Drunk Dad interview with Dane Herrin and Jose Delara

December 9, 2013

Drunk Dad interview with Dane Herrin and Jose Delara

Look over at the turntable, it’s loud, it’s noise, it’s
punk, it’s metal; no it’s Drunk Dad. 
Pumping out some of the most hardcore and blown out sounds from
Portland, and that’s no easy feat folks, Drunk Dad is blazing a trail in an
alcoholic haze to their rightful place in history.  With a cassette EP, appearance on a killer
local comp and their debut full-length album Morbid Reality Drunk Dad is as
hard working as they are hardcore. 
Combining all of the harder and more interesting parts of the classical
Seattle movement like Mudhoney, Drunk Dad succeeds where so many other
self-proclaimed hardcore bands fail. 
They’re actually capable of composing a song.  The music manages to convalesce into some
seriously sick sounds, with mangled guitar solos and a spasmodic, sporadic
rhythm section as tight as a tourniquet and as loose as a two-dollar trick as
the same time.  Drunk Dad would sound as
at home in the mid-90’s underground scene, that sprung up so many years ago
from the success of bands such as Nirvana, as they do in the chocked digital
scene of today.  All name dropping aside
if you’re into metal, shred, noise, thrash, punk or hardcore Drunk Dad is going
to blow your mind!  If you haven’t seen a
live show where these guys really shine make sure and check out the Bandcamp
link below to see what you’ve been missing out on and where you can score
copies of some seriously sickening music.
Warning:  The
following interview may cause severe inebriation, altered states and a massive
beer buzz.  Do not drink hard liquor with
this one or you might end up with blood poisoning!
Listen while you read: http://drunkdad.bandcamp.com/
What is your current
lineup?  Is this your original lineup or
have you gone through some personnel changes since the band started?

Dane:  Our current
lineup is Dane Herrin, Jose De Lara and Joseph Naylor.  The first members of this band were Emmett
Riddells any myself.  We started playing
songs together in our shared basement in about March of 2010.  We tried out a few different people until
Adam Garcia started playing bass for us. 
Jose was with us from the beginning. 
He was the only one with a license, so he drove us to our first
shows.  He recorded our first demos and
after a couple of months, and a night of drugs, he joined our band as a
full-time member. 
Jose:  I was
originally their roadie/driver/recording engineer/best bud.  I remember the first time I heard them was
when they practiced in my basement, it shook my entire house and pissed off my
yuppie neighbors with a newborn baby. 
Regardless of having to deal with the neighbors’ complaints, they kinda
blew me away.  After going on a short
tour with them, Dane approached me about playing second guitar and I
enthusiastically accepted.  Emmett parted
ways with us in December 2011 and we reformed with Joseph in the spring of
Are any of you in
any other bands?  Have you released any
material with anyone else?  I love to
play musical connect the dots, but I love cheating and getting the answers
directly from the musicians rather than doing all the leg work myself, ha-ha!

Dane:  No fucking
comment.  Joseph used to be in Stag
Bitten which was an amazing band and he’s also currently in Mustaphamond who’re
also amazing.
Jose:  I’ve been
playing and touring with bands for quite some time now.  I’m not currently in any other bands, but I
used to play in a punk band with Adam Garcia called Batmen.  I was also in a post-punk dance rock band
Protokoll from Boston that was highly active in the mid-2000’s.  We released a few records and did some
touring in the U.S. and Europe.
Were your
households musical growing up?  Were any
of your parents or relatives musicians or extremely interested in music?
Jose:  Not
particularly.  My grandmother was
musical.  She played the organ and had a
great voice, but not really much else.  I
had an uncle who introduced me to a bunch of heavy bands like Prong and
Mercyful Fate, which had a huge influence on my upbringing.  He worked security for rock concerts in the
early 90’s, so he was always telling me stories about being backstage with
people like King Diamond and Iron Maiden.
Dane:  I was always
encouraged to be creative.  It wasn’t
always musical, but from a young age I would write and paint.
How were you first
exposed to music?  When did you decide
that you wanted to start making/writing your own material?

Jose:  I was exposed
to music at a very young age, although not necessarily loud, heavy, rocking
shit.  Growing up we listened to top 40
pop and nothing else.  I remember seeing
The Ramones on Letterman when I was around eleven and thinking it was one of the
coolest things I’d ever seen.  I soon
started veering away from what my family members and friends were listening
to.  Growing up as a Mexican kid in
Southern California, it really wasn’t typical to be into metal and punk.  While all the other kids I knew were
listening to hip-hop and old school jams, which I actually still like a lot by
the way, I was raging to bands like Sepultura, Butthole Surfers, Minor Threat,
and Black Flag.  I think I pretty much
knew right away from the second I heard The First Four Years by Black Flag that
I was going to be in band for the rest of my life.
Dane:  The first song
I learned the lyrics to was Shot Through The Heart by Bon Jovi.  I was four. 
In grade school I worshiped Aerosmith and AC/DC.  It was fifth grade when I came across a CD of
Confusion is Sex by Sonic Youth and from there learned about more no wave and
punk bands.  I grew up in Washington, so
I had a huge boner for Mudhoney and The Melvins and Nirvana, but it was always
the more aggressive and noisy elements of those bands that got me off.  Mostly, I’ve always tried to look at music as
an exploration of artistry and emotion, and have tried to keep following the
extreme elements down the rabbit hole. 
Where are you
originally from?
Jose:  I’m from outside
of San Diego, California.   Joseph is
originally from Idaho.
Dane:  I’m from
Eastern Washington.  Total small town
agricultural community outside of the Tri-Cities.
Where’s the band
at now?
Jose:  Currently
residing in Portland, Oregon.
How would you
describe the local music scene where you’re at now?
Jose:  I heard someone
recently say it is one of the more diverse, active, and interesting music
scenes in the U.S., which I find hard to disagree with.  There’s a ton of great stuff going on,
especially in the realm of weird, heavy, and experimental music.  Eolian Empire, the label that released our
latest record, recently put out a compilation called Keep Our Heads which is a
testament to this.
Dane:  Yep, Yep.  Buy that compilation right now.  Portland has always been a hub for really
amazing and overlooked bands, but it seems that some of the hard work is being
recognized now.  My favorite music has
always come from the northwest.  Now it
seems like people are paying attention not just too individual bands, but to
the city, as a place to experience weird, heavy music.  And while you’re at it, buy our record.  And Big Black Cloud’s.  And Honduran’s.  I can safely say that there isn’t a label in
this country right now that is putting out better music or is more prolific.
Are you very
involved with the scene?
Dane:  I try not to
be, but I still book shows and do DJ nights every once and a while.
Jose:  We are all part
of this large, interrelated and tight knit family of friends who support each
other and contribute to the music scene in various ways.  It’s pretty easy to meet people here and
there’s no shortage of creative people to find to work with.  I’ve been booking shows, recording, mixing
and mastering local bands’ music, and doing my own DJ nights at a few places
around town since I moved here in 2008.
Has it played a
large role in the history, sound or evolution of Drunk Dad?
Jose:  In some ways
yes, we are definitely influenced by our environment.  As mentioned before there are a lot of
different sounding heavier bands that all seem to share a common thread.  The band Rabbits are a major influence on us,
I think, and have been one of my favorite bands in town for a while.  Some people in that band also run our label
so it’s been pretty cool to work with those guys and an honor to be a part of
this rad thing they’re doing right now, capturing the essence of what this town
is about when it comes to weirder and dirtier heavy bands.
Dane:  No one creates
in a vacuum.  Regardless of where you
are, you’re going to be influenced by your environment.  A lot of the reason I started this band were
because I wasn’t hearing the music I wanted to hear in this city.  Seeing Rabbits definitely gave me the initial
spark to start a band that was off the wall and completely different from what
was going on.  When I saw them, it seemed
like most bands in town were on some Nuggets compilation, Stax Records dick worship,
but those dudes were playing some heavy fucking music. 
When and how did
you all meet?
Dane: I knew Joseph because he played in a few of my
favorite bands in town.  I met Adam
outside of a feminist bookstore.  We
shared a couple of beers and he showed me his KARP tattoo.  Through Adam, I met Jose and the rest is some
dumbass history.
Jose:  Our old bands
played together a bunch and somehow it all worked out that we ended up in each
other’s bands.  Adam and I moved here
together in 2008, we both used to live in Boston, and had played in other bands
before Drunk Dad.
What led to the
formation of Drunk Dad and when was that? 
Is it true that Drunk Dad formed on Nikola Tesla’s birthday?  I’m a Tesla nut and just thought that was
either the coolest thing I’d ever heard, or reversely some of the best bullshit
Dane:  It’s true!  Our first show was July 10th, which is Nicola
Tesla’s birthday!  No one ever catches
that, Tesla rules.  Thomas Edison was a
fucking hack.
Jose:  I always wonder
how different the world would be if Tesla had seen all of his ideas come to
fruition.  We might be playing music out
of amps that wouldn’t need to be plugged into the wall or something.
I’ve seen mention
of several historical figures on your Facebook page alone, what’s with the
preoccupation with historical inventors?
Dane:  I guess I just
like innovators and science.  People who
come up with different ways to think about old problems have always interested
What does the name
Drunk Dad mean or refer to?
Dane:  Our friend Will
Mayo came up with the name.  And all of
our fathers are alcoholics.  It’s just
dark and humorous, so it fits our personalities pretty well.  At this point I couldn’t think of calling
ourselves anything different.
I freaking hate to
label things.  To classify and categorize
music just doesn’t seem right to me.  And
besides that I’m awful at it!  How would
you describe your sound to our readers who might not have heard you yet?
Dane:  Fucked.
Jose:  The end result
of an AmRep noise rock, 80’s Midwest hardcore, and 90’s sludge metal shitstorm.
There are some
rather obvious influences that bubble to the surface but from there’s a lot
more at work here beneath the surface, the more you listen the  more you can hear.  I’m curious who your major musical influences
are?  What about the band as a whole
rather than individuals?
Jose:  Much of my
guitar playing is influenced by jazz guys more than metal guys.  Sonny Sharrock is one of my favorite
guitarists of all time, particularly his work with Last Exit.  He was the quintessential fucked up heavy noise
rocker of Jazz.  He was so rhythmic,
experimental and urgently whackified about his playing.  Greg Ginn from Black Flag also had a lot of
Jazz influence.  I always loved how he
could adeptly make the wrong notes sound right and I strive for a similar
approach to soloing.  Otherwise, I’d say
Eyehategod and Cavity’s early material shape a lot of our riffing.
Dane:  I recently
learned that Jose, Joseph and I all were in Jazz band at some point in our
lives.  I guess a lot of the theory and
chord structure I learned were through hard bop and experimental jazz, but now
I work very hard at ripping off Swans and Buzz*oven. 
Can we talk about
Drunk Dad’s songwriting process a little bit? 
Is there a lot of jamming and people tossing ideas off of each other
that goes on or does an individual approach the rest of the band with a good
bare bones jumping off point to work out with the rest of the group?
Dane:  One time I
complained to a friend about having writer’s block.  He asked me if I was drinking during band
practice.  I said no.  He said, “Well, that’s your problem”.  Our sound is the end result of four
thirty-year-old men getting drunk in a room with loud instruments.
Jose:  Well we aren’t
called Sober Father, so there’s that.  We
all bring pieces to the table and then hash it out in the practice space.  Over time things might morph into other songs
or get swallowed up as parts of another arrangement, but I think we work the
best when everyone brings lots of ideas and we sort out what works the best.  And alcohol, lots of it.
Do you all enjoy
recording?  Some musicians love to get in
the studio and mess around.  Others feel
like a rat trapped in a cage with no way to escape!  Do you do a lot of preparatory work before
you enter the studio?
Dane:  I used to hate
it but have become comfortable with the whole process.  Working with Jose has given me a really good
perspective on the more tedious aspects of recording.  I also like that we do everything
ourselves.  It’s way more relaxing that
Jose:  So far we’ve
only recorded our own music.  I’ve been
in the studio a lot before in other projects and like being in that zone, but
it is also nice to be on our own time and do things that we might not be
comfortable doing on studio time. 
Preparatory work involves knowing what we want to do and getting in and
knocking it out.  We’re always discussing
how we can throw interesting effects and noises into our recordings.
December of 2012
saw Stankhouse Records releasing your debut tape, Failhouse.  Can you tell us about that album?  When was it recorded?  Who recorded it?  Where was it recorded?  What kind of equipment was used?

Jose:  It was a
collection of older songs that we’d been playing out for a while and some newer
material we had worked out when Joseph and I joined.  It was recorded in the fall of 2012 on a
4-track cassette machine by the band.  We
wanted something really primitive and raw for the tape with our friends at
Stankhouse.  It was recorded in our
practice space with just a couple of Shure SM-57s and whatever we could find
laying around the space and then some overdubs were added later.
Dane:  Joseph recorded
the basic tracks on his Tascam 4- track and we did the vocals and guitar
overdubs on Jose’s computer.  It took a
week in September 2012 and turned out really well for how quick we did it. 
What does the name
Failhouse mean?  Is/was Failhouse a
limited release?  Is that still in print?
Dane:  I live in a
punk house on Failing Street in North Portland that has been around for over a
decade.  I’m sure Travis, the head of
Stankhouse, has a bunch of tapes left, so there’s no real reason to reprint it
Then you had the
exclusive track S.O.U. for the Eolian Records compilation (We’ve Got To) Keep
Our Heads.  Was that recorded
specifically for the compilation or had it been around for a while?  Is that intended to remain exclusively a part
of (We’ve Got To) Keep Our Heads or might it show up on a future release or

Dane:  Last winter we
basically just holed up and recorded everything we had.  Morbid Reality seemed to flow and fit
together pretty well, so we just used those four songs.  We had a bunch left over, so when Josh asked
us to be on the comp, we gave him the song we thought would be the best
fit.  We might use it for our next
record, but who knows?   We sure don’t.
Jose:  If we do end up
using it, I think we will re-record it since that was supposed to be an
exclusive track but I don’t think we will since it also appears on Failhouse.
You also released
your debut album Morbid Reality this year. 
Tell me about that record.  Was
the recording process much different from the session(s) for Failhouse?  When was it recorded?  Who recorded it?  Where was it recorded?  What kind of equipment was used?
Dane:  Like I said
earlier, we just did it ourselves over a month last winter.  We scratched together some equipment and set
it up, Jose hit record and we played them shits out.
Jose:  We had a lot
more time to sit with it and make it exactly what we wanted it to be.  We knew that the song Guts was gonna be full
of all kinds of interesting production stuff. 
It’s best heard on headphones to get that out of it.  The two other full-band songs were more
straightforward, but still have a few little things thrown in there to make
them interesting.  The drone track Ritual
was something Dane and I put together using random synths, animal samples,
guitar noise and feedback.  We wanted to
do something more experimental that would be disturbing, catch people’s
attention and stop them dead in their tracks.
I recently did an
interview with Ttotals who released their debut 12” through Eolian Empire.  Is Morbid Reality a limited edition
release?  How did you like working with
them?  Do you plan to continue to work
with them for future releases?  Has Drunk
Dad released any other music we haven’t discussed?
Dane:  It’s not super
limited.  I guess it’s in stock until it
runs out.  So people should buy it, right
now.  Do it.  I’m pretty sure Eolian is the only record
label that would put up with our incessant dipshittery.  Also, Josh, dude seriously.  Let me borrow that money for that
guitar.  It’s really, really sweet and
I’ll pay you back as soon as I can.
Jose:  Haha, we have a
great relationship with the guys who run the label.  So we can send them ridiculous requests like
eighteen-hundred dollar loans for new guitars while out day drinking at the
strip club and they won’t get mad at us; except understandably, we probably
can’t tour with them because our alcoholic asshattery is a bit too much to
handle.  Drunk Dad does have a demo CD-R
that’s out there, but it was with old lineup and we don’t really play any of
that material anymore.
Dane:  That’s because
it kind of sucks.
Speaking of future
releases, are there any plans for any other releases or follow-up full-length
anytime soon?
Dane:  We’re writing
for it right now.  We have a lot of
ideas.  Fellow Eolian artist and harsh
noise musician REDNECK is going to be on it. 
However it comes out, our next record is going to be a fucking ripper.
Jose:  We also have a
split 7” with our friends in the band Red Liquid coming out at the end of this
year.  That’s two records and a tape
within twelve months, I’m happy at the pace we’re at.  As for the release date of the full-length,
we’re shooting for some time in the middle of next year.  We’ve got a lot more writing to do but
Portland’s crappy winter will force us indoors anyway.
Where’s the best
place for our U.S. readers to purchase your music at?
www.eolianempire.com.   Sethro
will send it out when he gets the time.
Jose:  They are pretty
on top of things as far as mail-order goes for the records.  You can also get digital copies on the Eolian
Empire website via Bandcamp.
With recent
international postage rate increases where is the best place for our
international and overseas readers to purchase a copy?
What does Drunk
Dad have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year?  I know you are just getting off tour as I am
working on these questions.
Dane:  We’re done
touring for this year.  We’ve got a few
shows booked in Portland, but you kids in 
other cities will have to wait until
next spring to see the Drunk Dad show.
Jose:  We’ve had two
western state tours, a couple of jumps to the bay area and a northwest tour
this year.  I think we’re going to focus
on writing for the full-length now.
Do you all tour a
lot?  Do you enjoy life on the road?
Dane:  Yes and
yes.  I always say that touring is the
most and least fun you can have at the same time.  After a couple of days, we become a single
minded unit of Twisted Tea chugging, madmen. 
It’s glorious.
Jose:  I think we’re
all pretty well adapted to the road and best of all, we get along well.  We recently came back from a western U.S.
tour with Big Black Cloud who is also on Eolian.  That was a super fun time.
You have played
with some seriously killer bands!  Who
are some of your personal favorites that you’ve had a chance to share a bill
Dane:  Some of my
favorites have been Rabbits, of course, Elephant Rifle, and Diesto.  I can’t wait for our upcoming show with
Sioux, that’s going to be killer.  Star
Bar, August 31st.  Come to it Portland!
Jose:  Too many to
In your
dreams.  Who are you on tour with?
Dane:  The Melvins,
Weedeater and us set up and all play at the same time.  Everyone hates it, we make zero dollars and
we go home failures.
Jose:  HAHAHA!  Sounds like more of nightmare to me, but yeah
definitely playing with the Melvins, Weedeater, or Eyehategod.
I have a
confession to make.  I’m addicted to
physical music.  There’s something about
having a physical product to hold in my hands and look at.  Having liner notes to read, artwork to look
at all serves for a more interactive, and for me, complete listening
experience.  Do you have any such
connection with physical releases?
Completely!  I’ve always felt that
the record, as a whole, is an art object and should be treated as such.  You can’t hold a download.  I can only bond with a download so much, but
a record is such a total representation of a band, good and bad.  I like ours because it was a true
collaboration between us, the band, and the record label.
Do you have a
music collection at all?  If so can you
tell us about it?
Dane:  I’ve been
collecting music since I was a child.  I
still have my first copy of ’74 Jailbreak by AD/DC that I got in the third
grade.  Fuck everything after Bon Scott.
Jose:  Most of my
records are of EBM, Industrial, Italo Disco, or 80’s Electro artists.  Most of my digital music is metal, punk and
experimental/noise.  I think it ended up
that way because my entire record collection I had growing up got stolen in
2005, which was mostly punk, hardcore and metal.  Some of that stuff is way out of print,
expensive, and impossible to find, so I shifted my vinyl buying elsewhere.  I still buy records and tapes from new bands
whenever I can though.
There are so many
choices available to musicians right now as far as the mediums that they want
to put their music on, do you have a preferred medium for release?  What about when you are buying/purchasing
Dane:  I prefer
experiencing music live.  Records have a
time and place, but a live show is the real testament as to whether or not a
band is good in my humble opinion.
Jose:  For a band like
us, it really has to be experienced live to get the full spectrum of what we
do.  It’s incredibly visceral and loud,
which is hard to reproduce at home. 
Other bands work better in the studio, it all depends I guess.
As I said before,
I love my physical copies.  I cling on to
them like victims in a boating accident cling to their life rafts.  But I do really enjoy having a digital
copy.  Being able to take it on the go
wherever and whenever I want without fear of damaging the original is a
priceless thing to me.  Digital music is
rapidly changing the face of the music industry to put it lightly and there are
several ways to look at it.  As a
musician in the reign of the digital era what is your opinion on digital music
and distribution?
Dane:  It’s
bittersweet.  I find it exhilarating that
music is so accessible, but I still want people to buy records.  I WANT THAT MONEY, SON!  I MADE THIS SHIT!  PAY MY RENT! 
Jose:  It’s easier
than ever to find new music, but there are so many bands to sift through that
it can be pretty overwhelming.  I
discover bands mostly from seeing them come through town and buying their
records.  I was never really into the
whole searching around on blogs to see what’s new, although I probably should.
I’m a glutton for
punishment.  I spend hours every week
scouring the internet and local shop looking for cool new music, all the while
this gnawing fear in my gut that I’m missing out on the next epiphany on wax so
I make sure I ask everyone I talk to this question.  Who should I be listening to from your local
scene or area that I might not have heard of before?
Dane:  Oh, you’re a
glutton for punishment?  Try throwing
your life away in crappy service industry jobs for the chance to tour in a van
with five other smelly dudes for no money while slowly pissing away your
dignity and youth.  On that note, I love
Rohit, Redneck, Acre, Tiny Knives, Gaytheist, Sioux, Rabbits, Diesto and
Mustaphamond.  There are truly too many
amazing bands going on in this town to count. 
Just buy the comp tape (We’ve Got To Keep) Our Heads and go from
there.  There truly isn’t a bad song on
it.  And it comes with a beer koozie!
Jose:  I would check
out Big Black Cloud, Raw Nerves, Prizehog, Honduran, and Tyrants.
What about
nationally and internationally?
Dane:  I’m really
excited to play with DEAD from Australia at the end of this month.  Those guys rule!  There are a lot of really good bands coming
out of Seattle right now, how nineties was that sentence?  Including, but not limited to, Red Liquid,
Same Sex Dictator, Terminal Fuzz Terror, and Monogamy Party. 
Jose:  Grunt from
Missoula, Montana, Whores from Atlanta, CCR Headcleaner from San Francisco,
Augurs from Oakland, Ramming Speed from Boston.
Is there anything
that I missed or that you’d just like to talk about?
Dane:  These questions
are pretty thorough, dude.  Right now I
would just like to say that I need to quit staring at a fucking computer screen
and drink a GOTDAMN whiskey.  Thanks
again buddy, it’s truly an honor that you would take such an interest and ask
us about our music.  Living this life is
truly a gift and I couldn’t ask for more. 
Thank you.
(2012)  Drunk Dad –
Failhouse EP – Cassette Tape – Stankhouse Records
(2013)  Drunk Dad –
(We’ve Got To) Keep Our Heads – digital, Cassette Tape – Eolian Empire (Limited
to 100 Copies)
(2013)  Drunk Dad –
Morbid Reality – digital, 12” – Eolian Empire
*All photos © Beastbeastiary
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2013
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013
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