Dwarves, legendary punks who intentionally offend those around them — faking the death of their guitarist, HeWhoCanNotBeNamed, is said to have gotten them dropped from Sub Pop, for instance — are descending into Orange County for a good ol' fashioned punk show with fellow legends LA hardcore band Fear on Sept. 17 at the Galaxy Theatre.
Far from maturing, Dwarves are still churning out the same one-to-two-minute gutter-punk anthems on 2011's Born Again, although bits of surf rock, acoustic guitar and electronic drums sneak in to broaden the palette. Then again, the album has a song called “I Masturbate Me,” and its opener, “The Dwarves Are Still the Best Band Ever,” features the lyric: “Let's just get high and fuck some sluts.” And we wouldn't want it any other way.
Frontman Blag Dahlia took a few minutes to chat with us about the longevity of the band, punk and hating on conservatives.
Heard Mentality: The new record is a return to form of sorts for
Dwarves. Was that an intentional thing, or did it just sort of happen?
Dahlia: It was intentional. The last record, Dwarves Must Die, proved
once and for all we could do any genre and had higher production value
than any punk band in history. Born Again was about making a punk record
and throwing every Dwarf we ever had to take a crack at it.
It had been years since the last Dwarves album. Why the long break between albums?
We toured for two solid years on Must Die. Then
HeWhoCanNotBeNamed made a solo record and I made a record of duets with a
female singer called Candy Now which took another couple of years. I
also wrote a dirty book called Nina. Then Born Again took a couple of
years to make. Before we knew it we were still the best band in America,
but we had grey pubic hair!
It's cool to see Dwarves performing with Fear, I feel like both
connect to a rare concept of punk that is rare to see continued for so
many years. To what do you attribute your longevity?
I saw Fear for the first time as a freshman in high school. A
brilliant band, inspiring. I think we owe our longevity to the fact that
I am so much better looking than the lead singer (Lee Ving) of Fear.
I feel like hardcore punk is making a comeback, with bands like
Fucked Up and Off! suddenly getting a lot of attention from music
critics. Do you see a difference in who comes to shows and buys records?
Are younger kids suddenly showing up?
I only notice the young girls at our shows, so I can't be
sure on that question. Hardcore now sounds like fast metal to me,
whereas new punk bands play as fast as old hardcore bands and no one
goes as fast as the death metal guys, but they all sing like the sound a
garbage disposal makes with a fork in it. Does that make any sense?
You guys offered “River City Rapist” to George W. Bush as his
campaign song. Would you offer any songs to the current crop of GOP
hopefuls? “The Crucifixion is Now” for Michelle Bachmann?
I wouldn't piss on a Republican if they were on fire, and that
goes for Libertarians and Independents, too. Was that too serious?
At any given time you seem to be involved in a number of things,
whether it be writing a book, playing in a side project or singing a
song for “SpongeBob Squarepants.” Any other projects at the moment you
want to talk about?
I work a lot with unwed mothers, trying to give them a new
start. And ballroom dancing has been a passion since my visit to Buenos
Aires in 1998. I also enjoy kayaking, macrame, oh, and sodomy.
The new album's “The Band That Wouldn't Die” seems to say that
Dwarves are here to stay. Where do you see Dwarves moving from here?
I see us climbing the pop charts and dating Ryan Seacrest, then
converting Lindsey Lohan from lesbianism and being inducted into the
Rock n Roll Hall of Fame by Charles Nelson Reilly. Then maybe we can get
a gig at the Doll Hut!
Saturday, Sep 17 8:00 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.)
at Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana, CA
3503 S. Harbor Blvd.
Santa Ana, CA 92704