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Interview: The Dwarves

29 November 2023

Take us back to the mid-1980s.

Every time I smell AquaNet it makes me want to fuck! My band drives downtown to Chicago in my dad’s station wagon to play Cubby Bear or Medusa’s or Exit and punk guys get jealous of our hot suburban girlfriends in 60’s outfits so a fight breaks out. We get kicked out of the club and told never to come back. No one buys our garage punk records, no one will play us on college radio, no labels want to talk to us. The 90’s were a little bit better…

What was your goal when you started making music?

To get laid, to make cool records and play fun shows in that order.

Who were your influences?

13th Floor Elevators, Seeds, Chocolate Watchband, Zappa, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley, Coltrane, Kirk, Captain Beefheart, Oregon, Shakti, Monty Python, SCTV, Firesign Theater, Ramones, Cramps, Dead Boys, Misfits, Alice Cooper, Sweet, Slade, Shangri-Las, Chiffons, Billie Holiday, Robert Johnson, Son House, Dr Demento, Howlin’ Wolf, Gang of Four, Butthole Surfers…

Did you have a direction you know you wanted to follow? Or were you having fun and letting the music take you wherever you wanted to go?

When we were being dumb we had a direction we were trying to follow. When we were being smart we just had fun and let it go where it went.

How much input did you have in production?

We had no help whatsoever with production and no idea how to do it for the first 10 years. Then I met Eric Valentine and that helped a lot. Now the saga continues with Andy Carpenter. Those are the two best producers we ever had.

November 17th saw the release of your 14th LP, Concept Album. [check it out below]

Another classic! It’s got some hits like We Will Dare and Roxette, but it’s more like our White Album, chock full of different genres and cool digressions.

Forty years have come and gone. How have your goals changed?

Having a place to shit before the show and a place to eat afterwards are pretty paramount goals now. What else do we need, we’re legends now!

What bands are blowing your mind nowadays?

Us! Oh, and we like the Sik Sik Sicks because their singer appeared on our record. The younger generation isn’t as scared of us as the ‘scene’ we came up in.

We’ve come to expect your album titles to be tongue in cheek (whatever cheek you like). But, seriously, is there a concept to the new LP?

Besides breasts? I guess it’s that narrative structure you get from combining different genres song to song, or even within songs, and it creates this kind of unique flow. As soon as something gets played out, we’re on to the next something.

The year is 2063. The Dwarves are about to release their 30th album. What is it called and what can we expect from it? What genres have you yet to tackle?

Good question! Last year I released a solo record called ‘Introducing Ralph Champagn’e that tackled country, rockabilly, lounge, acoustic and many of the Americana styles. SO maybe that future Dwarves record is called: THE DWARVES DEFY EXPECTATIONS ONCE AGAIN AND ASSFUCK YOUR MIND WITH EVERY STYLE EVER CONCEIVED!!!

Here’s hoping anyway!