PG- First, thanks so much for taking the time to do this
interview. Can you introduce DownTown Brown to the Punk Globe
readers? (individual members) How did you meet?
Neil- No, Thank you! DOWNTOWN BROWN is a three piece
funk/punk/metal/experimental band from Detroit MI. The band
consists of NEEBO (Neil P., that's me) on guitar/vox, RONSTOWN
(Ron) on bass/vox, and DONIC CHRONIC (Don) on drums/vox. I
started the band in 2001. Don auditioned in 2006 after reading
a poster I put up at Guitar Center, and Ron joined in 2008 after
we jammed in a side project together called DRESSED TO MOLEST.
The band has been through a handful of lineup changes since it's
inception, but I truly feel that the lineup we have now is the
best it's ever been.
PG- Are you all from Detroit? Detroit has such an amazing
musical history. What was it like to grow up there? Any
favorite new bands from the area?
Ron and I actually attended the same high school, but
didn't actually meet until 2007. We grew up in Northville, a
tiny suburb of Detroit. Don grew up in Warren (where EMINEM is
Detroit is the best. I remember when I was like 15 going down
to THE SHELTER and ST. ANDREW'S HALL to catch bands like
GUTTERMOUTH, DESCENDENTS, and to the STATE THEATER to see BAD
RELIGION and SOCIAL D. The first big punk show I ever attended
was BAD RELIGION in 1996 on the Stranger Than Fiction tour. We
drank warm Red Dog out of cans and got bums to do push ups for
our spare change. I remember getting dropped off at THE SHELTER
to see GUTTERMOUTH in 1995 by my buddy Greg's mom. So in all
honesty, we didn't grow up IN Detroit, not many people do. I
ended up going to art school down there in 2001...dropped out to
start DOWNTOWN BROWN.
The best part about Detroit is that there is no pot of gold
waiting for anyone who decides to pursue any type of arts
related project...and we all know this. Most people who pursue
music around these parts end up playing for people in other
bands. This provides a lesson in humility. Most Detroit bands
know that fame and fortune is a myth...so instead of trying to
hop on some bullshit trend, (like in L.A.) these bands just bust
their asses trying to make the most original, awesome music
possible, and they do. As a Detroit band, from the very start
you become aware that you have absolutely nothing to lose. This
creates better art. Detroit hustles harder. That's why the
music is better.
Some of my favorite Detroit bands (old and new)
THE AMINO ACIDS
BLACK JAKE AND THE CARNIES
THE DIRTY MITTEN FUNK BAND
THE MEATMEN (Legends! And they're back in action!)
PG- I recently had a chance to listen to DTB's new release
"Grabbleton's Beach" and was impressed with the meshing of Funk
and Metal. How would you describe your sound and what were your
Neil- Funk is definitely in the roots of all the music we make.
That 4/4 groove and heavy bottom bass is prevalent in most of
what we do. The rest of what we do is all a direct result of
our influences. It just makes sense.
Take a fat kid who grew up listening to GUNS N ROSES in grade
school, discovered BAD RELIGION and METALLICA in middle school,
and in high school became obsessed with PRINCE and P FUNK. It's
pretty easy to see where our sound comes from. Once you ad the
latter influences of MIKE PATTON and FRANK ZAPPA it makes
Often compared to liquid crack.
PG- Can you tell the PG readers about "Grabbleton's Beach"?
Neil- Grabbleton's Beach is our attempt at a kid's album...for
adults. It's very strange and ridiculous. Most of the songs
don't make any fucking sense. But that's why it's a hilariously
fun record. We're not trying to convey any type of message or
be poignant. It's just a ridiculously eclectic fun record for
people to put on and forget about how shitty the world is for an
hour. It takes you on a trip to a better, more fun realm of
existence. Especially on WEED, man.
PG- I have it that "Grabbleton's Beach" is DTB's seventh
release. Can you give a rundown of DTB's musical catalog?
1. Dinosaurs with Lazers, (2001) our first demos. Back Alley
Music available for FREE DOWNLOAD at http://www.dtbmusic.com
2. Moist and Ridiculous, (2002) our first full length. Static
Records Detroit. Available for purchase at
3. DOWNTOWN BROWN, (2004) Chocolate Stain Records. Available
4. Live...and Sweaty, (2005) Chocolate Stain Records. Out of
5. I Love Burgers, (2007) Chocolate Stain Records. Available
6. Back From the Dead, (2009) Chocolate Stain Records.
Available on iTunes.
7. Grabbleton's Beach, (2010) DC-JAM RECORDS. Available at
PG- Can you tell the readers about the record label Chocolate
Stain Records? Is CSR still up and running?
Neil- Chocolate Stain Records was started to put out DOWNTOWN BROWN
records ourselves. Simple as that. It's still running I guess.
If you count all the DTB records we have on iTunes. Ha.
PG- Your press release mentions that DTB has shared stage space
w/ Wesley Willis. Any good Wesley Willis stories?
Neil- We opened for Wesley in 2003, right before he died. Sad
face. I gave him a copy of our album and he said "I'm gonna
sing a song about your band!" I think he said this to everyone.
Either way, right there he started singing, "DOWNTOWN
BROOOOWWN...DOWNTOWN BROOOWN!" In true Wesley Willis fashion.
What an amazing dude. He then proceeded to get this girl I
know's number and asked her if she would pick him up at the
airport when he vacationed in Detroit. Who vacations in
Detroit? Wesley Willis, that's who. May he rest in peace.
PG- DTB seems to be an exceptionally hard working band in terms
of releases and touring. Is this a good work ethic or passion
Neil- It's both I guess. We are constantly writing new music,
so the amount of shit we've put out is a direct result of that.
The touring thing started in 2006 when our old bass player,
Hairy Bob put it this way: "If you never get out of Detroit, you
will always be just a Detroit band." Since then we've booked 7
coast-to-coast tours and played hundreds of shows. I can't wait
to get back on the road with this new record. My bass player
and drummer will both be quitting their jobs to do so. This
band is the only thing we got going for us. So, we're gonna
have to make it work. We're really hoping that signing with
DC-JAM RECORDS our dreams of doing this for a living a reality.
PG- What is the most bizarre thing that's ever happened on
Neil- This dude, B McNuts we stayed with in BFE Texas claimed
he could make his kids levitate. Getting booted off Warped Tour
in 2007 after Don fell off a building. Tackling bums in
Cleveland. Jabba-Nan. I dunno man. We've seen so much crazy
shit I could write a short book. Plus, the amount of alcohol I
used to consume makes it all a little blurry.
PG- What was your most memorable on stage experience?
PG- DTB seems to place a lot of importance on humor. Any
thoughts on that? How would you describe DTB's sense of humor?
Any thoughts on the function of humor?
Neil- I wouldn't say we place importance on humor. It's just
part of who we are. This world is so fucked up, I feel as a
band if we took ourselves too seriously and focused on the
strife, injustice, and overall horribleness of the world that
we'd be doing everyone a disservice. My focus with this band is
to provide people with an escape from the harsh reality that is
our everyday existence. I just wanna make people smile, dance,
and laugh. Our smart-ass sense of humor just goes along with
our overall goal. If you can't laugh at how ridiculous this
world is, then you might be either uptight or insane. Humor is
a necessary ingredient to life, I life. Laughing makes you feel
good. I want our music to make people feel good. It's as
simple as that.
PG- Does DTW have a website, FaceBook page, etc. you'd like to
PG- Can you tell the readers about your upcoming international
In late Feb. we will embark on a huge U.S. tour. From
there our label president Darron Hemann has expressed interest
in sending us to Europe and Japan. We gonna go everywhere with
this muthafucka. Yeeeah!
All tour dates posted on:
PG- Thanks again for chatting with PG. Do you have any parting
words for the readers?
Neil- All you gotta do is eat your cat. All you gotta do is
rape your fuckin mom. All you gotta do is smoke liquid crack.
All you gotta do is get your wobble on. C'mon kids and get your