By Ginger Coyote

Douglas Proux In Action
Douglas Proux In Action

I was lucky enough to be able to get Douglas Proulx to sit down and answer  a few questions.. Douglas is not only one Vancouver Canada's most respected Drummers. He also is the Producer and Host of the Television Show "BEYOND WORDS"  that airs on Canadian Aboriginal Channel and Bravo....I personally was surprised to  find out some of Douglas' background.. He Rawks!  I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I do .

Punk Globe: So Douglas - Can you give the readers some background information about how long you have been beating the skins?
Douglas: 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, kicking around the house. . . my mother would dole me some chores, and as 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!
 The 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 City/top 40 covers in clubs when I was 15 or so. That was in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. 
I 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!)
 Punk Globe- Tell us about some the bands that you have played with?
 Douglas:  Gosh. Too frickin' many!  I guess the "punky" one would be Death 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.
I 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 bands, 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.
 L.A. 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 Avengers 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 "crescendos" and 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.
Punk Globe: Who are some of the percussion players you look up to?
Douglas: 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 
I learned rudiments easily from listening to Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick for the... um... Dead people?)  In fact I am off to see them tomorrow 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 Mitchell. 
The 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?
Punk Globe: Have you always been located in Vancouver or have you lived other places as well?
Douglas:  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 to elope 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.
Douglas and Captain Sensible
Douglas and Captain Sensible
I mean the "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!
 Punk Globe: What venues do you enjoy playing at?
Douglas: 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.
I 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 neighborhoods!!! HA!
Punk 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 show, go sell them" is an unfortunate reality in some cities.
Punk Globe: Did you enjoy doing The Cramps cover band with Gerry Jenn Wilson and Billy Hopeless?
Douglas: 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 a fault.
Punk Globe: What was the band called? Was it only for one night or do you plan on doing again?
Douglas: "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.
Bad People
BAD PEOPLE" The Cramps Cover Band
Punk Globe: It seems to me that I remember Gerry Jenn telling me about you playing drums in a Burlesque show. Am I right about that?
Douglas:  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 erudite baptist ferret." The whole "scene" is a little tired tho. Who Von Who? Deese von lita von Kat mon... UberYAWN.
Punk Globe: How many drum kits do you have now?
Douglas:  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 (or 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.
Douglas:  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!)
 I am a  Metis, which means "mixed Blood." I am French, Scottish and 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. Marie, etc.,  etc. 
It's 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 Americans. It's just amazing the diversity down there, and yet, no real recognition. It's a huge scene in North America, and it's getting 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.
Punk Globe: Has the first episode aired yet?
Douglas:  We aired March 8th, and they've already asked us for another season. Great Success! 
Punk Globe: You are a proud member of Jaks' Team! How long have you been skating for?
Douglas:  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."
Willy Jak, Jesus Bonehead, Chi Pig and Douglas
Willy Jak, Jesus Bonehead, Chi Pig and Douglas

I 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."
I 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 1976? 
Punk Globe: Did you go to the Jaks Convention in Las Vegas last year?
Douglas:  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"!
Punk Globe: 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 was playing..
Douglas:  Not sure, Brandon likes to tour tons, so I wouldn't doubt it. That guy sang for the Kennedy's wearin' colors! Power Woot!
Punk Globe: Are you excited about the upcoming shows for "The Anarchy In The BC Tour " playing drums with White Trash Debutantes?
Douglas: 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!
Punk Globe: How about breaking out the "Columbia" Tap dance in "Time Warp?" Have you gotten your tap shoes out yet?
Douglas: 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 the bar on people's drinks and tables. Or not.
Punk Globe: Any last words that you would like to leave our readers with?
Douglas:  Music will NEVER let you down, but BAD music can sneak up on you!
Douglas sevensense productions 2008! 

 Punk Globe: Thank you, Douglas, I really enjoyed this interview and I look forward to our shows in late May.