You went a bit quite for a few years from 2000, what happened? And what made you get things going again?
MARK: Yeah…. we basically went out and explored other things and came to the conclusion that we are and always will be Dje ucky Boys and that ‘s just the way it is. So we got it going again because we came to our senses. That ‘s the short of it.
Whats it like being a band from one of the greatest hardcore/punk cities?! (Slapshot, Blood for Blood, Dropkick Murphys) . You must have been to, and played at alot of great shows? Any ones that stick out?
MARK: There definitely are some great bands from this area. We ‘ve never played with Slapshot and I gotta admit that I ‘ve never really been into them. I think the best thing about Boston is that a local band can really build up a following here…. people have always cared about the local bands and they ‘ve built them up and helped them go beyond being a local band. It ‘s not like that everywhere. Some cities only want their touring bands and the local bands are viewed as more of an inconvenience on a big show than something to be proud of. We ‘re really lucky to be a part of it all. As far as great shows go, my favorite on paper was The Bruisers, Swingin Utters, Ducky Boys, Dropkick Murphys and the Trouble. My favorite one we ever played was when we opened for Rancid in ’98. That show really demonstrated how much Boston supports their local bands. Everyone was proud to have their local boys opening for these punk heroes and we did really well that night.
You ‘re re-releasing the “Dark Days” CD, will that be out on Thorp? Why re-release rather than do a new one?
MARK: Well we ‘re also working on a new CD too. “Dark Days” has been very hard to find since the end of 2003 so we ‘re re-
releasing it because a lot of folks have complained about its lack of availability over the past year. We ‘re basically just responding to the demands of our audience. We ‘re gonna make it worth it though. We ‘ve collected songs from various comps that will go on there including some really cool covers and a few hard to find originals and some demos of the songs from the original CD. It will be 24 songs in all and the liner notes will be cool too. This release will not be on Thorp although Andy at Thorp did express interest in releasing it. We opted to release it ourselves…. really I ‘m releasing it. I didn ‘t choose to do this because Thorp wasn ‘t good enough; God knows he ‘s one of the best. I ‘m releasing it because I ‘ve always dreamed of having my own label that I take from the ground up and I have a unique opportunity to do that now by gaining the rights to my old music again. I ‘m really just seizing an opportunity and giving people what they ‘ve asked for at the same time. It ‘s a win/win situation. Hopefully I don ‘t fuck it up.
You ‘re also looking for some help with the liner notes – tell us what you need?
MARK: I ‘ve invited a lot of people that I ‘ve known through the years who were with us from the start to contribute. I don ‘t really know what I ‘m looking for…. stories, observations…. I just want something that will be fun to read. I ‘ve invited people like Dicky Barret, Ken Casey, Al Barr, Mike McColgan and Mark Unseen to contribute and then we want some stuff from the people who
support us. I hesitate to use the word “fan” because we ‘re really one in the same with these people but I guess a famous band would call it ‘fan contributions ‘.
Can we expect a new album any time soon?
MARK: Absolutely. I spoke to Andy at Thorp the other day and we discussed the next record. We had originally planned to release “Three Chords and the Truth” in November 2004 and then track a new record in the summer 2005. The record is written for the most part but we haven ‘t started to rehearse the songs yet. They will really start to come to life when that happens. But “Three Chords” is doing so well that I think we ‘re gonna continue pushing that for a while before we do the next record. Thorp agrees but we made a promise to him that we ‘d get that in stores before the end of 2006. I ‘m thinking it will be released more like next Spring so we ‘ll probably just miss 2005.
You ‘ve toured with Dropkick Murphys, US Bombs, Oxymoron, how were those tours, and any funny/scary stories from them?!
MARK: Oh man…. there are plenty but narrowing it down to just one story is tough. I guess one of my favorites involves the times where we took Duane Peters in our van for a few days and he travelled with us. He is such a character. We went out for Mexican
food in Houston and he made a little scene in the restaurant. I guess I ‘m not the best story teller but you can just use your imagination on that one. We love you, Duane!
How did the recent dates with Flogging Molly go?
MARK: Oh they went great. It was such a nice thing for them to take us out. They ‘re a really great band too. People come to their shows expecting to have their asses kicked so it raised the bar for us. We wouldn ‘t be a decent opener if we didn ‘t get at least one kick in there but the best part of the tour was getting to see Flogging Molly play every night. They really deliver the goods. Their bass player is a phenomenal musician too. I rarely give a shit about another bass player but he stands out in that band.
Your influences range from Rancid to Springsteen, maybe obvious but if I was to describe your music it ‘d be punk n ‘ roll? How would you describe it?
MARK: I always just say rock n ‘ roll with a punk rock approach. We ‘d play rock n ‘ roll if we were better musicians but we ‘re not.
Tell the readers 5 facts about the band/members know one really knows (the funnier/more embarrassing the better!)!
MARK: Jay listens to Lionel Ritchie for real. Douglas pooped his pants on a date once. Steve and I cried while watching Powder in our hotel room last March in California.
How much has the likes of MySpace and Purevolume, and the internet in general helped you get more out there?
MARK: I think its helped a lot. Ten years ago it was all mailing lists and fliers. It cost a lot of money and a lot of time. Now you can do the same work in just a click. I have discovered a ton of great music through the internet and I assume some people have discovered us too.
What music did you grow up on? If i was to go through your record collection, whats the most embarrassing record you own?!
MARK: I grew up on Guns N ‘ Roses exclusively from 6th grade to 8th grade. Then I got into Poison, Ozzy, Skid Row and Motley Crue. Punk came later. What ‘s embarrassing to me may not be embarrassing to you or vice versa. I love the band Buckcherry but most people in our circle think its complete dogshit but I wouldn ‘t be embarrassed of those CD ‘s at all. I do have a CD by Boston that I ‘m semi embarrassed of. I preached against them for ages and I wouldn ‘t allow anyone to listen to them in my presence. Then one day I overheard a song and I thought ‘I like that ‘. I went and got the CD and soldout on my own cause. That ‘s pretty embarrassing.
How did you do in the “Boston ‘s Best Punk Band” in the Boston Phoenix?! Were you asked to be part of it or just chosen?
MARK: I honestly have no idea. I assume they did some research and saw we released a record this year. WFNX owns the Phoenix and they have played us quite a bit but they didn ‘t ask us to participate and we didn ‘t ask them for a nomination. We have a song called “For the Underdogs” because we ‘ve always been ‘the other band ‘ so I feel like we really aren ‘t underdogs if we ‘re getting attention. I ‘ll feel a lot better when we lose by a landslide so we can be secure in our identity again.
If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be with and why?
MARK: Wow. I guess I ‘m supposed to say John Lennon or maybe Bruce Springsteen but I ‘m gonna defy the expectation and say Tim Armstrong. That guy knows so many types of music and does then all well that I bet it would be fascinating to see him work. Plus, he ‘s down to earth and comes from the streets like us so I think he ‘d take a collaboration more seriously than someone like Bruce who could fart on tape and make a gold record of it.
What’s the last CD you listened to/bought, was it any good?
MARK: The last CD I bought was Springsteen ‘s new one. As always, it ‘s great. I just ordered an EP by Born to Lose (Austin, TX), Shanghai Valentine and a band called Red Light Flash who are on Anti-Flag ‘s label. Those should arrive in a few days but I ‘ll have to get back to you on how good they are. The last CD I listened to was Born to Lose ‘s “Dreams Die Fast”. That CD is friggin awesome.
What are your thoughts on Bush, (his re-election, his foreign policy, the situation in Iraq etc.)?
MARK: If I said what I really think then I ‘d probably have Secret Service knocking on my door. I am embarrassed to be an American right now in many ways and I ‘d like to apologize to our neighbors world wide for what my country men and women did in this past election.
Apart from the re-release CD, what else is coming up for the DB ‘s?
MARK: Well there ‘s the re-release and then the next studio record that we ‘ve already discussed. Other than that I am going to be putting a lot of effort into this label and my own solo CD that will sound more like Springsteen than the Clash. Then we ‘ll make the new record and keep playing and writing until we ‘re dead or burned out. That ‘s about it. There ‘s a long road ahead of us.
Thanks to Mark for doing the interview – the speediest response we ‘ve gotten ever got!