The Damned: Pinch: I used to be a boxer and I guess that is where I discovered drinking, music and women. Playing drums is the only thing I could do using me head. (laughter) A good friend of mine from the same town I lived in played drums for 9 gigs with “The Damned”. He left to join Morissey on a world tour and I got the audition. I learned 20 songs in two days and they gave me the job!
Chain D.L.K.: So how is it going for you now?
The Damned: Pinch: These are deep questions! Making a living out of playing music. Met my fian’cee in San Diego at a “Damned” show 2 years ago on Halloween. She was a naughty nurse and I was an evil clown. So after 2 pitchers of beer and all the other alcohol I could find, we’re still together 2 years later and I’m living in San Diego now!
Chain D.L.K.: What are your musical influences?
The Damned: Pinch: These days I’ve been picking up music I missed the first time around. I come from a real hardcore punk background. I played for this band called “The English Dogs”, that had a sound similar to “GBH” or “Discharge” and “The Exploited”.
Chain D.L.K.: Speaking of the punk feel, with the song “W”, “The Damned” seem to call the legitimacy of President W. Bush into question, do you feel the events of September 11th have changed your views?
The Damned: Pinch: What the song is really about is how they hoodwinked the American people. When I learned how the voting process worked here and how one guy could get a shit load more votes and stil lose. That’s not majoirty rules. . That’s not DEMOCRACY! America is supposively the leader of the free world but it’s turned out to be the biggest tryant, the biggest warmonger and the biggest polluter. America constantly wants to be at war! You can read books on it and you can talk about how every bomb dropped in Afganistan means another job in America. The arms industry needs to keep refueling. There are so many people involved working for the arms industry in small ways. I don’t think September 11th has done anything for him on that. He’s still a cunt basically and he will probably be a bigger and bigger cunt all his life.
Patricia: He’s a putz, he always was a putz, he always will be!
Patricia: We live in England, a lot closer to Iraq than here and we do not want to be bombed thank you very much!
Dave: It just seems that all this fuss was made about it and suddenly he’s the big hero. After it’s gone on for years and years there is no way to get away from it. It’s difficult, America always felt untouchable. Even Pearl Harbor seems like it happened somewhere else. This happens and America feels vulnerable.
Chain D.L.K.: The libertarian candidate for President was Harry Brown, he did some campaigning at raves. I was wondering since you don’t like George Bush, what, if any, candidates do you support?
The Damned: Pinch: It seems Ralph Nader’s a sensible guy. I’m not really into American politics because at the end of the day, whoever’s ahead has somebody pulling the strings, but Bush is one guy I’m deifnately no into. He thinks America is not just a country, but a planet. I don’t think “The Damned” are that political.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you feel any social responsibility for the effects and glamorization of Absinthe?
The Damned: Pinch: Responsiblity of a potentially fatal and mind destroying drink? Absolutely not! People can go and drink 100 gallons of Budweiser’s piss water because that’s what it takes to get fucking drunk on it and it’s full of chemicals an it doesn’t say what’s on the side of the can. What’s in these things? They don’t have the ingredients listed. Did you know that there is sugar and chocolate in my Marlboro Lights? (laughter) I’m a hypocrite for smoking cigarettes. At least I smoke Camels. So, for promoting a drink, which is like no other drink in the world, when you’re high on absinthe, it’s like you’re drunk one minute and not the next, are you? It makes you question yourself. It’s a real light and airy feeling and the great thing is the next morning you drink water and get drunk again. No other drink can do that. The best stuff is in the Czech Republic, but now you can get it in England. It’s a fun thing like rolling a spliff. There’s a ritual to it…the smell of skunkweed…the after effects.
Dave: No, not at all, We’ll since it’s not heroin, now is it? I don’t know. I think everyone should be responsible for their own actions. I’m not advocating anyone to go crazy with it.
Monty: Yeah, from personal experience, don’t do it.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you feel you are portaying a message to the masses?
The Damned: Pinch: For myself, I think any band that feels they need to portray a message is valid, but as for “The Damned” I don’t feel there is any one message. It’s like the old crusty punk bands say, “We all know nuclear bombs will kill us all”, “love not bombs”. The captain’s lyrics always have a message, but he won’t ever shout to the rooftops or write an album, “Join the Communist Party! “
Dave: To be honest, we don’t think about it that way, we comment on what we see.
Monty: Yeah, be yourself!
Chain D.L.K.: Seeing “The Damned” as the most glalm of the punk bands or the most punk of the glam bands, what are your views on the glam aspects of “The Damned? “
The Damned: Monty: It’s all really funny. All in good fun you know.
Chain D.L.K.: How do you feel about the electro movement?
The Damned: Pinch: I think it’s fantastic. Every musician should have a sampler or a keyboard. I use a game on my “Playstation 2”, here it’s called “MTV Music Generation”, but I have the English version of it. It’s opened up the world of electronics to the simpletons. When there were raves in England, to me, that was the new punk. When there was a rave they were secret and there would be police helicopters on them, but they would split up and meet again to listen to something they wanted to listen to. They couldn’t get licenses for some of the things they sold in the clubs, because they were all based on drug deals, but they we’re great times, weren’t they? I think a lot of punks went into that scene. I think out of that scene, a lot of influences come from that music, but to think that was 1988, almost 14 years ago.
Chain D.L.K.: Dave, with the rockabilly influences on the new album, did your experiences playing with “The Phantom Cords” cause that?
The Damned: Dave: It’s always been there, it’s just allowed to come out more.
Chain D.L.K.: What age we’re you when you dedcided to pursue music?
The Damned: Dave: I was really quite young. The first music I was exposed to was big band, swing and German tango music and gradually to bands like “The Zombies” and “The Animals”. Wolfman Jack did a midnight broadcast for the soliders in Germany. He played a lot of garage bands like “The Seeds” and “The Prunes”. We didn’t have these bands and I got exposed to them very early.
Chain D.L.K.: There was talk of you singing for “The Misfits”, what happened?
The Damned: Dave: Yeah, that was just talk.
Chain D.L.K.: What are some tips to surviving bands out there that are starting out?
The Damned: Pinch: The easiest thing is to start a band, the hardest is to keep it together. Lend yourself to otherr’s opinions. You have to be able to drink copiously, but not doing things so outragously you’re sapped. You have to laugh through bad songs and you have to realize you will do shows when no one is there. But at the end of the day, you know you will do good shows.
Monty: Get a day job!
Pinch: Monty’s got a good point there. The only thing that I know how to do besides play drums is to drink beer and masturbate furiously. (laughter) Maybe porn would be as good industry for me.
Visit The Damned on the web at:
[interviewed by Michelle Russo & Fink. a.k.a. Francis Giovanni ] [proofreading by Erica Breyer- Text and transcription by Fink a.k.a. Francis Giovanni and Angel]