Samuel: What is your name and what do you do?
Dave: Dave - Bass Guitar, Van Repair, Accounting, Web Designer
Samuel: You notice with all the Blue Meanies albums there is a constant shift in sound. Kiss Your Ass Goodbye was most ska oriented, Full Throttle was more circus/noise, and now the Post Wave has a poppier edge. Is there a conscious effort to constantly change the sound or has it been a natural transition?
Dave: Well, yes and no. The biggest variant to the whole thing is that there are different guitar players on each release. Each one of them has their own songwriting and playing style so that's really the biggest reason why the albums sound so different. In fact, In between Kiss Your Ass Goodbye and Full Throttle is when I joined along with Bob on drums and Mike Pearson on Guitar, so really half the band changed at that point. For our latest release, we did make a conscious effort to make the songs leaner. In the past it was like everyone was playing as much as he possibly could ALL OF THE TIME. While that's cool some of the time, we felt like we could make better songs by letting one or two things shine at one given point in the song. It was definitely an experiment when we started, but for the most part I'm happy with how the songs turned out. It's a lot easier to "hide" behind technical prowess (or the illusion thereof) than to step aside and play something that's a supporting role, but I think that the end product is much more substantial.
Samuel: Has bringing Sean in on guitar been a factor to the sound change?
Dave: Yes, see above...
Samuel: On this album the band collaborated with a few different musicians, how was the experience of introducing new musicians into the Blue Meanies song writing scheme?
Dave: Actually, it was pretty fun and was definitely a learning experience. The key is/was to take another person's idea and decide if it was really good or was really "us". We threw a lot of shit out. One thing that it did do was help us collaborate with ourselves better. We were like, "Shit, we could do that by ourselves!"
Samuel: The new album is released on MCA which as everyone knows is one of the dreaded "major labels", has it been a positive experience working with them so far?
Dave: Overall, yes. It's a matter of us figuring them out and visa versa. Even though Post Wave is a lot more accessible to the world, we're still a weird band. They have to figure out a way to make that happen. You can't just throw us into the same plan as they did for Blink 182. And likewise, we have to figure out how to utilize everything that is available to us at a major label.
Samuel: I noticed on the website that you guys couldn't play the Plea For Peace show at Gilman Street because you were on MCA, did you feel that was unfair to have an outdated punk rock "law" thrown at you?
Dave: Personally, I thought that it was pretty dumb, but it's not my club and not my ideals. There are a lot of different ideas of what "punk" is and I personally don't think that the fact that we are on MCA has anything to do with it. We probably could have showed up and played, but we didn't't feel like making an issue of it.
Samuel: One of your best loved live songs is "Pave The World" which is no longer available on album, except for the live album. Is there a chance we may ever see a repressing of the "Pave The World" EP?
Dave: Possibly, but I don't see it in the near future...
Samuel: A lot of the music you guys play is pretty hectic and elaborate, were any of you formally trained as musicians?
Dave: It ranges from no to quite a bit. Personally, I was in school band until I was 18 playing saxophone, but I started playing bass when I was 16 or 17 and I liked that better. Pretty much the same story with Sean (we both grew up together in Carbondale, IL). The horn players are both way into music and they both went't to College with majors in music. Bob was kicked out of 8th grade band. Chaz has been playing piano/keyboard since age 3 and no one really knows Bill's history because his parents were part of a witness relocation program.
Samuel: Are there any bands from back in the Chicago area that you guys are really big fans of?
Dave: Alkaline Trio, Arrivals, Tossers, Lawrence Arms, Honor System, and Apocalypse Hoboken
Samuel: Who are some of your favorite bands to play with?
Dave: MU330, Less than Jake, Schlong, and Alkaline Trio
Samuel: After such a long time off the road has it been nice to get back out and play all over again?
Dave: It's definitely cool to get the ball rolling again, but to be completely honest it's not exactly easy to leave my awesome bed.
Samuel: Are you guys planning on spending a great deal longer out on the road?
Dave: No longer than we ever did, which is a pretty long time.
Samuel: Anything you would like to add?
Dave: 5 and 6.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at email@example.com.