The BIG SMILE Magazine Interview
The Living Deadbeats: 'ssup Jonny!
We got Lindsay on the vocals, Dirty Swagger on guitar, Nadja on drums, and Pete Fiend on the bass. When did you guys form your band?
Pete: We're all friends, it just took awhile for us to start playing together. I left the Fiends at the end of 2007 and wanted to play something a little more primal, sort of a stooges/dance party thang... started jamming with some other friends, looking for that killer vibe.
Lindsay: I started two years ago in September. Came to check out the band some friends were jamming with while I was travelling in the summer that needed a singer, ended up sticking around.
Dirty: Pete and Lindsay were playing with another guitarist before I joined, but hadn't played any gigs or done any recording. I joined in early 2009.
Nadja: The Living Deadbeats have had a couple of drummers before me. In the winter of 2010 I joined the band. Learned all the songs and the rest is history.
Were any of you in other bands prior to The Living Deadbeats?
Nadja: Yes, I used to play drums for Joyce Collingwood, and still currently play with the East Vamps.
Dirty: I front Dirty and the Derelicts who have been rawkin' it up since 2000. We've recorded three full length albums and have toured Canada and the western U.S. When originally joining The Living Deadbeats, I intended to keep it as more of a side project, but it's taken on a life of it's own and I'm now trying to find a balance between the two bands. I often try to tack the Derelicts onto Deadbeat gigs, since Pete is so good at getting us shows. Pete briefly played bass in Dirty and the Derelicts when we decided to try our bass player Greasy on lead guitar, but Greasy made a better bass player than guitarist and we went back to a three piece. Dirty and the Derelicts just finished recording a 5 song ep that we are hoping to release on vinyl as soon as we find a distributor.
Lindsay: Never played in any bands that actually played shows. Mostly just drunken jams. Definitely learned tons since becoming a deadbeat.
Pete: The last time I got asked this, it became an entire interview in itself... I've been playing since the '70s, got into punk with mod-revivalists Redline. From there my faves to play with were my '80s powerpop band The Finks, and of course The Fiends.
We don't get the opportunity to review punk bands from Canada very often. Could you tell me and our readers a little about the music scene in Canada?
Lindsay: Canada is a broad and diverse place. So obviously the scene is broad and diverse. In Vancouver, we're struggling with a lack of venues, which has been the story for some time. There are some good diy venues, and good local bands and good bands coming through town pretty often, but booking shows can still be a pain.
Nadja: The music scene in Canada is good, there are tons of great bands to be heard.
Dirty: There's no shortage of punk bands in Canada, though there is a shortage of venues. One of the biggest challenges in this country is touring, as the time between each town is long, and there are not many places to play in the smaller towns.
Pete: Most of Canada lives near Toronto and Montreal, so the media tends to focus there. College radio is still strong up here, and CBC Radio 3 is the glue that holds it together. Here on the west coast, it makes more sense to tour south. Seattle to Portland to San Francisco is a semi-regular weekend for bands here, if they can get across the post-911 border... Locally, there are plenty of rad bands kicking butt. We could use a few more 'zines to keep track of it all.
When you have someone new listen to your music, something that you put your hard work an dedication into, what would you want them to get out of it?
Pete: A passionate reaction. We deal with some pretty intense topics inside those buttshakin' singalongs.
Dirty: I want to be an earworm, get in your brain and let it burrow. Hopefully write the perfect pop song. I'm not trying to reinvent the genre, but hope to find a unique spot within it. The Living Deadbeats present a new challenge for me, as I do not write the lyrics or sing, and have to try to find a distinct voice with the guitar.
Nadja: I'd want them to know how much heart and effort I put into everything I play.
Lindsay: At least a toe tap.
Where would you guys as a band like to be in 1 year?
Lindsay: On tour. With vinyl. We'll see.
Dirty: Recording, playing shows and touring...
Nadja: Touring Canada with nothing but beer and granola bars.
Pete: Crashing at your house. Raiding your fridge.
Who are some of the bands you have played live with in the past?
Dirty: Little Guitar Army is one of my personal favorites to play with. The East Vamps, The Zip Guns, The Laundronauts, Lesbian Fist Magnet, and of course Dirty and the Derelicts were some other highlights.
Lindsay: Genetic Decay, The New Black, Victim's Choice, Unfun, Life Against Death, Gynosaurus X, Spectres, The Receptionists...
Nadja: Dirty and The Derelicts, Glorywhore, The Electric Demons, The Stockers...
Pete: Kidnap Kids!, Woolworm, Damaged Goods, The Spinoffs, Kill Matilda, Curious George, Ovary Action, The Likely Rads, Needles and Pins, The Graverobbers (ex-Fiends).
How long have you been signed to Dirty Water Records?
Dirty: I believe we were signed in March 2010...
Lindsay: We're signed to Dirty Water Records? I thought they just put out an online single. I guess that did involve a signature. Pete?
Pete: Dirty Water signed "Hey Girl/Liar Liar" as a digital single last spring.
Down in California it seems like we have a record studio around every corner and every other band has their own recording equipment. Is it hard or easy to get recorded where you're at?
Nadja: It's pretty easy to find people to record. Close friends with the live sound is the way to go though.
Lindsay: It's easy if you got the money for it. There are plenty of people recording, but for obvious reasons, like the time and money involved in recording, that no-one's in a particular hurry to do it for free.
Dirty: There are definitely no shortage of recording studios around. For the last couple of years I've been recording with Adam Payne in his House of Payne studios, located in his garage in East Vancouver.
Pete: Dirty had previously recorded with Adam, and had some time left. And Adam had a mobile unit to record us at our jam space. Now he's our go-to guy, and all of the coolest bands want to record with him.
Thanks for doing an interview with Big Smile Magazine, any last words for all your fans reading this interview?
Lindsay: Get stoked! Support your scene!
Dirty: Thanks for listening, and hopefully we'll see you in your town!
Pete: Go to lots of shows. Some of the best bands ever are gone in a flash.
Nadja: Do the Living Deadbeat!