TRIBU Magazine Dale interview

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This is an interview sent to me by Guillermo which comes from the July/August 2001 issue of TRIBU Magazine which is written in Spanish. He was nice enough to translate it, he said that there may be some confusion of the ideas but you should get the gist of it.

  • Interview with Dale Crover
  • TRIBU Magazine July / August 2001
  • Por Ivan Daguer
  • Transribed by MiMo (Thanks to Adrian)

The legendary band is more alive than ever. Proof of that, is the prolific creative moment they’re living now, releasing two excellent records in less than 3 months. During the beginning of their North American tour we decided to talk with the drummer of the band Dale Crover who talked for quite a while with Tribu, touching different subjects. Well, here’s an extract of what the old cassette could hold.

You guys are recently arriving from a tour in Europe promoting Electroretard… Tell me a little bit about the tour… I understand that you played without any band opening for you, is that true?

Dale Crover: We did all the shows without openers. We wanted to give a long show and that’s what we tried to do. At the end of the tour a couple of bands joined us. It was kind of unexpected but it was ok, they were good bands…

Are those bands joining the North American tour?

No, we are going to play with the same bands we played last night. (The Folk Implosion, Skeleton Key) By the way, the European tour was great. We did some shows in The Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Italy. In this last country was where we had the best time. The people were very effusive, lots of young people… everything went great.

Well, you haven’t gone to South America yet. Do you have any ideas about going to South America?

We’d love to go there, but nobody has offered us anything. Last year we had a chance to play there but nothing happened. Maybe you guys can do something in order to play there, that’d be great.

A couple of months ago Electroretard was released and yesterday I found out that you also released a new record (Colossus of Destiny) Why releasing two records in such a short time if there’s still many people looking for Electroretard?

This is not the first time we’ve done something like this. We released in 1999 a trilogy of records very different one from another. A experimental, a trippy and a heavy one. Lots of friends were involved, people from The Jesus Lizard, Brutal Truth, Skeleton Key, among others.

Colossus of Destiny is a pretty weird record a 53 minute song a another of 2…

If you listen to the record and you see the list of tracks you’ll notice that are 6. 10 minutes passes and the cd player’s timer goes backwards and everything starts all over again… You have to listen to it again!

Yes, definitely. Today I listened to it, I bought it last night after the show.

This record is a show that we did some time ago and the intro or the first part of the show is what we recorded in the album. The record’s last song is the first song of the second part of the show. We think that it was ok for putting it on a CD and well… we did (laughs) We like it and I think that it’s a great record to listen laying on the sofa and having a nice trip.

Electroretard was released by Man’s Ruin, Colossus by Ipecac and many of your records are on different independent labels. Do you feel comfortable working on these kind of labels or you’d like to go back to a major label like Atlantic?

We don’t want to go back to a major label. We were in Atlantic and it’s very poor the way in which it works. That people is not interested in one’s work… It was weird, we didn’t have commercial hits or were a commercial band at all… Besides, we never had any illusions about working for Atlantic. If it didn’t work, we were going to be back on an independent label and it was there when Patton’s band (Fantômas) and us didn’t have label contracts. So, we came with the idea that Jello Biafra suggested us. I remember that by that time the Butthole Surfers also had an independent label… so it was the chaos of independent labels! (laughs). So we decided it and founded Ipecac.

With Man’s Ruin, we just released Electroretard and a vinyl EP that had a Pink Floyd song on it. That vinyl, Frank (Kozik) wanted it on CD with some others covers that we’ve had done, but it never happened. With Frank we are very good friends and he helped me to release my side-project Altamont. There are some labels that fucked us but Man’s Ruin and Ipecac things work very well.

You mentioned some covers… I know you are fans of bands like KISS, Rush, Pink Floyd. On Electroretard you covered “Interstellar Overdrive” from Pink Floyd, I see that Syd Barrett is a big influence on you guys.

Definitely, I like better the first Pink Floyd’s period and some stuff post-Barrett. But my influences don’t revolve around the bands you just said. I got more than a thousand records and I guess they are not all of the same style.

I can’t help asking you about your collaboration with Nirvana. What did they represent to you after all the commotion they created? How do you see that after ten years? I don’t know if you wanna talk about this…

Don’t worry... They were an important band for a generation as the Sex Pistols in the late seventies. Remember at that time there were a lot of shit like Poison, Warrant, etc. And then Nirvana suddenly took over breaking all the rules. Sadly, we are back to the same. There are bands like Backstreet Boys ruling everywhere but lucky for us there’s a Radiohead on the charts and that fixes something at least.

Do you think that the Melvins are more famous because of Nirvana’s success and the constant references that Cobain used to do than the own band’s merits?

Absolutely. If Kurt Cobain wouldn’t have talked about us, probably today we’d be an unknown band and maybe we wouldn’t have signed for a major label.

Let’s talk about Altamont, your side project…

Unlike Melvins, Altamont is more straight forward oriented rock. I guess that Melvins’ fans will like it. It’s not that different from the Melvins but definitely it’s something else. Besides I wouldn’t do in another band something that I’ve already done with my main band.

Any new band you’d like to recommend?

There are many bands that I enjoy but I know that they are not gonna be popular. I like Skeleton Key, the band that opened for us last night but I don’t think they’ll be famous… well perhaps they can get famous (laughs). Also I’ve been listening the Descendents, they are a thousand times better than Green day.

Some time ago you produced La Ciudad de Brahman from the Argentinean band “Natas”. Was it your first experience as a producer?

Working with them was pretty easy, they were really decided in what they wanted and that helped a lot. Also the drummer is amazing. We almost never made two takes, the only thing that we discussed was some issues about the mixing, they are a “stoner rock” band and I wanted them to sound different in order to get a higher status inside the style. It was a very good experience and if they ask me to work again with them, I’d do it gladly.

I’d like to produce more bands, but it’s hard to find time. Besides, it’s also hard that the people in the band give me total control, specially when they are young bands. For example if I produce Natas again I’d like to have more control. When I assumed the production in Altamont I took control of everything, but I let the engineer do his work too. The idea is that everyone put their own talents in the search of an appropriate sound for the band.

Well Dale, that’s all. Thanks for your time.

Thanks to you guys. I hope that we can go to South America soon and be in Chile playing a long show.