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punkrocknews.de - Interviews - The Generators - English version

The Generators

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The Generators

Question: How are you and are you happy, to be in Germany?

Doug: Yes, I'm always happy to be back in Germany. We always have good tours here, the crowd is always good to us. We usually come back once a year and the tour is going good, everything is going good.

Question: How was the tour with The Damned? Do you like to play concerts here?

Doug: Oh, I love to play concerts here. The tour with The Damned was good. We were in the Netherlands and Belgium with The Damned. They're great guys and a big influence upon our band from the early days when we started and they're good people to hang out with and they took care of the band. We're doing a west coast United States tour with them in February.

Question: How was the feedback to your new album "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea" till now?

Doug: I think that the people who have heard the record overwhelmingly accepted it and really liked the new record. We worked hard on this record so it's good to know, after you do a lot of work, and the people hear it and that everybody likes the songs and it's getting really good reviews in all the magazines. That's really good. After you worked so hard on something to know: okay, it was worthy.

Question: What's the difference to your last album "The Great Divide"?

Doug: You know what, that's a good question...I really think that this record has a little bit more diversity and is more story-telling-wise and the last record was more about personal issues, that I was singing about. I like telling stories, I like Johnny Cash and I think with this record I dived into thinking about story-telling and the last record was more about my life. And this record is not so much about me, more about different people.

Question: In some songs, for example "Somewhere In The Rain", you used an organ. There are surf guitars too on the album. Do you like to try other things? Is there something that you want to try, what you didn't do till now?

Doug: Yes, that's what we do. We stretch out and when we work with our producer then we like to try to get as far as we can and not worrying about being a punk rock band. Because I already know that I and some of the guys from Generators got a long history in the punk rock scene of Los Angeles. So I'm not afraid to stretch out and maybe have surf guitars or an Hammond organ or whatever it is. And in a song like "Somewhere In The Rain" we started to get a little more folk. There are never any worries about where we're going with our music, as long as it sounds good and the songs are strong, it's cool.

Question: For the first time your new drummer is playing: Derek O' Brien, who already played for Social Distortion. What was the reason for the change?

Doug: Dirty Ernie, our old drummer, got a baby and he moved outside of Los Angeles and Derek has already approached me years ago and says "If you ever need a drummer, I love the Generators and I love the songs". So as our last drummer moved outside L.A. it was more difficult to play with him, I remembered that Derek was there and then he has brought some serious credibility into our band and he helped out a lot with the production of our record.

Question: With SpringtOifel and Broilers you play together with two of the most famous and most popular German bands, that have their roots in the Oi!/skinhead-scene. Does anyone of you have a similar background?

Doug: Yes, I'm like a really old skinhead back in 1981, 1982. I had the first Oi!/skinhead-band and there's a book been written about American skinheads right now and they researched all the skinheads in America and my band and the guys in there, were the first American Oi!/skinheads ever.

Question: Who wrote that book?

Doug: It's been written right now. I don't know who wrote that book. But it's called "The History Of American Skinheads". So I have a long history of being into skinhead bands, e.g. 4 Skins, The Last Resort and Cock Sparrer.

Question: And the others in the band?

Doug: The other guys in the band are more like punk rock kids.

Question: With the Broilers you already played several times. You even have words on their upcoming DVD. How about a common Split-EP or something like that?

Doug: Hey, that's what we're doing, okay we're talking about it. We're supposed to have that out right now, but we're going to do that. Sammy of the Broilers told me that he wants to do some of our songs (Sammy came in hugs Doug) and we play some of their songs. My man, my man (to Sammy). So hopefully in the future we work out a Broilers-Generators-split, because we're friends with the band and they really helped us in Germany and they are our homeboys.

Question: You already played with all bands that are or were doing well in business (Bad Religion, Agnostic Front, Dead Kennedys, Tiger Army, ...) and your song "30 Seconds" was even used for tv-spots. Although, I would say, that you still are, at least in Germany, not very popular. Do you agree with that and what's the reason for that, in your opinion?

Doug: I think everybody is frustrated and looking for answers. I think the reason is, maybe we haven't connected and we haven't got in front of as many people as we need to. As I tell everyone else, I have no regrets and if the band is never able to get as popular as the Broilers, it's ok. Because I had so many good experiences and I'm actually blessed with the fact of all the shows that I've played. It's like, if it happens and we get big crowds and shows it's ok, and if not, it's okay. I do it, because I love doing it.

Question: I have heard often, that people compare you with Bad Religion. What do you say about that? Does it make you happy or does it just get on your nerves?

Doug: Haha, a little bit of both. When Bad Religion put out "How Could Hell Be Any Worse?" I was going to those first shows in the early 80's and so our band is influenced from that sound. So it is with Social Distortion and Bad Religion, we grow up listening to, just as listening to old Oi! and skinhead bands. I like being in a melodic band, for me melody is all that matters. For some bands they like being hardcore or screaming emo stuff, but for me it's all about melody, so I try to make our songs as melodic as possible and that sometimes might sound like Social Distortion or Bad Religion, but we're all from southern California, so it's part of the terrain.

Question: Sometimes you still play songs of the band Schleprock, in which some of you played before. Is a reunion, maybe even just for some time, possible?

Doug: We had a reunion in Los Angeles two years ago, but our guitar player died. When that really happened, we were really big in America. We only came to Germany one time in 1994 and we played smaller clubs and nobody understood what was Schleprock, they didn't understand the name and what it was, but in America the band got big and we were playing in front of 24.000 people, massive shows. So we did a reunion two years ago and it was a big crowded place, but it's hard for us to get back on stage and do it, because the guy who helped writing all the songs is no longer here. It's a little difficult to carry on without him.

Question: What record was the first you ever bought?

Doug: The first record I bought as a kid... It might have been a Kiss record, like "Hotter Than Hell" or something like this. I became a Kiss freak when I was like 19. My older brother always influenced me, he was listening to The Beatles and stuff like that. Yes, first Kiss and then I became really into Cheap Trick. I tried to see Kiss when they were playing "Kiss Meets Phantom Of The Park" movie, but my mother caught me while I was sneaking out of the house, then I cried, because I couldn't see Kiss. A couple of months later she let me go see Cheap Trick. So these are two bands that influenced me till I got into punk rock with the Sex Pistols and the Buzzcocks.

Question: Could you remember what was the last record you bought?

Doug: Well, I downloaded on iTunes or something like that. It was something the audience doesn't want to hear, like The Scorpions. I really did, I downloaded The Scorpions and an Alkaline Trio record. In my opinion it doesn't matter, I can like music from here to there. That makes me able to be a musician. I'm not narrowed.

Question: Which Band is right now your favourite one?

Doug: What I'm listening to at the moment, a young band that really made it, is Rise Against. I like Rise Against.

Question: Thank you for the interview. The last words are yours!

Doug: Check out the new record "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea", come out and see the Generators. Hopefully we'll be back next summer playing on some festivals and that's it. Thanks guys!

Eingetragen von eh am 06.10.2009.

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