Mal wieder ein Interview geklaut, diesmal aus dem AWOL (USA). Das Zine gab es für einige Jahre und war wirklich großartig. Wem sagen die In Citers was? Falls ja, dann solltet ihr auch Durango 95 kennen, die waren die Vorläufer der In Citers.
All you Clockwork Orange fans should be familiar with the name Durango 95. For those of you who aren't, it was the name of the car Alex and his droogies were driving around in causing havoc during the early parts of the movie. Well that's where San Francisco (California) based soul band Durango 95 got the name. They are not a Ska band as they have been labeled because of the horn section, rather they are an excellent ten piece sould band worth checking out. The following interview was done over the phone with Rick Kendrick, trumpet player with Durango 95. Interview by Ray.
As of this interview what is the line up?
Trombone – Will Schwerma, Mike Crowell – bass, Misty Hecht, Jim Martinez, and Tony Johnson – lead vocals, Guitar – Bill Paoli, Drums – Dan Collas, on Organ – Glen McHenry, Rick Kendrick – Trumpet, and Darius Kuski – Violin. (Darius, is no officially a member because he is also the guitar player for Johnny Peebucks And The Swinging Utters, which is his first band, and if Durango and Johnny Peebucks have gigs at the same night, he (Darius) is going to play with Johnny Peebucks.)
How did the name Durango 95 come about?
It wasn't our first name, our first name was The Solutions and we played only one show. Nobody really liked that name, and because lack of another name, we went through a couple names in about a weeks time. We got the name from the movie Clockwork Orange, it sounded like a cool name.
When did Durango 95 from, and by who?
October would be two years. Mike Crowell, used to be in The Liquidators, and his dream was to start a soul band. He's been playing Rocksteady / Ska for a long time and he was getting tired of it, so he wanted to start something different.
Have any of the members been in previous bands?
Mike ans Misty were in The Liquidators, Dan and Tony were in a band I believe was called All State Steppers, and the original guitar player was in that band too, but he's not with us anymore. I hope that was the name of the band.
What are some of the bands you listen to?
This is just my personal answer here because of course if you asked everybody in the band we would all have a lot of different tastes. I just wanted to say that up front because with a band our size it's hard to pinpoint any one influence. I myself listen to any old soul, lot of Northern Soul – that would really be hard to pin down to one artist, and I still am really into Ska too. I really can't give you one name, I can't even think of a name – the last CD I bought was Hepcat.
How would you describe the Durango 95 sound?
Sixties Soul with a modern edge to it, and Pop. Some people like to say there's a Ska sound to it but there really isn't any Ska. I think it's because of the horns people like to call it Ska, but it's not even close to Ska.
Are all of the members Skinheads?
Well I myself am not, although people think I am, it's just that I've been into the scene for so long, hanging around, and I've had a scooter for ten years, but I'm not officially a Skinhead. The trombone player Will is also not a Skinhead, he's more of a Mod – I guess he considers himself a Mod., I'm not sure, I never asked. The guitar player is not, the drummer is not, and the violinist is not. Everybody pretty much has the same life.
Do any of you own Scooters? If so, what kind?
I have a TV 200 – I've had many other scooters, I've had that one for about eight years now. Will has a SX, I think that's what he has. Mike Crowell has a Series II Li 150, and Glen McHenry has a Jet 200, and Misty has an old Vespa 150.
Do you belong to any clubs?
Santa Cruz Centurions, except Will, he's from Berkeley – I don't think he rides with a club.
Who would be the biggest influence on you?
That's a hard questions – that's a big questions! I don't know if I can answer it. Dexy Midnight Runners, also this is gonna sound really corny, but you're asking me who my influence is – not the band, and he'll be quite surprised to read this too, but my biggest influence is Will the trombone player.
Well he's been playing a lot longer than myself. The band's been here two years now and I've been playing about 2 years now , I just started playing to play with the band, and so I'm not the greatest trumpet player – everyday I'm learning, and Will also plays trumpet, but he plays trombone with us cause we needed a trombone player. I just find that I'm learning more from him than from anybody else I'm with – mimicking him.
How is your debut E.P. selling?
It's doing pretty well, we get a lot of mail orders from Europe, and the record store that actually put it out says that there selling pretty regularly, and we always sell a few at every show. I think we sold thirteen the other night.
How much of it were pressed?
Supposedly the store that put it out, if they sell out pretty soon they'll press a second thousand, but if you noticed on the back of the single it says limited pressing of a thousand – the second batch will be black, it won't be gray.
Has it (the E.P.) been well received?
Oh yeah, it's been unbelievably received, I mean we didn't expect it. We didn't expect all the good press like that from the single.
Any other merchandise for sale?
We're working on T-Shirts, but that's it besides the record. We're a poor band, it comes out of our pockets, you know we paid for half the records being pressed. We just don't have money to put out the T-shirts and stickers and all that, it's hard enough getting all the people to a show, especially if we played out in L.A. or something.
When, and where do you go on tour with the 100 Men?
Well it supposed to haven been started last week here, but they got deported, and they didn't even get through customs – so there tour is off here, but our tour is still on there and we wanna keep this low key – we don't wanna get deported. But we're scheduled to go there in the middle of November. I guess we start in England, like eight gigs there, Germany, France, Holland, and Belgium.
You plan on playing on any scooter rallies or do's while in Europe?
From what I understand the rally season is over. They're really limited in Europe, I guess because of the weather. They have a rally season, and an off season, they can't do it like we do here – year around.
How is this tour being financed?
We're paying for it all. We paid to get over there, and once we're there we'll just stay in peoples flats and what not. I don't think we're gonna be making any money at the gigs, I think it'll be just enough to get to the next town. We're definitely not be coming home with any money. It'll just be good exposure.
I understand the band made a move from Santa Cruz to San Francisco. What was the reason for this move?
I'm the only one left in Santa Cruz. Half the band lived in the Bay Area anyway, and the other guys lived here for a long time, and they was just ready for a change so they just moved to San Francisco one by one till eventually everybody was up there. But I've got a really cool day job here, and I'm not gonna leave it to move to San Francisco.
Do you find it hard to get shows having Skins in the band?
No, we just never put that on our press pack. We stay away from that word, I mean sure the majority of the people are Skins, but you just don't go around saying "Oh we're Skinheads, check us out" there's no reason for 'em to know. I think some of the clubs might be surprised when we get there cause we get billed with reggae bands and what not. Then a group of Skinheads come walking in, or at least in their eyes we're all Skinheads – it doesn't matter if we are or not. But I think when they hear our music they hear our music they're quite surprised.
How about air play?
We've been doing okay on the college radio stations locally, and I've heard the other college stations have played us, but I don't know, I don't think the record has been distributed so greatly, it's just been from what we've sent out.
Have you had much exposure through zines, radio, etc?
Yeah, that's been our savior-underground zines have really given us the most exposure, and then even Scootering-like every month the've got something in there, it's pretty incredible.
Europeans seem to like Durango 95 a lot.
Yeah, I think their gonna be pretty surprised when we get over there, cause over here we play to a lot of crowds that just kind of stand there and stare at us, and don't know what to think of us. Like in L.A. we've had people yell at us "Play real Ska", well we're not playing Ska so, it's kind of hard to play real Ska when you're not trying in the first place. But I think over there we're gonna actually be appreciated for what we're trying to do.
Where would you like to play a show at?
I think Hawaii would be fun. (much laughter) Oh, I don't know, it's hard for us to really get out of the Bay Area cause it cost so much money to go. We're playing in Seattle and Portland in a couple weeks, and L.A. is o.k. – I don't know, America is just so big, it's not like in Europe. I think England would be our biggest trip of all, that'll be pretty cool.
What are your future plans as far as the band goes?
To improve, we're a pretty young band – 2 years, and every show we just try to tighten up, and improve. Eventually we want to find our next record or CD – whatever we put out, we don't wanna have to pay for it, we want to find interest in it through a record company that'll actually pay for, and produce it and everything. Maybe that'll happen in Europe, cause we have a feeling we might get more offers over there.
Any closing comments?
For me personally, thanks to my boss for always giving me time off, being in a band and having a job is hard to juggle, and also to my girlfriend.