In the wake of a global pandemic and changes to the way we look at everything, one thing we can always count on is punk musicians bringing us tunes that challenge the status quo. From the Rock against Bush comps, to MDC's "Trumpf" songs, and basically everything Jello ever did, punk has questioned those at the top. Get Dead have just released Dancing with the Curse , which follows the history of punks combating the powers that be. Punknews' David Wilkins just sat down with the band's Sam King to chat about the new album, the president, the youth, and more.
Thanks for taking the time to do this. So, I just watched Weekend at Fatty’s and I felt like guys stole the show, at least for me. How was that experience coming off of Covid’s forced sabbatical? As far as Get Dead goes, that’s the longest sabbatical we’ve taken. It’s the first time I’ve been in San Jose for a period of six months in forever. The setting with like Fishbone, NOFX, etc. It was intimidating, but everyone was super cool. Even my graffiti friends were like that was probably the most fun I’ve ever had.
Now, I feel like I recognized one or two of the songs, but the rest seemed new. Everything we played was off the new record. I think we’ve played one live on the last tour, but everything else was a debut, of sorts.
Speaking of the new record, how has that process been? What was it like coming out with a record in these tumultuous times? It feels like it's been a long time coming. We thought we were done last November, so we dropped it off with Fatty, and we worked with Chris Doogan, and Mike was like “Come on, you guys can do better.”
So you went back at it, and how do you feel it came out? We’re psyched on it. Every album we’ve done is different. And we don’t do it on purpose, it’s just musical A.D.D.. It wasn’t until I worked with Fat Mike that I finally understood why it takes bands so long to record.
Now, I’ve always found your lyrics very grounded, and in some cases very close to my own experiences. Do you feel like that is from your influences and the area you’re in, or what causes that? Well, yeah, the Bay Area definitely has that effect. Real recognize real. And, I’m not a fiction writer. I always just write about things that actually happened. I really wish I wasn’t, I wish I could write a fiction novella. The band would like it more, but for a good song, fucked up shit has to happen.
So, how does this record play into everything that’s going on right now? We started recording last year. The songs have been done, almost, two years. We really lucked out, well maybe not even lucked out. None of this had to do with COVID, but whether it be the riots, our president, or whatever, at the same time it feels like we did write about it. Now you’ve got Trump saying that New York and Seattle are anarchist war zones. You remember when Bush was a President? How much would you give to have him back again?
Oh, I know. At the time we HATED Bush, but now… Now, you’d give anything to have him back. I just went to Arizona, if you’re a boat person, you’re an asshole, but I saw the craziest Trump support. I saw a boat with Trump's head superimposed over the Rainbow 3 VHS tape cover. He was flying by listening to “Down with the Sickness”. They were having a straight rally. This wasn’t planned, these people just found each other. And they just started a random boat parade.
Playing the worst song by the worst band every. Hah! Exactly.
So, I’ve always wondered. When you guys first started you had a more folk punk/acoustic vibe, but since, haven’t really done that. Has that been on purpose? We just do our own thing. For Bad News, Mike took our self released stuff and cherry picked what he wanted for the album. It just happened to be a bunch of acoustic stuff. The only reason we recorded acoustic was because it was cheap. And that’s what got me into Skateboarding - It was cheap. You could buy a 99 cent whopper and find a curb and be thrilled for an entire day. But as for the music, Gutter records or SBAM put out our hardcore record. Fat Mike will listen to it and we’ll ask him what do you think about it? “Aw, no, I think we should head in this direction. A week later, he’ll be like “What is this? We should’ve put this out?” And all you can do is say “I played it for you last week!” I’m from the graffiti and hip hop world. So to me, this wasn’t my specialty, and I’m going to take advice from the people who know what they’re doing. And just like the grafitti, if you want to get better you look to the ones that are doing good stuff, and you follow in their footsteps.
Yeah, I mean that’s logic. I don’t know why more people don’t follow that advice. You got motherfuckers out here drinking bleach. If you need a guard rail to prevent you from going over the side of the Grand Canyon, then something’s wrong with you.. My personal opinion is this is why Donald Trump is president, We’ve put too many rails and people can’t function without someone telling them what to do.
Yeah, you don’t hear about it in the media, but Trump gets a ton of support from youths, not just angry old white men. This friend of mine is doing some research for her PHD’s and she thinks it's because kids these days have daunting lives because of social behaviours. Everything is online, and everyone sees everything. And then you have kids whose only Sex Ed is from Porn Hub. When I was a kid, like 13, shit was terrifying. I can’t imagine if I thought all of them acted like what you see in some of those videos, hell I’d be scared too!
Alright, couple more questions, and I’ll let you go. How has the band becoming what it is changed you and your life? I had Thanksgiving at my house, and my grandmother asked me what “Dosing” means. I looked at my Uncle, and he just looked at me and started shaking his head, like “don’t do it, Sam.” It's impossible for me to show up with a comb over and a button up, and just act “normal” when everything I do is on the internet.
Hah, I didn’t think about that, but its a great angle. Two more questions. Is there anything you want the readers to know that I didn’t cover.
I don’t want them to know a damn thing.
Alright, last question. Any bands you’ve been listening to, or anyone you wanna give a shout out to? Been listening to a lot of Ceschi. Also, Sad Boy Sinister - their a Thrash Band. It’d be cool if people checked them out. Also, shout out to REPS, HARV, ZEN, EMEAR and the rest of the DTC KYT for their support and painting at Weekend at Fatty’s.