Dwarves' Blag Dahlia on Fascistic Left-Wing Propaganda and Visiting G.G. Allin in Prison
What other genre manages to link seemingly disparate entities like British rude boy skinheads with screamo-haircuit mall goth in Nebraska?
And the best part: All these highly segregated factions bicker, sometimes to the point of physical violence, over whose interpretation of punk ethos is less poser.
The Dwarves are no strangers to heated arguments. In the perennial disagreement over political correctness and no-holds-barred freedom of expression, vocalist Blag Dahlia and his merry troupe of hard-partyin' freaks heartily choose the latter.
In anticipation of The Dwarves' upcoming performance at Churchill's Pub, we here at Crossfade gave Dahlia a call to chat about the inner workings of one of the most deliberately belligerent rock acts ever.
Crossfade: Tell us about The Dwarves and South Florida.
Blag Dahlia: We've been going there since the '90s. I remember a real melee breaking out around then, but I can't remember the place. It all just sort of runs together in that fountain of shows. It was wild. It shut down the show. Maybe we'll get that again.
Of course, you've played Churchill's.
It's a fabulous joint.
Seems like a fitting setting for The Dwarves.
Miami itself is a pretty decadent town. Works for me.
That's interesting you would identify your music as decadent. I see your point. But, to me, decadence implies something fancy. With The Dwarves wouldn't it be more about degeneracy?
There you go. Well, Miami is a pretty degenerative town, too.
Has the live show decreased in intensity over time?
It's more intense than ever. If you come, you will catch the nuclear fallout of our intensity.
Is there as much self-destruction as involved in what you do these days?
We prefer destruction of others. That's the maturity of old age.
When the band first started, who were some acts that inspired you to be lewd?
G.G. [Allin] was an influence for sure. We visited him in maximum security prison in Michigan. We were influenced by his music: funny, poppy jams. He hasn't gotten a lot of credit for how clever his music was. We draw the line at not showering. We never had that kind of punk rock attitude. Whereas G.G. stunk to high heaven. That's where we parted ways with him.
At the time we knew of the bands doing things somewhat like us. None of those bands were quite as brilliant as we were. Back in the day, people didn't realize it was just a rock band. People would take the things we would say super seriously, and thought we were going to their town to incite them.
Is there any part of you that misses a more antagonistic relationship with the audience?
That's still there. With The Dwarves you never know when things are going to break out and everything is going to go crazy. Now you assume the audience knows what's up. That's part of the fun of playing these festivals. You've still got a pocket of people who don't know what's coming.
Is the ideal Dwarves show in a room full of people who have no idea what's coming?
The ideal Dwarves show would be at a home for attractive unwed mothers.