DOSES interview with Kristopher Kirk

January 26, 2014

DOSES interview with Kristopher Kirk

How do you even begin to describe DOSES to the
uninitiated?  They play a twisted,
deranged version of punk rock that’s crashing headlong into some definite
garage and noise territory, I guess. 
Distilled into a mangled corpsy syrup of sometimes atonal confrontation
and always mind-numbing riffage, DOSES is both wildly original and somehow
manages to float, suspended out of time and space; uninhibited by any wish to
sound like anything that you’ve ever heard on planet earth before.  They sport a drum-machine and, at least the
lineup of the band that I spoke to, are a devout two-piece band with a
single-mind to destroy all that is “false and impure”.  Guided by a somewhat enigmatic religious view
of sorts, DOSES has got to be some of the purest, true to its roots punk that
I’ve ever heard.  The debut album out now
on Going Underground Records instantly brings artists like Francis Harold and
The Holograms to mind, but the more I listen to DOSES the less they sound like
anything else I’ve heard; and that’s not easy to pull off.  If you’re a noise junky, love some sinister
scum rock, or are just a diehard punk freak you’re going to need to hear this
album, trust me.  Songs like “Pig Gut”
and “Bang Bang” propel you into the start of the manic journey that is the
self-titled DOSES album, and once the ride’s started you better keep your hands
and feet inside the cage because there are going to be dangerous riffs
about!  Sludge monsters that thirst for
flesh like “Dull Silk” and “When You’re Gone” or the twisted creatures risen
from the depths of your subconscious like “Reasons To Kill” finish out the
album.  It’s an insane ride and it’s not
for everyone but for those that can grasp what DOSES are trying to say, this is
gonna be a good one! 
while you read: http://dosesdosesdoses.bandcamp.com/
What is DOSES
current lineup?  If I understand
correctly there have been a few different radically different incarnation of
DOSES.  Can you talk a little bit about
how the band has changed and progressed over time in those regards?
DOSES consist
of Kristopher Kirk and John Gaston at the moment.  There have been many incarnations of
DOSES.  This is DOSES version VI.  The previous V incarnations of DOSES are
completely irrelevant to version VI. 
John and I are not original members of DOSES. 
Are either of you
in any other bands right now?  Have you
released any music in the past with anyone else?  If so can you tell us a little bit about
of us are in any other bands right now. 
We both have released music in the past with a multitude of bands.  Those bands are all defunct and have no
impact on the current state of DOSES, in fact they mean nothing as those bands
weren’t real. 
Where are you
originally from?
I am
originally from Huntington Beach, California. 
Home of PUNK.
What was the music
scene like where you grew up?  Did you
see a lot of shows growing up?  Do you
feel like the music scene there played a large role in shaping yore musical
tastes or the way that you play now?
On the
surface, the music scene in Huntington Beach is awful.  There’s no place for kids to play really,
it’s mainly bars and strip malls.  Bands
that are bred from that environment are complete and utter garbage.  I did go to a lot of shows growing up, mainly
around Santa Ana, Long Beach and Los Angeles. 
The music scene in Huntington Beach did shape my musical taste, because
most of those bands were awful.
Was your house
very musical growing up?  Were either
your parents or any of your relatives musicians or extremely
involved/interested in music?
Ron and
Barb were not heavily involved in music. 
None of my relatives care that much either.
What was your
first real exposure to music?
I hadn’t
had any before DOSES.  I had exposure to
music, but if you read back, it wasn’t a real exposure as stated above.  DOSES is the only real musical force at the
If you had to pick
one moment of music that changed everything for you, redefined art and opened
your eyes to the infinite possibilities of music what would it be?
DOSES became real.
When did you
decide that you wanted to start writing and performing your own music and what
brought that decision about to begin with?
delivered a message to me in the meditation trance I was having.  I was told to conquer the world with a single
notion, and that notion was that everything before this was superficial.  This was real.
When and how did
you two originally meet?
I was
introduced to John by our Chinese financial backer in 2012 and we became the
recent incarnation you see now.  He saw
big things for the two of us.  I can’t
pronounce his Chinese name so we just call him Myst.  Myst provides us with the finances we need to
move forth in DOSES. 
What led to the
formation of DOSES and when was that?
formed in 2011 as I was told.  It came
from two people by the names of Hunter Wallace and Nathaniel Reager.  They were originally from Kansas and DOSES
started there.  They’re no longer part of
DOSES and are written off as has-beens, John and myself represent DOSES
now.  In the future we may not even be a
part of DOSES. 
Why a two-piece
rather than a traditional trio or something? 
Did DOSES intentionally set out to be a two-piece or was it just kind of
a natural progression with the band?  Did
you draw any inspiration for particular duos that had come before you?  Ten years ago two-piece bands were kind of a
rarity, but it seems like they’ve gained a lot of recognition and people are
much more willing to take them seriously these days rather than dismiss them as
a gimmick or something.  What are the
best and worst parts about having a two piece band?
always been a two-piece and will continue to be a two-piece at its core.  We don’t want any more dead weight added to
this group.  We might include a rare one
off entity in a live performance or on recording, but it will always be a
two-piece band.  Adam and Eve were a
two-piece and look what the accomplished; humanity and life.  That’s what we’re doing.
Is there a shared
creed, ideal or mantra that the band lives by?
We share
a mantra with the one high and mighty. 
Krishna told us to destroy the physical world as it exists and to
cherish no tangible devices.  Our music
is an extension to fulfill the wishes of the all-mighty.
What does the name
DOSES mean or refer to in the context of your band name?  Who came up with it and how did you go about
choosing it?
an acronym for the way we would like to see ourselves and live life.  It stands for DEPRIVATION OF SELF EXISTENCE
Where’s DOSES
currently located at?
How would you
describe the local music scene where you’re at now?
The local
music scene lacks direction and belief. 
It’s full of yester-years rock n roll rip-offs.  It’s very soft.
Are you very
involved in the local music scene?  Do
you book or attend a lot of local shows? 
Do you help to record or release any local music?
I don’t
book shows.  Doing so provides a great
deal of stress.  I do attend shows as
much as a I can.  I have recorded and
released local bands in the past but time constraints on my current life have
prevent me from doing such anymore.
There’s a lot of
stuff that I’m good at when it comes to my job with Psychedelic Baby, or at
least I’d like to think so.  One thing
that I’m definitely no good at though is describing how a band sounds to our
readers.  I don’t think that music fits
into these tidy boxes and labels that we like to assign to them.  And that’s usually fine but makes describing
music to people who haven’t heard it gets a little muddy and confusing without
it.  Rather than me making some long
winded weird description of the band that doesn’t make sense would you describe
DOSES’ sound to our readers who might not have heard you before?
sounds like a saw with a dull blade trying to cut cement.  It won’t cut if the blades dull, but one
keeps trying.  It squeals and hurts your
sense of hearing.  It’s ugly and not for
the weak.  Have you ever overheard your
younger sister having sex with her obviously older boyfriend?  It sounds like that; bleak.
You all have an
extremely interesting sound that seems to combine a lot of different types of
musical influences in a fluid sound all your own.  While we’re talking so much about the band’s
backstory and makeup I’m curious to hear who you would cite as your major
musical influences?  What about
influences on the band as a whole rather than just individually?
We prefer
to not associate our sound with a direct influence of another act that we put
on a pedestal.  We are content enough
with being influenced by one another and our surroundings.  When I look into John’s eyes, I know what
he’s thinking.  He knows what I’m
thinking.  It’s a bond that only we can
Can you talk a
little bit about DOSES’ songwriting process? 
Is there a lot of jamming and free exchange of ideas when you get
together that gets distilled and refined into a song working together?  Or is it more of a situation where one of you
will come to the rest of the band with a riff or more finished idea to work out
and compose with the rest of the band?
The song
writing process is XXXXXXXXXXX. 
XXXXXX XX XXXX XXXXXX.  We kind of tend
to keep that under wraps and a tight lid on it. 
Do you all enjoy
recording?  As a musician myself I think
that most of us can definitely appreciate the end result, there’s not a lot in
the world that beats holding an album in your hands knowing that it’s yours,
you made it and no one can take that away from you.  Getting to that point though, getting into a
studio, or even recording the material yourself, especially when it comes to
dealing with an entire band, even if that’s only one other person, can be
really stressful to say the least.  How
is it in the studio for DOSES?
is a wonderful experience.  The studio
was flawless.  We woke up like this.  There were no issues at all recording.  We finished the record in about four to five
hours.  Having two people made it a most
fluid experience. 
How do you all go
about recording?  Do you utilize studio
environments or is it more of a DIY, on your own time and turf proposition for
you both?
recorded in a studio in Venice.  It was
more of a DIY, on our own, proposition. 
The only thing we actually utilized was the recording interface and
mics.  Everything was on our own time and
own merit.
Does DOSES do a
lot of prep work before you all record getting arrangements and compositions
worked out and sounding just the way that you want them?  Or is recording more of a flexible organic
proposition where things have room to change and evolve?
There is
absolutely no flexibility.  We use a drum
machine, so everything needs to be precise. 
The arrangements are already complete and the songs are usually
ritualistically performed live before any recording can be accomplished.  There is room to change and evolve a song,
but that means re-sequencing the drum patterns. 
Your first release
I know of was the Live at The Hogcreek Icehouse in Waco, Texas 10/8/2012
cassette tape limited to only 50 copies which you released fairly early on in
2013.  How was that material
recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?  Did you all mic stuff up or was it just a
handheld recording?
That was
our first tangible release.  It was
originally limited to 50 copies and was self-released and it was later
repressed on Video Disease.  I believe it
was 150 repress copies.  There’s
different packaging on the earlier press and the latter.  It was all recorded at Hogcreek, live through
the soundboard and these room microphones in the Icehouse.  The sound man was responsible for recording
it that night.  I’m not positive on the
equipment used, I’m sure it was some digital set up they have there.  We were handed a CD after our set and told to
leave and to never return to Waco.
Since Live at The
Hogcreek Icehouse in Waco, Texas 10/8/2012 received such a limited release I
don’t believe it’s available digitally are there any plans to make that
material available again via a digital distribution center or rerelease the
material in a hard copy sometime in the future?
actually is available digitally somewhere. 
By the time this interview is published it will also be available on our
Bandcamp page along with all the other releases.  They will all be free to download but this
will never be re-released as a hard copy. 
It had its time in the sun and no its over.
You just released
your debut self-titled album on Going Underground Records who I am familiar
with because they released an awesome Francis Harold & The Holograms single
before they unfortunately split this past year. 
How did you get hooked up with Going Underground Records?  I know they don’t release a whole lot of
stuff.  Can you tell us a little bit
about the recording of the material for DOSES? 
Was it a fun pleasurable experience for you all?  Where and when was that material
recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?
You are
absolutely correct.  The Francis Harold
singles and LP that Going Underground Records put out are possibly the most
important records of the 2000’s; I couldn’t agree more.  Ronald, who is an old black man that lives in
Bakersfield, had asked us to be part of the Going Underground Family.  We have never met Ronald, but he has a
spiritual connection to Jah and we respect that.  We feel the connection with him and felt it
was the right decision.  The recording
was fairly simple in actual recording terms. 
We recorded the bass and guitar together, then did one guitar
over-dub.  The vocals were done a week
later once the music was completed.  Our
dear friend Michael Porter engineered the whole session for us, minus the
vocals, I did that on my own time.  My
guitar was recorded through a Sunn Concert lead into a Fender Bassman
2×15.  There were two different pedals
used, one being a distortion pedal and the other was a harmonic
percolator.  I can’t speak for John as I
don’t recall what was used. 
There is two
version of the DOSES album out, a vinyl edition limited to 500 copies with some
of them being colored and then the cassette edition which actually features an
entire exclusive side to it consisting of DJ Hate Crime remixing the entire
DOSES album and comes in an extremely limited edition one time pressing of 150
copies.  How did the collaboration with
DJ Hate Crime come about?  What was the
reason for having a remix B-Side on the cassette?  I know that the digital version of the album
is available for free on your Bandcamp page for those who want to preview
tracks, are there any plans to make the DJ Hate Crime remix material available
digitally in the future once the tape sells out?
We met DJ
Hate Crime through a mutual friend.  He’s
an elusive DJ that chops and screws a lot of punk songs.  He released a mixtape in 2011 I think.  Maybe it was 2010, but it was fantastic.  It’s entitled All Chopped and Skrewed Up Vol.
1.  We loved it and we wanted to make the
cassettes different so people would be more excited to buy a cassette then if
it was just a clone of the LP.  In
reality, I hate cassettes and wouldn’t buy it unless there was something
different about it.  The DJ Hate Crime
remix will be available digitally as well once this interview is posted as
well.  Everything is free.  Free of guilt, free of worries and free of
Does DOSES have
any other music that we haven’t talked about, maybe a single or a song on a compilation
that I missed?
personal demos that aren’t for anyone else’s ears except ours.
With the release
of DOSES extremely recently are there any other releases in the works or on the
horizon at this point?
We are
working on a 7” for Torn Light Records. 
There’s no expected release date for that, but it will be amazing
Where’s the best
place for our US readers to pick up copies of DOSES’ music at?

If you
aren’t local, I would suggest Going Underground Records or going to your local
record shop and urging them to stock the LP. 
If you’re local to southern California, I highly recommend people come
to a live event and buy the LP from us directly. 
With the
completely batty international postage rate increases this last year I try to
provide our readers with as many options for picking up import releases as I
can.  There’s not a whole lot in the
world that drives me up the all more than knowing an album is out, being able
to afford the album but not being able to pay for the stinking shipping just
because it wasn’t pressed in the US! 
Where’s the best place for our international and overseas readers to
pick up your music?
I am not
too sure at this point.  I’m not aware of
any overseas retailers or distros that have it at the moment. 
And where’s the
best place for fans to keep up on the latest news like upcoming shows and album
releases from DOSES at?
Are there any
major goals that you all are looking to accomplish in 2014?
destroy the competition and annihilate the impure. 
What, if anything,
do you have planned as far as touring goes for 2014 so far?
We have
one small trip planned to the Bay Area in March.  That’s all for now. 
Do you spend a lot
of time on the road touring?  Do you
enjoy touring?  What’s life like on the
road for DOSES?
No we
don’t spend any time on the road.  We
love traveling but our jobs and responsibilities in the home land prevent us
from doing just that.  I imagine touring
with DOSES would be utter bliss.
Who are some of
your personal favorite acts that you all have had a chance to share a bill with
so far?
Life, Stoic Violence, High-Functioning Flesh, Blazing Eye, Perfect Pussy, On
Parade & Destruction Unit.
Do you remember
what the first song that DOSES ever played live was?  Where and when was that?
John and I are not original members of DOSES I cannot comment on when and where
the first show was and what song was played, sorry.
In your dreams,
who are you on tour with?
DOSES.  Headlining everything.
Do you have any
funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to
share here with our readers?
We played
this small venue in Nevada, I forgot the name, but it was dreadful.  We were promised a guarantee to help pay for
our gas and we were shorted a lot after the show.  The promoter claimed we ruined the sound
system there and that we drove business away. 
Which wasn’t true because the place was packed and no one was
leaving.  Luckily we had Myst, our
Chinese financial backer, with us and he got our payment.  Myst carries a small axe with him where ever
he goes.  So essentially Myst went into
the office of the venue, tied the promoter up to a chair and threatened to cut
off all his fingers with this axe.  The
promoter literally pissed his pants and agreed to give Myst our money.  Myst was already so upset that he just
essentially took our guarantee and whatever else was In the envelope of money.  Also Myst speaks very little English so there
was a huge language barrier.  We left and
didn’t untie the poor guy. 
With all of the
various mediums of release available to artists today I’m always curious why
they choose and prefer the particular methods of release that they do.  Do you have a preferred medium of release for
your own music?  What about when you’re
buying and or listening to music and if so, why?
only and always.  I mainly buy vinyl when
it comes down to it, but sometimes I will purchase a tape if it’s the only
thing a band has.
Do you have a
music collection at all?  If so can you
tell us a little bit about it?
do.  It’s huge.
I grew up around a
good collection of music and I developed an appreciation for physical music
from a pretty young age as a result. 
There was always something magical about being able to saunter up to the
shelves and shelves of music, pull something off completely at random, pop it
in the player, stare at the artwork, read the liner notes and let the music
transport me off to another world. 
Having something concrete and physical to hold in my hands always made
for a much more complete listening experience, at least for me.  Do you have any such connection with
physically released music?
course.  That is the sole reason we press
our music onto vinyl.  CD’s are
disposable.  You treat them like shit
when you handle them, they’re a format of music that has come and gone.  There’s a reason why vinyl is still relevant
to so many people.  Owning vinyl gives
you the responsibility of taking care of something you cherish.
As much as I love
my physical music portability has always been an issue for me.  I really enjoy listening to music when I’m
doing just about anything and I just couldn’t ever take enough of it on the go
with me to keep me happy.  The advent of
digital music has alleviated that problem almost overnight and when teamed with
the internet has proven to be a real game changer.  It’s exposed people to a whole world of music
that they otherwise wouldn’t have been privy to.  On the other hand though illegal downloading
is running rampant and the digital conundrum has dealt a hefty blow to the
music industry, as most of us know it at least. 
As an artist during the reign of the digital era, what’s your opinion on
digital music and distribution?
I feel
digital music should be free to anyone. 
Why deprive someone of hearing something that was created?  That makes no sense to me.  Also, what is the music industry nowadays
anyways?  There are no more rock
stars.  If someone truly cares about
music they will support that artist by attending a show or buying their
physical product.  Those people are the
people I want supporting us.  If you’re
just going to download it and not support the band, that’s fine.  At the same time though, fuck you.  You don’t really care about that band and
that is also fine. 
I try to keep up
with as much good music as I possibly can. 
I spend more of my life online listening to music, searching through
bins at the local shop and talking to anyone I trust for good recommendations
than I would like to admit here.  A lot
of the best tips that I get though come from musicians such as you.  Is there anyone from your local scene or area
that should be listening to I might not have heard of before?
Reels, Stupid Life, Stoic Violence, Pretty P, Blazing Eye &
High-functioning Flesh.
What about
nationally and internationally?
Too many
to go through.
Thanks so much for
taking the time to make it to the end here! 
I know this wasn’t short but I don’t like to half ass stuff and I hope
it didn’t bore you to tears, completely. 
Before we sign off and call it a day is there anything that I might have
missed or that you’d just like to take this opportunity to discuss with our
readers here?
Only I
can destroy I and I will never destroy I.

*Photos by Madison East & Graphic Garrett

(2012)  DOSES – Demo –
digital – Self-Released
(2013)  DOSES – Live
at The Hogcreek Icehouse in Waco, Texas 10/8/2012 – Cassette Tape –
Self-Released/Video Disease Records (Self-Released edition limited to 50
copies, Video Disease repress limited to 150 copies)
(2013)  DOSES – DOSES
– digital, 12” – Going Underground Records (Limited to 500 copies, 100 copies
on Gold Vinyl, 100 on Blue Vinyl and 300 on Black Vinyl.)
(2014)  DOSES – DOSES
+ DJ Hate Crime – Cassette Tape – Going Underground Records (Limited to 150
Cassette Tapes.  A-Side is the DOSES
album, B-Side is the DOSES album remixed by DJ Hate Crime.)
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014
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