Los Angeles rock quartet Death On The Radio joins us for some caffeine and sweets at North Hollywood’s Republic Of Pie to discuss major lineup changes after having a long-standing career, the double-edged sword of being classified as ‘female-fronted,’ and reminding us of why rock music will never die.
Death On The Radio is comprised of:
Maxine Murder – lead vocals and violin
Lee Powers – bass
Roger DeLong – drums
Danny Dorman – guitar
Death On The Radio has pretty much always been a female-fronted punk rock band, and Maxine recently stepped into the role as frontwoman. Do you feel like you had some big shoes to fill, playing a little bit of catch-up with the other band members that had been established over the years?
Maxine Murder: Yes I do. I was pretty nervous, ‘cause I did watch the videos to try to gain some history with the songs, what they’ve been doing, and how long they’ve been working together. I did feel like I had some pretty big shoes to fill, where I felt like I needed to sing a certain way, act a certain way, kind of be similar or identical to their original singer. But it’s turned out to be the opposite, so I don’t feel that way anymore.
Sounds like they took you in under their wings!
Maxine: They really did, and I’m super grateful for that!
Now a question for the original band members, what has kept you going all these years, even with a major lineup change?
Lee Powers: Well, the band’s been around for about 10 years, and these other guys *gestures to Roger and Danny across the table* have been with me for about 8 years in the band. When Maxie came along, she did feel like she had big shoes to fill, but she was the best person to do it, and we’ve encouraged her to be her own self with this band. But what’s kept us going along the whole time is the music. I really love the songs that we write. I think we all like working together. It’s always new, interesting, different, and not the same old thing over and over. We’re not really a female-fronted band. We’re just a band. *laughs* That ‘female-fronted’ thing always kind of gets to me. It’s like, I know a lot of people like to use it to pump it up online, but really, a band is just musicians.
Roger DeLong: Well, Lee’s hit the nail on the head for me as far it being about the music. This is a conglomeration of musicians that kind of fell together. It wasn’t hand-picked or anything, it just kinda happened that we worked together well, and when the three of us, now four of us, get together and write, everybody brings something different to the table. I spent years and years in the heavy metal world, so this was a little bit different for me, but I bring a different style and a sound to the music that you can’t take away. I’m not a punk drummer. You’re not gonna get a punk drum sound out of me. Danny’s a career-long bassist who’s always wanted to play guitar. This allows him to open up and play guitar, and he plays the guitar differently than he plays bass. And Lee’s like the magic guy *laughs* ‘cause Lee plays bass amazingly from no studying or formal training. It adds a whole wild, edgy side to it. Actually, the first time we got together we wrote a song, and at that point in time, you just kinda gotta go, “Okay, there’s something here,” and that’s what’s kept us going. It’s so much damn fun no matter what, whether we’re playing shows or recording, just rehearsing or whatever, the music is different and invigorating, and I couldn’t imagine life without it.
Definitely. I think that’s why we’re all here because we can’t live life without music.
Danny Dorman: Yeah, I think this band is more than just, you know, musicians. We’re chemically suited to play together. I didn’t want to have a punk rock drummer for this band, because it’s got more depth and dimension to it than the standard punk rock definition. We needed somebody with rock chops, and Roger fit that bill great. Lee’s a solid bass player. We all write well together. And Maxie’s come along to transform this band into something magical. She saved our band. I mean, for months, it was me, Lee, and Roger just sluggin’ away, keeping the old songs alive and writing new stuff. I didn’t think we’d be able to find another singer. It was lookin’ like it wasn’t gonna go any further, and then Maxie came along through Roger, and just breathed new life into this band like you wouldn’t believe. She’s incredible! She has her awesome violin talents and just magnetizes the audience when she gets on stage. She’s so charismatic, and I’m grateful that she came and saved us from having to look through hundreds of singers to do these tryouts and cattle calls. Hollywood’s full of singers, in this town, you know? I’m glad she just came along right at the right time.
Yeah and kind of going along with that, with the whole idea of sitting down with all of these singers in Los Angeles, what made you decide on having Maxie become your new frontwoman?
Lee: She just nailed it right from the gate. She did her homework, learned the songs. You know, we’d already had half the set ready. We could have done a gig that day. *laughs*
Roger: That was key. She did her homework and came in prepared. It wasn’t perfect, but you could tell she put in the work and the effort. More than anything else, when you’re in a situation like that, that means the most. We needed someone who’s going to show up, who’s going to put their part in, who’s going to do what they need to do, who’s going to say “Hey, this part isn’t working. I’m going to go home and come up with a new vocal line.” That makes all the difference, and it was really apparent from early on that she wanted to come in and sing for this band. It showed in the way she prepared and the emotion that she put in. She sold herself, so it was kinda hands down.
Lee: I just want to add that she came in with a passion, energy, and a love for the music right from the very beginning. It was very clear, and additionally, she works very hard. She’s continuing to take lessons, study and train to become a bigger and better artist as she goes on. To me, what’s key is to have somebody who loves music, and it really comes through in just everything that she does.
Maxine: Getting a little emotional. *all laugh*
That’s why they’re all here, to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. *laughs* And since it’s been mentioned that you play the violin, the only punk rock that a lot of people, at least in our age group, know of that has a rock violin in it is Yellowcard.
Maxine: I remember them when I was younger!
What made you decide to bring violin into this band’s dynamic?
Maxine: I’ve played violin since I was 11 years old when I joined the orchestra in 6th grade, so it has always been a really huge part of my life. I took a lot of lessons, I was the concert mistress for years, and I was very competitive with it. I brought the violin with me on my travels and everywhere I would go. But there was a point after college where I lost my passion for it, and just kind of tried to shoo-shoo it away. Somehow it would just keep entering my life again, whether it was meeting other people wanting to jam, or coming out here and not wanting to just leave my violin in Colorado with my parents to collect dust. I just have a very open mind and I love challenging myself and experimenting with it. I just thought, “Well, hey, I have a violin, why not add that to the mix and see if it would work?” And that’s what I did. I’m always going to have the violin with me, like ‘til the day I die, probably attached to me somehow. *laughs*
Danny: You should get a violin tattoo!
Maxine: That’s a really good idea! Yeah. add a bow on the side here…*gestures to arm*
Roger: One of the things that makes this band what it is, is because we are different and think differently. As soon as we found out that she played violin, we were all like, “Yeah, bring it in, let’s see what we can do! Oh, hell, yeah.” It was really natural for us to just go, “I don’t remember seeing anybody else do that, so let’s give this a try.” And it’s worked out really well.
Lee: And we have a few songs with Danny playing a 12-string electric guitar, which makes them much more complex songs. I wouldn’t necessarily call them punk rock, but they do have a punk/post-punk rock sort of a feel, and violin’s just a natural accompaniment. They could use more voices and things, but the violin is definitely an extra voice and it just goes beautifully with it.
Danny: Yeah, we have a few songs that are punk rock but I think we’re more death rock. We’re influenced by Siouxsie and The Banshees, Bauhaus, 45 Grave, and Christian Death. Of course, we have a few punk rock songs ‘cause we’ve played punk shows. It’s not really hardcore punk, grindcore or anything like that. We just do our thing.
Lee: Yeah, we’re a death rock band, for sure, yeah. Death rock all the way!
Danny: It’s more rock than punk and we like to experiment with different sounds and different tempos and different instruments, like the violin, like the electric 12-string. No one’s gonna call us the next Sex Pistols, but people that like that kind of music that we like are definitely attracted to us.
Lee: That’s a good point. I’m going to eat more pie.
Maxine: Yeah, it’s open to anybody!
To narrate what’s going on, we’ve got a pie right here, a very large pie.
Lee: And it’s delicious. Try it.
Maxine: And it’s really good! I highly recommend it! *laughs*
Roger: You can’t come to The Republic of Pie and not have a piece of pie.
Maxine: I know, yeah!
I’ll be taking mine to-go. *laughs*
Danny: I’m not Republican. What do I do?
You just eat the pie. *all laugh*
Lee: It does sound like ‘Republican Pie’ actually. I was trying to look it up for directions. *laughs*
Roger: You get to vote on what pie you have.
Danny: In Orange County, is it called ‘Republican Pie?’
Maxine: ‘Republican Pie,’ that’s hilarious. *laughs*
Roger: That’s in Orange County though. *laughs*
It’s kind of in the opposite direction of where you guys live. *laughs*
Lee: ‘Republican Pie.’ There’s a song in there somewhere…
You heard it, we have a sneak peek of a new song inspired by pie *all laugh*. Speaking of a new song, you guys have a new single called “The Death Rock 45.” Would you care to share how the song came to be formed?
Danny: That was released on Scare America Records, which is a label in San Francisco. My friends Nick and George, basically, had this label and they were putting out compilations with bands from all over the world. They liked us so much, they let us put out a single. That song actually has a riff that I’ve had for 30 years that no one’s ever been able to make a song out of until our old singer turned it into something. Then on Side 2, “Pleasure and Pain,” is a group collaboration. We all wrote that song, and that one seems to be the more popular one. Though my favorite is Side A, of course.
Lee: The two songs on there are “Life On The Line” and “Pleasure and Pain.” That single actually came out years ago and was originally released in red vinyl with artwork on the center of the label done by Dave Lemon. Really did well in The Record Trader, and also was really popular in Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Germany, they really, really love that record. It’s great! The Traveling with George compilation has additional tracks on it I think.
Danny: Traveling with George II has “Life On The Line” and “I Am The One.”
Lee: Yeah, “I Am the One” is on there, which is a Danny Dorman riff for sure. “Life On The Line” is also a Danny Dorman thing. “Pleasure and Pain” was off of my bass line.
Danny: That was like our second song we wrote together.
Lee: That’s all we currently have. We did record a bunch of stuff during an eclipse that we’ve never released, and we’re getting ready to release that. We’re also getting ready to go back into the studio and do a bunch of recording. We’ve been writing new songs. We just debuted one over at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon. A new song called “All Fours.”
Roger: Maxie’s first song with us!
Maxine: Yeah! “All Fours!”
Lee: Yeah, it’s a really great one. It has that [The] Cramps feel. It’s fantastic!
Roger: Well here’s the neat story about the “45” single, or this is the one that I like the most. *laughs* What’s on the “45” was originally produced and was supposed to go on Traveling with George, but the record company liked it so much, they wanted to release it as a single. So they took two songs from our eclipse recording sessions, and put them on Traveling with George II, and used what we recorded with their producer and in their studio to be released. That’s what I think is so cool about it, is that we didn’t even do it with releasing anything in mind. They were gonna put it on the compilation, and they ended up actually, in essence, producing and releasing four songs for us for the price of two basically.
Danny: They liked our band the best, I guess.
Maxine: I’m not surprised!
Danny: I mean, the label kind of went defunct after Nick Lamagna had passed away.
Lee: Nick was a member of the band RF7 from Simi Valley, an old-school punk band that’s been around forever. He and George Matranga had the label.
And since you had mentioned that you had originally released it on vinyl and then ended up having it released as a single. With vinyl and singles being the trend instead of a full recorded work, do you feel that that kind of trend is going to go away any time soon or do you think that’s kind of how the music industry is going to be for a while?
Danny: It’s gonna be like that indefinitely because they can’t download a vinyl album, and music cannot be stolen by just making 20 copies for all your friends, you know? The only way they can make money in the music industry is to put out vinyl or cassette, and then have it on digital download too. So I think the trend is here to stay. I think vinyl sounds better. You have a piece of artwork in your hand. When you’re listening to the music, it’s not sterile sounding like a CD. It’s analog, which a lot of people like better because it sounds warm with a lot of dimension to it.
Sounds like you’re actually in the recording studio with the artist.
Lee: Personally, I welcome all formats. 8 Track, cassette, MP3, anything you can think of.
Maxine: I honestly don’t know. It really puts me in fear to think about what’s coming and how things are changing. I grew up super, super old school with records playing and Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin playing. I really appreciate the way the music sounds and just the routine, or the ritual, of picking up the dial and moving it. It’s just cool. But I can also appreciate the beauty and ease of being able to find music online and have it be downloadable. Like with iTunes, you just have to pay like a $10 membership and you can download unlimited amounts of music. I do appreciate the old school ways, but I don’t know if it’s gonna stick.
The music industry’s always changing, for sure.
Danny: You go to Amoeba Music and 3/4 of the store is vinyl now.
Danny: They don’t even want CDs. I collect records, I’ve been collecting records my whole life. The record swap meet is packed every month. People are buying vinyl. They don’t want to have a CD, because they wear out.
I’ve definitely done that a few times with certain CDs, where I had to keep re-purchasing them.
Roger: Danny’s got the good point in that. I think cassettes are also making a comeback for the same thing. I mean, they’re cool, vintage kind of things. Also, what it does from a marketing viewpoint, is when you buy a cassette or a vinyl, it comes with a download, so you get your digital music, but you don’t get access to the digital music until you buy the product, so it kind of funnels it a little bit more back into the artist’s pocket in a way. Right now, you literally can have a Top 10 single, and be touring, and still not be making enough money to live off of. That’s what it’s become, and a lot of that is because of music sales from pirating and the attitude of “I’m not gonna pay a dollar for a song,” which, seriously, if you love a song, how can it not be worth a dollar?
It’s a sad, but true reality.
Roger: But people will steal if they can steal, so I’m with Maxie on the fact that I don’t know if it’s gonna stick. But I know in my lifetime, vinyl’s never totally gone away. Cassettes are making a comeback. I think people like to have something that they can hold in their hand. That music is great on your iPod, but it gets lost in the shuffle. When you have that disk in your hand, you’re putting it on purposely, putting in that particular record. It’s a whole different mindset and expectation about what you’re going to get out of the experience than that “Oh, I like that song” and then the next one comes up mindset. You know what I mean? It’s a little bit more about the whole experience of an album. An album is called an album because it’s a collection of songs. In my day, albums were not necessarily themed, but still epic. Of course, there were some like The Wall and things like that where it’s a whole story, but the collection was put together with thought. If you notice, one of AC/DC‘s most popular songs, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” never made it to a record. It didn’t make it to a record until Bon Scott died, and then they released all this stuff that they had laying around. It didn’t make it to a record not because it wasn’t a good song, but because it didn’t fit into what they were trying to do with that particular record. So the album/cassette, that whole theory, to me is more of an experience when you do it that way, so I’m hoping it sticks around. I’m hoping that younger generations start to pick up on that sort of stuff, and understand that it’s not just a bunch of streams of ones and zeros that are pleasing to your ear. It’s an experience, it tells a story, it makes you feel a certain way. It’s 9 months of this band’s life packed into a piece of vinyl with some artwork, and everything on that has a reason and a purpose and a place because it’s the life’s blood of this band. When you look at it that way, it has a whole lot more. When you pick up that record and put it on, it means a whole lot more than “I’m just throwing on some background music so that we can have coffee,” you know?
Staying on the topic of streaming and modern music, do you feel that artists pretty much want to focus on releasing singles instead of a cohesive unit of their work?
Roger: Well, I think there’s a selfishness and an instant gratification that goes on. I grew up dreaming of being a rock star, and it was a process. I was a concert organist from when I was eight until I was seventeen. It was years of doing stuff I didn’t wanna do in order to get up to there. Things are a lot more instant now, where it’s really easy for someone to whip together a couple of things, stumble across a nice little riff, loop it, sing some lyrics, and get some friends in to work on it with you. Those are the differences between when you get the people who are putting the product out there just to put the product out there, and those that get a little bit of an ego boost when they make some money from showing up to the club with the DJ playing it in front of all the girls. Do I want people to like it? Yes. Would I love for a song or two to be a hit single? Absolutely! That would be great! Do I do it to make money and be rich and famous? Hell, no. I don’t. That’s a whole different mindset than what this band is about, which is about making music, having fun, being satisfied with our product, and whatever happens, happens!
Do you think modern music listeners almost don’t have the mental capacity to really process a full album, and that’s why musicians are starting to do just a series of singles instead of an album?
Danny: It’s not like we didn’t want to put out an album. We had an album’s worth of music, but we didn’t want to put out an album with a singer that’s no longer with the band,. Especially because we have somebody new and we want her to represent us instead of the last singer. We spent years putting an album together, so we do want to put an album out soon. Every time we play, all we have is a single to sell, and the fans are like, “Do you have a CD?” and we say, “No, we don’t have a CD. But you can download our music off of YouTube.
Lee: Short answer is, I think people put out singles not because the listeners don’t have a mind to accept a whole album. I think the listeners are pretty smart out there. I think some people don’t give a whole album a chance. They will go and nitpick or pick single tracks. If they can pick them digitally, they will pick single tracks over a whole album, and that’s usually why albums are sold at a group price, whereas individual songs are sold at an individual price, which is generally higher. With some people’s music, the themes fit very well and they actually compose an album. It’s like a train of thought. It’s like reading a book of poetry, where it all blends together. But other music is not that way because it’s all individual thoughts and bits and pieces. It doesn’t really make an album, so concept-wise, it depends on the listener, and also the artist.
Maxine: Yeah, I agree. I think it’s very generational and also depends on the audience. Who’s reading or listening to the story, the passion, the background, what the band is about and what we’ve all been doing? Do they really care about each and every song that has blood, spit, and tears in them?
Lee: Our fans do. They do care about every song and it’s amazing.
Maxine: Well, that’s what’s amazing for our fans. But generally, I know that there are bands and artists that only release a single, or they do whole albums. It’s nice to have a fanbase that actually cares and wants to hear every single track, and wants to know, what’s going on, our progress, what we’re all working on. With that kind of fan base, they’re gonna listen to every song. They’re gonna look forward to the album, you know? But I think certain bands or artists out there that just release like, little teasers here and it is suitable for some people. It just depends.
Absolutely. And I wanted to ask you, as a woman in the rock industry, do you feel like there are any pressures or expectations that are put on women in the rock scene?
Maxine: You know, I don’t feel like there is a lot of pressure. A lot of the women that I’ve looked up to, whether it be rock, alternative, punk, or heavy metal, have shown time and time again that they’re their own person no matter what, and it’s really fuckin’ rad. Like, I just saw Alice Bag, not that long ago, and she still has the purple hair, rocking out and getting on tables and stuff like that. Then there are other women I know that are exuberant in how they present themselves. They’re not afraid! They’re not in fear of speaking up for themselves, for other females, and just about the world and everything. It’s so cool. I feel like with my experience so far because I am fairly new, I just feel like there is more pressure for me if I’m not doing music. If I didn’t have this, I would feel a ton of pressure about what to do with my life. I feel like I get to allow myself to be what I want, and whoever doesn’t like it doesn’t like it. I don’t have to please them or anybody, so it’s awesome to see that. It’s awesome to have people that I look up to that show that and express that, but I do feel like, as a whole, yeah, there’s still a lot of pressure on women in the music industry as a whole to look or even sing a certain way. It’s horrible! But at the same time, there are so many really strong female leaders out there in this scene that are not really acknowledged enough. Whether you’re huge, whether you’re tiny, whether you’re short or tall, whether you have a manly voice or not, the list goes on, you just need to embrace the weird and embrace you, whoever you are.
Roger: It’s funny that you had brought that up, because we just had contact with a PR person, who asked a few specific questions about Maxie: “Looks-wise, where is she out of 1 and 10?” and then, ‘Is that an L.A. 10 or is that a nationwide 10?” and “Voice-wise, where is she on a 1 to 10 scale?” And I think it does show that there’s still a lot of pressure and certain expectations because nobody asked, “How does she bring things across on stage? How does she feel with the people? None of that. It came down to “What do you look like and how pure is your voice?” Almost like the whole Simon Cowell idea of what an American Idol is, you know? Like you have to be this perfectly pitched singer and that’s the only way that you can succeed as an artist.
Lee: I do want to say that there’s pressure in the industry for women, and especially in rock n’ roll. There are different kinds of genres, sure, and the expectations are different. Almost in all genres though, women are expected to be sexy. Women are expected to either be tough like Joan Jett or Pat Benatar or else they need to be sexy and super girly like Madonna.
There’s no in-between.
Lee: Exactly. There’s not. It’s like you have to represent one of the flavors, you know? And that’s the one thing that punk rock, death rock, goth, and all these different rock genres that’s sort of abolished that kind of standard. It’s really more just about being yourself, bringing your gift, and just presenting it. I think that goes into musicianship, it goes into singing, it goes into the look. I mean, we’re not the most handsome band you’ve ever met, except for Maxie. *laughs*
Maxine: I would have to disagree with that. *laughs*
Lee: But we play pretty well and we mean what we do.
And Lee, you had mentioned briefly your thoughts about the “female fronted” term. Do you feel that from a marketing standpoint, the idea of a female-fronted band is more appealing or going to be more popular because of that term?
Lee: I think it’s kind of like a sign with an arrow, saying that if you’re looking for bands that have a female singer, it’s over here. And that’s really, I think, the only use for that. I’m not totally 100% against it, but sometimes by saying “female-fronted punk” or “female-fronted this,” it’s almost like taking away from the musicianship and the intensity of the band by saying, “Oh, well this is female-fronted,” like, “This is the kids’ section,” or “This is the women’s section.” It’s a little bit misogynistic in the way it’s used sometimes, and that’s why I object to it for the most part. It’s just an arrow that says, “Hey, women are over here.”
It’s a neon light. “Check her out!”
Lee: Yeah, totally, right!
Maxine: I mean I’ve used the whole ‘female-fronted’ thing in tagging and stuff like that, but I don’t try to use it often because of the same exact reasons that Lee pointed out. My experience with the guys here, they’re literally my brothers. Family. I love them to death, each and every one of them, not one more than the other.
Lee: She loves me more. *all laugh*
Maxine: I really do love all of them. But going off of what Lee said, because I feel that we’re all in this together, sometimes I think the ‘female-fronted’ term gives this illusion that the female has all the power. While I’m all for female empowerment and women power, I feel like we’re all equal in this and that we put in so many different things. Just like Roger was talking about, we each have such an array of aptitudes and skills in different areas that we can bring to the table, which is beautiful. I just like to live where there isn’t one person that’s better than the other, or this person’s worse or weaker because we can all grow together, too.
Danny: It’s basically just a gimmick for promoters to promote their show. “It’s an all female-fronted band night at the Redwood Bar!” That way people know they’re not gonna be, you know, slammed into all night.
Lee: If A Pretty Mess plays, they might be. *laughs*
Maxine: Yeah. *all laugh*
Danny: Maybe not.
Lee: Or Naked Aggression.
Danny: Anyway, I think we exhausted that question. *all laugh*
Alright, so moving on! A lot of people keep saying that punk is dead, or rock music is dead. What are your thoughts on that notion?
Roger: Not dead, yet! ‘Til I die, it’s not dead. *all laugh*
“If I’m still standing, then it’s not dead!” *laughs*
Maxine: It’s not dead. It’s far from it.
Danny: Rock n roll is here to stay. It will never die.
Roger: The punk scene is actually stronger, more conglomerated, and different than it was before. It’s more unified. It’s less diversified. We all support each other. There are lots of shows around. The genre has opened its arms to including fringe elements, like us for example. We don’t really fit into what you would consider ‘punk,’ but it’s branched out, and it touches on different things. We’re all older, smarter, wiser. We don’t do the dumb shit that we did. I see young kids and old guys in the same pit together moshing out. I don’t think it’s gone at all. I think it’s stronger than it ever was. Perhaps society has become a little numb to the “Oh my God, look at that weirdo!” kind of thing.
Because we’re all weirdos? *all laugh*
Roger: Yes! Because we’re all weirdos, now! So, it doesn’t matter.
Now being a weirdo is the cool thing.
Lee: To quote Wattie Buchanan: “Punk’s not dead. I know, punk’s not dead. I know it’s not.” But the thing is that the modern punk scene now is really starting to flourish again. There’s a lot of networking going on between bands and fans, and everybody in general. The scene is becoming more supportive. It’s becoming more like it used to be back in the 80s when bands would support each other, bring each other along, help each other up. Me and Rikk Agnew from Adolescents, we were talking the other day and inviting each other to things. We’re showing up, inviting more bands, and becoming more inclusive. There’s a lot more love in the scene. If you’ve never checked out punk rock before but have heard the music and you’d like to go to a punk show, it’s a lot more friendly and engaging than it used to be. It’s not such a cold scene, anymore. It’s a lot better than it used to be in some ways.
I would say the first step is to go to Warped Tour, but you can’t do that anymore.
Lee: Warped Tour? No!
Danny: We don’t want to play no Warped Tour!
Roger: Well, you don’t have to worry about that one, Danny.
Lee: I like Converse, not Vans! *all laugh*
Roger: Well, you bring up Warped Tour, which brings up the accessibility of shows, at least that’s how I look at it. People ask me, “Oh, you’re not going to so and so’s show?” My response normally is unless I really love the band and really want to go see them, which there’s only a few, for the price that I can go to see a big named band at The Forum, I could catch 10 or 20 local punk shows…
Lee: With great bands that are as good as these headliners.
Roger: Exactly. And have a great time, maybe see four brand new bands. There’s a wealth of music out there. Why spend it on all the big show crap? To me, it’s like I’d rather go out and be in the pit at the club, right up front and ten feet from the dude.
Lee: We’d rather eat at Republic of Pie than go to Ralph’s and get a pie. *all laugh*
And with the availability of having access to all of these relationships with other musicians, if you could create your own world tour, which artists would you bring with you and what would you name your tour? Whoever wants to go first.
Roger: Well, I’m greedy. *all laugh* Oh, I’m a huge fan of Avenged Sevenfold. I would love to share the stage with them! But then I would just put Death on the Radio and Order Disorder on that bill, and that’s it!
And what would you name your tour?
Roger: Um, I don’t know. Haven’t thought that far in advance. *laughs* What would I name the tour? I don’t know. Maybe “Death and Disorder.”
*turns to Lee* You look like you’re ready to say something magical.
Lee: Yeah, I don’t really have an answer for that question. There are too many bands I like and I like so many different styles. I couldn’t pin it down.
Roger: Throw out like 10 local names that no one’s ever heard of and we’d be all like, “Yeah, that sounds like a great tour!” *all laugh* Everybody else would be like, “I don’t know those guys.”
Lee: Yeah, that’s a tough question.
You’re like, “It hurts my brain, I don’t want to think about it.” *laughs*
Lee: Kind of. *laughs* That’s a deep one. I’m just like, “How do you answer that?” It’s like if someone asked me what my favorite album is. I started buying records when I was 5, so to have a favorite album, I could think of at least a hundred “favorite albums” that are all pretty close to number one for me.
*laughs* I’m the exact same way. What do you hope that your audience takes away from your music?
Maxine: I hope they’re hungry for more after listening to the music. I hope they’re seduced, and want to be enmeshed in what we’re doing, and want to know what the band’s about. Just for them to really be curious and wanting more.
Roger: That was good!
Yes it was, and I’m positive it will be accomplished. Now for my last question, what exciting things should we be expecting from you?
Danny: Well, we’re going in the studio with Maxie, so that’ll be new and exciting!
Lee: Recording, gigs, and new songs. We’re writing new stuff that I think you guys are really gonna like. It’s just more flavors and textures, a little different than what we’re doing currently, but still in the same vein. I think it’s gonna really show the way the band has grown and matured, yet still showing that we haven’t left our roots at all. So good music coming!
Maxine: I’m most excited for the music that we’re all working on together, which is awesome! It’s just going so organically and feels so natural, and it’s been an awesome experience writing and recording with them. And then of course we have shows, always. Always shows and gigs!
About Republic Of Pie:
It’s an absolute given that pastries and caffeinated beverages are just a match made in heaven, and what better place to indulge in that notion than at North Hollywood’s Republic Of Pie! With a versatile array of recipes to choose from their colorful chalkboard menu, patrons will no doubt be able to make their sweet tooth happy while also making people crave a (relatively large) slice from the food porn style photos that you can’t help but want to post. Don’t worry, they also have some light fare (sandwiches, salads, quiches, etc.) for the practical people looking to get a real meal before dessert. Drink wise, you’ve got your classics that pair well with every food item they have on their menu. I was happily able to get myself the best iced rose latte that I’ve ever had off of their seasonal specials menu, and boy did I wish they had a jug of it for me to take home with me!
Republic Of Pie is located in the ever poppin’ NoHo Arts District, and they definitely know how to appeal to their neighborhood. Kooky artwork lining the walls along with a variety of different seating choices from large wooden tables and couches to outdoor patio seating and their resident Groot providing a spot to enjoy their pie and coffee. Join them for Happy Hour from 3pm-5pm and for daily music shows starting at 6pm!