Speak 714 Interview Part One

By 1998 I was really falling out of love with the whole “1997” youth crew revival thing. Also, during this time period, as I entered college I began dealing with my own sexuality in a frank and real way for the first time. I was a late bloomer to say the least. The fall of 1997 and spring/summer of 1998 was filled with three very confusing and frustrating relationships where I dealt directly with a lot of what Dan talks about. I didn’t have the emotional or sexual maturity to really engage with them at the time in any meaningful way. One of them being partially played out in public via the hardcore scene sure did not help. Keep breaking down those fucking walls. 

I interviewed Dan during the Rev Tour in the summer of 1998. Also present and asking questions were John Fisher and John Piorkowski.

I will post the rest of this interview once it is properly transcribed. God, transcribing interviews is fucking annoying. I have zero patience.

WPW: I guess we’ll start with the really stupid question: Who is in the band?

Dan: Well it’s not a stupid question considering no one who played on the album (Knee Deep In Guilt) is still in the band. I didn’t want to be in a band that demanded $800 a night and be something that we weren’t, which is like represent ourselves as a youth crew band and do the kicks and swinging guitars around. Which is fine, don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging other people’s tastes, but those aren’t mine so to go out and play them would be ugly. That’s not what I listen to so to go out and play it would be fucked up. Minor ThreatBlack Flag…that’s what I listen to when I listen to hardcore so there is more of that in our performance. So there is more of that involved than say, the late eighties stuff, which was certainly a phase of my life, not morally, but in performance.

In the band is a guy named Chris Lisk and Kevin Panter from a California band called Third Degree. Then Eric and Jeff from an Arizona band called Safe House are the guitarists. All of them, well, we’re certainly not twins, but they are more supportive of my politics…I’m not talking shit on the original lineup, but it was never clear if it was supposed to be a project or band and I was uncomfortable with the nature of it. The band had to represent where I am now and it had to be realigned. There wasn’t any bad blood or me taking over the band like Darth fucking Vader. It went pretty well.

WPW: Yeah, at first is was advertised as Dan & Joe’s project…

Dan: By Joe. Yeah he went to the Internet with that shit, he put it in every Ignite interview.

WPW: Every Ignite interview mentions it.

Dan: Joe had been after me to do music with him for at least a decade. Three different times I’ve been asked to sing for Ignite.  They’re really nice people; Brett in particular is a really nice guy.  I have no problems with them as people.  They remind me, as a band, a lot of Uniform Choice

JF: Yeah, we both share that great betrayal with Uniform Choice

Dan: Well, I used to roadie for them so mine runs really deep.  In my opinion they’re a Uniform Choice spin off band much like when No For An Answer began we were a Negative Approach spin off band in that they were gods to us and we tried to write songs like them and I tried to sing like them.  I’ve been there, I’ve done that, but I don’t want to do it right now.

WPW: I just can’t imagine you singing like (I do this terrible impersonation of John Brannon’s mind blowing vocals on the live songs on the Total Recall CD. As Dave Flynn once put it, like a hyena about to kill its prey)

Dan: I do it during one of our songs, a song called Stick and Move, for the last few lines.  It’s just not where I am at, you know?  When they asked me to sing for Ignite, I don’t know how serious they were about it; it was Joe and I, away from the band, whenever it came up.  Casey was in Ignite; well he left No For An Answer on pretty bad terms and it would have been like walking backwards.

JF: Speaking of walking backwards, how would you compare your politics today to when you were in No For An Answer?

Dan: There’s two big points which I have changed: I went through a period of real heavy drinking which I don’t try to hide which is definitely in conflict with what those bands were all about and I don’t really believe in monogamy as much as I believe in responsibility. You look at the lyrics to the No For An Answer song You Laugh, it’s about the pain caused by people’s treatment of one another and the lack of respect shown in sexual interaction including lack of responsibility. It took me a long time and considering I wrote that song only a few years out of high school it took me a long time to realize that it’s not so much the number of partners, but the key element in healthy sexuality is that your partner feels respected. That they feel they can trust you and that’s not necessarily absent in casual sex when both parties are healthy and consenting. You shouldn’t really fuck around with anyone you don’t have a strong understanding of. You could just be screwing around, but you don’t know, they could be someone who is extremely codependent or have a deep seeded need to say whatever is needed to get close to a person. You can end up contributing to a lot of pain for someone if you are not very careful.

WPW: I’ve gone through that a few times, where I get with people and, at first everything is okay, but then it becomes them (ahem, or me) just latching on and try to be part of you, basically dragging onto you…becoming codependent is really easy…

Dan: I worry about it in that you say your married, like your parents, and most things in relationships come from something deep seeded…has a lot to do with self esteem and things like that. I must be schizophrenic because for years I was very manic human being, I was poem writing, hide gifts in the bushes and leave a map to them. Dopey, homemade, cards. I’m not putting these things down, but the point is I was really obsessive, extremely monogamous and very committed. But also extremely jealous, you know?

These days I could give a fuck, you know? Other than not wanting to mess anyone up. Particularly when I was living in the Bay Area at times it was this weird, degenerate, fuck fest…(some inaudible stuff)…sex is the great motivater in western society and society all over the world. If you look at advertising and things like that, it’s the fucking top dog. It’s what runs shit and it’s been a dominant force in the arts for centuries. Music is part of the arts and it is also part of marketing, which is hugely involved in hardcore. Yet sexuality is approached…it’s not approached, it has almost this fear of public discussion in the hardcore scene. And that drives me up the fucking wall. Most of these teenage boys in the audience, it’s mostly teenage boys, and if they are at all normal it’s something they are thinking about 60 to 70 percent of the time. But it is talked about none of the time on stage.

WPW: This is something I see in the hardcore scene, that kids are always screaming about “sexism in hardcore!” but, by nature…(I ramble a bit here incoherently)…even if you say you don’t base attraction on somewhat psychical aspects…

DOM: …and that’s the problem with the more holier than thou political kids…