MRR interviews Al of Dead Ends (late 80′s)
MRR: The band has been in the scene for almost five years now, right?
Al: We started last ’85 although we still had a different line up then. Only Jay and I are the remaining original members of the band. Harley joined the band August of ’87. The band has been through a lot – personnel changes, changes in the scene, several compilation albums and three albums (cassette)
MRR: Was there a change in Dead Ends music since the acquisition of Harley?
Al: Yes, definitely. However, the change would still occur had Harley not joined the band. It’s one of our inherent principles in the band – to grow and change with the times. You shouldn’t expect us to stick to playing the same thing over and over again. There is a need in the band to grow, to develop, to progress musically. This is the reason why we experiment on different sounds everytime we put out an album. To us, an album represents a different musical phase. In our first album, we basically stuck with the basics. I mean we played basic punk. On our second album (Second Coming), we were already experimenting on something different. Thrash metal at that time was taboo for most people in the scene, but if you listen carefully, we already were playing around with the thrash sound. But even so, we still generally stuck to our roots which is punk and hardcore. On the third album, Harley’s first with us, we opted for a more aggressive sound, the result is of course, Damned Nation.
MRR: What materials has Dead Ends been responsible for?
Al: As I said, we already have three albums out. Complaints, Second Coming and Damned Nation. We also are included in some compilation tapes such as BNW Live and Fatal Response. We have just recorded two songs for an upcoming compilation that includes Wuds, IOV and some other bands.
MRR: Are you working on a new album?
Al: Yes we are. We already have a few songs but I think w still need time to think to new material. We want to present something different this time around. We don’t want to do something that we have already done in the past. Our new album should express new ideas. In other words, it should be a different personal, social and political statement.
MRR: I understand that you are a school teacher. What can you say to those people who opine that school is boring and a waste of time?
Al: We have to admit that it is definitely an advantage to have had proper education. Although it is not really a prerequisite to survival, having a college degree is advantageous to one’s survival in this competitive society. People who don’t take education seriously really find school a big bore. Having an education is not fun, it should be regarded as work. If one takes school seriously, he will never get bored. School is never a waste of time. However, going to a stupid school is a waste of time. The problem doesn’t lie in the fact that going to school is boring, but the problem lies in the fact that some schools make going to school boring. Education in itself is not bad, but here in out country, the education system is bad. Do you get what I mean?
MRR: You play thrash metal now, in your case, for example, aren’t you afraid that metalheads’ attitude of taking life easily would erode the punks attitude of taking life critically?
Al: We do play a bit of a thrash sound now, however, as has always been the case with the band, the sound and the attitude are two different things. When we were still playing pure hardcore (we still play hardcore up to now), we already had our attitude towards life and society. We never imbibed any principle blindly. In fact, we have never agreed to the punk attitude totally, as you probably noticed in our lyrics, and the same holds true today. Some people say political and social songs are out and deathcore is in. This is pure dog shit. Even if we play thrashmetal I don’t think we can ever subscribe to metal attitude. We have our own principles, our own attitudes. We may adhere to the sound a bit but never to the concept. We still have our own.
MRR: Are you for the retention of the US bases here in our country?
Al: Those stupid bases must go.
MRR: We are living in a society threatened by nuclear warfare, do you think there is a solution to this problem?
Al: The solution does not lie in what people should do but in what people think. I mean, as long as presidents fear other presidents, as long as countries are afraid of what other countries might do, the nuclear threat exists. Specifically, the threat exists as long as the US is afraid of what Russia might do and vice-versa. The solution seems, hazy.
MRR: Do you think anarchy can work?
Al: Anarchy can never ever work. This may sound paradoxical, but anarchy entails a considerable degree of self-discipline and self regulation on the part of the people. And that is quite impossible.
MRR: Any last words?
Al: All I can say is watch out for out next album. It will surely be something different! We don’t appear in concerts much but we appear every now and then, at a time when you least expect us to. We’re devoting our time and efforts to our next project and this will definitely be something which manifests what we want, what we think and what we are. So there!