Sunday, August 21, 1988

Friday, August 19, 1988

Interview: No Mind

I did this interview with No Mind back before the LP had come out. I went down to the band’s practice and interviewed them afterwards. I recently came across a transcription of the interview and realized that this was only aired on CHRY but has never appeared in print. Here is an interview from sometime back in 1988.

Could you each introduce yourselves and tell us how you contribute to the NO MIND sound?Dave (D): I’m Dave and I’m the guitar player and I contribute to the NO MIND sound by playing crazy, fuzzed out, wild rock guitar and heavy leads and solos. And I yell a lot to because I’m friendly.
Scott (S): In dresses. Nightshirts maybe.
Allister (A): I’m Al and I play bass and …
S: And various fret work with his fingers.
D: And you play too loud.
A: Yeah and I play too loud. That’s what I contribute.
S: his bass isn’t distorted enough. I sing. I scream a lot and yell and scream and try and be melodic, but I don’t really do a good job.
Could you provide us with a band history?
D: A long time ago, when the earth was greener and stuff, Scott and I got together, I being in a band before and so had Scott and we spent somewhere between a year to a year and a half trying to get members to get things happening. So finally we did around 1985 and it was made up of me and Paul, our drummer, and Scott and we had Andy Ford who is in NOTHING IN PARTICULAR, on bass. We debuted in April of 1985. We played like that for a year or so and then we had differences so Andy was out of the band and we got Allister in after he came down and jammed with us for a while. He said his arm felt like falling off so we figured it was a good idea for him to join the band. And we have been at it like this for three years now.
S: Paul should introduce himself. He is here now.
Paul (P): Hi I’m Paul.
S: What do you do Paul?
D: Explain your contribution to the NO MIND sound.
P: Oh I don’t know. I hit drums.
S: He writes all the time changes in our songs.
What were each of you doing before No Mind?
P: I was depressed.
D: I was bored.
S: I wasn’t doing too much. I went and saw the Toronto bands that were around and still playing, after I quit the band I was in.
What bands were you guys in?S: I was in PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE.
D: I was in AFHAKEN.
P: I was in A.P.B.
A: I was the original singer in AFHAKEN and I played guitar in SUN ZOOM SPARK.
D: Allister is a two timer.
How did you guys get hooked up with each other?
S: Me and Dave got together first and then Andy and Paul came, and then after Andy left we got Allister.
A: Because I knew Dave from high school.
P: And we knew each other from playing in bands, like AFHAKEN and A.P.B. and P.O.C. we knew each other from shows and stuff.
S: We tried out a few bass players and drummers, but we decided on the ones that worked out and came to practice and didn’t play in heavy metal bands.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before?
S: Loud, fast rock is pretty vague, but it’s all there. It’s Loud, its fast, and its rock.
D: It’s over the top.
Individually, who would you cite as some of your influences?
D: That is probably an all around one for sure.
S: Not really. I didn’t start listening to them until only about two or three years ago and I like the kind of guitar stuff they write, but I don’t really care for Ozzy’s singing too much.
P: I would say SABBATH, BAD BRAINS….
D: And we are heavily into that ’77 punk rock stuff all the way until now.
A: And other stuff like HENDRIX and KING KRIMSON, and MC5.
D: I like DEEP PRUPLE. BLACK FLAG were a big influence.
D: Yeah I use to listen to them FLIPPER records constantly. When you were depressed they would make you sick.
S: They had a healthy outlook on life. That’s the only thing worth living for.
A: And recently we have been listening to stuff like NOMEANSNO and CELIBATE RIFLES, DAG NASTY, THE NILS, THE DOUGHBOYS.
What do your lyrics deal with? Are there any issues or messages that you are trying to convey with your songs?
S: The lyrics I write are somewhat personal although sometimes they can be talking about what people might consider political matter, but it is not in a manner of being dogmatic and saying something like this is what imperialism is. I sort of try and re-word it and give people a feeling that I am talking about something that is happening now, but I just don’t come out and say it. I figure that we will put lyric sheets in our records so that people can read the lyrics. I am not singing about that top forty type stuff about how nice life is and how happy everyone is because I don’t see it that much.
Are there any issues that might stand out?S: Personal issues. For instance, I use to work at a lot of shitty jobs and that’s what one of our songs is about.
P: Getting up and having to work. This could be in more of our songs in the future. You write songs a few years ago about working and your still working three years later.
S: Peoples attitudes are another biggy. Even the AFHAKEN song we sing are about people’s attitudes. The “Slick makes me Sick” kind of thing is about an attitude. It is not a personal vendetta about somebody that I don’t really know. It is more like an attitude that a person has, like Elliot Lefko makes me sick is the same sort of thing.
P: Except you can’t sort of say that when you are playing on one of his bills.
Is there anything that you would like people to pay closer attention to?
S: Well I could write footnotes about the lyrics I write, but I think that that is just taking it a bit too far. Maybe at some point I will if people really keep sort of asking us what we are singing about. I could start telling them about the stuff that I read or if the attitudes that I am talking about are too disguised for them to understand, like if they think that I am saying “Fuck You”, well I’m not.
Do you do any cover tunes? What are they?P: “Sick of being Sick” by the DAMNED, just because we love the DAMNED.
D: They were a big influence.
S: They weren’t a big influence on me. I listened to them, but ….
A: They were a huge influence on me. The first DAMNED album is pogo madness.
S: But so is the first SEX PISTOLS album and the first CLASH album.
D: We are doing a couple of songs by a Toronto band the DEMICS because we all use to listen to their songs when we were younger and party out to them.
S: They were a London band and they are a big influence. Everybody was crazy about “New York City”. Back then they played it on CFNY. It was just a very popular song.
P: But we don’t do that song.
A: because it was requested once.
P: We do all the songs that nobody knows.
Can you rhyme off some bands that you have enjoyed playing with?
P: There is more, believe us there is more.
D: Yeah we are just too dopey to think about it.
Has NO MIND toured much?
S: We have played as much of Ontario as is possible.
A: We have been from Ottawa to Windsor. We have played Kitchener, Guelph, and Montreal.
D: we get out of town about once a month, if we are lucky.
S: It is not always so possible to go play out of town. I mean if you go play to fifty people and you don’t make any money, you have to sift that kind of thing out. You can’t keep doing it and end up losing a lot of money.
Is there any places that have stood out and if so why?
P: Windsor was a great show with DAG NASTY.
A: Freakers Ball in a far, field in the middle of nowhere near London.
S: Every time we play Kitchener people really like us a lot. The same is true of Guelph.
P: Kitchener is like almost better than playing in Toronto in a lot of ways because people are really into it.
A: The last gig in Montreal was really cool.
P: I think things are still really cool in Kitchener because I think things are really fresh there so they don’t have any people trying to rule the scene. Maybe it hasn’t happened there yet and hopefully it won’t.
S: They are younger in Kitchener, which is great because …..
P: They get excited when bands come to town. They are really into it.
S: the people who see us in Toronto are slightly older because we have been around for a while and they are getting older. We also play bars too much because we don’t get the all ages shows as much as we would like.
Do you guys have any future plans for touring?
P: Definitely. We will see what kind of a response we get when the record comes out. Who knows? If people want to bring us to town. But yeah, we plan to do a lot of touring once the record is out.
Would it be a full scale summer tour?
D: That would be ideal.
S: the States would be the place to go. We could play the east coast and ….
D: Maybe this year will consist of a lot smaller ones and then maybe we’ll be able to take off and do it.
P: It might end up being two or three small tours of Canada and a big one of the States.
Is the band a full time job or do you guys support yourselves with part time jobs?
Everybody: We support ourselves with full time jobs! The band is also a full time job.
Does that mean the band is just a hobby?P: No not at all. We wish we could spend more time on the band really. You know like do more time on the band really. You know like to do more with it.
A: You got to pay the rent though.
S: That is the rent of where you live and where you practice.
P: We got bills to pay to music stores and just bills to pay.
What kind of jobs do you guys hold?A: Well I am a cook and I have been cooking for six years.
S: I am a shipper/receiver, which is a real recent thing for me because I got tired of the restaurant industry. i.e. washing dishes or food preparation. I just don’t like restaurant work anymore.
D: I am a shipper/receiver just because that’s what I got experience in the first place and I just keep getting Joe jobs.
S: It’s the fringe benefits that Dave enjoys.
D: Yeah pamphlets on lungs.
S: And costumes from certain stores, hmmmm.
P: I work as a bike courier.
Do you guys have any hobbies outside of the band?
P: No because after working all day and practicing all night I don’t really have too much time for anything else.
A: Well if I can get some time in drawing, I’ll do it, but the only time I get to draw is for the band.
S: I read as much as I can, but I don’t find much time to read, either comic books or good books. I’ll go to see movies too.
A: Yeah, actually I like collecting French comic books. When I go to Montreal, I’m blowing the budget.
D: I like reading a lot. It’s either comic books or your main stream schlocky stuff.
Are you guys all comic collectors?
P: I used to be. I don’t collect them now because they cost a fortune.
S: I collect them now because I work at a comic store so I don’t pay for them. I just collect them. Most comics are pretty crappy. There is only a few that I would recommend. Its like, the American comics are all super hero crap and it gets really degrading after a while. I feel like saying “you people have to grow sooner or later.” Its fancy escape which is what I guess they want out of it. You can have comics portraying real life stuff. That’s what happens already.
D: I like old TV shows at four o’clock in the morning.
Who does the artwork for the band?
S: Allister does.
Are there any meanings behind the concepts that you come up with?
A: Most of the stuff that I come up is after I’ve been uh…
S: Explain this Allister (as he points to a NO MIND flyer).
A: I had this piece of 8-1/2” x 11” white piece of illustration board staring me in the face and I was shitting bricks because I had this cover to do for this gig. I started drawing a mushroom with this head attached to the bottom because it was the only thing that came into my head. I had drawn mushrooms before for a project at Art College, so I knew how to draw mushrooms pretty well. I just stuck a head on it and made it as psychedelic as I could. Most of my stuff is just trying to twist an ordinary situation into something surreal. I did a poster of a guy being attacked by a giant ant and stuff like that. Most of the stuff tries to have a sense of humour.
P: yeah it’s not really all that serious, but it is very heavy looking and pretty serious lookin’, but it is always kind of funny.
S: I think people will pay more attention to that as opposed to photocopied, black and white newspaper cut outs, even though I do things like tat myself. Bad photocopies, band shots, or skulls and mohawks becomes too cliché after a while.
How did you come up with the name for the band?
P: We have a song called “No Mind to Lose” that we do, however the context of the song doesn’t really have too much to do with our name.
D: We just kind of like the sound to it.
S: the song kind of talks about people who would be considered No Minds. Most people are aware of it. I’ve actually heard people use the expression, “Oh the guy is a No Mind,” or whatever. It is not like we are calling ourselves no minds or even saying that everyone out there is so stupid. It’s a term that actually exists.
P: There is no other band called No Mind either.
S: it is very original. We didn’t want a number or a letter name. We didn’t want to be called NO MIND number 134 or N.M.H. or any of that kind of stuff.
The band seems to cater to a wide variety in styles of music. The disco mix of that song “No Mind” is but one example. What spawned you guys on to do this song?
S: the disco mix was arranged with the help from another person because basically we recorded a four track and this person without us knowing had taken the original tapes and he had done the whole disco aspect of it. He had done the drum machines, he had done the keyboards, he had thought it up and did it.
P: We didn’t really have anything to do with it.
S: He didn’t ask us, he just did it and said listen to this guys and we just flipped and said like holy shit.
P: It was cool.
S: We don’t realize that sort of potential exists with our sort of music.
P: We never heard our song being played disco. It was just something that he thought up and thought he could do it. It was cool because he took the guitar solo and the original vocals from us and so there is still some of the band in there for sure. There is even a drum role in there that I did that he did something to and it sounds really strange and it’s kind of cool. It was really neat. It blew us away. We wanted to use it. We wanted to put it out on something for the longest time.
S: I’ve actually seen people dance to it. I played it at a party twice and people were actually dancing to it and they asked me who it was after. It just blows me away. It is more assumed that when you play music people will dance to almost anything. If you play what people think is hardcore then they will slam, but if you play them this stuff and they dance to it is really interesting.
P: Some people don’t seem to like it. They want to know what’s it all about. You laugh and dance to it.
S: It’s just supposed to be fun. It is just one of our songs that are turned into a beat box sort of thing.
Can you tell us a little bit about your dabbling in video?
S: We have made a video. It is finished. It is complete. It exists. We have the master tapes ourselves. We have assumed all control. It’s a video for a song and not on the tape. Basically the idea of the video was to put our lyrics in this song into motion, i.e. to act them out. What we talked about in the song we portrayed in the video. And to a degree I think it worked well, but not as well as we would have liked. I think if we spent more time and money on it we could have come up with something better, but I don’t think we want to spend more time or money on the video.
A: We can’t complain because we didn’t spend that much money on it.
D: It was basically free on a lot of aspects.
S: We had a person who helped us produce this video and her name is Sandra Dawson.
Will you be releasing it anywhere?P: It might be out on Maclean-Hunter. MuchMusic might show it once for some Toronto or whatever it is called. City limits perhaps.
S: If we do our record show which we are planning we will show the video.
P: We will haul a TV down and show it at our record release party.
This one is for Scott. I read in a Montreal zine once that you dropped your pants in front of a crowd. What made you do this?
A: He has done it twice.
S: I’ve done it twice in Montreal.
P: Only in Montreal.
S: the second time was sort of unoriginal. It was silly, but the first time I was inspired by an incident that happened the previous night. I was at the Quoc Te watching a band and a girl proceeded to get up and start taking off her clothes. And I thought that if the person does that on there own free will it is a cool thing because nobody does that kind of stuff because the human body is considered taboo and people shouldn’t be naked. So I thought it was really cool that she was doing this, but I sort of realized afterwards that it was a joke. It was a birthday party thing. It was this guy’s birthday and they had paid this person money to take off her clothes and she was doing it on her own free will at first. And so the next night we were playing Montreal and it kind of fits in with the lyrics of NO MIND. It goes “I’ll take off my uniform” like I’ll strip myself of all that I’m wearing and stuff like that. So I took off my pants because that was the idea. To take off my uniform. So I had the pants down and certain members were embarrassed by it and certain members thought it was funny. I never expected that kind of reaction from people just by taking off my pants. I mean I wasn’t showing any of my body just my legs and my thighs from here to there and people get embarrassed about that kind of thing. Tell me why. If you can’t do these kind of things without getting these uptight feeling that’s bad. I don’t do it all the time though (lots of laughter).
Has anyone made this suggestion to you guys of renaming the band the Dave Walsh Project?
D: Oh fuck. That’s really silly.
P: Only Morgan Gerrard.
S: No one has and I wouldn’t have much respect for that person.
D: I wouldn’t go along with a suggestion like that at all.
S: This is a band. Dave’s not the only member to this band.
A: He is louder than anyone else, but that doesn’t matter.
D: But I don’t realize it because I can’t hear myself.
P: he is deaf. So are we. Three years ago I came in here with great hearing.
S: When Dave does his solo acoustic stuff I think that would be a good name for him (more laughter).
D: Yeah right.
P: Don’t worry it is coming Dave. It’ll happen for you.
D: I better take some lessons first. Or I’ll hire people to play it for me and just put my name on it. I mean if we are going to be this bogus, why not.
P: Produce it.
D: Yeah I’ll produce it.
P: Do all engineer work and get Simon to play all guitar parts for you.
D: Sure as long as there aren’t any mic stands around.
I’ve never seen Dave in his Fred Flintstone costume, but I have heard so much about it.
D: That costume is great. My mom helped me make it. We got this orange material and we cut out a fringy bottom. We took it out to the garage and painted black dots on it. She put a collar on it and I have a tie and everything. Then I would get my hair all puffy and go around the house yelling the way I normally do.
A: (In fits of laughter) But what about the time when you had the make up on?
D: Oh yeah that’s right. A friend of mine put the blue thing around my mouth and made my eyes really white and stuff. I just drank a lot and everyone thought “yeah that’s Fred Flintsone”. I lost the costume because if I still had it, I would wear it.
I was going to ask you if you had ever considered wearing it on stage?
D: If it ever turns up you’ll see me in the street with it on.
Can you list off some of the things that NO MIND has been released on?
P: A compilation tape called “A Peace of Mind” from Colorado, “For No Apparent Reason” off of X Records, “northern assault” compilation tape from Hamilton, and our own tape.
Everybody: “Punkusraucousrex”.
A: And in one month we will have ….
S: “Takes of Ordinary Madness”. Yes that’s right folks, the album.
P: We are supposed to do some other compilation tapes.
S: there is a tape compilation of an international sort, but we have sent the person the tape and I have not heard back from this person.
Where can people get a copy of your demo tape?
S: People can get “Punkusraucousrex” at all Vortexes, that is Queen Street or Dundas street, and Driftwood and Records on Wheels on Yonge Street. Oh yeah and the Bop Shop on Queen Street West. Anyone out of town can enclose six dollars in care of Scott Tremaine to Box 5303, Station A, Toronto, ON, M5W 1N6 (Ed Note: This address is no longer valid).
If you were going to add another member to the band who would it be?
D: Ohh. Inglie Melstein.
And if you were going to kick someone out who would it be?
D: Inglie Melstein.
S: No on in particular. We don’t just sort of go and kick anybody out.
What do you look for in a roadie?
D: we would like to look for one.
S: Faithfulness. He has got to be there when it counts. When we break the strings, when I want water, he has got to be there.
P: What to look for in a roadie is someone who is ….
A: …a total fucking slave.
P: Someone who knows enough about how to set up a stage and tune guitar strings.
D: And has big muscles so that he can make people pay.
S: And do quick easy repairs for electrical work.
D: yeah on live wiring.
P: And that we can get along with.
What do you think of free trade?
S: I don’t think free trade ever existed or ever will.
A: I think that if the pact that has been signed is passed by the Canadian and American governments, we are basically selling ourselves out. Unfortunately we are kind of damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Fucked both ways.
S: Free trade for one thing would not mean free trade for bands like us. I still think that we would have to go through the bullshit going across the border with our records and all that kind of stuff. It wouldn’t be free trade for us. American corporations are already in Canada. How much freer does it get for them? Like they don’t have to pay taxes anymore or what. I’m not totally up on this subject, but I don’t expect it to be free trade for the average person like you or me.
A: It’s kind of a non issue in a lot of ways.
S: The Americans can get very euphemistic about their economic policies, but they are really disguised as to their real intentions.
D: It can become a pretty confusing issue too. You hear all these things from people screaming on television ranting and raving about it. I once saw something on Buffalo news and they were asking people in Buffalo about free trade. Not one person that they had asked had heard about it. What does it mean if no one has heard about it?
S: It’s not an issue whereby the Canadian people are writing to their members of parliament stating that they want free trade. It’s not a thing that the Canadian people are wanting so dearly that we should be doing it. Who really wants the free trade?
Perhaps we have the most to loose?
S: I think so. I think America is only as wealthy as it is because it sort of extracts wealth from other people.
A: It is kind of like tying yourself to a sinking ship as well. The way the American society is running now it doesn’t have all that much longer to live. The Koreans and the Japanese are just going to sink it, the way they are going right now.
S: Any country that makes enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world forty times, why would you want to have economic ties with such a country? Because you want to see the end of the human race.
If you could incorporate any sport into the Olympics what would it be?
A: Ice cricket.
D: Hurling.
A: Australian No Rules football.
D: Or good old rugby in the snow. Make it a winter Olympics sport and play it on ice.
A: Underwater volleyball.
D: I think they should get rid of figure skating. It just drives me nuts. Archery is more exciting than figure skating (laughter).
A: I like the louge and bobsledding is pretty cool.
S: The biathlon. The ones where they have to cross country sky and shoot targets is really good. It’s not the kind of thing that North Americans have to do or anything. It is quite a Scandinavian thing, but I think it is a good test of your abilities to run and to shoot.

Thursday, August 11, 1988

Flyer - Thursday August 11, 1988

Brute Creation play at a roller rink in Burlington with some locals that look like metal bands.

Tuesday, August 2, 1988

Flyer - Tuesday August 2, 1988