"BEYOND WORDS" and "MY-T.V."
By Ginger Coyote
enough to be able to get Douglas Proulx to sit down and
answer a few questions.. Douglas is not only one Vancouver
most respected Drummers. He also is the Producer and Host of the
Television Show "BEYOND WORDS" that airs on Canadian
Channel and Bravo....I personally was surprised to find out
Douglas' background.. He Rawks! I hope you enjoy the
interview as much
as I do
Douglas Proux In Action
So Douglas - Can you give the readers some background information about
how long you have been beating the skins?
Beating the.... um.. well that's a little private...Oh Drums! Well they
weren't "skins" per se, but like my heroes (Bonham, Moon, Mitchell,
Baker) I was playing on pots and pans, boxes, and what have you,
around the house. . . my mother would dole me some chores, and
a reward would let me shut the
doors of our living room and (try to) play along to Iron Butterfly's
"Innagaddadavida" The 16 minute drum solo! I was just 4. Led Zep, the
Rolling Stones, Cream, were faves as well, and I was all over it at a
stupidly young age!
very first actual kit I played on was Mickey Hart's
(Grateful Dead) in
San Fran when I was about 6. I broke a tom tom skin! My mom was a huge
hippie sort and knew alot of the "OG's" of that genre. Vancouver was a
kind of mecca for the "natural" type. I was playing Angel
covers in clubs when I was 15 or so. That was in Nanaimo on Vancouver
was always into DEVO and Blondie, so when I heard the Dead Kennedy's
and especially Bad Brains, and Black Flag I was out of the gig
overnight. I heard my calling and stuck my nose up the arse of the
Vancouver punk scene. I was touring in Death Sentence after a strange
turn of events, and had only 5 practices. From hey, what's my "punk
name" to Olympic Auditorium with D.O.A., and three thousand kids! The
San Luis Obispo (sic?) riots! Fuckin' EH rights! Playing with Bad
Brains changed my life. I will never forget Long Beach. I got into the
early hip hop too, as it was sick! Eric B. and Rakim, EPMD, NWA. That
was severe shit, and against all the grain! We need something to shake
it up again. And no doubt, it'll happen. (Too bad a band of the same
name did tho!)
Tell us about some the bands that you have played with?
Gosh. Too frickin' many! I guess the "punky" one would be
Sentence, but I have jammed with some pretty massive artists. I am
re-releasing Death Sentence's "classic," NOT A PRETTY SIGHT, on Disc
worldwide through a major American distributor by June.
jammed a little with Zander from the Circle Jerks, Norwood from
Fishbone, very briefly tho. I moved down to L.A. from SF with a buddy
named JK, who grew up with the Chili Peppers and that scene, so I was
meeting some pretty cool punters. There has been some killer
Belter, Mr. Pink, Slye, Kim Bingham/Mudgirl, and a hell of alot of
session work. The Excessives are quite bluntly the best hardcore band
ever. The end.
was good for just jamming. I hooked up with Adam and Maynard (Tool)
maybe like 6 times before I had to split L.A. because work was scarce.
This was pre-Tool, and I'm glad they got huge. Those cats are talent!
The Pasties were a great group from Vancouver that allllllmost got a
Geffen deal and a Nirvana tour. Let's see. I was in a metalicious band
called Iron Gypsy with Randy Rampage (D.O.A.), who I have to say is one
of the best fucking bassists alive!
Also Brad Kent from the
was in Death Sentence for a spell, and he'll probably tour if I hit the
road with DS in the future. Vancouver is tight knit, as we've lost too
many people here to "misadventure." Lotusland et. al! I'm not a "career"
drummer as much as I am a songwriter, arranger and producer, so I'm a
little high maintenance you might say. I bitch about
the like! Ask poor Gerry Jenn! (sorry luv!) But I mean if it's a
session and I'm there to do a job, it's stupid pro. It just HAS to be
when you keep the beat.
Who are some of the percussion players you look up to?
Easily John Bonham. It just gets better and better! If you REALLY want
to learn drums and I'm not talking plodding dinosaur dirges, just
listen to how fucking quick that guy is. AND so inventive! I mean
Communication Breakdown's relentless onslaught is the first
DNA that so
much that is punk and hardcore today.b
learned rudiments easily from listening to Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick
for the... um... Dead people?) In fact I am off to see them
nite for I think the 16th time!. Clem Burke is a dynamo! (again for the
dead readers--Blondie), Rat Scabies!!!! LOVE playing in my Damned
tribute Noise Noise Noise. Earl Hudson (Bad Brains people!) ...Jet
Black is awesome. Keith Moon!, Ginger Baker, Mitch
old school drummers HAD to THINK about their sound, used lighter skins,
archaic gear and were a hell of alot more dynamic than the dross that
makes up most of today's "drummers" .. I mean do you have a sound tech
at your rehearsals? God. What happened to DRUMS?
Have you always been located in Vancouver or have you lived other
places as well?
I have lived in San Fran -- FILMORE YO!, L.A. Silver Lake represent?
Toronto, Calgary, Victoria, Edmonton, a stint in Seattle. Hell I lived
in the Yukon! Vancouver is my touchstone. It's just so beautiful here
and I guess I'm comfortable. That's probably why I'm planning
with my girl Samantha to the UK later this year.
I can't wait
to meet up more with the likes of Capt. Sensible, Hugh
Cornwell, Brian James.
"stars" over there are a helluva lot
more approachable, less stuck up, and I could easily see myself jamming
with my Euro Hero's! Now don't go firebombing my next show in Austin
my friendly southern neighbors...
I just don't really
see myself sitting down with Chris Cornell without a sniffer dog and a
cavity search.. But. You never know!
and Captain Sensible
Punk Globe: What venues
do you enjoy playing at?
The I-Beam in San Fran was a fantastic place (to work and play). But
easily the greatest room I know of is Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom.
It's just perfect. I like older theaters. It's just the entertainment
"showboat" bug I have I guess. You can shine in those places in a
different light quite literally.
have played in Seven Seconds' living room and had a great time. The
Plaza in Van would have the HUGEST parties EVER and we'd play. Those
days were alot different. You could organize gigs
better because you
REALLY weren't supposed to put on parties
and sell beer. Let alone
espouse anti-government mantras to 14 year-old girls from upper class
and hardcore was just stellar in the early to mid eighties. I mean not
only did you get to play with your absolute biggest inspirations, you
were on the same page! I like venues that don't put up with nazi
bastards. Venues that treat ANY musician with respect, and venues that
TRY to pay. This "pay to play/here's some tickets for your
sell them" is an unfortunate reality in some cities.
Did you enjoy doing The Cramps cover band with Gerry Jenn Wilson and
I've known both for eons. Billy and the late great Pete Puke
(Nipplehead, Cleaver, etc.,
etc.) of Death Sentence were chums. Gerry
Jenn and I have a profound respect for where we come from, so it was a
blast! I try and make a point to do a tribute at least ONCE a year, and
fuck! Halloween with that lineup! Billy was just killer! As was Jenn,
as well Dirty Dave on bass. I set up my kit completely fucked up. Bass
drum off to the right, flanked by floor toms and playing with big
plastic bones! I think one cymbal. You can play the Cramps with your
head and BOTH arms tied behind yer back! My film crew taped it, and I
should get on editing some of that footage. Billy Hopeless is an
entertainer extraordinaire. Wonder where he manages to get size 11
men's heels tho! I want to do a Stranglers one next year, but I think
I'll be Hugh on Vocals and a beat up Strat... I love the Stranglers to
Globe: What was the band called? Was it only for one night or do you
plan on doing again?
"Bad People" of course! And you never know. There's always some reason
to play. I mean benefits are good for that. Plus Billy is an
international diva so his time's kinda booked! Did you hear about the
Black Halos gear and their van AND their trailer getting stolen en
masse in Montreal? Dude Ah! Damn! I guess that's why one of us always
slept in the van no matter what.
PEOPLE" The Cramps Cover Band
It seems to me
that I remember Gerry Jenn telling me about you playing drums in a
Burlesque show. Am I right about that?
Ya, I did a little bit of that. I remember seeing some old 70's flick
with a guy just shredding a stupid ass jazz solo-mosh and this Zaftig
chick kickin' it. I love that. Pure anarchy. Just a drummer and a girl.
Attitude! So ya, I was hangin' with that "set" for awhile. There's alot
of talent, (and I mean REAL talent fellas) in the burlesque scenes. The
acts are always changing, there's a troupe of people usually willing to
play anything from "Sadie the Skunk," to "Madcap Johnny, the
baptist ferret." The whole "scene" is a little tired tho. Who
Deese von lita von Kat mon... UberYAWN.
How many drum kits do you have now?
I am building a vintage Ludwig kit ala Johnny Cash's advice "one piece
at a time". I Want that Iggy Pop "Lust for life" kick drum
Bonham's obviously) and there are bit's and pieces. I have waaaay more
guitars and recording gear these days, but I like to sit in on
sessions, and there are scads of practice spaces that have kits. When a
drum kit can be set up by say... adding water, I'll own a bunch. Now
THERE's an idea! Chia Drums!
Punk Globe: Tell us about
your TV show that you are involved with.
I have been hosting and producing a TV show called "BEYOND WORDS" on
the Canadian Aboriginal channel (A.P.T.N.) and BRAVO! Canada since
2001. I have been able to jam with and interview insanely cool people
like Taj Mahal, Apache Indian, and wicked group out of L.A. called
Aztlan Underground. (Interview them!)
am a Metis, which means "mixed Blood." I am French, Scottish
Lakota Sioux, with a little Blackfoot thrown in. I can trace some of my
bloodline to the massacre at Wounded Knee, and the people's exodus to
Canada. I am in cahoots with my Mother Delores on this great series
that showcases Indian musicians all over the world.
It's allowed me to
share the stage with legends like Redbone (come and get your love) Juno
award winners like Derek Miller. Hang out with Keith Secola. Buffy St.
given me a pretty amazing life doing something good for good people, as
well as help train new generations of camera people, sound techs, and
TV hope-fulls.. I mean there's a shitload of "mixed Blood" out there,
but Canada recognizes us as a sovereign nation unto
ourselves. In the
U.S.A. Elvis is part Cherokee. Hell, Robin Zander of Cheap Trick has
first nation blood. Bob Marley was half white! You have your Johnny
Depps, and I'm not even touching on the Mulatto, or Mexican
It's just amazing the diversity down there, and yet, no real
recognition. It's a huge scene in North America, and it's
bigger. Our new show is called MY-T.V., and focuses on the Aboriginal
youth of North America. This time around I had the actual performers on
the show host the other artists and it's getting ton's of kids involved.
Has the first episode aired
Douglas: We aired March 8th,
and they've already asked us for another season. Great
You are a proud member of Jaks' Team! How long have you been skating
Since about 1983. My buddy Tony in Nanaimo who turned me onto the DKs
gave me a little plastic do-hicky. I was ALL over it. I mean it just
ruled rolling around being a little shit, and finally being part of a
"scene" that mattered. I got severely into it. Vancouver is a skater
town. Like Santa Cruz, but with killer pavement and nicer cops (at
least today). I bombed the Hosoi's and old Alva decks, and still love
that style. I still can't fuckin' "ollie" though. It'll say on my
epitaph. Never Ollied. And didn't see "Wayne's World."
Jak, Jesus Bonehead, Chi Pig and Douglas
always hung out in the same places as Jaks but I was super young and
they kinda freaked me out at first. When I did the Naughty Camp Death
Sentence reunion in 2001 I was hanging out with the funnest group of
dudes EVER, and I knew half of them. So I ran around getting signatures
and Bam. Death Sentence was a big Jaks band along with the Dayglow
Abortions. The thing is some of the best musicians I know are Jaks so
the motto- ABSOLUTE MUSIC has, well.... alot of "SAND" as they say in
the "Gangs of New York."
love the Jaks . Ain't nothing like it anywhere. Jaks are brothers and
that's no shit! I still skate, but due to work have been out of the
"loop" the last while. Summer's heeeeere! I look forward to being a
healthy dude and skating around at 70. 80.... I mean it's a lifer
thing. I live two blocks from PD's hot shop (Skull Skates), and that
guy is STTILL at it big time. He was making his first decks in what
Did you go to the Jaks Convention in Las Vegas last year?
Nah, again conventions hit my busiest time of year. I think the next
one is Austin Texas, and I love that place because of it's inherent
music vibe. I hope to "drop in"!
Beev was telling
me to come to Las Vegas for the shows but we were gigging so I could
not make it. Do you remember who played that weekend? I think Dr. Know
Not sure, Brandon likes to tour tons, so I wouldn't doubt it. That guy
sang for the Kennedy's wearin' colors! Power Woot!
Globe: Are you excited about the upcoming shows for "The Anarchy In The
BC Tour " playing drums with White Trash Debutantes?
I am Honored! It'll be a good time, and since I have found ways to have
a REAL good time without gettin' all fucked up, I'll actually remember
it too! There's a good buzz goin' around about it, and I love jumping
in with people I never played with before. It's exciting!
How about breaking out the "Columbia" Tap dance in "Time Warp?" Have
you gotten your tap shoes out yet?
I just remembered that the top 40 band I had did that tune. I think we
should have a strobe light go off and for me to in turn have a
"DRUM SEIZURE" during that part! I can play a "seizure" around
on people's drinks and tables. Or not.
Any last words that you would like to leave our readers with?
Music will NEVER let you down, but BAD music can sneak up on you!
Douglas sevensense productions 2008!
Globe: Thank you, Douglas, I really enjoyed this interview and I look
forward to our shows in late May.