Get Dead is one of the bands instrumental in the revitalization of the San Francisco punk scene. Hot on the heels of their record release show for Bad News, released this year on Fat Wreck Chords, Get Dead’s brand of yeoman, street busking, blue-collar work ethic is getting a chance at a bigger audience. Previous releases had the band focus primarily on either their folk side or punk side, but Bad News, finally combines both halves of the band into a whole.
Interview by Ed Stuart
Who’s answering the questions?
Sam – Singer / Barstool Warmer
Where is the band from?
San Francisco, San Jose, Sonoma, and Oakland. Basically we have a stranglehold on the greater bay area of California.
Who is in the band and what instrument do they play?
Moki - guitar
Mike – guitar
Tim – bass
Scotty - drums
I sing the ditties.
How did the band start?
We were all in other bands that played together. (The Ballistics, Splitting Seconds, Lewee and The Regals) We all were in a hiatus period and after a night of drinking gin out of pineapples and a morning at a bar we formed Get Dead.
Seems like the San Francisco scene is on fire right now with bands like Toy Guitar, Druglords of the Avenues, Dead To Me, Get Dead and I’m sure there are many other bands. What’s it like to be part of that scene right now?
I’m siked on it. After years of having to endure ironic hipster bands with Uncle Larry on a keyboard playing to an audience more concerned with who sees them or who has the coke instead of having a good time. I fucking love it. We just played with Swingin’ Utters and Toy Guitar and all I can say is its good to see kids having a good time again.
How was the record release show for Bad News?
Ha! I should read these questions in their entirety before answering. That above show with the Utters and Toy Guitar was the album release. It went off. Ramona and the whole staff at Bottom Of The Hill always do right by the bands. That was the first sold out hometown show we’ve done and it was legit! All the bands killed it. The crowd went off. I’m not sure how to describe the whole get down, but if you weren’t there you missed a hell of night to say the least.
Previous LP’s seem to be either primarily acoustic or electric, why the decision to now melds both sides of the band on the Bad News LP?
We just like making music and songs for our friends. With each album we are in different headspaces I guess. Sometimes we want to get rowdy and sometimes we want to get a little more mellow. We’ve always recorded with just us and Josh Garcia who has done all our stuff including Bad News, but this time we had Fat Mike in there with his input which was great. I guess we just decided to see what a middle ground sounded like. Its funny because the album has been called folky punk, but all the shows are a far cry from 5 dudes sitting down playing Bob Dylan type songs. The energy is still like the early thrash stuff but I think it’s a little more comprehensive by melting the two styles together.
Do you think music can still be a vital force in such a disposable age?
I think music above all things resonates with people. Sure people don’t always buy full albums now, and Instagram will be a MySpace next year, but there will still be a skate rat kid that will listen to a song drinking with his buddies or someone going through a rough patch and connect with a piece of music no matter the genre and that song or music will stick to the ribs and follow them through life. Music serves as a marker point throughout life; a reminder of good or bad shit that has happened. It will always be a force.
50 years ago people used to buy music and get their water for free, now people pay for water and get their music for free. How do you think this affects music in any way?
Fuck water. Steal your beer and make your own music.
How was the European tour? What was your most favorite show on that tour?
Europe was great. Can’t wait to get back there. I think the best show was the Amsterdam show with the Mad Caddies. We did a week with them out there and every night was a great time on and off the stage. NOFX had a night off and came out to the show so it was fun to hang out with them and their crew with Get Dead and the Caddies. Drinks were had, jokes were told. I mean it was Amsterdam. Nuff Said.
What are some essential folk LP or singles the band can’t live without?
Devil Makes Three is a staple for any occasion. Old Man Markley has been getting a lot of play in the Get Dead van lately as well.
Where can people hear the band?
Come to a show. Buy a record. Steal it from your friend. We also just did a record for Tony Sly, a tribute. Its got everyone on it and all proceeds go to his memorial fund. I hope everyone reading this picks that album up. We also got a few videos on the World Wide Web.
What’s next for Get Dead?
Touring Europe in April/June and writing new music, chalking up bar tabs and excessively using the word SUP.