INTERVIEW WITHDDT Members: Brian Howes - Singer, Bobby James - Drummer Corey Perry White - Megaphone and Vocals, Mike (Stans) MacKay - Guitar, Dr. Dave - Bass
DDT come from Vancouver/Canada and has taken a different route with their mixture of hard-core, funk, rap and ska than most other crossover bands. Their music isn't just hard-core with a few scratches it is more a fusion of the sounds at their roots. The drums run through a constant changeover between hard-core beats with lots of punch and the more delicate ska sound. Which is why DDT is probably today's most sought after crossover band on the Canadian west coast, where they were also nominated for the "West Coast Music Awards" in the category "Best live performance". The two front men Brian Howes (vocals) and Cory White (vocals, megaphone), together with their three colleagues Bobby James (drums), Mike Stand (guitar) and Dr. Dave (bass), produce a high energy and sweat-hot stage show (including a free sauna for the audience!) which was what all those who saw them on the first European tour in May '97 discovered. After their first (mini) album "Lotgoop" trickled over to Europe in M arch '96, MTV gave them an enthusiastic response and the music press was also full of praise. This autumn the first full album "Urban Observer" is due for release. And as you might expect, DDT has evolved in the time between the first and this release. As Brian says the new album has more songs and continues on where "Lotgoop" stopped. Apart from that, Cory scraped the money together for a new megaphone which sounds really good..." So it is definitely one to hear. In their home country and in the US, DDT has played many festivals. Some of the highlights are the "Lollapalooza", "Music West", "Canadian Music Week", "NXNE" and also the "International Snowboard Championships" in Canada.
ROCK: Your band plays many Styles's of music, Ska, punk, and Rock etc., what do you consider the most important elements in making your music?
Cory: It's not one element that's most important, it's the combination of everybody influences as a whole. Signally everybody is into different things musically, vastly different things forms "Seal to Mozart" and since we been together for six years we have allot more bands in common now, but we also have respect for the music that each person likes, so we grow that way. Its kind of influence base that way.
ROCK: Is your new CD "Urban Observer" a party album?
Cory: I don't know, live wise we come across energetic and have lots of fun, it's because of some of the lyrics, like sometimes slamming messages of McDonald's , it's kind of tongue and cheek type of thing. Some of the songs are heavy and some are a little bit light. I think it's kind of a release.
ROCK: How different were the previous Album "Lotgoop" then "Urban Observer"?
Cory: Tempo! Like Lotgoop is really like what you said about the party type of thing. Lotgoop is ten times that! there is no tempo changes it's just one speed all the way through. This one is more creative.
Rock: Brian Howes said that when you join the band that it took off in a positive direction, could you explain?
Cory: Wow! That's pretty flattering, well Mike Mackay the guitar player and I went to high school together were pretty good friends, Brian and Bob James have played in bands for a long time, they were into heavy metal and stuff like that, and when I came along I was fresh into hip hop, modern rock type styles shit like that, and maybe a little dance, and I was a kind of a M.C the host in front of the crowd. That's most inspiring.
ROCK: Was there any songs you made that didn't make this album?
Cory: Their was two that didn't make it, one while we were recording and one while we finishing the recording, will probably keep those for B- sides.
ROCK: Did DDT already do the tour circuit?
Cory: We tour the shit of Canada back and forth. The drives are a minimum of eight hours to every major city, sometimes eight to twenty -four hours ,from Thunder Bay to Toronto, it's very brutal sometimes especially in the winter driving a milk wagon frozen to the deck forty below.
ROCK: What was it like playing in Seattle with the dominant music being grunge?
Cory: We had some bands that we trade like they would come up to Vancouver they would open for us then we go down there and open for them, so we got kind of a good following and did quite well, so it started out good. Plus we use to bus people down, we sold tickets about fifty bucks ahead it gives a ticket to the show and hang out then a ride back it's awesome we had some good marketing stuff going on back then. Our very first show we put out handbills saying free beer and acid we did we gave it away. The show was pack with a line outside; it was awesome were master of our own destiny. That's what bands got to do get that crowd there and if they like you they'll come back. Some how you got to get them in the door to check out.
ROCK: I read that your motto was "Speed, Energy and Fun". Can you explain the origin of this philosophy?
Cory: That's not true! Was that our bio, people will write anything, to try to describe our music?
ROCK: How about that "Lotgoop the name of your first album means (living off the Generosity of other people)
Cory: Ah that's true, were a bunch of peasants from Canada, some how we had to get across the country so we beg borrowed and steal, do what we had to do to make it.
ROCK: What do you think of Labeling?
Cory: It's not that we don't like being labeled, I think it's really not a question for me, but a question for you to answer, I'm not the person that has to compare my music to anything it's not about that, if you think I'm Punk that's fine, you'll write what you think about the band and so will a million other people. When your in a band its a hard difficult question to answer. Usually its people, who tell you who you sound like, you think you sound original. I can't tell you what we sound like. I can tell you what someone else sounds like, because I've have a opinion on that, but its my music and I'm to close to it, I can't really tell if I sound like any one else but me, or my band. I think it's that way for everybody music.
By Randy Cohen
©Copyright 1999 Rock Publication