Brandon Harris: Hey How are you all doing?
Dave – We are great, thanx for asking. An Icehouse in my hand and Mercyful Fate raging my speakers. Hope you are well too.
Brandon Harris: When did you decide to begin in the underground music field?
Dave – I first thought about it when I was in 4th grade (1978) and I had an 8 track player with some cool 8 track cartridges like Black Sabbath “Master Of Reality”, AC/DC “Dirty Deeds”, The Cars “Candy – O” plus some KISS albums… “Double Platinum” and “Alive”. When the ‘80’s hit and Ozzy Osbourne “Blizzard Of Ozz” came out, I was blown away by Randy Rhoads. I kept telling everyone I will be in a band (once I learn how to play). 1984 Metallica “Ride The Lightening” made me go straight to a guitar store and buy my first guitar which was a Hondo flying V. Then I started to tinker with covers to teach myself. Mostly tunes by Sabbath, AC/DC, Deep Purple, Rush. Stuff that I could follow easily and pick up along the way. I guess at this point I was in 10th grade.
Brandon Harris: What is the best thing about being as big as you are in the underground music scene?
Dave – I think we should keep my penis outta this…It’s as long as my thumb but as wide as a soda can. Like ringin’ the dinner bell. haha… Just messin’ with ya dude… We aren’t big, I don’t think. Bands like Obituary, Behemoth, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse… those bands are big in the scene. We aren’t reinventing the wheel with our brand of music, just making it rounder. But thanks for the cool words. We have fun wherever we go to play whether it is a local party or the big festival/tours overseas. Never here to count money (even though it would be nice a few times), so since we are on the smaller scale and always positive and can keep business out of it, we aren’t never disappointed. Especially when we see the crowds.
Brandon Harris: Who is the member of the band that can keep yall laughing?
Dave – Well, if you was to ask the rest of the group that question, they would probably say I was. But since your asking me, I would say Jake our bassist. He throws philosophy into any situation and he get’s me laughing. Or when he get’s dancing like he’s at a Rave party. Funny shit.
Brandon Harris: When was your first ever stage appearance?
Dave – I played bass with a band first called Night Tripper. Covers and originals in 1991. Like Ugly Kid Joe, Jimi Hendrix, Bad Company… I was friends with the drummer of that band and they needed a bassist. So we played parties and a few bar deals. 1993 I played guitar for a thrash band called Section 8 and played some cool shows around Illinois with Cannabyss (Rockford), Plabis (Chicago), Deaden (Champaign), and college parties. The drummer, Tommy Davis, and I on the side was making these Lividity demos as a 2 man project which were the “Ritual Of Mortal Impalement” tapes, and taking them to shows and handing out wherever we could. 1995 I formed a full unit and we hit the stage the first time August 5, 1995 in Champaign, IL. with Dying Fetus and Deaden. I was already tinkering with the underground death metal movement since 1992 got that community involved with the bands we had (Deaden, Vertigo Rising, Section 8, Lividity, Desecration), so I think Deaden brought them guys out for a show. It was killer. We only had 4 short songs ready (with full band) by the time this show happened and we were on and off the stage in 10 minutes. But in those 10 minutes there was a bloody nose, broken fingers and a huge mosh pit.
Brandon Harris: How has your band worked over the past few years?
Dave – We have been on a 3+ year break. Never informed anyone it was coming or that we had broke up or any media deals. It didn’t really matter. Wasn’t news worthy I didn’t think. The last thing we have done together was the Europe Tour August 2010. I needed a break. I was burned out. Trying to juggle family, job and keep the band on their A game. I was stressed. Certain things I didn’t want to sacrifice any longer. Get my shit together. Just recently (October 2013) I called the guys and we had talked to catch up on things when we thought getting back together to jam for some special occasions would be fun again. So we have and we will try and get to some festivals in Europe and South America end of 2014 or Summer 2015. 2014 marks the 20th anniversary, so doing something special would be fun. We don’t have any touring in mind. I currently play bass for a sleazy hard rock band called Hollywood Dirtbags from Pekin, IL. since September 2010. Shortly after the Lividity Europe tour. It has been a fun band as we have played with Ted Nugent, Great White, Cinderella, Faster Pussycat (2x), L.A. Guns (2x), Bang Tango, Quiet Riot, Dokken and also co headlined Europe tour 2012 with L.A. Guns for 17 days.
Brandon Harris: Where does the band spend it’s off time?
Dave – We all live so far from each other that the only off time we are together is on tour when there is a day off and we have swam in the Mediterranean Sea while in Italy (2x), always days off surrounding Amsterdam show (the party city), but we all live in 4 corners of Illinois, so we don’t get a chance to just hang out unless it is practice or studio. Always business it seems.
Brandon Harris: What got you all into underground music?
Dave – I can’t speak for the rest of the crew, but for me… I had a split family childhood and lived with family members temporarily then back and forth to mother, father, back to mother and moving city to city. Never had time to get close with friends or anybody so seemed that music was the greatest release and friend. Like I said earlier, from 4th grade on. Plus with the constant turmoil I was rebellious and the heavier sounds were my crutch. Like a drug. I was hooked. Never looked back.
Brandon Harris: What are important goals to you as a team?
Dave – First, a leader and not a follower. Second, step with me or step aside. My goal was to rape the world with our brutal assault, the more fans and bands really enjoyed what we were doing, the more possessed by the idea I was becoming. Therefore, the reason to take the long break to figure myself out. What was real and what was fantasy. So, the goals have changed and my attitude has changed. Getting back to having fun with the guys again jamming. Letting it fall into place and not forcing the issues any longer. It is a group, a family. No dictator.
Brandon Harris: What instrument’s do the members of your band play?
Dave – I play guitar/screams, Von Young on guitar/lead gutturals, Jake Lahniers on bass/backing gutturals and screams, Garrett Scanlan on drums
Brandon Harris: What are your hobbies?
Dave – Sports and drawing. Favorite teams are Football – Pittsburgh Steelers, Baseball – St. Louis Cardinals, Basketball – Chicago Bulls, College Football and Basketball – Illinois Fighting Illini. Been into all these teams since I was a kid. Maybe 8 – 9 years old… and I was a stud Little League Baseball player as a catcher. I love competition. A battle on the field or court. It can get pretty intense. I also coach and/or assist in coaching my son’s little league baseball teams. This year will be 3rd season for me. After I switched shifts from 2nd shift to 3rd shift a few years ago and can participate a lot more and commit my time with him. I have been drawing since I was a kid. Anything from nature, animals to horror.
Brandon Harris:Who is the main writer in the band?
Dave – We all write music and Von and I write 95% of lyrics. Mostly Von (lyrically) as of last CD “To Desecrate And Defile” 2010. I really dig his stories.
Brandon Harris: What is the next big milestone for you all?
Dave – Right now we are just throwing some practices together and having fun with it again enjoying the hang out together. Our ultimate goal is to play festivals and wreak havoc there (in Europe and South America) or whoever will accept our filthy asses to play. We don’t have the opportunities to tour as mush with our kids at certain ages and some of our job opportunities that have bettered ourselves from our break. But we do still want to play and have a blast.
Brandon Harris: When do you get time to relax?
Dave – I’m relaxing right now haha… filling out these questions, drinking a beer and listening to tunes. 2008 to 2010 was hectic with long distant practices, then tours and/or festival runs in Europe, writing the albums, plus 3 of us from Lividity was in a second band Embrace Damnation (black/death/thrash) and created an album… Had to slow down for a minute… Hollywood Dirtbags have been my main focus for over 3 years. Some really catchy, dirty music. I love it. I get the relaxation I need. With Hollywood Dirtbags being local for practices and Lividity practice being every 4 – 8 weeks apart, I write music from my house, watch sports and chill with the family, keeping the family as priority. So there is no stress and sacrifices every day.
Brandon Harris:Where do you plan to be in ten years?
Dave – Hopefully still jamming. It’s in my blood. I will be 55 years old in 10 years. Hollywood Dirtbags… Lividity… or both. I live for today.
Brandon Harris: What does music mean to you?
Dave – Passion, power, the life force to my existence. Music has been my friend for close to 40 years. I would be lost without it. It’s a beautiful thing.
Brandon Harris: What instrument’s does the team play?
Dave – I play guitar (bass for Hollywood Dirtbags) both are BC Rich, Von is guitar and lead vocals, Jake is bass, Garrett is drums.
Brandon Harris: When is your next tour?
Dave – No tours planned. Hopefully will hit some great festivals and a couple shows surrounding them. We have had positive vibe from fest organizers in Europe and South America, so stay tuned for the next shows/opportunities for end of 2014 into 2015.
Brandon Harris: What is the best part of being influential?
Dave – Haha, I don’t know if our influence is a positive one but the main thing is to watch what we do on and off the stage. For instance, we are professional. We don’t give the organizer or venue any flack about start times, cutting sets short, and we get ready with quickness and off the stage pronto when we are finished. It is respect to the bands and organizers that are helping us along the way. Makes for great PR in the future and they will have you back and with a better situation. I am glad you and others consider us influential. That means a lot. Thanx.
Brandon Harris: Any new bands you all are listening to?
Dave – Just Jakes other death metal band, The Vile Impurity. I tend to listen to the bands that I grew up with in the scene Like Mortal Decay, Internal Bleeding,
CorpseVomit, Dying Fetus, etc… The classic’s.
Brandon Harris: Any goals for 2014?
Dave – Hopefully will get a 20 year anniversary show end of the year. If not, we will definitely jump into something 2015. Hollywood Dirtbags will be playing a lot so I will be busy. Writing the new HD album, playing some HD shows and fests.
Brandon Harris: What is the coolest thing you have had happen to you as a band yet?
Dave – Someone like a song we write, releasing pro studio albums, playing our first outta state gig in PA. Oct 1996 with Grave and Insatanity. Europe shows starting in 1999. People showing up to enjoy our sounds… without any of this we would never exist.
Brandon Harris: Anything to say to your fans?
Dave – Thanx Brandon, for the killer interview. You rule. Thanx to all the fans and bands worldwide we have crossed paths with and enjoyed the great parties. Please “Like” us on facebook as we are up to 80,000 likes now and it climbs steadily each day. Help us reach 100,000. That is a mighty powerful number of fans. Our legion. Keep metal strong…
www.facebook.com/thehollywooddirtbags (for my sleazy ragin’ rock band Hollywood Dirtbags)
www.reverbnation.com/hollywooddirtbags (Videos from
tour 2012 + music)