D.O.A. Interview - Joey "Shithead" Keithley | ThePunkSite.com
||Members: Joey "Shithead" Keithley
April 2nd, 2007
If you have never heard of Canadian punk band D.O.A. I am guessing you are
new to the scene, or have missed out on one of the greatest bands of all time.
Joey has been the only constant member of the band that has been making amazing
music for over 25 years. He has a string of phenomenal albums, singles and
countless gigs to his credit, as well as a book, so I leapt at the chance to
speak to him.
Hi Joey, thanks for agreeing to do the interview. The reason I wanted to
do this was I was looking on your website and saw you had a couple of records
coming out again and I thought now would be a good time to advertise you
Joey: That’s great, I appreciate it.
Jeff: Another reason I wanted to interview you was when I used to live in
the UK I wrote to you a few times and you were the only person who would always
reply, so that is something that has always stayed with left me.
Joey: Oh, back in the days of the old snail mail? I was just thinking back
about that the other day. We used to do this thing where if someone wrote us
a letter, not ever time but every second time, we would send them our second
single “Prisoner 13” as a sort of “thanks for writing to
D.O.A. type thing”. These are worth quite a bit of money now. I looked
at that as we are reissuing all the singles. It was cool, kinda like a fancy
The letter thing was a big thing when we started in ‘78/’79 as
sometimes we put on shows in Marin County, California, and there were no telephone
numbers. So we would have to write a letter and say “Dear so and so,
we would like to come down and play”, and then wait for a reply and try
and work out a date. Letter writing was a big thing but it has fallen by the
Jeff: I miss that as it is such a really personal touch to receive an actual
Joey: Oh yeah, because everyone has their own personality in their handwriting
and that kind of stuff.
Jeff: I remember your “fan club” the “Money Grubbin’ Fan
Club”, did you ever get any crap for that, even though it wasn’t
a real fan club?
Joey: No, most people realized that it was tongue in cheek. I remember one
instance where we covered all the guitars, amps and drums with this silver
Mylar which cost aout 40 bucks and we had this slogan “D.O.A., the band
that really put the metal into rock”, as a take off on all these metal
bands. Some journalist thought we were like these fucking rockstars with $20,000
guitars (laughs). They combined that with the “Money Grubbin’ Fan
Club” and decided D.O.A. had really lost it type thing! So no, we never
got too much flack over that.
Jeff: That reminds me, I saw you play loads of times in England, and I think
it was London Polytechnic where you had a toilet for a guitar!
Joey: I’ve still got it, but I don’t bring it out very much anymore.
I got it as a wedding gift from Dave Greg another guitar player from D.O.A.
a long time ago. He saw it in a guitar shop in Vancouver and this guy had taken
it. We used to bring it out on stage when we were a four piece but it is so
thin sounding, as it is not anchored into wood properly, that it doesn’t
work when we play as a three piece. I will bring it out once in a while but
it is sitting in retirement in my basement.
Jeff: I always thought you made it.
Joey: No this guy made it and they found the guitar case in an alley somehow,
they put it all together and the night before I got married they had a roast
for me at this place called the Smilling Budha which is our equivalent of the
100 Club type thing. Fifteen people got up and told stories about me and all
this stuff, which was really cool.
Jeff: There are some obvious questions I would like to ask as I am sure there
are a lot of young kids who are just discovering you. So, what does D.O.A.
mean? I have heard so many rumours about the name, what the letters stood for.
Joey: DEAD ON ARRIVAL
Jeff: It was?
Joey: We always said the most famous D.O.A. was JFK.
Jeff: In Britain I heard people say it was “Destruction Of America” which
I always doubted as you guys are Canadian!
Joey: We were in Los Vegas and we were just checking into the hotel and there
was a lady who said “so, you guys are in a band are you?”. We said
that she was right and we were playing at a particular venue. She asked us
the name of the band and Cooper, our bass player at the time, said D.O.A. So
she asked us what D.O.A. stood for and Cooper said “Disciples Of the
Apostles”. She thought we were some sort of religious group and she said
she would send her daughter down to our show! It was the funniest bloody thing
as Cooper was a nice guy but no rocket scientist and he just blurted out “Disciples
Of the Apostles” (laughs).
It always was DEAD ON ARRIVAL, but we were most annoyed when the English band
DEAD OR ALIVE came along. It wasn’t a problem in the UK or Europe but
in America they shortened it to D.O.A., so there was all this confusion. I
remember we went on this video station and DEAD OR ALIVE had their big hit “You
Spin Me Round (Like A Record)”, and a lady was interviewing us and we
said yeah we’re D.O.A. The lady is looking at us as we didn’t look
remotely like the guy from DEAD OR ALIVE (laughs). We had a few people come
to shows and they would want refunds because we weren’t the D.O.A. they
were expecting. Of course the promoters would tell them to fuck off and kick
them out of the place.
I got the idea from a friend of mine when we were rehearsing in 1978. This
punk rock guy comes in, his name was Harry Homo, and he listens to us for a
couple of minutes and says “you guys are pretty good, why don’t
we start a band? You be the band, I’ll be the singer and we will call
it D.O.A. and we will make a million dollars”. That was the whole thing,
it turned out Harry was an awful singer and he lasted about one show and he
gave us the name and that was the end of it.
Jeff: With your albums you sometimes have periods between the letters
and sometimes you don’t.
Joey: It should be but it just depends on the design. I try and make sure
they are always there.
Jeff: The reason I say that is when you run the albums through iTunes for
your iPod some have the bands name with periods and some are without. It plays
havoc with my iPod!
Joey: Yeah, it is prettyhard to change that now. I know if you google my name
it is miss spelt, they have the “i” before the “e”.
I tried to get them to change that but they said it is basically impossible
as we would have to go back to the very first entry on the net.
Jeff: How did you get your un-complementary nickname “Shithead”?
Joey: We had our very first band comprised of Dimwit, rest his soul, Gerry
Hannah and Brian Goble.
Jeff: Was this THE SKULLS?
Joey: No, it preceded that in May or June 1977. We were a rock band called
THE STONED CRAZIES. We were supposed to be THE STONE CRAZIES but with all the
pot we smoked we became known as THE STONED CRAZIES (laughs). We went up and
played our first pro gig in this little logging town called Merit in British
Columbia and we got soundly fired out after one night. We played some of the
usual rock standards of the time like LED ZEPPELIN and stuff like that, but
we also played “Disco Sucks” (which was later recorded by D.O.A.)
as well as a couple of songs by BLACK SABBATH. After we got our asses kicked
out of there, we were driving back and Dimwit said “Wow, rock ‘n’ roll
isn’t what it is all cracked up to be”, after we had tried it for
all of one show. He said we should start a punk band and his suggestion was
Joey Shithead And The Marching Morons, and people expected that would be the
first name of D.O.A. Dimwit and Brian obviously started SUBHUMANS, although
we did have THE SKULLS together, but I kept the Joey Shithead name.
Jeff: When you first started were you trying to achieve anything or was it
just fun or better than working?
Joey: I think with THE SKULLS we didn’t know, but with D.O.A. we had
a few goals in mind, probably about three: one was to drink as much beer as
possible, two was to be loud and obnoxious – which we achieved and three
we had a bit of a political agenda. We had seen what some of the bands in England
were saying and we were influenced by THE RAMONES, although they didn’t
get political until later on with “Bonzo Goes To Bitburg” and stuff
like that. When I was in high school there were some big protests in Vancouver
about America testing nuclear weapons in the Elution Islands off Alaska. At
16 I attended one of these rallies and I was also influenced by my brothers
and sisters who were politicized and stuff like that. As a kid I listened to
Jimi Hendrix, BLACK SABBATH and PINK FLOYD, but also Bob Dylan and Woodie Guthrie
so I got into the political side of their lyrics.
People say D.O.A. weren’t political to start with, well we weren’t
overtly poltical but one of the first shows we played was Anarchy In Canada,
where punks took over Stanley Park and set up a stage and we played with SUBHUMANS.
We made that an annual thing for a couple of years and then we wrote songs
like “World War III” and “Nazi Training Camp” and stuff
like that. We knew what we were aiming at. When you start out you are angry
young men and we realized the world was screwed up, but we didn’t realize
just how screwed up the world was.
Jeff: Your first record was “Disco Sucks”?
Joey: That’s right in June 1978 that came out.
Jeff: How did you get the money together for that?
Joey: My girlfriend at the time had some unemployment checks and I said “how
about a fine investment in the band?” We went into a studio for about
8 hours and recorded everything and mixed it in that time, including finishing
the lyrics, as I had only finished writing about two thirds of the lyrics for
the four songs on the EP. We did a pressing of 500 and started to get a real
little following and we took them round to 6 or 7 record shops and they sold
real quickly. The smartest thing we did was looking in magazines and finding
record shops in California, New York, Chicago and Toronto and we started shipping
10, 20 or 30 boxes of the EP to these stores. We started sending them to alternative
and college radio stations and so pretty soon it turned itself over and that
paid for another 500. Then a local record company, Quintesance, became involved
because they could see D.O.A. was becoming a growing concern.
Jeff: D.O.A. are credited as being one of the first hardcore bands, do you
remember who came up with that phrase?
Joey: Well, there was a guy in a magazine from San Francisco in late 1980,
and the headline of the article was Hardcore, and it was all about bands like
D.O.A., BLACK FLAG, CIRCLE JERKS, THE DILLS, THE AVENGERS and stuff like that,
the West Coast Scene. So, we thought it was amazing because it was hardcore
and uncompromising and so intense. When we got back to Vancouver and we were
recording our second album and our manager Ken said that would be a great name
for an album, and he came up with a few suggestions, “Hardcore Plus” or “Hardcore ‘81”.
We thought that made sense as it was March ’81 so we organized this mini-festival
of 2 nights in Vancouver. BLACK FLAG, 7 SECONDS and a load of Vancouver bands
played and that was where the name hardcore came from in reference to punk.
Before that hardcore was used to refer to pornograpghy. After that it was
used to describe bands that were uncompromising and political. Obviously some
bands were more political than others, like the DEAD KENNEDYS were very political.
Then again there were some bands that were way less political but talked about
surburban angst and stuff like that, such as the CIRCLE JERKS or BLACK FLAG.
Some people say they weren’t political (CIRCLE JERKS and BLACK FLAG),
but they were as there was this sense that we were all going in the same direction.
So there was this scene which rotated between San Diego and Vancouver with
all these bands going back and forth for a couple of years. What happened was
D.O.A. and BLACK FLAG were 2 bands that pretty much went across America and
Canada playing every town you could think of. It is amazing how many people
come up to me and say “You were the first punk band I ever saw”,
which makes sense as we went to towns that had never seen punk rock before
except maybe THE RAMONES or SEX PISTOLS on T.V. This was different; it was
like a new generation of people getting involved. Previously people were trying
to imitate the English bands with fake English accents and stuff like that
on records! It was so different to the New York scene as there they tried to
Jeff: Did you have a relationship with the DEAD KENNEDYS back then?
Joey: Yeah, I was good friends with all those guys and we played a lot of
shows, including our first in England. In 1981 we read in a magazine that we
were playing The Lyceum in London with the DEAD KENNEDYS, but nobody had told
us about that (laughs). So we phoned up Alternative Tentacles, which Jello
and Ray were owners of at the time, and they agreed to put us on the bill.
We had to pay our own way over obviously and they agreed to put out a record
which turned out to be “Positively D.O.A.” a 5 song EP which went
over really well and sold well. We did lots and lots of shows together and
the first time I met Jello was when D.O.A. had played a couple of nights at
the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco and then the DEAD KENNEDYS played the
next night. I went into the show and snuck in a bunch of beers because I didn’t
have any money and I was drinking one in front of the stage and the stage manager
very nicley said just put that away. So my answer was to shake up the beer
and spray it in his face (laughs). About 4 goons threw me out on the side-walk,
justifiably I would say. Then Biafra said “Stop the show, stop the show,
we aren’t playing unless you let Joey Shithead back in here!” So
Dirk Dirksen, who is recently deceased made an exception, because when he threw
me out he said “You are 86ed for life Shithead, you’ll never comeback
here again”. He let me back in and we became good friends and we did
a lot of shows with those guys.
Jeff: What do you think of the situation with those guys?
Joey: I knew you were going to ask this.
Jeff: Well the reason I ask is I spoke to Ray a couple of weeks ago for about
90 minutes and he was very frank and interesting. He gave his side of events
and I kinda knew what Jello had said.
Joey: You know, I have been friends with those guys and really good friends
with Jello, and we have done lots of stuff on his label. The thing is if those
guys had any sense in the first place it would never have come to this. If
you think back to the mid-80s and early ‘90s nobody would ever conceive
a law suit between the members. Later on there was a sign of that with THE
CLASH between Joe Strummer and Mick Jones. That band meant a lot but people
also realized that they were big and they were on a big label and there was
a reasonable amount of money involved. Nobody ever conceived there was any
money in punk rock at all, before this latest wave of pop-punk during the last
8 years or so. It is a very unfortunate thing and if they had all been reasonable
they could have worked it out.
Jeff: I got the sense from Ray that he would still like to bury the
hatchet and get the whole band back together, but I can’t see it happening.
Joey: I don’t think it will ever happen. It is not like THE WHO, even
though they wrote great songs, after a while it was obvious that they were
just doing it for the dough. It is a coomplete drag and kinda destroys your
legacy a little. Like I said, I am really good pals with Jello and some of
the stuff said about him in court was really untrue. At the same time I am
still friends with the other guys.
Jeff: You guys recorded “Last Scream Of The Missing Neighbours” album
Joey: It is a great album, one of the best things we have done. It is too
bad as Biafra had done a lot of stuff which was left out of the court thing
as the DEAD KENNEDYS had a great legacy. However, part of that was also due
to Jello carrying on and doing 10 million other projects after that, so in
a sense his contribution was bigger. I am sure Ray would disagree though, but
everyone is entitled to their opinion.
Jeff: I want to ask you some political questions if that is OK?
Jeff: I know Dimwit and Roy went on to form the SUBHUMANS with Gerry Hannah.
Obviously Gerry went further with his poltical activism than most people do.
Joey: He went too far. We did a benefit record for them and a pile of benefits
concerts and all sorts of bands joined in like DEAD KENNEDYS, REALLY RED,
and RED TIDE, to raise money for them to have a fair trial. Violence brings
violence, so blowing something up in a war time situation is a different
thing as you do whatever you can to defeat the enemy. The greatest protester
ever was Mohatma Gandhi. I understand when people get pushed really far they
push back. The targets that the Vancouver 5 picked were hydroelectricity,
and video pornographers, which are legitimate targets but I don’t think
bombing is the way to do it. Gerry is still a real good pal of mine and I
have seen a few of the other five from time to time.
Jeff: It is a fine line to tread between political activism and getting drawn
Joey: Well, Greenpeace taking a boat and ramming a whaling vessel is a little
bit of a violent action. However, nobody died and they did make their point
that way. That is until the French government decided to blow up their boat!
Because we do live in a relatively fair society and a relatively civil society,
if you want to change things it is best to talk people into it is my opinion.
If that involves a general strike or really putting some wild pressure on the
government or company or group of fascists then I am all for that. Blowing
things up and killing people isn’t the way. The Vancouver 5 didn’t
kill anybody all though they did injure the security in Toronto, but somebody
could have been killed.
Jeff: Have you ever been tempted to do more than sing a protest song?
Joey: I have been involved in protests and sung lots of things. Sometimes
I have gotten so mad that I wanted to do something, but I never have. I suppose
if you get pissed off the temptation is always there, it is just not the right
way to go about things.
Jeff: I am very grateful that you have never shied away from politics, for
me that was a lot of what punk was about.
Joey: I think so too. I think it is something of a lost art form nowadays,
not completely; there are some new bands like ANTI-FLAG that have picked up
the torch. With the new generation of punk you need the ones at the top to
pick up the torch as musicians and artists can have an incredible effect on
public opinion. If you only care about MTV and your cars and what you wear,
going to award shows, I don’t care how loud and obnoxious the guitar
is it isn’t really punk rock. Otherwise it just becomes another form
of pop music. Not every band should be political; I mean it would be awfully
boring if every band was. There was some of that in the last American election
when you had Punk Voter.com and Rock Against Bush and stuff like that, which
involved a band like BLINK 182 which no-one would expect them to be political.
That is a cool thing that they would lend their name and potentially millions
of fans to start thinking about what was going on at the time, like the war
in Iraq and trying to get George Bush out of office. Obviously that didn’t
Jeff: One of the reasons D.O.A. stood out for me is that you were excellent
musicians but you also sang about things that were important.
Joey: I got that from listening to people like Woody Guthrie, as I realized
early on that 95% of all the entertainers and artists in the world are purely
entertainers and 5% that are entertainers and trying to say something at the
same time. These people are in all sorts of music like Hip Hop, Punk, Folk,
Rock and stuff like that.
Jeff: I have always thought of you as like the punk version of Bob Dylan,
but you can sing better than Bob!
Joey: (Laughs) Yes, but what a writer. If Shakespeare is the greatest wordsmith
then Bob Dylan is the greatest wordsmith when it comes to putting it in a song.
I love Boy Dylan, I think he is great, but I haven’t bought a record
of his in years. Everytime I hear a new track I think it is so cool. I love
his first three electric albums.
Jeff: I want to ask you about the war in Iraq and the way Bush is running
Joey: I think that people have become quite cognisant now that you cannot
enforce your way of life or thinking on to a people who don’t want it.
It has never worked, so our Western idea of democracy through military means
makes no sense. What we think of as our high moral standards they don’t
give a flying crap about. By invading Iraq, especially under false pretences
and then changing the story later on, they just invited more trouble. They
stirred up a hornet’s nest which creates more martyrs so it was a really
dumb move in the long run. Obviously the public has been completely turned
against them. Tony Blair has just announced that British troops are being pulled
out of there, and obviously this will be the key issue in the next presidential
race in the United States. It is not if the troops are coming home, but when.
The whole landscape has changed in the last 6 months with Donald Rummesfeld
retiring. You can’t build trust with the people as they are all trying
to hate America and Israel and having 1000’s of troops has reinforced
this as people hate their country being occupied.
Canada is heavily involved in the war in Afghanistan. The moral principles
of women being allowed to go to school and not to have to wear a burka is really
important. The Russians tried to defeat the Taliban and there are lots of people
walking around Moscow without arms and legs. We can take a lot more sane approach
and exhert a better influence rather than through our military strength, so
it is the wrong approach.
Jeff: Is the Canadian government on board with the way the US is doing things?
Joey: Yes and no. Public opinion in Canada is way more liberal and we have
a tradition of fighing wars with the United States and Britain over the last
100 years or so. But public opinion has never been strong about the mission
in Afghanistan. The Canadian public is all behind road and bridge building
and building schools and hospitals, and training the police. Fighting with
these guys on the Pakistani border is another issue and is very unpopular.
We are on the verge of another election as we have a minority government and
this is a big issue so the parties are all taking three different positions
on one issue depending on the latest public opinion pole. They are just pole
readers, and so they will change if you exert pressure on them.
I was in Paraguay in 1983 and this guy told me how the communists fell. Obviously
there was international pressure proceding this but he said it only took 8
days. On the first day there were 10,000 people, next day there were 20,000
people and at that point the guys in the army and police are like “Holy
fuck, these guys might kill us too” so they proclaim they are on the
other side now. We saw people power revolution in the Ukraine, so this is what
people should really aim for. If they get a huge gang of people together, all
of a sudden the politicians become very afraid.
Jeff: You have released many records and performed numerous benefit concerts
for things Rape Relief and Anti-Globalization. Are there other subjects are
close to your heart?
Joey: The environmental issue is a big one, and it is finally back on the
front page. I have run for Greenpeace 3 times and to me that is a topic that
is near and dear. We do benefit shows like that for Fair Trade not Free Trade.
If a good cause comes along we are always happy to lend our name to it. Sometimes
they are a little more effective than others. Bob Geldof has never invited
us to participate in one of his things, strangely enough (laughs). There are
other cool things you can do to effect immediate change in your town and neighborhood.
Jeff: You have released so many benefit singles…
Joey: Well, D.O.A. hasn’t done one for a while so maybe one is in order.
I guess a benefit CD came out about 3 years for Greenpeace that we participated
on. If people ask for a single for a compilation I usually give it to them
Jeff: You have had a very prolific recording career with some 22 albums and
at least 18 singles.
Joey: Yeah, I was thinking about that the other day. We actually have 11 studio
albums from ’78 to 2004. I have done one solo album in 1999, and there
is a new solo album out in June that we have just finished the tracks on. It
is more of a band thing than the last one, which was more acoustic; it has
the D.O.A. drummer on it and is more upbeat but not punk rock. It is punkabilly/ska/roots/
rock type thing and is upbeat and political and funny. The name of it is “Band
Of Rebels”, and we have just started doing some press stuff on it.
Jeff: I love ska…
Joey: Me too. My brother was a teacher in Jamaica so I went there when I was
16. I didn’t see any bands but there were these old shacks where they
sold singles and I have always loved it since then.
Jeff: It seems more difficult to pick up D.O.A. CDs in the US than the UK!
Joey: Some places in the States have better distribution. We have just changed
distros to Lumberjack/Mordam so it should increase.
Jeff: Do you collect D.O.A. bootlegs?
Joey: It is pretty funny because Brian and I were somewhere in Germany in
the ‘90s, and people would set up stalls at the gigs to sell singles
and LPs. He would flip through it and sometimes find bootleg D.O.A. stuff where
they had turned a 12” record to a 7” record because it is cheaper.
Brian would want to go and get these guys and I would say to him that if he
did these guys would just become our enemies for life. Plus, they were selling
2 singles for like 5 Marks each, so I would go and buy them of those guys.
Anyone I ever saw I would at least get 1 or 2, just so I had them in my collection.
Jeff: What about bootleg DVDs?
Joey: By June we will have a new DVD out called “Smash The State” which
is all stuff from ’78-’83, and that should be really good. We are
doing it through MVD and they are really good people.
Jeff: You have had numerous line up changes, is that because you are hard
to work with?
Joey: Probably (laughs). You know, we have always had this philosophy to stir
up trouble and cause shit, and have a good time while we were doing it. As
time goes on people’s ideas of what they want to do change, so I have
always kept the band going. I am still friends with most people who have been
in the band and they will come out for an anniversary show and come up and
sing a song or play.
Jeff: I notice you get people coming back into the band…
Joey: It is a good thing ‘cos I always thought the way to do a band
was based on some sort of commonality and friensdhip. If you are just in there
to be a mercenary and make money then you have probably picked the wrong kind
of music quite frankly (laughs). Randy, Chuck and I didn’t know each
other we just kind of fell in together. Well, I knew Chuck from when he was
a little kid as he used to play bongos along with our High School rock band.
I had never met Randy but we became friends and Dave came in and became a friend.
Wimpy took over and we had been friends since we were 7 years old. Randy as
been back playing bass for the last couple of years and our drummer The Great
Baldini has been with us for about 8 years and he is a great guy.
Jeff: At one point D.O.A. I thought you guys had quit, especially
when you released “The End” on DVD.
Joey: We did our last west coast tour from Vancouver to San Diego and we did
one show in S.F. when Biafra came up for the encores. We came back and did
a couple of shows in Vancouver and we broke up for about 20 months to 2 years
and then we came back as a 3 piece. We had Wimpy on bass and Ken Jensen on
drums, but he died in a house fire in ’95. The three of us had a pretty
good time together.
Jeff: Do you now own the rights to all your previous records?
Joey: Well, almost all. The only 3 we don’t are “Murder” from
1990 and “Talk – Minus Action = Zero” which is a live album
from the same year. The other one is “True (Strong) North And Free” which
came out in 1987 on Profile which is a label out of New York. I tried to buy
it back from them but they won’t re-issue it or put it out – they
Jeff: Is that why you set up Sudden Death Records, was it to give you control
over your back catalogue?
Joey: I thought this way I could put out what records I wanted whenever I
wanted and not be left to twist in the wind by some record company or some
idiot A&R guy. We have been with 8 or 9 different record companies to varying
degrees of success or non-success. Alternative Tentacles have always been very
honest and good to work with. I also thought with Sudden Death I would be putting
my money where my mouth is, which is my philosohy of be your own boss and take
control of your life.
Jeff: And it has given you the opportunity to release a lot of good bands.
Joey: Oh yeah. The last bunch has been amongst the best we have ever done
as it included the YOUNG CANADIANS and POINTED STICKS who are all friends of
mine. They are bands that never really got their due, although maybe the POINTED
STICKS a little more as they travelled and made fans. The YOUNG CANADIANS were
a terrific band but they broke up before they really got too far.
Jeff: How did you become a firend of THOR?
Joey: He grew up in Vancouver but he is a transplanted American and he grew
up here. When he was in his heyday with “Keep The Dogs Away” he
had some commercial success over here. He approached me about doing some hockey
stuff with the Vancouver Millionaires who were the only team in Vancouver to
win the Stanley Cup. He said why don’t we record a hockey/sports type
album and we remained friends since then. We have done some crazy stuff, like
we played a big kick boxing tournament in Vancouver where D.O.A. played 3 or
4 songs and THOR came on and we became his backing band for 4 songs. It was
just a riot, a really fun time and he is a great guy.
Jeff: I want to ask you about “Bloodied But Unbowed” as
it is my favorite album, even though it is a collection.
Joey: It was Ken’s idea, who was our manager from ’80 to ’88.
Jeff: The CD wasn’t available for quite a long time.
Joey: It took me a while to get the rights back as it was licensed out to
restless, who are the same guys that have “Murder” and “Tallk
Minus Action”. There is a 6 year period to let it clear so once that
passed we re-issued “Something Better Change” and “Hardcore ‘81”,
and “Bloodied But Unbowed” is basically songs from those 2 albums
with other singles thrown in. I agree that “Bloodied But Unbowed” really
motors along and for a 19 song album it really flies by. The reason we put
that together was we were going to England and Europe for our first tour in ’84
and the 2 albums weren’t readily available. So “Bloodied But Unbowed” came
out on Alternative Tentacles and they did a really great job promoting it.
Jeff: I saw you guys in Leeds at a club in Leeds in 1985…
Joey: I remember that. If you ever read my book I talk about that. We went
up there and they had the PA on its side because they were afraid of punks
knocking it over. It was the type of thing where you couldn’t hear any
vocals so the soundman very sarcastically asked if everyone in this town was
like 2 fucking feet tall (laughs). So they got mad at us there for that and
then the bar guy wouldn’t let us have a beer for free. Well, they locked
the building but they hadn’t turned the taps off so we had a merry old
party just helping ourselves. When they came back there were stacks of empty
glasses on the bar and we just laughed.
Jeff: I am sure they were not paying you well at that time.
Joey: No just a couple of hundred pounds, or something like that.
Jeff: You have been great about releasing stuff from the vaults. Is
there anything else that you haven’t yet put out?
Joey: I suppose there is “Let’s Wreck The Party” from 1985.
Jeff: Well, you did…
Joey: Well, it is on “Dawning Of A New Error” so you can get it.
We will probably re-issue it with bonus tracks from that era as “Dawning” is
going out of print. The one we will be doing soon, well next year is “The
Black Spot” which is impossible to find. The one we are working on right
now but haven’t really put out much press about it is the punk rock singles
collection which is out in April. It is 26 tracks and is every song that came
out on a 7” by D.O.A., and there are only about 2 tracks that I am not
that crazy about.
Jeff: Is there any chance that you will ever do another track like “War”?
Joey: It was a good version. I remember when it came out that when you have
a good idea a bunch of other people are having the same idea. THE JAM had a
version out and we were like “Oh great!”, but it turned out that
their version wasn’t really that great.