hands on a guitar. It was a Les Paul gold top actually that a rich kid I knew had been given for his birthday, but he never played it because he wasn't interested. I found it in a cupboard at school and asked if I could play it and he said sure, fine. So for a little while I used to hammer away with that thing and try to figure out chords. So I suppose that was the first time I actually picked an instrument up, as far as I can remember.
SPB: What do you think of bands playing albums in their entirety as a touring concept? Is it a way to reinvigorate the album format?
Biafra: It's a way for someone as versatile as the Melvins to keep playing their hottest towns several times a year, and never play the same set twice.
Blag Dahlia (Dwarves)
SPB: How do you choose your album art?
Dahlia: Well, SPB, I could say that we didn’t choose the art, it choose us. Then again, that would be bullshit.
Our most famous cover is still the Blood, Guts & Pussy LP. The idea was mine, a direct parody of the Samhain ‘Initium’ cover. The iconic shot was taken by NY photographer Michael Lavine, before he began his current quest to get every conceivable angle on Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus. The late Chris Wetzel procured the models, Anthony Sarnacola did the makeup and I just drooled and smoked weed while history was made. It started as 13 naked girls, but most of them dropped out, especially when they saw the Dwarf himself, the great Bobby Faust, still going strong at age 83.
Although we were routinely accused of misogyny, the cover is a classic because it isn’t misogynistic at all. Quite the contrary, the hapless Dwarf is small and insignificant next to the strong Amazonian girls. Sure they are covered in blood, but you know it’s somebody else’s blood and that makes all the difference. Simply put, if you don’t like this cover, you don’t deserve this cover, and I hope you die soon.
Lavine went on to shoot more classics for us over the next 2 decades including The Dwarves Come Clean, The Dwarves Must Die and The Dwarves Are Born Again. My suggestion to budding rockers is to find a great photographer and stick with him (or in our case, her.) They’re easier to find than drummers, and far more tolerable!
Lauren Denitzio (The Measure [SA], The Worriers)
SPB: What was your first tape (or cd or record)?
Denitzio: The first cassette I ever bought was Gin Blossoms "New Miserable Experience" in 1993. I was nine years old and ordered it from that Columbia House mailorder catalog. Hey Jealousy was my first favorite song, and I still think that band is amazing. A year later Green Day released Dookie, which I still only have on cassette, and that's how I started listening to punk.