The New York Trash D Generation Interview
In early March just back from their first European tour D Generation took a few minutes to chat with Marlena about the tour, their plans for 98, and getting naked.
M: So how was the tour?
Jesse: It was our first time over there. We were finishing a tour of the states with Green Day and we were about to come home and make our new record, but on the last night in San Francisco they asked if we wanted to go to Europe with them. The tour started in Ireland, and from the first show it was a completely different experience than we had before playing live, the kids were flipping out, they came early to see the support band.
And Green Day were really cool people to travel with, really supportive, and they share everything -- they were the best people as far as anyone we've been on the road with. And the kids were amazing, they really appreciate music. So many shows were just mind-boggling; it was just a real good tour.
M: Were you playing a gig a day -- how fast were you moving?
Howie: We were playing almost every day.
Todd: We had one day a week off.
Jesse: Off days sucked, because we were living out of the venues, you know, "shit, shower & shave" at the venue. But when you're in motion for six weeks you get into a certain rhythm.
Todd Youth in Milan
M: So where did you have your days off? Did you get to see anything at all?
Danny: We had a day off in London and Ljubljana, which is actually pretty, it's a nice place.
M: What was your favorite place to play?
Jesse: For me personally, it was Glasgow and Madrid.
Howie: And Ireland.
Danny: Yeah, Ireland and Scotland.
Todd: Hamburg was good too.
Danny: Most of the shows were overwhelming, the reaction we got. There were only like one or two shows that weren't great. Even those were all right.
Jesse: I guess my least favorite room was the Brixton Academy.
Todd: And San Sebastian.
Jesse: Yeah. The places that you think would be really cool, like major cities, were our least favorite Paris, London, and Amsterdam. The places that were outside the big cities, like around England Leeds, Manchester, Wolverhampton -- all those places were more exciting than London was. It's like when you play LA it's real cool, but the audience is really jaded, they're too cool to clap. The kids in the bigger cities were going nuts, but wasn't in the same insane way as outside the big cities.
M: You don't think people were coming to see you expecting anything different? I mean, I think you guys work well with Green Day, on the other hand to me they're not the same kind of band as you are either.
Howie: In Europe the kids will come out to see everything, I mean you look in the audience and see Sepultura and Nirvana t-shirts, whatever. I think they go see everything that comes around.
Jesse: Yeah, I mean it's all raw songs with pop hooks. Maybe our songs are bit darker and Green Day's are a bit more pop, but it seems to work. Their audience is young and really cool and open-minded. It worked really well.
Danny: I think it's a bit more about music there than how it is in the states.
Todd: Plus, here in New York you might have your choice of like three big shows a week. Over there in some places it's a big deal when there's a show at all.
Jesse: We did a lot of press over there. They just re-released "No Lunch" -- the record's two years old, and our set is like 65% new material, but it seemed to go over real good. We did a TV show in Paris, it's like the equivalent of Letterman or whatever -- Lionel Richie was on too (laughs). On an off day we flew to Paris to do that.
M: Every time bands go on tour they seem to come back with a good tour story so give me one, what are you guys teasing each other about now?
Howie: We have like seven hundred of those...we can't tell you! Use your imagination and add ten.
Danny: C'mon, that's every night!
Jesse: Well, we're just getting to know Todd...we're getting to know the different sides of him.
M: But he looks so innocent!
Danny: Yeah! (Laughing)
Jesse: He's got dental problems up the wazoo.
Howie: Mental and dental!
M: I won't ask!
Jesse: Well, on the last day of the tour we had to come up with a prank to play on Green Day. So Todd came up with the idea that we would get naked during the second to last song in Green Day's set, which is "When I Come Around", it's their big hit. So we all came out onstage nude -- except for one of us -- down to our boots with "Nimrod" stickers on us, all over our asses.
M: Where did you do that?
Danny: Barcelona, Spain
M: You didn't get arrested or anything?
Todd: They're more open to nudity in Europe...
Jesse: I signed an autograph to a kid named Kike. It was pronounced "Kee-kay" but it was spelled Kike.
Howie: That's a Jewish joke.
M: So, how's the transition been with Todd joining the band? I know you've all known him a long time...
Danny: Well, I had thought about playing with him, but never sat down and really thought about it. I mean, Todd and I were hanging out every single day, just hanging out, having breakfast and walking around the East Village and stuff. It's just very natural that he joined the band.
Jesse: Rick wanted to do his own thing, he wanted to front his own band. So, if you really want to do that, you gotta do it. So I guess you could say it was an amicable thing. Todd was guitar tech for us at the Offspring show, this one-off, and we all started thinking about it, and it's the natural thing for him to play with D Generation.
(Howie yawns loudly at this point)
Danny: Musically I think it's a lot more like what we were always talking about. I mean, I can't say this without sounding like a dick, but I think the band is a million times tighter and more powerful now.
Jesse: You've always have to be changing in some way. You have to evolve and keep doing stuff that's fresh.
M: So, when are you guys going into the studio?
Danny: Immediately. Right after we see you! Actually, next week.
Jesse: The new CD is supposed to come out in September of '98.
Danny: We would have wanted this record out now. But the tour delayed it.
Jesse: It's a matter of getting artwork. People don't realize that that's what holds up most records.
M: So, do you have a name for the record yet?
Jesse: We have a bunch of titles floating around, but...
M: Ok, you're not gonna tell me. Do you know who you're working with as far as production goes?
Jesse: Yeah. Tony Visconti (note: produced T. Rex, David Bowie, Thin Lizzy)
Jesse: A guy named Brad Cook is going to engineer it. He's worked with the Foo Fighters, Dwarves, and Counting Crows. And most of the food will be ordered from dive restaurants from the Lower East Side.
D Gen in Berlin
M: What studio are you going to use?
Danny: We don't know yet, but we have a couple places on hold.
M: So are you guys planning on touring before the record comes out?
Todd: We might go back to Europe sometime before the record comes out
Jesse: After we finish writing everybody back who we've neglected!
Danny: We're going to go to everybody's house personally! We feel really bad because we have all this fan mail we haven't been able to respond to. We're going to finally try to get around to that.
Howie: Yeah like five year's worth.
M: How do you think your material has evolved over time?
Jesse: Darker, more concise, in your face, the writing's better, the lyrics are better, melodies are better, more texture, more original.
Howie: It's less straightforward than before.
Jesse: Less Dolls! We get all these funny labels. People think it's glam rock, punk rock, whatever. Hopefully this new record will establish us as just doing our thing.
Howie: It's music.
Danny: People get hung up on labels, it's stupid.
M: Thanks. Good luck. This will be on New York Trash in the next few weeks.
Jesse: I want
to say just one more thing, related to this computer stuff. This year the
band is going to be online... at unemployment!!