Rockability: An Interview With Dash Rip Rock
From the heart of New Orleans, Louisiana, there comes a rock ‘n roll band that’s staying true to the South’s tradition of producing great roots-rock bands. The South has given us great rock ‘n’ rollers such as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Billy Riley, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Little Richard and scores of others. And now we’ve got Dash Rip Rock—this New Orleans-based trio plays some of the smokinest rock’ n’ roll on either side of the Mason Dixon Line, and I recently caught up with them in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah Union Ballroom where they were playing with The Cramps. We shared some Chinese food and talked a lot about good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. Here’s what Chris, Bill and Hoaky had to tell me:
SLUG: Where did you guys meet, and how long have you been playing together?
Bill: Well, we’re all from the New Orleans/Baton Rouge section of Louisiana, so that’s where we met.nd as far as playing together goes, we’ve been together about eight years now.
Hoaky: (Laughs) Yeah, eight long years!
SLUG: Tell me a little bit about the music scene out in New Orleans and a little bit about the scene down South in general.
Bill: In New Orleans, it’s still that new kind of rhythm and blues that rules, you know, like the Neville Brothers and stuff like that. It’s really hard for rock ‘n roll bands to get a lot of respect in New Orleans. In fact, there was a music magazine that listed all the bands in New Orleans and they didn’t include one single rock ‘n’ roll band! It does seem to be gettin’ better though. There’s a lot of new bands comin’ out of New Orleans, and things are definitely starting to pick up.
SLUG: What kind of stuff is happening for you guys right now?
Bill: This Cramps tour is the biggest thing that’s probably ever happened to us as a band in years. We’re playin’ in front of a lot of big crowds that we’ve never been to before.
Chris: Like Utah; this is the first time we’ve ever been here.
Bill: Yeah, that’s true. We’ve never been here before. But this tour is just part of some cool things that have happened lately. I had a chance to play on Mojo Nixon’s solo album, so I had a chance to meet John Doe and Country Dick Montana and people like that. We also started working with Mojo’s manager, Bullethead, and he’s looking to get us onto a bigger label. So things are going real good for us right now.
Hoaky: While we’re in Utah, I think that I should tell you that I believe that The Osmonds are the spawn of Satan.
SLUG: Now that I know that the Osmonds are the spawn of Satan, what other influences do you have on your music?
Bill: Well, there’s a lot of influences on our band, people like Eddie Cochran and Johnny Brunette. But the biggest influences on us were probably bands like Jason and the Scorchers, the Georgia Satellites and the Leroy Brothers. These bands were playin’ a lot in the South and they just rocked everywhere they went. So that really got us going.
Hoaky: My biggest influence is Stainless Steel Rat. It’s a good book, action packed. I think everybody in the world should have to read it. I’m gonna go out and see if there’s a mosh pit (laughs).
SLUG: You guys have a new album out on Mammoth Records called Boiled Alive. How’s that doing?
Bill: It’s doing real well. We’ve gotten a lot of good reviews on the album, and we’ve sold about 12,000 copies—and that’s mostly in the South. So we’re probably gonna record a new album pretty soon.
SLUG: Boiled Alive was recorded live. Why’d you guys decide to do a live album?
Bill: That’s where this band is really at its best, live. We wanted an album that captured our live sound and energy as much as possible.
Chris: This album is really live! It’s recorded right onto the deck, screw ups and all, no overdubs.
SLUG: What about touring? How often do you guys tour and how do you like it?
Bill: We tour mostly in theS, but we also get out to the East and West coasts about three times a year. With this Cramps tour, we’re looking to start building a following in some other areas so we can tour more of the country. The best money for us still down South, though.
Hoaky: We probably play, on average, about 225 dates a year, so we spend most of the year touring and playing, which I like. Touring’s cool ‘cause some pretty strange stuff happens on the road. We were playing with The Cramps in Athens, Georgia and there was this girl in the front row standing there naked, and then she got up onstage and started dancing. That was pretty cool, but I think she wound up with Lux [Interior] that night.
Bill: We just like to play rock ‘n’ roll and hopefully we can start playing a lot more places.
SLUG: I saw on MTV a story that some Tabasco company was pissed off at you guys for using their logo on your new album and t-shirts. What’s the story with that?
Hoaky: (laughing) That was all Chris’ idea. It really wasn’t a big deal. The tabasco company wrote us and asked us not to use their logo anymore, and we said OK. But we thought that maybe we could get some publicity out of it, so we sent a letter to MTV, and they put it on the news like we were about to get sued or something. It was all pretty funny.
SLUG: What do you guys think about the roots music scene in general here in the US?
Bill: I definitely think it’s getting better. About a year ago it was really depressing, but now it seems to be picking up. On our last tour we had mostly rockabilly bands opening up for us, and that was really cool. Mostly I think that people need to stop listening to all of this Jesus Jones and EMF crap and come back to listening to real rock ‘n’ roll.
Chris: I agree. Most of what people are listening to nowadays is just noise, it’s got no soul.
SLUG: Last question: Do you guys plan on coming back to Utah to play anytime soon?
Bill: Most definitely. I hope we can come back and play some club dates real soon.
Well, that was my little chat with the cats from Dash Rip Rock who absolutely ripped at The Cramps show. By the way, check out their new album Boiled Alive on Mammoth Records cuz believe me, it smokes! Well, ‘til next month, throw out your Jesus Jones and EMF and get some real music ‘cause I’m outta here daddy-o!
Check out more from the SLUG Archives:
Interview: Jim Thirwell A.K.A. Clint Ruin of Foetus, Inc.
Conquering The Local Club Circuit with House of Cards
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