CKRRR #021- Feat. Gordon Raphael/Dumbjaw/Tricks Of The Gods

Clark Kent Header for spare 5 Right gypsies, if you're a Nirvana fan, you've come to the right place as I know no bigger fan than Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis. Old school readers will remember Dumbjaw from Issue 002 of this column. Lenny has kindly agreed to chat about Nirvana's musical and cultural legacy. Hooray!

Lenny

Lenny, thanks for being a guest on the blog! Let's begin with a hello and how are you? What are you listening to right now?

12/17, 5:02pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Howdy. I’m O.K thanks.

I’ve been listening to myself all day. Ha-ha. Checking mixes.

so lots of self-loathing ha-ha. Wish I’d learnt to sing doh

12/17, 5:04pm

John Clay

That's what we like to hear! A hard working musician if ever there was one! And hey, I've heard you sing...no false modesty. Right, Nirvana, what would you say is their most enduring musical legacy and why?

12/17, 5:10pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Punk rock is liking what you like. Playing what you like. As long as it’s good and has passion

Please see Google for correct quote hah

12/17, 5:11pm

John Clay

Ha!

Do you believe that the authenticity behind Cobain's song writing has survived through to other bands that have had significant airplay on mainstream radio?

12/17, 5:16pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Yes and no

We’re in the same place again

Bands on the radio, whether they’re sincere or not, it’s not presented that way

Times have changed but also haven’t

We need more real human elements back in the mainstream

Lenny fronting the colossal Dumbjaw!

12/17, 5:19pm

John Clay

Aha, now this is interesting. Do you think that economic decline has labels AND bands playing it safe? 1989 part II as it were?

12/17, 5:19pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Not this glossed perception of utter lies

Who knows what's real and what’s not

No

They have themselves playing safe

For money

There’s a small percentage that still really care about art and humans

Bands are forced now more than ever to become business ppl

12/17, 5:24pm

John Clay

Quite a mix of tantalising topics there. Let's continue with the bands and labels idea. Do you think bands are anymore corrupt than they were twenty plus years ago, or is that something that's hard to gauge?

12/17, 5:25pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Very hard to gauge

I think it’s such a monopoly

There’s equal of both.

You’re expected to do everything

The human brain has its strengths and weakness

I think artists should create. And do it for them first

Be back in a bit. Need to shop for dins

12/17, 5:31pm

John Clay

Cool...shop for your dinner and when you get back, I want you to answer me this: what would you say are the obvious signs of a band that have steered away from Nirvana's honesty over ability mandate?

12/17, 5:53pm

Graeme Lynch

Ah fuck did I miss all of this

Graeme Lynch playing bass with Lenny at The Brixton Windmill. YEAH!

12/17, 5:56pm

John Clay

Nah, man. It was my crafty plan to have you step in and add your thoughts. Answer that last question in four lines or less

12/17, 5:57pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Nope. I'm on a roll

Sausage roll

12/17, 5:58pm

John Clay

Stop munching and eat later! Clark Kent wants answers!

12/17, 5:58pm

Graeme Lynch

Money, money, money, money, lack of testicles

12/17, 5:58pm

John Clay

HAHAHA!

12/17, 5:59pm

Graeme Lynch

Rule number 1 if you're not gonna be honest to yourself and true to yourself don't bother. That’s my two cents anyway ha-ha

Tbh I just got home from work and don’t really know what’s going on. So that’s my generic answer. Peace xxx

12/17, 6:01pm

John Clay

Feel free to hop back in whenever Graeme! O.K Lee...tag...you're back in the ring: 'what would you say are the obvious signs of a band that have steered away from Nirvana's honesty over ability mandate?'

12/17, 6:28pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

I don’t think they really did

They followed suit from the people that inspired them and came across that way to them

So bands now are drawn into thinking they have to be something else

Production is the biggest trip up

U have to produce music that’s real

12/17, 6:31pm

John Clay

Let me get this clear, you don't think Nirvana had an honesty over ability worldview? Many would say - besides Kurt's suicide - that their punk rock attitude to playing (live shows in particular) was what they're well-known for.

12/17, 6:31pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

In an age where we can make records in our bedrooms or whatever. U have to keep it real

As long as u remember being in a room or onstage is where it’s at

If you excite each other or a crowd then keep that on record

Yea

They already had ability so it was obvious what to do

They rehearsed a lot and nailed it 85% of the time

They carried themselves well

Everyone has to lie sometimes

We’re humans and the world is growing more machine like

I lost my concentration

This is intense. I need a hit

12/17, 6:37pm

John Clay

Let's get you back on track then to what you were saying about bands being business people. Just pretend for a second that alt rock never became big (ie. no Nevermind) Do you think that Nirvana would have broken through today?

12/17, 6:41pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

That’s kind of a dumb question

kind of*

12/17, 6:41pm

John Clay

Talk us through it.

Perhaps we might come up with something interesting along the way.

12/17, 6:42pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Nirvana were friends with The Melvin’s

All these people were tied into the ladder they got onto and climbed

Subpop etc.

If that wasn’t there. There’s a good chance it would have been another awesome band in the right place at right time

Minus Cobain's genius

12/17, 6:44pm

John Clay

So you do you think the next counter cultural wallop will come out of mutual friendship/a scene, or can a great band not make it on their own merit?

12/17, 6:44pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

It’s hard to say

They can

But a lot of its luck mixed with drive and hard work

U can put anything in front of an audience and a percentage will like it

Preference innit

12/17, 6:46pm

John Clay

Luck being who you know and what you know and having all of that knowledge in your possession at a suitable time, right?

12/17, 6:46pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

There’s bare amount of bands now. Most of them play to thee friends unless they got contacts

I guess

Don’t think about it too much or it jades the art and passion u have

12/17, 6:49pm

John Clay

Hahaha! More about building audiences soon. First, I wanna ask you specifically, do you think that song writing wise in particular, the trick is to find ways to make guitar music anarchic/dangerous again? Arguably the rhyme or the 'beat' has replaced the distorted guitar as a way of shocking the previous generation into worrying about their kids!

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

12/17, 6:49pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

One thing for sure some people took some lines too seriously

I don’t know

People make want they want out of it. As long as you get drawn in, your there for a while... right...?

12/17, 6:51pm

John Clay

Parents are more afraid of cultural change via rap rather than rock now. Maybe that's what made Nirvana so special and hard to follow. Guitar really and truly has become a weapon in a pop bands arsenal now.

12/17, 6:52pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Yeah maybe. I think gang culture has its self to blame for its own appalling take on hip-hop and rap now

12/17, 6:52pm

John Clay

I like what Queens of The Stone Age do though...it's ALL about the breaks and odd song structures now. What say you? Graeme...you interested in throwing more cents in?

12/17, 6:53pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Right now I’m cooking my hoe dinner

12/17, 6:54pm

John Clay

And I'm having a wank, but I'm not always chatting about it...take your time with the answers man - it's FB. There is always another day

12/17, 6:57pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

eeewwww. Hygiene and safety first!!

12/17, 7:02pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Song structures aren’t that odd if the songs are good

Imagine playing an instrument just to pay the bills.

Call me cynical or an ass biscuit but I’m sure mainstream stuff has a template

David Geffen loves his numbers I’m sure!

12/17, 7:06pm

John Clay

I'm always clean. I'm always safe. Ah, the usefulness of the rubber glove. Aaaaahhhh. Imagine playing just to get paid? Don't have to; there are session musicians everywhere! Nothing wrong with that profession at all, but I do think people are buying more and more into the idea that you get rewarded for slickness over invention.

Mainstream music is built on templates...the music industry is just that....a template for making money.

Maybe you shouldn't try to be part of it?

Joking of course...it's not impossible to play, get paid and not sell your artistic soul, right?

12/17, 7:08pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Session players mainly played before realising they could earn. Not taking up an instrument to earn...

Yea course.

Depends how precious you are I guess

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

12/17, 7:10pm

John Clay

You're saying most are on the dark side of playing whatever for a buck? Some see what they are doing as a craftsmanship. Just a different way of doing things. Not wrong or any less precious, just different.

12/17, 7:10pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

I'll take slickness and invention and sincerity any day

It’s like sex... if it feels good you want more...

Yea I agree. Totally

There is a dark side though. Greed. Ego and stupidity. We’ve had plenty of drummers with shit for brains

12/17, 7:13pm

John Clay

Slickness and invention...hmmm...Well that takes me back to what you were saying about Nirvana's mission statement. How many times would Kurt mess up a solo and then use it as an excuse to go crazy out of tune and generally 'freak out'? Countless...but that was O.K...We needed that in a time of Slash and May dominating the airwaves...

Listen to the anti-solo on Milk It.

That's something you could only get from Nirvana.

12/17, 7:14pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

He was always leaning that way

He wanted to be a anti guitar hero but became one anyway hahahaha

There are a lot of bands with stuff like that

Listen to Sstrange. That chicks guitar head is weird

Cut

Coxon

bf smith from first and serafin

Love that shit bro

12/17, 7:18pm

John Clay

...and there's your Nirvana musical legacy right there

Now, present day wise, you won't find an 'anti-solo' in any guitar band breaking the top forty. Perhaps because musically Nirvana's destruction was one that media bought into as sellable?

*sales worthy

Do we have too many happy go lucky types courting our gaze? Is it time to get miserable one more time?

Or maybe that counter culture band doesn't have to monopolise on one emotion? Ah man...if only Russell Brand was in a band!

Dumbjaw

12/17, 7:22pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Hahahha

If only

Though he might be more Darkness and Motley Crue rather than Nirvana and so called "grunge"

12/17, 7:23pm

John Clay

You should get him on your record. Spoken word after a track?

12/17, 7:24pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

We need angst

Naaaa duet!!!

12/17, 7:24pm

John Clay

You've got similar opinions...would guarantee airplay went right till the end of the music WITHOUT a fade out from the D.J's

12/17, 7:26pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Hahahahah

12/17, 7:29pm

John Clay

I've got an idea. It's this: we've become so fractured as a record buying/downloading public that no one band is gonna be 'the answer'. However, if many likeminded bands from differing genres were to release music that chased similar disenchantment then some kind of Cultural Revolution would take place/be chronicled. I'd say that the biggest topic is sexism in music at the mo. Lilly Allen's awkward effort is the most well-known one...something is stirring though. I can feel it. I'm just waiting for Rhianna's about turn or/and Lady Gaga picking up on the cultural sea change.

And I'm sure Madonna will take us all by surprise any month now.

My question is this: where is the rock band that might do this? I'm hoping bands like Fake Club break mainstream. They’re right on the money, so to speak

It's so odd to think that only two decades ago, Kurt was singing Rape Me...And no man has been as bold with guitars behind them. Women are the salvation of Rock and Roll. What say you Lenny?

12/17, 7:33pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Don’t know

Fake club are good

Rosie and Carmen of FAKE CLUB

12/17, 7:34pm

John Clay

They are awesome.

12/17, 7:34pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

I hear they’re manufactured though haha

Funny thing is though. Coz there hot girls people won’t care...

If it was guys....

12/17, 7:35pm

John Clay

You heard wrong. I know the bassist and she would never align herself with a crew that were...oh wait...you're joking about the name right? DOH! (check out my review of fake club here)

12/17, 7:35pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

I recon there are loads

The Mercy House

Ltnt

First

The Dogbones (Read about The Dogbones now - Clark Kent) 

Cut

Dash (Read about The Dash now. Come on - what are you waiting for? - C.K)

Sstrange

Dactyls

The hyena kill

Moa

There are loads of great bands I want them all to do great

12/17, 7:36pm

John Clay

The underground is swelling right up man...who knows what will happen in 2014? I fear for the mainstream...they're gonna get scared!

12/17, 7:37pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Maybe

If we stick together we can make something beautiful maaan!

12/17, 7:38pm

John Clay

It's all down to keen lyricists more than ever. We can't rely on guitars to shock people out of their Simon Cowell fearing ways! Gotta write lyrics that are culturally aware...IF you intend to puncture into a certain consciousness that it is.

It already is beautiful.

12/17, 7:39pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Yea. But again it can’t be too blunt.

Arts for getting lost in

12/17, 7:39pm

John Clay

Well, before we start kissing over Skype, I say we end this thing and say thank you to anyone still reading our grumbling!

No more ideas! Save it for when I interview your band!

Dumbjaw pic by El Gordo Murkin

12/17, 7:40pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Yea. How did u know I kiss on first dates....?

12/17, 7:40pm

John Clay

Good thoughts here today...send me links to all the bands you mentioned.

12/17, 7:40pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Will do

They’re on the DUMBJAW page

12/17, 7:41pm

John Clay

Wicked. Rock on x

12/17, 7:41pm

Lenny Dumbjaw Verralis

Peace

Xx

Dumbjaw are testing out some new songs for their 1st gig of 2014.

14th February (Valentines day) at the Hawley Arms in Camden town.

Get excited, get sexy, get loud!

_______________________________________________________

It was my immense pleasure to meet up with Gordon in London for business. Truly humble and funny too, a walking silver booted testament that you don't have to be a beer guzzling asshole to 'make - it'. Here's the remaining part of our FB interview.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the final part of...

GORDON SAYS! 

Gordon Raphael

John Clay

Cool. Final question: Tricks of the Gods are in my opinion an amazing band. Here is their demo. I want to know if you’d like to work with a band like that, right here via this interview. I want you to give me three reasons why. Yeah I know, I like to keep these things wacky Have a listen and gimme those reasons my friend! Tricksofthegods.

11/18, 12:44pm

Gordon Raphael

Never Be.... there is one chord I like in the intro and verse, and the chorus is cool. I actually really like the chorus. I think this is a pretty solid rocking song, with a nice howling vocal that I can feel and cool guitar tones especially in the chorus. Good guitar solo. Nice Chaos as the song develops... suddenly I sit up and take note. We are going somewhere!

11/18, 12:45pm

Gordon Raphael

I'll check one more tune, as it comes next on the playlist matt on the rocks... yes, I dig the drum beat intro, for sure... who wouldn't?? : ) I like the guitar riff, its bold and fast and cool. Let’s have it.... what's their phone number. Do they have a budget?? Where am I gonna sleep? And how many days are we working?? x

11/18, 7:54pm

John Clay

Chat to a guy called Chris Brady in my friends-list. Never Be is my fav song although they play some amazing stuff live! See, they knew you were being interviewed by me and so hey, I did them a favour. I love their sound, and I loved interviewing you man. We'll chat about that biography and a certain Maxine and her minions in another comment thread. We'll do this again someday as it's good to get inside the heads of people such as yourself.

Say bye to the readers Gordon and tell any music lovers to give us a cyber-visit. We're always open! ROCK ON!!

11/18, 8:01pm

Gordon Raphael

Ok!! After band practice I will!! Thank u again, John Clay

 A few interesting developments coming your way next issue people.

If you're in a band, send me an invite to a show or a record to review. I'll put time aside and see if it has a place in my life. 

Take care my gypsies :D