What could be better than an interview with the American powerviolence (ooops, sorry, "fast fucking hardcore") legend to begin this e-zine ? Dropdead's drummer Brian kindly took the time to answer some of our question, here is the result...

cMs: Can you tell us about you and Dropdead, when you started playing music and when the band started, if you played in other bands...

Brian: None of us played in any important bands before Dropdead, I messed around for a few years playing guitar/bass in some bands and even did a few 7"s and a CD and many tapes. In November 1989 I met Bob when he placed an Ad on the wall of a record shop that isn't open anymore. We started hanging out and smoking pot and stuff trying to form a band after that. The first night I went to Bob's house I had to sleep over because I got too stoned. I guess it was fated to be that we would be friends after more than 10 years. Ben showed up after another month and after this we tried to find a drummer. We met a few people some kid who was into metal and we played him some hardcore punk and gave him an issue of maximum rock n roll and never heard from him again. This other kid Brent tried out but he was quite horrible. He later went on to be in one of the best bands in the world 'Sports Creme'. I switched to Drums in mid-1990 and Lee joined us on bass and after about 6 months of practice we decided to change the name of the band. We were called Hellocaust before this time, we also had some other short lived names including Chronic Effort and Monster Zero. Sometime during the next 6 months near October or so I think Ben and Bob switched, Bob was originally playing guitar and Ben was singing before this. This line up worked and after a few months of practice we felt we were ready to play out a show. We played with Born Against and Rorschach. there is the end of our history up to our first show :-)

cMs: Can you summarize the history of Dropdead as a band ? Why did you choose to form Dropdead ?

Brian: Summarize it? We did some records, we played some shows. Because music has always been a powerful part of my life and all the bands I was in before this band were either just stupid or not what I wanted to do, which is play fast hardcore with political themes.

cMs: What are Dropdead's projects in the near (as well as far) future ? Is a discography CD really on the way ? oh pleeeeease... Any side-projects ?

Brian: yeah the CD is coming some fucking day. I don't want to talk about the next project yet...but it'll be a split 7" with one of the best swedish hardcore bands.

cMs: Dropdead has beheld the punk-hardcore scene's evolution for a long, and of course played an active part in it. What are your views on it, and on the various "trends" like SxE, H-8000 (belgian metalcore like Arkangel, Vitality...), emocore... and of course powerviolence...


Brian: Variety is always good, I can't say I enjoy all varieties personally but if no one ever did anything different what good would that be? Punk certainly works in cycles and when one band comes up with a good sound it is often that it is imitated till death! I think this only works with bands that play sort of simple styles though. Nothing wrong with simple, we have made a career in punk on 4 chords and 2 beats. Some of the best bands ever CAN'T in my opinion be duplicated: Void, Die Kreuzen, Sairaat Meilet. I hate the term Power Violence. It was made up by Eric Wood who is a fucking cartoon character of a man. I love Eric but to base a whole genre on the stoned ramblings of that Freak is insane. It's fucking fast hardcore. Fastcore? It's FUCKING FAST HARDCORE. FAST FUCKING HARDCORE!!!! Do we need more genres? Isn't Hardcore enough to cover Crossed Out? Scott from Crossed Out told me they were just trying to sound like old Boston Hardcore, they certainly didn't but I don't see the music they made as being anything more than fast hardcore. I'd liek to mention a band fromt he same area (more or less) and the same era, No Comment don't get raved about as much as Crossed Out and the No Comment-Downsided 7" is one of the best hardcore records ever best record on slapaham hands down.

cMs: Dropdead is almost a legend for french hardcore fans a kind of forefigure of the powerviolence stuff; does it go the same in the US ? By the way which french band do you like ?

Brian: I don't know what people think of us. It's not super important. Please don't place us on a level above yourself just because we have been a band for 10 years or whatever it's been. We are just people like you except we are OLD AS HELL now. as to French Bands I like of course Opstand, Convicted, Scraps (old stuff!), I like some KBD French band I can't think of their name they have a song called 'Salted City'. Uh let me think Pariah Punk, Rapt, I'd have to go search for more French bands I like I can't think. Oh of course my favorite French punk is Plastic Bertrand! (yes I know he is Belgian but I had to say it!)

cMs: About powerviolence, what are your opinion about bands said to play this kind of music: Spazz, Man is the bastard, the Locust, Hellnation...

Brian: Hellnation Certainly predate the whole Powerviolence thing, MITB never fit in the whole definition of Power Violence as far as I'm concerned even though Wood came up with the term. I like them however, I'm justy being pedantic. The Locust would be a perfect example of emo guys who play power violence I guess? I dunno. I could never figure them out. They like to smoke weed though I learned that much about them from playing with them. I never liked Spazz, I can stand them in short doses if they don't start with the kazoo and banjo nonsense and the recording isn't too clean. Spazz is plagued by having production that isn't thick, but maybe that's their whole style, just because I don't like it doesn't mean it's bad. .

cMs: Dropdead, or at least one of its members seem to have a fetish for Japan, can you tell us more about that ?

Brian:Well that'd be me. I was quite obsessed with Japanese stuff but part of it was what they call schtick. I overplayed the Japanese obsession a bit in my zine because I am a pretty sharp guy, and I realize having a zine dedicated to just japanese stuff is pretty stupid.

cMs: You shared a 7" with Rupture, which might sound strange to someone who doesn't really know this australian "brutal punk" band (such as us...) There seems to be some kind of "contradiction" between your politically envolved lyrics and theirs (which are more, erm, down to earth...) Can you tell us more about that ?

Brian: It was actually a split 8" we had the honor of being the first American punk band to press a hard vinyl 8". I happened to be talking to the guy at the pressing factory about special vinyl and he said he had just gotten a pressing machine that was from the 1940s or something that did 8" records so I HAD to hound the guy until he let us press a record on it! ANYWAY. At the time of the Rupture split the only Rupture we had heard was the astoundingly crushing 'Righteous Fucks' 7" which if you check the lyrics is NOT over the top anti-PC like they turned into. I must note much of Rupture's lyrical content is 'Schtick', either you get the joke or you don't I guess.

cMs: Speaking about politics, do you think music is a proper means to forward ideas ?

Brian: It is to me. Does anything else matter?

cMs: Dropdead is a vegan band, are you into straight-edge or antispecism ?

Brian: We actually aren't vegan, all of us eat dairy. Some of us more than others. I never eat eggs or use any dairy on anything I cook but if there is some in a cake or something I'll eat it. I think the rest of the guys eat cheese pizza and on mexican food and stuff like that. Devon is Straight-Edge but the rest of us take drugs and drink in our own manner. I like to have a drink every now and then, I have sort of gotten tired of alcohol and I stopped smoking pot almost 10 years ago, but I'll still take a toke a couple times per year.

cMs: Dropdead maintains a pretty well informative page on the web, do you think internet is a threat to paper fanzines ? how do you feel about this "cybertrend" ?

Brian: I don't see the difference between a paper fanzine and an electronic one except you can access the electronic one from anywhere in the world for close to no cost and maybe for free if you have free internet from a library or at school. If you really want a paper copy, print it out! Less trees are cut down cause of less zines, think about that! We also have free music on our page, what is more punk than that? It's just not possble for us to send everyone who wants to hear us a free tape. But they can come to us and download it if they want. I'd actually like to put a lot more on the page but I admit I am a lazy bastard.

cMs: Dropdead has a new bass player now, what happened to his predecessor ?

Brian: Lee was in the band from 90-96 but his attitude about many aspects of the band were just not good. He is still a vegetarian even now though.

cMs: Something more futile, what is your latest heart-throb (book, film, music...)

Brian: I have been reading a collection of stories by Henry Kuttler recently. Musically I have been listening to Devo and the Stooges a lot because I have those tapes in the car. Other in-the-car-tapes are Toxic Reasons-Independence, Victims Family-Things I hate to Admit (not my favorite by them but it's ok), and a tape that contains a load of Japcore from the 80s one side fast stuff: Comes-No Side, Gudon-Howling Communication,Gas-The Day After,etc and one side with what I like to call 'Thug Punk' Dirty slower metallic punk as only the Japanese could do it in the 1980s: Zouo, LSD, Gasmask, Janky,etc. Howard Stern is always my guilty pleasure. Since I am such a computer nut, I'll mention Solaris and VMS are my pet operating systems right now. I crave an rs/6000 after seeing one I passed on recently. The next machine will probably be a vaxstation 3100. I won't explain what any of the above are because you either know about them or you don't, no use for a computer history lesson. I have also somewhat obsessed with electronics recently. It's a fairly expensive hobby though for what I want to do so I am not really doing much with it. Someday I'll get a PCB making chemicals and buy some parts to make a 27xxx EPROM burner. Then I can cross this with another hobby of mine: old videogames. I like any old games from before 1990. If any of you French people want to trade some old games for records please let me know. I am especially after a Phillips G7400 with games or Vectrex system,

cMs: Conclude by saying anything you want...

Brian: Thanks for the decent interview! I thought it was going to be bad when you asked for a band history at the beginning but it got better. All I can say to the people reading this is think before you do anything.


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