Doug Dagger (Schleprock The Generators)

Old-Interview but very cool

(17.08.2005) von Astra aka Astrid


Interview with Mr. Doug Dagger one of my fav. Artist ever
The Generators-Schleprock


Alright Doug Dagger, nice to talk to you again, I am really happy to do that interview with you today so yeah lets start it :
First Doug tell us a little bit about yourself, like your age, where youre born, grew up, brothers or sisters, wife, where you
live right now, what youre doing for work and so on and on...


Hey Astra, O.K. here is my story I was born in 1967 which makes me about 38 years old in a few months. I was born in
New York City, and have one older brother. I was raised in New York until around 1978, during the summer of 78 my
Mother, and Father were robbed, and mugged while we were in a park close to our house. They put a knife to my Dads
throat, and stole my family's money. My brother, and I witnessed this, and it was pretty messed up thing. It was not long
after that my family moved to Los Angeles, and I have been here ever since. I consider L.A. my home. I am recently split
with my wife, and have 1 son from a previous girlfriend. I unfortunately do not know where he is, but he is about 17 years
old now.


I am a huge fan of the old Schleprock, when have you guys started with Schleprock and when was the time you guys
broke up with this project and started with the new band The Generators?


Well here is the story about my life as a Punk Rock Singer. People in Germany probably do not know that The
Generators is my 5th band singing for. I started singing in 1983 with my first band that was called Doug and The Slugz.
We were actually one of the first Oi! Punk bands on the West Coast U.S.A., or I never heard of anyone at that time
influenced mainly from The 4 Skins, or the Last resort in California at that time. Around 1983 the L.A. hardcore scene
was still going somewhat strong, and for kids to be inspired by what was going on in a little known Oi! Scene across the
Ocean in England had still not really caught on yet. Most kids were still listening to Black Flag, or The Circle Jerks at that
time. Well we played a lot around North East L.A., and were a bit popular, but unfortunately never got ourselves a record
deal. We were only 16 & 17 Years old so we were under the radar of most of the underground record labels at that time.
There were not that many labels anyway, and we were not trying to make it big, we just wanted to play music, and have a
good time. So I sang for that band until 1985, and then the 2 guitarists and myself wanted to start another project, and
we left to start my second band that was called The Risk. The Risk lasted only about 1 year, we managed to get some
demo tapes made, and I am actually looking to release these rare recordings in the next year or so. We broke up the
band in 1986, and I left the music scene for about 2 years. I was around 20 years old, and was starting to become in big
trouble with the law, and was quickly losing control over my life. I was on the street in Pasadena and really at that time
had nothing to do with the Punk or Rock Scene in Los Angeles.               
In November of 1988 I was asked from some kids I knew if I would be interested singing for a band called The Jinx. Well
The Jinx singer had just quit, and I took the job. The band decided to change their name to Schleprock. I really had
nothing to do with it. I was the new guy, and was just happy to be off the street playing music again. The name
Schleprock was taken from a cartoon character here in the United States. I t is from The Flinstones, and the character
Schleprock always brought bad luck everywhere he would go. So I know it sounds strange in German, as it means slow
or something like this, but it is an American cartoon character actually. The band actually took off really fast, and we were
playing on all the Punk Shows across L.A., and San Francisco.  Jeff Graham the guitar player who sadly passed away 2
years ago joined the band about 1 year after me, and Dirty Ernie joined around 1991. By 1992 I was pretty much taking
care of all the decision making with the band, and over the course of the 1990's we got more popular, and by 1996 we
found ourselves being courted from Warner Brothers Records. We hustled as hard as we could for years, and by 1997
we were all but burned out so I made a decision to walk away from the band. Six months later I found my self back in the
garage, but this time with a new band named The Generators.


Who wrote the songs for Schleprock?  I really really love all the songs and I don't know its kinda different to the
Generators, I think im not saying I am right with that, but I think Schleprock was kinda more sensitive or more emotionell
then the Generators are? Am I right or wrong?


A lot of the songs we wrote back around 1992 - 1994 were probably more emotional based songs. Schleprock started
out writing songs that were sometimes political, but I decided to write more about life aches, and heart breaks. I think that
http://www.hechta.de/mambo - Kittyboom Powered by Mambo Generated: 24 September, 2005, 18:38I can write about political situations, but I feel more at home writing about struggles in life I guess.


Ive seen you guys playing over here so many times and I still love it to see you boys on stage, its really more a family
thing than just a band, musicians which are doing their jobs on stage, do you feel the same when youre rocking with the
boys?

Yeah I think we are more of a family then we are a band. The Generators are all my brothers, and that's the way it has to
be. We go out to play shows, and we go out and have a good time, and leave all the problems behind. It makes it
worthwhile for me knowing that we are a family. I have been playing with Ernie now for 16 years, that's a long time. I
have had a lot of fun with him and a lot of tough times as well. I have a great ride all these years with him, and all the
other guys who have joined in to play music with me.


Doug there is always kinda fate, I mean that bad things happen in life, everyone of us knows about this, when something
bad happened to you, do you think you've put it in lyrics or music from you also? Like emotions, is that something you
put into your music like your private stuff, problems?

Yeah unfortunately, I have been through a lot of fucked up things, and sometimes the stories come out in the songs.
Somehow the pain finds its way out, and maybe that helps me along the way. I get a chance to express it in my music.
There are certain songs that just write themselves, and I can not explain this it just happens. I just hope that I can make a
positive from a negative. If I can also help somebody along the way then I know I have done my job. There was a guy
who recently lost his father to cancer, and he was listening to "The Winter Of Discontent", and he told me it helped him
get through all the pain he was suffering from his fathers death. I know that are certain things that I say that make sense
sometimes, and I feel compelled to talk about it.


The Shows, lets talk about the Shows, for how many people are you playing in the USA? Is it different to Germany? I
know over here you've a huge fan-crowd, so many people which are coming over years to your shows, its like family also
isnt it? What do you think about us Germans and about the American Kids?

Well our shows across Europe are sometimes better then the shows we play in The United States, but we have had
some amazing shows In California, New Jersey, Texas, it depends I guess. We are finally getting more attention here in
the USA, and it has been really hard because kids here in the states sometimes only follow what other people are
listening to, and maybe people in Germany are not such followers, I don't know. After 8 years of The Generators people
are starting to follow us, and that's great. It might have happened faster, but we always would spend most of our touring
in Europe. With all this said I dig all our fans American, German, English wherever.


"Learning to fall" the Album is out now on People Like You Records, 21 wonderful tracks, is it kinda memory for you?
Really special thing? For Jeff Graham, you wanna talk about Jeff, I mean you don't have to but I think its important to tell
everyone of the viewers and readers how much Jeff means to you? Im sure though he will see you guys playing and still
loving the Schleprocks, he is in your hearts that's perfect and he will be with you all the time, its hard but sometimes we
have to deal with stuff like that. Was it like a break for you when he died?

"Learning To Fall" is a special record for me to release. That music was a big part of my life, and it helped me on the road
to make The Generators. Some of the songs I go "Wow that one was really cool", but then there are some that make me
laugh, and go "What the fuck were we thinking?" Yes it honors my friend Jeff in a well-deserved way, he was a good guy,
and he had a big heart. He also was so unsure of himself like so many other people in this fucked up world. I just to get
so pissed off at him, because he could never believe that maybe we were making good music, or that somebody loved
our band. He was a non-believer, and I was a dreamer so somehow we made it work. When Warner Brothers Records
put a bunch of money in his hands he couldn't believe someone was paying him for his music, even though we just sold
like 30,000 copies of our last record. I was always amazed in his thoughts. I miss the guy, and I thought people should
hear the songs he helped write. I owed it to him that is for sure, and yeah he is looking down on us when we are playing I
know that, it gives me the chills sometimes. Yes when he died I was devastated. I owe this to him so that people do not
forget about him so easy.


Be honest now, Doug what do you think, just listen to your heart, was Schleprock the better way to show people whats
going on with you, to play for them live, or is it just years ago and the Generators are the only thing now?

Well I must say that Schleprock is really special to me, and I treat it that way. The Generators I put more work into, but
Schleprock is something I do not want messed with. I treat it with a little more respect then The Generators. Like I said
before people in Europe do not a lot about this band, but in America I know that we a lot influence on the kids and
younger bands. We were out there with the big boys, Rancid, Green Day, No Fx, I mean even though people think of
those bands as maybe shit today, those were the band that defined a generation here during the 1990's. We were along
for the ride, and it was chaotic. So there is a difference between the 2 bands. The Generators are who I am today, and
Schleprock was who I was yesterday. Maybe I will bring Schleprock to Europe in 2006, maybe, I do not know.


When will you do an new album with the Generators? Any Plans?

 

We are just starting to get back to writing again. I mean we went through some changes, and we left for Europe 6 months
ago, and came home to play a lot of shows in So. California. We are going up to play in No. California for a few shows
and then start with serious song writing. The next record I make is going to be a loud, in your face record cause that's
how I have been feeling lately, which is a good thing. We are to return to the East Coast USA in January 2006, and then
back to Europe for 2 weeks.


Do you think that the scene is getting smaller again? After all the punkrock hype allover?


Yeah the scene is smaller, probably like it was in around 1987, 1988. It is still there, but trying to find its self again. It will
never be like 1981 in Los Angeles, nor like 1994 in San Francisco, or like 1977 in London. It will return in another way I'm
sure about it.


What other music do you like Doug? Like Electro or Pop or just RocknRoll?

I listen to a lot of everything. Lets see what have I been listening to in my car as of the past few days - Velvet Revolver,
The Libertines, Hot Water Music, Weezers first record, Johnny Cash, Bad Religion.


Ok for you same like for everyone else:
3 things you love: 3 things you hate:

My Mom, My cat, and my alcohol, no just kidding, My music.

My President, The War, and my Pain.


Which was your best show ever and where was it?

Wow, that's a tough one, I do not know there were a lot of great ones. In Phoenix Arizona in front of 25,000 people in
1997, Ahhh in Vancouver in 1993 with Green Day, I was on LSD - it was a weird day, ahhh Chicago with The Specials
1996, I do not know to many good times.


Is there an Artist outside in the World you really wanna play or sing with together?

If I could have done that it would have been with Joey Ramone or Joe Strummer.I don't know that is a tough on too.
Doug Dagger do you have Idols? If yes who is or was it?

I don't have any heroes, as I would no want to be someone's hero. I don't idolize anyone, I have always believed we are
all on the same level. I am inspired by a lot of other musicians, but I have no idols.


What will come after the Generators, any new plans for the future?

Yeah I have one more last band to create, and I already have a name for it, but I can't tell you because someone will
steal the name. One more thing for me and that's it I'm getting a bit tired to much partying over all these years, thanks
Astra! Bye


Alright thanx so much Doug, you know I really really appreciate that you found some time for your good old friend Astra
over here in Germany, you guys will still have all my support, so much I can and I am allowed to for sure. Miss you boys
and wish you all the best for the future... Astra

 

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