Interviewed by: Sharla Cartner

Minus One

While I was visiting America, I had the unique opportunity of meeting and talking to Dana and Lliam of Minus One in Alameda. It was a bright sunny day and I took a bus from Berkeley where I was staying, through Oakland and arrived in Alameda, shortly afterwards Dana and Lliam arrived. We all sat down and chatted about
Minus One!

Dana - Guitar
Lliam - Drums
Michael - Bass
Part 1 – “The Kids Don’t Skate Here”

Dana: She’s seen the record.

Lliam: That's cool.

Punk Globe: Yeah, Darron sent it to me, so it was cool.

Dana: Oh great. Do you have any favorite songs on this record?

Punk Globe: Ummm. I am not very good with song names. (Looking at the CD) I like… I actually really like that “Dude Someone Must Of Dropped You On Your Head”.
Dana: Yeah.
Punk Globe: I like that, I like the guitar.
Lliam: Well there is a funny story about that. It's actually Someone Must Of Dropped You On Your Head. And Dana's sister was telling the record label that the songs…

Dana: That were going to be on the album.

Lliam: That were going to be on the record and she just said, “Dude Someone Must Of Dropped You On Your Head.” And they were like… “OK, Dude Someone Must Of Dropped You On Your Head.” That's not the title before, but now it might as well be. But at the......
Punk Globe: At the time.
Lliam: At the time that’s Alanna going, “Dude Someone Must Of Dropped You On Your Head.”

Dana: That's my younger sister, she’s one of the best rock photographers on the planet.

Lliam: Yeah she is great.

Dana: I shit you not!
Punk Globe: Heard about her…
Dana: She is fucking amazing photographer! Rock photographer. Photographs musicians, all of her photography is stellar but her shit she makes me look so good. I can’t even believe it!

Lliam: (Looking at the CD) this is probably... this is pretty much retrospective too. I mean this all throughout the career there’s three songs on here that we had recorded specifically for the album in 2008.

Dana: Right
Punk Globe: What are the three songs?
Lliam: Not “Dude Someone Must Of Dropped You On Your Head” “Get use to it”... ummm.

Dana: “Blindman”

Lliam: “Blindman” yeah there you go, no wonder I couldn't see it, and “Out Of The Darkness”. My personal favorite.

Dana: Mine too. Do you like the last song?
Punk Globe: Yeah I do like the last song. So what was the original name of “Dude Someone Must Of Dropped You On Your Head”.
Lliam: “Someone Must Have Dropped You On Your Head.”
Punk Globe: OK.
Lliam: So those three were recorded “Blindman,” “Get Use To It,” and “Out Of The Darkness,” are brand new. The other songs are throughout our whole little career and that's just a sampling. I mean we probably got, I mean… not kidding, like what 50, 60?

Dana: 50, 60 songs, I wrote them down and I know I forgot a couple.
Punk Globe: Yeah.

Part 2 – The Evolution Of Minus One

Dana: And I wrote them all down all the songs we could play when we first got together.

Punk Globe: What year was that?

Dana: We got back together December 06 and started rehearsing January 07.

Lliam: Originally she might have meant.

Punk Globe: Yeah originally.
Dana: Oh originally I'm sorry.

Lliam: They met in high school him and the bass player.

Dana: I met the bass player in 8th grade.

Lliam: 8th grade yeah right.

Dana: I was playing guitar and singing I like really didn't have my shit together as far singing and guitar.
Punk Globe: Yeah.
Lliam: (Looking at my voice recorder) you know you can take this tape off?
Punk Globe: Can you take it off for me?
Lliam: Yeah it just covers the little thingy here so…
Punk Globe: That would make life so much easier.
Lliam: So it doesn't get...
Punk Globe: Now I actually can see what I am doing.
Lliam: I don't even know if it is on!
Punk Globe: It is the light is on, isn't it? Yeah the red light is on.
Lliam: It's so funny it is the same on the tape as it is on the actual thing!
Punk Globe: See it is ticking over.
Lliam: Yeah all right.
Punk Globe: OK.
Lliam: I will just put that here. (Placing the display label from my voice recorder onto Dana’s tape deck.)

Dana: There you go.

Lliam: There you go now his looks very hi tech.

Dana: Now I am high tech. Anyway this guy and I have been friends since high school. What do you think of Michael? That's also him that is the bass player there. (Dana shows me the picture on the CD).
Punk Globe: That is a cool picture.
Dana: That picture was taken by Kevin Thatcher who was the founder of Thrasher magazine the editor… and I went to high school with him he was one of my best friends… so we all had a tight little click and we stayed all together at a house in Los Gatos where I met Geoffrey Tribe… and it was through Thrasher magazine party that everybody moved up to San Francisco… that was the beginning of every bodies career we kind of like… we got it together… did something… “put a band together”… “put a band together”… we all went to the city together of course he just took off… Thrasher magazine was just unreal... But Michael… when I first met him he demanded that I teach him guitar… and he came to my house and he demanded, you couldn't say no you have to teach me… so we just started a friendship… we have been best friends for 100 years… and he became a really good musician… and I never really wanted to be in a band with him… and then when the magazine was coming out I hadn't seen him in about four years… he drove by in his car… we just met at an intersection got in the car and said, ”We need to start a band.” And that was what we did… and that was Minus One and that's how it got started. We lost our original drummer he stayed in San Jose.

Lliam: Lee.

Dana: Lee… and Lee is on like “Kids Don't Skate Here”, “I Remember John”, “Nick Of Time”.

Lliam: All of the really good drumming… Lee is great man! I don't even tell that…

Dana: He is fabulous.

Lliam: I have played on records where there has been other drummers and I am like… I have played on these songs not those just so you know… On this one, “Did you play on everything?” “Oh yeah that is all me!” I mean Lee is so good you know… sure I will take credit for this.

Dana: Dude he was like Keith Moon when I met him.

Lliam: He was a great drummer.

Dana: He was a fabulous drummer.

Lliam: Really good.

Dana: Really fabulous drummer. At the time I was thinking how are we going to replace Lee man! That is going to be impossible. But we were determined me and Michael said “We are going to find a fucking drummer.” So we started hiring people for gigs but we didn't have a permanent drummer and then I saw him playing (pointing to Lliam).

Lliam: No I saw you playing.

Dana: No this is a true story totally meant to be Sharla… totally meant to be.

Lliam: unfortunately. (Jokingly)

Dana: Same thing for him. I walk in and I see this band playing and I see this drummer swinging his arms like Townsend on drums… and I thought I got to play with that motherfucker… and I called my best friend (Michael bass player) “I found our drummer dude, I found our drummer! He's in a band called the Lifers you got to come and see him.” About two weeks later we're playing.

Lliam: Yeah that's true.

Dana: And I am fucking…

Lliam: I walk by with my boom hand like I always have… and just looking you know… what's going on in there… I see this mad banshee just like moping the stage with like a telecaster or something like… kkkeeehhh with this roar coming out of the speakers… I just go… Errrr I want to play with him… I have regretted it ever since...

Dana: regretted it ever since... Oh that is not true not true.

Lliam: I forgot about that part, that you saw me, then I saw you, and then you guys had to get me away.

Dana: We stole you from the Lifers man!
Punk Globe: Was that hard or… getting away from the Lifers?
Lliam: It was weird. Well, I kept playing for the Lifers we did tours, and stuff… but you know… everything falls were it falls right. Every time you roll the dice it is always God so…

Dana: Yeah totally meant to be… and you know we wouldn't be together now if we weren't die hard brothers then;
Punk Globe: Yeah.

Part 3 – DC Jam Records

Dana: So the fact we got together was almost… just didn't even seem like… I couldn't even imagine that we going to get a chance to play again.

Lliam: The fact any of else are still alive.

Dana: We're all still alive… and we all in the same neighbored and that we could actually do something… we could actually put the old band together again... just unbelievable… I had been out of town I found a place and said, “Dude I am here let's start playing. Yeah let's do Minus One.” So that picture on the inside was when we instantly decided to do it all again… so then we had some great gigs… had some gigs at the Great American Music Hall I wrote some poetry… and I wrote a poem about Dirk Dirksen… and I read it at his funeral.

Lliam: That was great.

Dana: I read it before a gig at the Great American Music Hall… and we got some great gigs together… and then we got an internet presence… we hadn't done that right…. so we had a internet presence for about 9 months… and one day I am looking at my email and I see this record label… and I am going who the fuck is that? I email them back I said “I'm just answering your email not sure who you are. Are you a label?” The guy emails me back… “I am a total mad fan of Minus One, I have a label and I want you guys, to sign a record deal with you.” So I was like give me your number.
Punk Globe: That was DC Jam Records?
Dana: That was Darron
Punk Globe: Yeah Darron (from DC Jam Records).
Dana: I called the guy and he said “Yeah… like… man… I been a fan of Minus One since I was 13 years old and I got a record label and I want to sign you guys.”
Punk Globe: Schweet!
Dana: We didn't even know… we got back together on pure love. Pure love we weren't expecting it you know… the record industry the machine is gone. It's disassembled right… we are all learning how to be musicians again now… how you do it now…
Punk Globe: So now… like… from when you first started out, how record companies have changed. Is it like… dramatically?
Dana: Oh yeah, yeah. I mean actually we almost got to be huge rock stars in the original format we were playing. In the those days it was a matter “Are we going to be discovered?” That was kind of in every bodies mind. I always figured we were so good… it was going to be impossible for us not to be discovered.

Lliam: We were… I mean this guy is one of the greatest songwriters and he is up there with any of them.

Part 4 – Song Writing & Influences

Punk Globe: So do you have a song writing process or something you specifically go through?

Dana: Sought of yeah I mean umm...

Lliam: Does a bunch of lines… smokes a couple of joints…

Dana: That's my process!

Lliam: Then he’s got to calm down… so he takes a couple of lubes… and drinks some.... Where does it end! You say they come at you. It like true genius. I can say that because I am not him.

Dana: It's like a sculptor or something I can start with any piece of block. I know I am skilled enough. I can make something out of it as soon as I can apply myself. I can write a song right now if you said, ”Write a song right now.” I could do it.
Punk Globe: Well we might do that then. Start thinking!
Dana: My process is basically playing the guitar… putting some chords together… putting the melody over the chords…. then usually write the lyrics out.
Punk Globe: Music first then lyrics?
Dana: Yeah usually, but it's not… there is no patent way… sometimes I will write lyrics first… then put music to it… or sometimes I will pick up a bass and write a bass line.

Lliam: I think it is obvious that it’s all coming from a higher source. You know… you know what I mean… people can write songs even a pretty good song, but there is like… songs that come right from a higher source.
Punk Globe: Yeah they come all at once.
Dana: Yeah.

Lliam: Yeah like you know… like I don't know like a Beatles or something like that… or I don't know some modern bands probably too… can't think of any but it is a real difference to me... what I hear… the quality of the song… well crafted, well written or a song that is like… Wow! Where did that come from? Like I don't want to be like old skool but like Sting or something… like you listen to Roxanne. Where did the fuck that come from?

Dana: Yeah Roxanne.

Lliam: (Pointing at Dana) He's as easily as good as any of those guys he is just too crazy.
Punk Globe: So who would be your main influences?
Lliam: Probably in the early days the Police.

Dana: Yeah probably in the early days the Police were certainly an inspiration… they were really... when I realize music was changing I got really excited about it too. You know, but my initial influences… I learnt from the best man! I grew up on the Beatles and their records. (Dana contacted me later to add a few more influences to his list.) Also Peter Gabriel, Todd Rundgren... Jeff Beck... Cream... Traffic... Queen... Stones... Yes... Genisis... Frank Zappa.. that should do it... Oh yeah.. Also the Jam.. Elvis Costello.. Suzi and the Banshees.... The Clash.. Pretenders... Neil Young... Crosby Stills and Nash... Miles Davis...

Lliam: and the Who, you like.

Dana: And the Who and those guys are the blue print for any other band that came after them… and you still can't touch the Beatles… and you can't touch the Who… they are still together you can't touch the Rolling Stones… and my dad is a jazz musician and he made sure I had like the important records. He was the first one who told me about the Beatles. “Hey there is this band called the Beatles I think you would really like them they have got some really neat songs.” This is in 1964 I was a little tiny kid. So he came home with “Meet The Beatles” and “Introducing The Beatles” and “Introducing The Beatles” didn't even have a record cover because he got it from some record store owner… just gave it to him he bought these records home.

Lliam: Wow!

Dana: I started playing those records I said “My God this is what I want to do.” And I started writing music immediately. I started writing music at 7 and 8. I use to have a little stick and that was my guitar. I was programming my body to do this (Dana demonstrates strumming a guitar), I was teaching my voice to how sing while doing other things… and I was writing lyrics so I was actually a songwriter at 9 years old. I listed them all and checked what I was doing… I wrote 6 or 7 hours worth of songs before I learned how to play.
Punk Globe: That's cool!
Dana: My dad finally bought a guitar and said, “Are going to play a stick all your life or are you going to learn how to play a guitar." Because my stick was my guitar.

Lliam: You listen to songs on the record… I mean like “Kids Don't Skate Here” that's the oldest one on it.

Dana: That was one of our first songs.

Lliam: When was that written?

Dana: That was written at Thrasher's house I wrote that at the house… I was living with him

Lliam: I think Michael said he wrote it.

Dana: He did, he actually did! That was 50/50 I'm sorry, I was thinking of the music.

Lliam: That's the thing you know it is like a black black star or something is just… swish the gravitational force just sucks everything right up.

Dana: That song is totally 50/50.

Lliam: Anyone of those like you know… how that was like 20 something years ago… there just fucking great songs… you know I am sorry these are kids writing these… and that's like being touched. You know, you just don't just learn how to play some chords and write a song like that. You know God calls you. "Hey Dana,”

Dana: Yeah.

Lliam: "Got a song for you what are you doing?" "Don't bug me leave me alone I am trying to smoke, trying to ruin my voice, so Lliam will yell at me. Call me another time God."

Dana: "I'm busy now!"

Lliam: "I got to a lot of songs for you Dana!"

Dana: "Well can you hold on to them for just a minute"

Lliam: "Well the lines been busy what the hell are you doing down there on earth." “I got things to do."

Dana: "Lines to do."

Lliam: "Lines to do."

Dana: "I got some lines to do. I mean I got to study my lines."
Punk Globe: What bands would you listen to these days?
Lliam: I like the Killers a lot, I like My Morning Jacket I think their last album was brilliant I like the new U2 album, the whole new U2 album was really really good. (Pointing to Dana) He's going to probably hit me with a club or something but I like Coldplay.

Dana: I think Coldplay is good!

Lliam: Yeah I know like you’re going to beat you up! That last record that Eno produced was really good but the new U2.

Dana: You like that album

Lliam: My Morning Jacket have you heard them yet there really good!
Punk Globe: What about you Dana what sort of new bands you like?
Dana: I like the Killers too but I only like their first record.
Punk Globe: Yeah understandable.
Dana: Ummm new people??? I don't know if I am into a lot of new people really. I'm not closed to it.

Lliam: Yeah you’re not. He brings the CD's home he puts them down on the record player and drops the needle down and “shhhh”… and nothing happens. He can't figure it out and he is like, “I don't like this bunch of stuff there putting out these days. I am sticking to my albums.”

Dana: Well every once in a while I will hear something good that I like. But Coldplay is a formula band that is what I don't like about them

Lliam: What do you mean by formula?

Dana: Because they had so much success with this certain arrangements that he had… and he had developed a way like... like she asked me how I do my songs... what's the process? You have things that you repeat it's like putting a puzzle together.

Lliam: So he just got like a straight formula.

Dana: He's got a formula. He knows what works so he continues to stay in that musical area he doesn't really take any chances musically.
Punk Globe: I'd actually agree with you about that, definitely.
Lliam: Yeah that makes sense, I know that is the truth. I just wanted to hear all this explained. U2 is kind of like that to.
Punk Globe: Yeah they are definitely.
Dana: Yeah but you know what I love that.
Punk Globe: But they changed… they changed from the 80's to the 90's, their sound has changed they have progressed.
Dana: They're tremendous they are in a class of their own.

Lliam: Well they're got Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno producing their records. If those guys got with us. If you know them have them give us a call.
Punk Globe: Oh I don't know them but yeah... Not personally anyway.
Lliam: Maybe someone you know, knows them. (Pointing at Dana) Look! You already stole someone else’s lighter.
Punk Globe: It's ok I don't know whose red lighter it is.
Dana: She stole it first!

Part 5 – New Album and The Internet

Punk Globe: So now… what are your plans now you put this one out in what 2008.

Dana: Yeah October.

Punk Globe: October 2008. Any plans for anything else coming up or tours?

Lliam: Well Dana and I went into the studio and recorded some ideas and we're going to get Michael involved.

Dana: Yeah we are about to go and do another record, the labels going to do another album for us. We are kind of on a really tight schedule. Like what our record deal consists of which is kind of 21st century. Kind of worth mentioning because it is interesting … this guy found us… all we have to do is give him the master.
Punk Globe: Oh good!
Dana: And then he does everything else. That’s the deal… we come up with the album… we record the album ourselves.

Lliam: All we have to do is all the work and then we give it to him and he gives us 10%!

Dana: That's not true.

Lliam: Isn't it great!

Dana: He is willing to manufacture and distribute our product so that's the deal… so he promised us another record… we are going do another record in like the next 2 months. And then we got a fall tour….

Lliam: If it wasn't for him nothing would get done. It's worth it.

Dana: (Looking at the CD) It’s really cool, it’s like Lliam said, this is like a full picture of our whole career.

Lliam: What did I tell you when you went on the internet? At the very beginning. I go “Dana, Dana you’re a brilliant song writer, your songs are spectacularous, if you get on that internet, I don't care if someone shows up at your house with wheelbarrows of money. Still don't sign! Talk to me first whatever you do. Dana don't sign anything! Even truck loads of cash they pull out the front of your house.”

Dana: He did say that!

Lliam: "Hey Lliam! I just signed with this guy… got us a deal now all we have to do is record everything and then turn it into him… yeah it's really cool!" I'm like ohhh.....

Dana: Yeah that's basically true!

Lliam: Totally true yeah

Dana: That’s basically true! But it’s a pretty schweet deal we’re going to get to go to Europe too!

Lliam: He's a good guy.

Dana: Yeah He’s a great guy.

Lliam: He’s a good guy.

Dana: We got some dates in the Fall… we are going into finish some tracks off.

Lliam: I just show up!

Dana: I am excited… we get to do another record and we also have totally artistic freedom.

Lliam: I figured on going to Australia in the Fall to be honest.

Dana: You want to go and visit Sharla?

Lliam: Damn Australia sounds pretty good in the Fall I need a vacation.

Dana: He’s likes Keith Moon he’s alway sabotages interviews.
Punk Globe: We have a lot of music festivals, lots of music festivals.
Lliam: January, February?

Dana: I would love to go and play in Australia
Punk Globe: Yeah tell Darron to look up like ummm… Warped Tour (sorry I meant Soundwave), Big Day Out, Meredith…
Lliam: Put your phone number in the article and I will come over.
Punk Globe: I am not putting my phone number on the net. I have enough people calling me I don’t know who they are.
Dana; Right right!

Lliam: I did that the other day I am looking for a roommate and I put my phone number on this ad and I was like oh boy anything could happen. Not one person calls they answered the email and then I called them.
Punk Globe: You got to put the right picture next to it.
Lliam: Ohhh that ain’t right!!!
Punk Globe: Some blonde Swedish girl next to it then you will get lots of phone calls.
Lliam: I did get these people noting… I am new to the internet… I am a late what's it called... adaptor! I put this ad on Craigslist and I got like… the first one of course is "Hi I’m Natalie from Norway and my school… where going to send me to... I am going to be in America in a month… all I need is your bank account number etc... I am like Oh My God… I've heard about this stuff right …but it is really true I got two of them... it's like… Oh sure Natalie.
Punk Globe: Yeah… well I got ask to marry a Russian girl which I thought is quite weird. Because gay marriage is not legal in Australia.
Dana: Oh My God they were going to pay you some money?
Punk Globe: Yeah.
Lliam: To marry a Russian girl?
Punk Globe: Yeah.

Punk Globe: It's like well we can't get married here it's illegal.
Dana: Oh My God, we should tell… should get Darren to look into Australia.

Lliam: And to look into Norwegian exchange students.

Dana: We need some of that too. But we did get a song in a film I went to the premiere. "I Remember John", the song about John Lennon was in a film called The Fifth Form and they paid us for that movie.

Lliam: Did you guys pay me?

Dana: Yeah you got a cut of that.
Punk Globe: Went to your health insurance.
Lliam: Yeah, yeah Oh God.

Dana: "Does he owe me $40??"

Lliam: I know you owe me for your passport.

Dana: I owe him $100 for my passport.

Lliam: $120.

Dana: We can leave the country together.

Lliam: Yeah, you got to have that passport under your belt you never know when you going to have to flee.

Dana: Actually today we are going to learn some new songs. I got some new songs I am going to teach him after this interview today for the next album. We got like maybe five if we can… we need to finish.
Punk Globe: So new album coming out all new songs?
Dana: Yeah.
Punk Globe: Any bonus tracks of the old stuff?
Dana: (Looking at Lliam) I don't know think we should?

Lliam: Yeah there will definitely be some old songs.

Dana: We have a lot of good songs that haven’t been recorded yet… we got songs that are just gems that aren’t going to be on the next album yet… but we got new ones I had like I said…. when we got back together I counted all the songs… I said we going to do four records in the next three years but we were going to do it ourselves… and so we didn't have to do record one… record one came along just like we planned sought of…. we were going to do it ourselves but now Darron is putting out our music… so it's great… there is some gems from old stuff and some new stuff… we are very excited about… and as I mention earlier we have total artistic control so it’s a great deal… even in the contract it's stated that the label has enough faith in the artist that the artist can produce the material hard for the record company to put out… which basically says they have faith in you… as an artist… and your creative abilities. When I read that I did… I signed without him I signed up first then I told him.

Lliam: Yeah you did you bastard.

Dana: But now he's the treasurer oh no Michael's the treasurer.

Lliam: Oh I got to be the treasurer Michael’s over in San Francisco we don't what he's up to.

Dana: Did you actually purchase the album on the internet or did someone give it to you?
Punk Globe: No Darron sent it to me.
Dana: He sent it to you.
Punk Globe: He sent me a lot of stuff I have done a few reviews for different bands. (Looking at the DC Jam Skate Vol 1 CD) Where are they I will read them off here?
Lliam: What about the Heard we did some shows in New York with the Heard and they were just great.

Dana: They were great.

Lliam: I wore their t shirt just yesterday.

Dana: Oh My God.
Punk Globe; Lisa, I think she did the Heard one of my friends. What did I do, I think I did 300 Pounds, The Rudy Schwartz Project of course, JFA.
Dana: JFA really?
Punk Globe: I like JFA, I think she did Venomous I think she has done more than me from these guys… so yeah I can't remember it all becomes a blur after a while… I have the internet to look things up on and see what I have done.

Part 6 - Playing Live & The Audience

Dana: The interesting thing about the “Kids Don't Skate Here” it's actually a diary of what was really happening… at that moment my friends were becoming famous skaters.

Punk Globe: 80's era?

Dana: Yeah the early 80's I was living with Kev… I remember the night he was drawing the first cover… the absolute first cover of Thrasher magazine… we were sitting in the kitchen… we had been up all night… he was drawing and I was playing you know… three or four in the morning… that became a certain posse that started the band… the thing that happened was we were just writing a song about our friends… and then they became famous… so I kind of inspired that whole skate rock movement… all the skate rock came from that song… the whole idea came from that song… Kev originally said let's have a flexi disc in the first issue of Thrasher.

Lliam: What's that?

Dana: Disc that use to come in magazines you tear them out they are floppy and that was the first idea… so I said "Yeah that would be great that would put us right on the map." that turned into Thrasher releasing Skate Rock Vol 1 on cassette and we had four songs on that one… so we were kind of one of the first band to write about skaters therefore.... inventors of skate rock.

Lliam: And what have they done for us!

Dana: Yeah what have they done for us? No we made royalties… we had royalties from Thrasher for a long time. Anyway that’s how all that got started… that’s how Darron sees us he listened to us as a teenager… it’s just kind of interesting the record deal could of come along and…. we could not of been together as a band… I mean we might of had to say thanks but no thanks. It was just shit luck that we were rehearsed and ready to be something.
Punk Globe: Timing
Dana: Timing! Yeah so when the timing is right I think the universe is behind that.
Punk Globe: So what's like one of the most memorable concerts you've played or gigs you've played or shows?
Lliam: We can't remember!

Dana: I would say the Great American Music Hall in 07.
Lliam: Oh yeah that was great.

Dana: Oh fabulous.

Lliam: Really good classic.
Punk Globe: What made it so special?
Lliam: The sound was good.

Dana: Yeah.

Lliam: The sound was good… it is a big place… it was sold out… everyone… the band performed spectacularly…. it was surprising and energetic and totally pro… this guy sounded great (pointing to Dana).
Punk Globe: How do you find the crowds these days how different are they compared to like the 80's and stuff?
Dana: That's a good question.

Lliam: Well their more… what’s that… when something goes (Lliam demonstrates with his hand an up and down motion) like this… is that lateral??? ...Vertical… is that vertical? In our day it was more lateral… these days they seem to go more vertical… they jump on top of each other and ride around. That’s the main difference. Dana's looking at me what the fuck???
Punk Globe: Talking about crowd surfing and stuff.
Lliam: Dana's like you get all technical.

Dana: That was a good analogy.

Lliam: "I think the audiences these days are much more vertical."

Dana: You know… sometimes I will interview young people and ask them about their musical opinions… and I have had some pretty interesting reactions… there is a group of like 24 years old that are about that now generation… who kind of came of age like around early Green Day… that is why punk is still so huge… there was a whole lot of teenagers when Green Day came up… and they are you know post punk guys… and then this guy was relating to me how music all of a sudden took a nose dive right… was when he was in high school and there was no good music… music like suddenly became suck…

Lliam: What year? What time?

Dana: 1999, 2000, 2001 rock‘n’roll was dying… not only had it died… it was being beaten into the ground… like fuck those old white hippie rock’n’rollers… and I was just watching rock’n’roll die on the vine… thinking Oh My God maybe this is the end of it… and you know that was like when NSync and Backstreet Boys and all this shit came up… and people buying their records were like 8, 9, 10, 11, little kids…

Lliam: Poisoning them early.

Dana: Poisoning them early… but this cat had been exposed to some good music early on in his life… and was aware of the fact that music suddenly became fucked up… and he didn’t have an answer for it… and then he started saying that now things are starting to turn around… and he was saying that what people don't realize that there is an audience that likes to see people play their instruments like guitars, see guitarists play guitars… because they have been deprived from seriously musicianship… all that homogenized fucking corporate group shit that's like such crap… there's nobody playing… whose playing on those records…. there is a fucking drum machine… and some producers going like this… and there is no musicians in the studio… there’s a bunch of kids that want to be Michael Jackson…. so as far as the creditability… you know the integrity of the music… is fucking nonexistent… so then I started to see a window that we would fit into… and I believe I know my audience without actually touching them all the time… I know who my audience is… and they are anybody from 24 to 34 to 44 cause older guys like that old 60's, 70's megalomania rock… and that was a great period man… 70's you can call whatever you want but there was some fucking unreal bands in the 70's… and I was trying to define our record by market in my mind… you have to sort of play to your audience… but anyway that was a real eye opener… because I said well there is a whole lot of people who do want to see people play their instruments… this shit isn’t dead… so then… that I converted that into fuel for writing songs… so I think it did it kind of took a nose dive for a minute… but it came back up you know… and were proprietors for the… of the old skool real deal… that is what we are… if you want to see someone rock out… fucking massive… total fucking rock… and we were around when the shit was new you know… we played our first gig in 78 at the Nab… we came right out of that punk stuff… we have the creditability as punk rockers… but we have the integrity of hard rockers.

Part 7 – Airplay and On The Road

Punk Globe: So what do you think of about the movement of garage punk… seems to be surfacing under?

Dana: I think it is great… I think it is valuable.. I think it is vital… it has to happen.

Punk Globe: I mean a lot of people are sort of like predicting that the next decade might be garage punk…

Dana: That would be wonderful!
Punk Globe: Like you know you had your Nirvana come out in the 90's.
Dana: Yeah I think we'd fit into that mosaic rather well… that's good I wasn't quite as aware of it… but the internet is also creating a global audience that you can be in touch with… it is pretty amazing just the short time we have had this record out… we have had other songs get in movies and hell of a lot of airplay… that we are not necessary in touch with but you can go on the net… and see how many times your record has been played… and whose been playing it
Punk Globe: So what countries with the airplay… who's playing your music?
Dana: New Zealand, England, Canada, and Untied States is what I am aware of… and I think there is more people than that… oh actually I got an email from a guy in Czechoslovakia that has a hardcore punk station… and he says I love your band and I am playing your music please send me a CD…

Lliam: “With all your account information… I want to contribute some money to your band… send me all your account information, date of birth, mother's maiden name, to your biggest fan in New Zealand.”

Dana: Your biggest fan in Czechoslovakia.

Lliam: “Oh Czechoslovakia.”

Dana: We have fans in communist Russia! It was funny the bands that he was listing off that he plays… I know a couple of them… one of them was Annihilation Time… and they are right over here in Oakland… I know those guys I have hung out with them… they got a little house over there… they rehearse and you can hear them sometimes… like what band are you… ohh Annihilation Time… and I was like cool… I was hanging with them… talking to them… and then I got that email from that kid… and I play bands like Minus One, Annihilation Time.

Lliam: Oh really, far out, cool.

Dana: You really don't know how much your music is getting played but we do have some idea of our global audience… and that's great… it’s a good time to reaffirm what's up with rock’n’roll to.
Punk Globe: You’re going to go on tour. So how is your lifestyle going to change? What is life like on the road with Minus One?
Dana: It's not a party.

Lliam: Err… it's frustrating.
Punk Globe: A few drumsticks get thrown?
Lliam: It's like that! (Lliam points to my screwed up empty cigarette packet on the table.)

Dana: What do you mean it's like that? (Looking at Lliam)
Punk Globe: We are actually in a bad way here because two smokers and no cigarettes.
Lliam: It's fun… because everyone this last tour… everyone showed up… and played really well and it's always fun being around Dana… because you don't know what he's going to do next

Dana: It was cool… we did a little bit of drinking… did a little bit of some smoking weed … it was really cool to be in upstate New York smoking some weed in the upstate…

Lliam: I would still be in New York if I smoked weed. I am not very good at that.

Dana: He wasn't smoking. It was fun we took some pictures of New York… and we played some really good gigs… it was great… but it's not like Babylon… we’re not the Rolling Stones I think at this point…

Lliam: Even the Rolling Stones aren't the Rolling Stones anymore.

Dana: I think if we done a lot more touring in the 80's… it probably would of been like big cult busters… you know one of us might of OD.

Lliam: We definiately… all of us… wouldn't of made it out… it's amazing that we did anyway but throw that in there… and that's what I think… we weren't meant to make it back then… because we didn't have the maturity to deal with it.

Dana: We were approached by Geffen Records at one point.

Lliam: Yeah we were approached by a really big label Geffen Records when David was just starting his label… he came up and saw us but I don't think that we would of survived it.
Punk Globe: There is not many that did, there is a lot that have gone.
Dana: I think we are very fortunate like Lliam said… to just to be alive… and be able to do our stuff… and I think what we do is important… it is important… I know I can turn on younger kids… like what's really happening in rock’n’roll… show them the real deal… because people still love to rock out… and there is not a whole lot of bands that can seriously deliver… so it is nice to have an idea of who you are… and where you fit in on the plane… and why you’re doing it you know… so when you think of music as a whole you think being a part of that tapestry… I think we are vital… a vital component at this moment.. I think that it was lucky we all stayed alive… and maybe now is the most important time we could be playing.

Lliam: We were cryogenically frozen it was either that or death… Dana is like can't say much more than that… except we weren't really cryogenically frozen… we were like biodegeneratically frozen… we would like look a lot better if we were cryogenically frozen.
Punk Globe; You want to spell that for me?
Lliam: God bless Michael Jackson.

Dana: Yeah right! Oh My God.
Punk Globe: Now I have lost train of thought.
Lliam: Mission accomplishment! Let’s go!

Part 8 – Lliam’s Heart & Message For The Fans

Punk Globe: Well let's just talk about you Lliam for a second because you have had all the heart stuff happen to you. How did that affect you so much personally? The near death experience?

Lliam: Yeah it was like several… like really three…. the original, post operative, pre operative thing…. they made a mistake and broke the femoral artery you know… kind of important… then I had heart surgery… but it's ahhh... the three songs that are on this record that were recorded for just this record…. I'm playing much more mellow… because I got so much less capacity.. because I can only get so much energy going.

Dana: I think you did a great job.

Lliam: I think I did too… but it is actually good. I mean to answer your question. One of the nurses when I ended up back at this clinic… after you know this other terrible thing happened… she's like "Their trying to slow you down"… like just the world…. and it did and it is time to slow down sometimes… it's going to sound like I'm nuts… but it totally helped my playing.

Dana: Really?

Lliam: Yeah you've said it yourself kind of… anything you do you got to…. who knows… we might not be here never mind tomorrow like the next half hour… it made a huge impact… it made friendships stronger, loves stronger, faith stronger… I mean it could go either way in life… a lot of life is like that… either you’re going to have your experiences and get angry about it and you see that around… or going to have your experiences and come out of it with a greater appreciation for how lucky we are to be born.. a really fragile system… really fragile.
Punk Globe: That's good! Is there anything else you guys would like to tell your fans and people who read Punk Globe?
Dana: Yeah I would like them to listen to the new album… we are about to do the best record we have ever done… and I would encourage them to download the artwork… and the whole record… and to come and see our shows… because you’re going to see something that you might never thought you knew.

Lliam: Yeah.

Dana: And yeah… I would thank our listeners, any fans we have thank you for liking the music enough to buy it or listen to it and you know… I'd like to hear from any of our fans on our website.
Punk Globe: Which is?
Dana: Which is http://www.myspace.com/theoriginalminusone and then of course you can go to http://www.dcjamrecords.com you will also find Minus One material and photos…
Punk Globe: And on MySpace as well?
Dana: And on MySpace as well. Thank you.

Lliam: I was going to say Dana. I was in the hospital… to get back to this thing about heart surgery… I was in the hospital…

Dana: Now you’re going to bring it up?

Lliam: No he knows what I am going to get at…. this man will not listen to me… I'm in the hospital like literally on the edge… between the worlds… so he gets a call right.. who does he want to thank on the inside of the record… when the record comes out I am looking and I see people that are very deserving of thanks though, all these people Darron, Carl Macki, Ginger Coyote, Alanna Wiitala, which is his sister, Don Alberts his father, Eric “Elvis” Walsh who's that?

Dana: That's the guy who owns the club that we played in Philadelphia.

Lliam: Anyway meanwhile.. there is a guy that’s going through the side of my body… operating on my heart… I would of loved to have a thank you to my heart surgeon… all these guys I mean granted they are worthwhile… but he could’ve of called me in the hospital… "Excuse me I know that your barely alive but is there anyone you would like to thank"… Yeah I would like to thank Doctor H Conn for saving my fucking life… so by the way when the next record comes out ok… can we get a big giant thank you for Doctor H Conn.

Dana: Yeah that will be the cover.

Lliam: “I didn't know who to thank so you know like I just thanked all the people I know!”

Dana: That's true! I thanked all the people I know.

Lliam: So Doctor H Conn gets a thank you next time.

Dana: Right ok we will splash out on it next record.
Punk Globe: Maybe a song?
Dana: Maybe a song… I might have to write a song about the doctor.

Lliam: That would be beautiful! I gave him a copy of the record and he said he was going to play it for the next surgery… so some guy is getting his heart operated on while "Kids Don't Skate Here!" He likes “Spreader, scalpel, hey this stuff is pretty good.” “Doctor?” “Yeah, EKG is good. Oh like this one "I Remember John. I Remember John." Close him up were done here. Oh wait a minute “Out Of The Darkness”. He did that's a true story… he said… he got it… he goes thank you, you know what I am going to play this at the next surgery we do… that's what he said… they do it… they do it… that's a true story!

Dana: They listen to Minus One… well shit that's worth a million dollars right there.. that's a million dollar story right there.
Punk Globe: That's a classic!
Dana: When we do the film…

Lliam: A re-enactment of it….

Dana: We will get a good actor to play the doctor…
Punk Globe: Film clip! There you go a film clip, just get the doctor to come in and do it all over again.
Lliam: He would probably do it!

Dana: Actually we are going to document this making of the next record… we got a videographer… who going to come in and document the record… really cool guy… he has been building up our website… another mover and shaker… he's into this dialogue media multimedia thing…

Lliam: I got get going though.

Dana: Yeah OK that's fine… I think we have covered.
Punk Globe: Yeah.
Lliam: Yeah, we done pretty good.
Punk Globe: Done good.
Dana: Yeah I would like to thank you, though Sharla.
Punk Globe: Oh thank you!
Lliam: Yeah thanks a lot.
Punk Globe: And thanks guys that's good!

Entire Interview

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