After kicking the world of punk
rock in the ass with their album “Blood, Guts, & Pussy”, people
stood up and took notice of the DWARVES. Their first LP prior to “Blood,
Guts...” was a freaked out organ drenched garage punk nightmare. In 1989
when a pal of mine suggested that I check out a band called the Dwarves, I thought
“why not?”, after one listen to “Blood, Guts...” I was
hooked. The songs were catchy, short as fuck, profane, and gave me the same
feeling that I had gotten the first time I had heard the Misfits. Two more Sub
Pop albums later (Thank Heaven For Little Girls, Sugarfix), and a fake death
hoax (hewhocannotbenamed), the Dwarves were through, or so we thought. 1993
was the official year the band went into a long period of inactivity until ‘95
when some of the members resurfaced as Blag Dahlia & released a few singles
and an EP “Venus With Arms”. The very next year, to manys surprise,
a brand new Dwarves album was released, “The Dwarves Are Young & Good
Looking”, it followed the same evolutionary lines as “Sugarfix”,
longer songs, less chaotic. So with the new album came the first full fledged
tour since 1993, which landed them in Lawrence, KS in April of 1997. Shortly
after our interview the band was picked up Epitaph records who re-issued the
band's new album. The new Dwarves album is called “The Dwarves Come Clean”
& is out now. Interview by Mike (FB) & Jeff (FB2) Fungus, with help
from a Gerry from the Bulemics.
FUNGUS BOY: WHY DID YOU GUYS BREAK
Blag: Uh, well you know we didn’t really break up. I don’t ever remember saying that we broke up, everybody told me that
we broke up but then here comes this new album, so...
FB: SO LETS SAY YOU TOOK SOME OF TIME OFF THEN.
Blag: Time off, yeah.
FB: AND YOU STARTED A LITTLE BIT OF A DIFFERENT BAND (BLAG DAHLIA) WITH BASICALLY THE SAME GUYS RIGHT.
Blag: Uh, some of the same guys and some new guys.
FB: DO YOU THINK SUB POP DROPPED YOU BECAUSE OF THE FAKED DEATH OF HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED OR WAS THAT JUST AN EXCUSE TO GET RID OF YOU?
Blag: Sub Pop didn’t drop us. I wasn’t interested in making records with them any more.
FB: HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH SUB POP IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Blag: Well you know, ‘cause we were part of the scene that was playin’ up there, Seattle, and everywhere. So we met up with those guys.
FB: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE “HORROR STORIES” ALBUM?
Blag: Oh God, this is becoming so public now. (A fan shows up to talk to Blag) Do you want something? What do you want?
fan: I’m glad you didn’t take that shit man, it was fucked up.
Blag: I didn’t take what?
fan: They were being assholes.
Blag: Who was being an asshole?
fans: Some of the fans, not that they were fans..
Blag: Right. It’s all right, I don’t mind it. I had a good time.
another fan: The fuckin’ idiot that threw the firecrackers paid heavily.
Blag: (laughing) Is that right? That was actually the most interesting part of the show, I think. That was kinda fun. See you
later. (fan walks off)
FB: ON YOUR ALBUMS SOME OF THE SONGS HAVE IN A WAY LIKE A ‘50S ROCK VIBE, IS THAT SOMETHING YOU’RE INTO?
Blag: Sure. Who isn’t.
FB: YOUR NEW ALBUM SEEMS LIKE YOU SPENT MORE TIME RECORDING IT AND....
Blag: Yeah, this one took a lot of time and effort.
FB: HOW DID YOU DO YOUR FIRST ONES? DID YOU JUST SAY THAT WE’RE GOING TO GO IN AND BUST IT OUT?
Blag: Yeah, well we really didn’t have any money to do anything else. I didn’t really care at the time either, what they sounded like really. But as time progressed I wanted to make better ones.
FB: I’VE NOTICED THAT YOUR SONGS STARTED GETTING LONGER...
Blag: Some of them are longer, some of them are short. Some are even shorter actually. Yeah I guess so. I mean the thing is if you listen to the earliest Dwarves shit that was the longest stuff. That’s kinda where I started, then it kinda devolved and then it kinda evolved.
FB: IS IT TRUE THAT YOU DON’T REALLY LIKE THE FIRST ALBUM ALL THAT MUCH?
Blag: Oh, I like it, you know. I wrote it, I like it. I try not to dwell on the old ones, I try to just go for what the next ones gonna be like. I mean not that many people cared about those albums when they came out so I’m gonna try and make albums that people are gonna care about now.
FB: I LIKED THE FIRST ALBUM. I THOUGHT IT WAS GOOD.
FB2: I READ SOMETHING THAT SAID YOU USE TO TEAR COPIES OF THAT ALBUM UP WHENEVER YOU SAW IT.
Blag: No, that's bullshit. That's just the kind of thing that people would say. I probably did that once somewhere. That's how it goes, you do something once and everybody says that that's you and that's what you guys do. I’m sure I’ve done that at some point.
FB: WHAT MADE YOU GUYS DECIDE TO CHANGE YOUR STYLE OF MUSIC? WAS IT JUST NOT HAPPENING FOR YOU?
Blag: I never decided to change anything. Its not the kind of thing you decide. I mean you’re sittin’ there playing with people and you come up with new shit. And there's lots of different styles and there's lots of different ways to do things. Once you’ve done it one way you could just continue all doing it the same way or you could change. So I don’t know. I never really gave it much thought I just try and do what I’m doing at the moment. Try and make a good record every time.
FB: THERE IS A NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCE ON EACH OF THE ALBUMS THAT YOU HAVE PUT OUT.
Blag: Yeah every records different, it has a couple of different people and a different way of doing it.
FB: SO HOW MUCH TIME WOULD YOU SAY YOU SPENT ON THE NEW ALBUM COMPARED TO THE EARLIER ONES?
Blag: Well there was no pressure to release it. So it wasn’t even that we spent so much more time in the studio but more that we had time to think about it instead of just having to bang out: record, overdub, mix, master in a one week period. It was like we had some time to record it and think about it, add some shit and think about it. It did take a year to do it but we didn’t spend all that time in the studio, we probably spent three weeks in there. Not that long.
FB: YOU HAVE A SONG FROM THE BLAG DAHLIA EP “VENUS WITH ARMS” THAT YOU CARRIED OVER TO THE NEW ALBUM. SO WAS THAT BAND BASICALLY THE DWARVES?
Blag: No, not really.
FB: ITS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT TYPE OF THING?
Blag: Yeah, I mean at this point what is the fuckin’ Dwarves? I don’t know. (Laughs) It comes out a little different every time. Its more of a marketing tool than anything else.
FB: YOU HAVE A REPUTATION FOR YOUR LIVE SETS.
FB: THE FIRST TIME I SAW YOU GUYS YOU PLAYED FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
Blag: Yeah, if they do something like fuck up the beginning of “Drugstore” that to me is like—I just end the set. I find that little mark of stupidity that’s difficult to deal with.
FB: THE FIRST TIME I ACTUALLY SAW THE DWARVES YOU WERE NOT HERE, THEY SAID THEY HAD LEFT YOU AT A DAIRY QUEEN IN THE RAIN.
Blag: They left me at a Dairy Queen in Missouri and by the time I could fuckin’ hitchhike here it was already like two o’clock, but we still got paid. The guy from Kyuss was me, Nick Oliveri, he’s the only guy that's ever been me. He actually did it twice. He’s a wild character, you could write a book on that guy for sure, I probably will.
FB: SO WHAT HAPPENED TO HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED? HE JUST GOT TIRED OF BEING IN THE BAND?
Blag: No he contracted a really rare liver disease and passed away in 1995.
GERRY: CAN I JUMP IN WITH A QUESTION? WHAT HAPPENED TO SALT PETER?
Blag: He’s still alive. He plays on this last record.
GERRY: HE JUST DIDN’T WANT TO GO ON THE ROAD?
Blag: Yeah, he won’t go on the road either.
FB: IS THAT WHY YOU HAVE ALL THOSE GUYS LISTED ON THE ALBUM, THEY ALL PLAYED ON IT?
Blag: Yeah, uh huh. Everybody got tired of getting hurt all the time and I actually was kinda looking forward to it but then I hurt myself before the tour. So now I have to be really mellow on this one. Probably the next one will be a little bit wilder. But I can’t really do much right now so I’m just kinda kicking back watching the band.
GERRY: WHY DIDN’T REX EVERYTHING PLAY BASS ON THIS RECORD LIKE HE DID THE LAST ONE?
Blag: He’s pursuing some other projects. He’s doing some other things. He’s involved in some things that are not necessarily printable.
FB: ARE YOU GLAD TO SEE “TOOLIN’ FOR A WARM TEABAG” FINALLY GET RE-ISSUED?
Blag: No, no. That’s probably my least favorite of all the records.
FB: HOW ABOUT “LUCIFER’S CRANK”?
Blag: I don’t like that either, to tell you the truth. The only thing I like is “Blood, Guts...” and I like this new one. Those are the only two I like. And “Thank Heavens” is OK.
FB: I’M SURE YOU HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE ASK YOU ABOUT THE SUPPOSED DWARVES HOME VIDEO THAT WAS ADVERTISED ON THE SUB POP VIDEO COMPILATION.
Blag: There’s miles and miles of video but I haven’t done anything with it. I’m just waiting till the statute of limitations runs out on some of that.
FB: DO A LOT OF PEOPLE ASK YOU ABOUT THAT?
Blag: Yeah, people ask sometimes. You know man, I don’t think anybody really gives a fuck, to tell you the truth. (Laughter) I don’t give a fuck, I’m just making records. Every time one comes out I try and make a better one than the last one. Making a video, trying to make a good one.
FB: I’VE SEEN THE VIDEOS FOR “DRUGSTORE” AND “ANYBODY OUT THERE”.
Blag: Both of which are pretty sort of OK.
GERRY: I HEARD YOU ALL MADE A VIDEO FOR “DAIRY QUEEN”, IT WAS FILMED IN ‘FRISCO?
Blag: No, it was gonna be. I was gonna be. It never got shot. I wanted to do it really bad. I wanted to do like girls covered in ice cream. I like videos a lot, but nobody ever wants to make one with me because of what my ideas are.
GERRY: ARE YOU DOING ONE FOR THIS RECORD?
Blag: I don’t know maybe. Its hard to say what's up with this record.
FB: DO YOU HAVE ANY SONGS THAT ARE YOUR FAVORITES TO PLAY LIVE?
Blag: With this incarnation I hate playing live, they play like shit. Every song is worse than the last one.
FB: DO YOU GET A LOT OF REQUESTS FOR “DRUGSTORE”? THAT SEEMS TO BE THE CLASSIC DWARVES SONG.
Blag: Yeah, I love that one. That’s one of my favorites.
GERRY: HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THE MOTARDS DO THAT SONG?
Blag: I’ve heard the Motards. Those guys are great. A lot of people now are covering Dwarves songs. I wish somebody would do it and then sell a lot of records so that I could make a lot of money. So all you bands out there start covering Dwarves songs.
FB: WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG TO GET THIS ALBUM OUT? THE SPAN FROM “SUGARFIX” (‘93) TO NOW (‘97)?
Blag: Well it just takes a long time to make a good record.
FB2: DO YOU THINK THE NUDE PHOTOS ON YOUR COVERS HELPED SELL ANY ALBUMS?
Blag: I think nude photos always help to sell things, that’s why I use them.
FB2: IS THERE ANY STORES THAT WON’T CARRY IT?
Blag: Yeah, there’s a lot of stores that won’t carry it.
GERRY: WHO’S FACE IS UNDER THE SKI MASK, ON THE COVER? IS THAT YOU? I’VE HEARD IT’S YOU.
Blag: No, it’s a girl’s face. That’s a woman, can’t you see what her body looks like? What do you mean it’s me?
GERRY: YEAH BUT I HEARD THEY PUT A MASK ON A DUDE AND PUT THE HEAD ON IT (THE WOMAN’S BODY). (LAUGHTER)
Blag: I don’t know where you’re getting your information from. That’s a woman with an actual head attached to her.
FB: HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO CHECK OUT ANY FAN PAGES THAT ARE ON THE INTERNET?
Blag: Yeah I saw one from Germany, it was pretty good, then there’s some American one, he just got like everything wrong. And he made up all these lyrics, he put ‘em out there and they bare no relation. It looks like you’re reading like a Japanese import record. I just don’t understand why he’d want to do that. I never printed the lyrics and he never even tried to ask me, which seemed pretty weird. But at least he did a web site, I guess that’s cool. I can’t be bothered to do one.
FB: IS THAT THE REASON YOU PRINTED THE LYRICS IN THE NEW ONE, SO NO ONE WILL SCREW THEM UP?
Blag: Every body prints their lyrics now. I never really wanted to do it but every body wanted it so I did it this time. See I do these interviews because it’s a good cover for not moving any equipment.
(the guitar player, Mike, makes his way into the interview)
FB: TELL US HOW YOU GOT INVOLVED WITH THE DWARVES?
Blag: You’re up Mike.
Mike (aka: Wholley Smokes): Well I got old and they just looked weak enough for me to hang out with. I don’t know. I started playing with them, they were small, they were the Dwarves, I felt like I had some kind of leverage with the height.
FB: YOU PLAYED ON THE “VENUS WITH ARMS” EP RIGHT?
Mike: That was me. You’ve just got to talk to those guys because they’re the essence of the Dwarves, I’m just kinda like the...
FB: WELL I WANT TO GET YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON IT TOO.
Mike: Well I think music’s for pussies in the first place.
FB: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM?
Mike: Its good. Its actually really good but music in the fist place, come on. No ones gonna get hurt. Its not surfing, its not skate boarding, its not really an extreme sport, its just music. I don’t know what to tell you. What do you want to hear?
FB: WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE DWARVES?
Mike: Growth, a lot of growth. Its been stunted for years and now we’re going for growth.
FB: ARE YOU THE TYPE THAT LIKES TO WRITE SONGS, IS IT EASY?
Mike: Oh it’s easy. Now Vadge Moore’s got some answers and they’re mostly satanic. (Vadge enters the interview)
Vadge: What do you want to know?
FB: WHY DID IT TAKE YOU SO LONG TO GET A NEW ALBUM OUT?
Vadge: ‘Cause we’re lazy and hooked on so many drugs we couldn’t even (gets cut off) We started doing things like cocaine which actually sped the whole process up a lot. For a long time we were on fuckin’ angel dust and too much heroin. So after a while we decided, “No, fuck it”, we started sounding like the Melvins after a while. When you start sounding like the Melvins you know you’re fucking retarded. So we started doing a lot more cocaine and we rose up out of that bullshit and now you see the Dwarves as they stand before you now.
FB: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE NEW ALBUM?
Vadge: Its the greatest thing we’ve ever done. I don’t even like the other records, I think they just suck. They’re bullshit, don’t buy them, especially don’t buy them from Sub Pop. When we re-release them on another label then buy them. While they’re on Sub Pop take them and smash them in stores if you can, or steal as many as you can.
FB: SO I TAKE IT YOU ENDED ON A BAD NOTE WITH THEM?
Vadge: Yeah you could say that. Bruce Pavitt and Jon Poneman are pieces of shit that deserve to die in a very shallow grave, and some day they will. Maybe by my hand, maybe by someone else’s.
FB: HOW MUCH SUPPORT DID THEY GIVE YOU WHILE YOU WERE WITH THEM?
Vadge: They didn’t give us shit. They were assholes.
Blag: What’s ten percent of nothing?
FB: I READ SOMETHING THAT SAID YOU GUYS USE TO STEAL RECORDS FROM THE WAREHOUSE AND SELL THEM.
Blag: Yeah, I wish I hadn’t sold them ‘cause now they’re all worth like fifty bucks a piece. We sold ‘em for two bucks.
Vadge: We sold ‘em for drugs. We had a split habit.
Blag: That isn’t true, actually those guys were the ones who had the habit. Lets tell it like it was.
Vadge: Those guys did have a habit but it was a pedophillia habit. Those guys were really into young boys, especially
Bruce Pavitt, that guy was, oh geez...
FB2: DO YOU LIKE ANY OF THE BANDS THAT ON THERE NOW?
Vadge: Zeke was on for...
Blag: No they were on Scooch Pooch.
Vadge: They were on Scooch Pooch, well that's a subsidiary. Zeke is good, all the rest suck.
FB: TEEN ANGELS WERE GOOD.
Vadge: Teen Angels was good. Kelly Canary can smoke cigarettes out of a place where it can’t be done. I love a girl that can do that.
Blag: Anything with Kelly is good. (We get off track for a moment) My advice to all you people out there in punk land is to burn all your records ‘cause they suck.
Vadge: All the records on Sub Pop go to the stores and smash them.
Blag: No don’t do that because they’ll still get paid for them.
Vadge: Oh yeah, he’s right.
FB: ISN’T “BLOOD, GUTS, & PUSSY” NOW OUT OF PRINT? [note: the CD & vinyl are back in print]
Vadge: I suppose. They’re too pussy to even put anything out that's really—they could put out “Sugarfix” that's like a pussy album but its still better than anything Cocknoose could put out.
FB2: WHEN YOU DID THE COVER FOR “BLOOD, GUTS..” YOU HAD SOMEBODY POSE FOR THAT?
Vadge: I’ve told that story a million time. It was just two strippers we knew and this dwarf we knew who sold drugs in Brooklyn. We got the together and got the dead rabbit, just something out of New York. Michael Lavine took the photos, a great photographer. And then we had sex with the dwarf. More stupid questions?
FB: YEAH. WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU GUYS?
Vadge: Conquering the world, or at least conquering as many under age women as we can. That's very important to us. I like under age girls ‘cause they’re too stupid to know how lame I am and they’re too young to know how small my dick is.
FB: THAT’S IT.
Vadge: Alrighty then. Hail Satan!
Sub Pop has re-issued “Thank Heaven For Little Girls” & “Sugarfix” both on a single CD with two bonus tracks previously only available on vinyl. “Blood, Guts, & Pussy” is available once again on CD & vinyl. Recess Records issued two discs, one called “Free Cocaine” is pre Sub Pop stuff from 1986 - 88, and “Lick It” which is their garage stuff including the Horror Stories album. Vadge Moore has left the band.
Check out the band’s official web site at: www.thedwarves.com