CKRRR #021- Feat. Gordon Raphael/Dumbjaw/Tricks Of The Gods
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, 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?
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
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?
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
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?
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
Aha, now this is interesting. Do you think that economic decline has labels AND bands playing it safe? 1989 part II as it were?
Not this glossed perception of utter lies
Who knows what's real and what’s not
They have themselves playing safe
There’s a small percentage that still really care about art and humans
Bands are forced now more than ever to become business ppl
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?
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
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?
Ah fuck did I miss all of this
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
Nope. I'm on a roll
Stop munching and eat later! Clark Kent wants answers!
Money, money, money, money, lack of testicles
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
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?'
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
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.
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
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
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?
That’s kind of a dumb question
Talk us through it.
Perhaps we might come up with something interesting along the way.
Nirvana were friends with The Melvin’s
All these people were tied into the ladder they got onto and climbed
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
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?
It’s hard to say
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
Luck being who you know and what you know and having all of that knowledge in your possession at a suitable time, right?
There’s bare amount of bands now. Most of them play to thee friends unless they got contacts
Don’t think about it too much or it jades the art and passion u have
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!
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...?
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.
Yeah maybe. I think gang culture has its self to blame for its own appalling take on hip-hop and rap now
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?
Right now I’m cooking my hoe dinner
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
eeewwww. Hygiene and safety first!!
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!
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?
Session players mainly played before realising they could earn. Not taking up an instrument to earn...
Depends how precious you are I guess
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.
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
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.
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
bf smith from first and serafin
Love that shit bro
...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?
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!
Though he might be more Darkness and Motley Crue rather than Nirvana and so called "grunge"
You should get him on your record. Spoken word after a track?
We need angst
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
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?
Fake club are good
They are awesome.
I hear they’re manufactured though haha
Funny thing is though. Coz there hot girls people won’t care...
If it was guys....
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)
I recon there are loads
The Dogbones (Read about The Dogbones now - Clark Kent)
Dash (Read about The Dash now. Come on - what are you waiting for? - C.K)
The hyena kill
There are loads of great bands I want them all to do great
The underground is swelling right up man...who knows what will happen in 2014? I fear for the mainstream...they're gonna get scared!
If we stick together we can make something beautiful maaan!
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.
Yea. But again it can’t be too blunt.
Arts for getting lost in
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!
Yea. How did u know I kiss on first dates....?
Good thoughts here today...send me links to all the bands you mentioned.
They’re on the DUMBJAW page
Wicked. Rock on x
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...
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.
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!
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
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!!
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