The Dwarves are a classic punk band from the early 80s that formed in the underground scum-punk scene in Chicago, but are now based out of San Francisco. Their sound in the beginning was hardcore metal, with not so great sound production. They weren’t known for their sound though. They were known for their hectic shows that would normally last under 15 minutes, because they would get kicked out of their own show by the venue or by cops for nudity and other debauched acts.
“Now, of course we get paid so much and we have so many fans that we have to actually play a show“, said Blag Dahlia, frontman/founder of The Dwarves. Along with completing their sets, they are now known for having one of the cleanest sounds in the punk rock genre. They have moved from their old hardcore/metal sound to a more poppy-punk-surf guitar sound. They still have some tracks that are hardcore, but they now are produced and flow with much more precision.
In the past decade or so, The Dwarves have had multiple successful singles such as “Everybodies Girl”, “Better Be Women”, “I Will Deny”, “Massacre”, among many others. It sounds cheesy and almost cliche to say that they produce a lot of hits. I say this because they have a famous track titled “Hits”, which Blag repeats “nothing but hits bitch, nothing but hits” throughout the whole song. But it’s true. Blag and The Dwarves have a knack for producing some of the best poppy-punk hit songs of the past fifteen years.
In May 2011, they will be releasing a new album titled “The Dwarves Are Born Again” featuring big names such as Dexter Holland of The Offspring and Nick Olliveri, ex-member of Queens of the Stone Age. When asked about the new album, Blag replied, “It’s a fu*king classic! It’s just a winner. It has all kinds of really offensive and wonderful stuff as well as a bunch of fun to listen to, kind of pop-candy shit just to really piss off our hardcore fans.” In this new album, The Dwarves will continue with their evolving sound whether it is hardcore, pop, punk, or hip-hop. They will also be touring after their album drops and they will definitely be making a stop in Austin. When asked what he thought about Austin, Dahila replied, “I love Austin! It’s one of the greatest cities in America. There are all kinds of bands and rock and roll there… country music, and people having good times.”
Blag Dahlia also hosts his own radio show on Punk Radio Cast called Radio Like You Want. In the uncensored show, they play a lot of old school garage rock like Dead Kennedy’s and you can hear Blag’s take on the punk rock scene and other issues as well. He’s had many punk legends on his show like Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedy’s), Spike Slawson (Me First and the Gimme Gimmes), Lee Ving (FEAR), Steve Soto (Adolescents), among others. You can download every 60-minute podcast at RadioLikeYouWant.com. You can also pick up free upcoming tracks from “The Dwarves Are Born Again” and previously released tracks from The Dwarves and Candy Now (Blag’s new project) at www.thedwarves.com. Here are some other cool quotes from the phone interview that we had with Blag.
“I want to get across to people that I’m the most clever, hilarious, fabulous guy that they know!”
Of all the famous punk rockers you’ve had on the show, who has been the most interesting or influential?
“Well it would have to be me. I’m the most interesting and the most influential, and the best looking of anybody that’s been on the radio show. In fact, what I want to do is add a video component to the radio show so people can see just how good looking I am. That’s one way the radio is letting my fans down, because they can’t see how much better looking I am say, than Jello … First of all, Steve’s (Soto) way fatter than me, Jello’s way older than me, so I can deal with them…”
What smoking device are you using to smoke pot?
“I’m a joint guy for the most part because I’m sort of old, but they stuck the bong in front of me so I’m using this. My favorite new thing is that they have those electric devices that smoke the pot for you. That’s just a great idea. The idea that you’re too lazy to even smoke your own weed.”
In your lyrics, you talk about pimps, sluts, and getting high, and so do most gangster rappers. So who claims the honors with singing about that content first?
“Well, we came first! We’ve been listening to hip-hop records all along and enjoying them. But ya, definitely punkers were there first. The early hip-hop records were more like you know ‘Hip hop hip hip hop you don’t stop rockin’, (laughs) and there’s nothing wrong with that you know. I like that! But ya, we were there first.”
What has been your most memorable show in Austin?
“Well the most memorable was the time we played at Liberty Lunch and got arrested cause there was a big fight in the parking lot.”
Why did you guys get arrested?
“Well, cuz we were in the fight… It had something to do with people from San Antonio being annoying, you know… which is a big problem out in that neck of the woods. If you’re going to Austin, you might as well just go there and not bother with San Antonio. Like if you’re going to San Francisco, you might as well just go there and not bother with Oakland … You know, for every real city, there’s a half-ass city.”
“Theres cute girls in Austin … Any halfway decent girl in Texas makes her way to Austin eventually you know, cause they’re like, ‘fu*k, can I really stay out here in Lubbock forever?’.”
Are there any new novels in the works right now?
“Ya, I’ve been working on a novel about conservatives and the way they talk. I’m fascinated by conservatives and the things that they say. Like a bunch of people just got shot in Arizona, so they’re saying ‘well, if everybody would have had a gun, things would have been better.’ That kind of logic just fascinates me. The fact that you would exercise your brain and come up with that conclusion about things… and these are senators saying this shit.”
If there was a reality show of you guys on tour, what is some of the content that the show would entail of?
“You know, a lot of cocaine, a lot of mindlessness, a lot of boredom, stupidity… You know, fans that love and respect us cause we’re rock legends!”
Is it true that old Dwarves shows used to last around fifteen minutes?
“Well we had a lot of short shows. It’s true! Cause we’d come out, and people just wouldn’t know what to make of it. We would destroy everything and the whole thing would kind of fall apart really quickly. That was just part of The Dwarves mentality.”
Are The Dwarves still an evolving entity, or have you guys found your place musically?
“We’re like the Wu Tang Clan of punk you know … We just constantly keep reinventing the way to do it.”
Any last words for Austin?
“Ya, The Dwarves are Born Again! It’s five years in the making. It’s a classic Dwarves record. Twenty-five year anniversary this year. Still the greatest rock band ever, and we’re going to travel the globe and destroy… and make debauchery happen you know. Go to thedwarves.com, get all your free songs, free pictures, videos… steal our songs, give us money, give us heroine, and we look forward to seeing all you folks out there in Dwarveland!”
by: Donnie Blanco