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Friday, October 4, 2013

Interview with Dave Chandler of Saint Vitus, cont.

Here's the last part of my interview with Dave Chandler of Saint Vitus. We talk about New Orleans super groups, punk rock, and some new bands he digs. 

Justin Gish (JG)- Outside of this tour, you guys are still going strong in Europe at the big festivals right?
Dave Chandler (DC)- Yeah those are really fun because that was something back in the 80’s we always dreamed of doing, and now it’s really cool to be able to do it. The only bummer is that if you do one you have to wait three years before you can do it again, and that’s just a weird thing. So it’s like if you play Hellfest in 2013, you can’t play again 2016, unless all the sudden you’re the best band in the world. Which, I understand Because they want to keep it different but there’s still quite a few that we haven’t done yet.
But those are hard to do, there’s some difficulty because there are so many bands, and there are road crews you’re not used to, and it’s really hard but it’s really fun when you walk out there and raise your hand all all these people are screaming, it’s a blast.

JG- I can only imagine. Are you seeing younger folks at the shows, thanks to the “Doom Revival” we seem to be in now?
DC- Yeah, and that’s a really cool thing that we dig. Apparently between the time that we ended and now you know there’s been like a couple generations and that’s really nice because parents are bringing their kids. I have pictures of me with little tiny kids with Saint Vitus shirts on and that’s really bad ass. And the old fuckers will say they only go see one concert a year and they get in their wheelchair or their hoveround and they go to our show.

JG- Must make you proud
DC- Yeah, and they come up to the stage with the shirts they brought thirty years ago.

JG- The fall is going to be a big month in Grand Rapids. Monster Magnet is opening their North American tour here, we get you guys, and Church of Misery-
DC- And Kylesa's been there we’re doing a tour kick off thing with them in Oklahoma.

JG- So do you work a lot with Season of Mist bands?
DC- It just kind of depends. LIke this one, we just did four days in Australia and that was with Season of Mist, one of their bands, which is Monarch. And then we did local bands who opened up, but this tour is kind of like we’re trying to work with new people to get more of a new crowd, so everybody was like okay, you need to do either this band or that band, which is Pallbearer and Zoroaster, and both of them couldn’t do the whole thing, so we split it up, because these are really big upcoming bands and we wanted them on. But usually we don’t care, the only thing we don’t want is a band who is going to make the stage messy, before we play because if we’re going to slip and fall, on something it is going to be our fault, not some Satan band’s fault.

JG- No pig’s blood?
DC- Yeah, if they want to play with us, we don’t care, we’ll just play before them. And they can mess up the stage after. That’s fine. We just don’t want to slip and fall. But that’s the only thing, we don’t really give a shit who we play with.

JG- Yeah, you guys were on SST and with the whole punk thing, you guys are no strangers to playing with bands that don’t exactly sound like you.
DC- Yeah, we played in front of numerous audiences that really couldn’t care less about us, and some really angry ones who really wanted us to get off the stage and showed it very violently.

JG- Just wanted you to play a little faster?
DC-And we didn’t which made them madder, but that got our rep going.

JG- And that’s punk rock, playing by your rules and sticking to your guns.
DC- Yeah, it’s funny you say that because we were doing an interview one night and this one guy asked Wino “how would you classify yourselves?” and Wino goes, “fuck doom metal, we’re actually a punk rock band, cause we don’t really rehearse and we just go out and piss everyone off.” And I thought that was great.

JG- Pallbearer is slow. They are really great.
DC- I’ve heard they are really outstanding. I’m looking forward to seeing them.

JG- And you're living in New Orleans, right? How’d you end up down there?
DC- I moved here to get married. Bottom line was I met my wife in California, we were both working in the same place, I was a bartender, she was a waitress. And it was going nowhere, it was just going to be absolutely nothing, and I was doing Debris, Inc which was our stupid fun band, and she said she could get us a place to live in New Orleans, would you be willing to move, and I said yes. There was nothing in California, the bar was going to fire me anyway, so I said fuck it and we moved. And it’s been great.

JG- New Orleans fits the Saint Vitus vibe.
DC- Yeah, and ironically, I moved here in 2005 and then Katrina hit. But we lucked out cause we first moved here we lived in apartments that were in a cemetery. Which was the highest point in the city, because they don’t want the bodies to float around, so our house was dry, we just had no power or nothin’. For a few months and we stayed in Chicago with friends.

JG- You ever run into Phil Anselmo down there?
DC- Not really, he lives way out, but when we play he’ll come out to the show. Main person from Down that I hang out with is Pat the bass player, he’s a good friend of mine and he lives close.

JG- It seems like in New Orleans it be real easy to put together a supergroup.
DC- Yeah, but everybody just kinda does their own thing. But me Pat, and Jimmy Bower were fucking around for a while but it wasn’t serious, we would just get real stoned and fuck around it was nothing super serious. And there’s a lot of people that do that around here, so it’s just not something I want to do.

JG- I read in old interviews that you don’t listen to new music, that still the case?
DC- Yeah, I don’t listen to music really unless I’m on the road. I listen to the music I always have, and I’m more of a TV person. I watch TV that’s my thing, and I get a lot of musical influences from that. But I do like some new bands, well, Red Fang and Devil aren’t new anymore, but I really dig them. And there was a band in Australia that opened for us that was badass called Zodiac, they remind me of Witchfinder General kind of, I just thought they were really good. And I asked them for their record and they gave me a cassette and I said I like you even more now. They really impressed me. And I don’t like bands where I can’t understand the singer. And I could understand them. It’s fine to have a gruff voice, I mean look at Lemmy, but you can hear what he says.

JG- The cookie monster stuff can get pretty old.
DC- Yeah I don’t like that GRRR GRRR UHHH GRRR GRRR. I’m just like sorry, I don’t know what the hell you said.

JG- So what television shows do you watch?
DC- Well I’m like an old TV fan. But newer shows I like Big Bang Theory, I watch a lot of Nickelodeon, iCarly is one of me and my wife’s favorite shows, and cartoons, and my favorite show on TV, of all time, is professional wrestling. 

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