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Interview

 

Death Valley Surfers
21/03/2002 (interview with  Russ)



Please give a brief history of the band, including current line up.

Russ the Drummer for The Highliners wanted to start a new band. This time as The Singer. So with a love of Surfing & 50's Hot Rods, he started to put together a new band, using the name Death Valley Surfers.

He met Thomas Lorioux a great Double Bass player from Paris then it all began. November 98 was the first rehearsal in Thomas' flat in Paris. Next came Ricky, on Saxophone. Russ always wanted to have a Saxophone in the band as it gives a "party" feeling to the music. Ricky had played for years with the 'Blue Devils' but wanted a change . Kathy X, came next on the lead Guitar. She had done some work on The Highliners project "Spank-o-Matic",
when they first met. The whole thing was completed by a Rockin Drummer called Sprex.

After 2 gigs & 3 Rehearsals, DVS recorded a Demo CD. It cost 25 & it is Raw & Basic, but a good Start. It got a review in Deathrow Magazine ...Quote " This 4 song collection combines the humour of the Highliners with a slight serious side. I want to hear more, preferably better recorded, all in good time no doubt. Good fun stomping' music"

DVS then started to work live shows. Their first big event was in Apremont, France. They were put 3rd on the bill for the Sunday night. For a new band the reception was amazing, DVS then went on to play the famous 'Maloe Melo' in Amsterdam. Again a great reception for an' Unknown' band. They were asked back straight away.

Ricky couldn't get time from work to play some of these gigs. So he was replaced with Kenny ,who had played with the Highliners. Thomas was replaced by 'Ayes', who plays Semi-Accoustic bass rather than the Double Bass, so he can jump around more.

After a successful 2 gigs in Spain, Russ decided to make some more changes. Kenny & Uncle Fester were relieved of there duties. The drummer was replaced by Nick Becker ,the Original Drummer for 'The Pharaohs'. They played without a Saxophone for a few gigs. We then recruited Brendan Blowers from The Arousers, a 60's surf/trash band. He is much more of a swinging Rock n Roll sax man, & gives us that party sound again. Once again back as a Five piece.

DVS played the first ever Klub Tastic in London, Jan 2001. Later in 2001, DVS were off on a very successful tour with The Astro Zombies , gigs in Germany, Czech Republic & Poland. Once again changes were made to the line up. After a bad incident & some differences in opinion, Nick was replaced by Captain Spannering. Then onto year 2002 & another change in the line up. Kathy who had been with DVS from the start, was released from the band. She had moved to Berlin a year before & it made for difficult rehearsals. So Ben from 'The Pharoahs' was asked to join for the short term. For the past year we take our own sound man with us, Chris from Harlow. He is a important part of DVS. ( but he has been know to paint his Ear black on tour, very strange )


Discography.

CD Going nowhere fast. punkabilly 002 ( 5 tracks )
CD Dead mans Surf. punkabilly 003 ( 5 tracks )
3 various artists CD's
High Voltage 1. Black Sky 001
High Voltage 2 & 3. Black Sky 002
Best of Western Star studio Crazy Love Records


Has any band member played in other bands, if so what?

Russ... The Highliners
Brendan... The Arousers
Ayes & Captain.... play in a Country Folk band, cant remember the name, Giggle Sticks ???

Describe your sound and the main themes in the lyrics?

Our Sound is the party element of Psychobilly with a bit of Garage surf & country !!!! The main theme is about Surfin, Hot Rods & mad things what happened when we were nippers.

What is the best gig Death Valley Surfers have ever done and who else was on the line-up?

That's a hard one? I think the best gigs so far have been , at The Psychobilly meet 2000 in Calella Spain. Playing after the main festival in a tiny bar full with 200 people. It was just such a party with drinking contest & we didn't stop playing . I think we played a few songs twice, i
cant remember. The Other best gig was in Prague, Czech. We was on tour with the Astro Zombies & this place kick off from the first drum beat. Lots of wrecking & people on stage, it was just so crazy & we played well. ( not too many mistakes )


What is the best sentence you have ever heard, that someone has managed to get into a song's lyrics?

Its got to be Naughty Nigel from The Highliners....

& Naughty Nigel got his pants down again. Policeman tried to put clothes on him but Nigel said no, allergic skin. Then he pulled them up just for a tease, then they fell back down to his knees....

who can follow that ?


How would you describe the current Psychobilly scene in UK and how does it compare with Europe?

Psychobilly is starting to wake up again because of Klub Tastic in London once a month, www.klubtastic.co.uk There is still a big following especially Germany & Holland, but not like
the old days

What 5 releases would you recommend from 2001/2 ?

Nekromantix .... Return of the loving dead
Mad Sin ...... Sweet & innocent ? Loud & Dirty
Trailer Park Casanovas ..... End of an Era
The Caravans .. Saturdays Nites Alright
Spear of Destiny ... Volunteers


Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2002.

We are going back to Prague, CZ , As part of a small tour, in May. We loved it there & its only 60 pence a pint ! really. We have been asked to play a tour in Brazil, but the expense of getting there has put that idea on ice for the moment. We are in talks with a few record companies about a full CD. We have got the songs & its just a case of putting it on go mode. Im also making a few solo recordings for some compilation c.d.'s. They are gonna be songs that i have, but are not DVS songs as they don't fit how we play. So its just a bit of fun for myself. For more info on DVS goto www.deathvalleysurfers.co.uk

Any final comments?

Thanx to all the current & past members of DVS who have made this all possible !
I cant wait for Psychobilly to get some new kids to see the bands. Some of these , so called (US ) punk bands are just so lame & they all sound the same. Im sure if the kids today got to hear some of the fantastic new Psycho bands on the radio, they would love it. Psychobilly has come a long way since the early days. Check out www.wreckingpit.com

err! special thanx to Rebecca for waiting for me to write this out .


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