by Interviews

Today, DFL are reissuing the seminal '90s hardcore album My Crazy Life via Trust Records. At the time, the band was composed of skateboarder Tom Davis, first wave punker Monty Messex, Beastie Biy Adam Horovitz, and Tony Converse- together, they cut a fast'n'fierce record that threw back to the early '80s scene while most other bands were getting poppier and lighter. The resulting LP, My Crazy Life is 15 lightning bolts that blast through topics like being annoyed at other humans, depression, vigilant meter maids, and tasty pizza.

The reissue is completely remastered by Mario C, includes an entire, unreleased live show, has a zine with archival material and a 10,000 word oral history (written by Punknews' John G). You can pick up the record right here and check out an interview with vocalist Crazy Tom Davis and guitarist Monty Messex below, right now!

What does the reissue of My Crazy Life Represent to you? Monty: The My Crazy Life era was really special for me. Although I had been in the punk scene in the late '70s and early '80s, playing in bands and seeing Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Adolescents, and a ton more, by the early '90s I had drifted away from the scene. MCL was sort of a "return" for me. When I originally had the idea to start a band, I wanted something that threw back to the earliest years of hardcore. When Adam Horovitz got behind it, it went from an "idea" to a real thing. Then, Tom came along and gave us that crazed, frantic edge that all my favorite early bands had. The moment that we formed DFL is a moment that's still with me.

Tom: yeah honestly, I wasn’t too excited about it at first, but seeing how good it looks and all the blood, sweat and tears, everyone put into it.. the Trust guys did a really great job. the album artwork looks cool and I wasn’t sure what people would think nor did I really care, but ..??? I love what they did. I love that we’re still doing it and hope it goes solid gold…

What emotions and thoughts do you have while going back over these tracks? Tom: Sometimes I feel like I could’ve done better. Sometimes I feel like I could’ve done worse, but it seems pretty timeless. I’m Pretty proud of that stuff. I’m glad people like it and if they don’t oh well. Go get a fucking pizza and sit on it.

monty: Listening to the record brings back a flood of memories. Each track has a story. Monk’s Honor is about when Tom and I met as kids on the bus going skateboarding. Tom had the nickname Monk. Monk’s honor is when you’d swear you were telling the truth and if you lied you lose your skateboard. I wrote Get the Fuck Out when I was in college working at the library help desk. I remember telling Adam about the song and he was like you’re really gonna say fuck that many times? Think About The Pit was kinda my homage to the Germs Shut Down. I mean every punk album should have a slow freak out song.
Meter maids featured prominently on one track. What's the deal with Meter Maids Monty: That’s a good question, I think Tom had a beef with a meter maid or something.

Tom: Oh yeah I’ve got a fucking beef with meter maids in Hermosa Beach. you can’t park anywhere for 15 minutes and then you get 100$ ticket. I’ve lost several cars because one ticket adds up to the next and so on and before you know it you got 10 tickets in the glove box and they TOW your car away. Sometimes your car is not even worth the bail amount we used to throw eggs at the meter maids… sounds familiar? One time our friend Bob Leader beat up a meter maid in front of all of us…

"Pizza man" is one of your iconic tracks. It's fast and fierce, but also funny. Can you comment on the importance of keeping some level of humor, or at least artistic bend, in hardcore?Monty: I never thought about it being a funny song, but I guess it kinda is. It’s actually about this pizza spot near where I grew up in Hollywood called Pizza Man. Their tag line was “He delivers!” The had pizza and fried chicken wings. The food was actually pretty bad. I think there’s a Pizza Man menu in the zine that comes with My Crazy Life reissue.

Tom: It’s all about tongue and cheek. The type of hard-core we did was never political, never about chicks I think .. Monty had some lyrics about getting pizza and I fucking love pizza every single night..

How can you best describe the Tom/Monty chemistry- the action and reaction? Monty: do you mean the “call and response” thing? It’s definitely influenced by hip hop, but to me it makes sense for hardcore, too. Tom calls out part of chorus and i respond back with the other part. Tom yells “Pizza Man”, I yell “He delivers.” Tom yells “Proud to be” and I yell “DFL.” It works for us, plus I like singing back-up vocals so I try to jump in whenever I can.

Tom: I think it just comes from having fun and mixing hip hop with hardcore and our deep friendship .. first you got me screaming shit and then that whiny radar voice Monty .. it just kind of goes with each other like thunder and rain a lot of music there’s always somebody like me and always somebody like Monty in the group it’s not like we were trying to do some stupid ass Eagles or Peter paul and Mary shit ..

Mario C remastered the release. Why was Mario C so seminal to you in the 90s, and what is it like reconnecting with him? Tom: Yeah, hooking up with Mario again it’s just plain and simple it’s Exactly where and what we’re supposed to be doing. We trust him. We love him. He is DFL for life.

Mario is one of the guys where it’s like no time has passed. It’s like seeing cousin or something. You just pick up where you left off. Solid dude.
You both came of age in the earliest days of LA punk and hardcore. From your perspective, what was the scene like- fun? dangerous? drugged out? artsy? Gang vibes? Monty: For me the scene was like what I’d always been looking for. A place to I could belong. Music and people I could relate to. But there were tons of drugged-out dangerous artsy motherfuckers, too.

Tom: Yeah, Punk Rock and hardcore “the scene” was just kind of all like an after school special. We didn’t know any better. Our friends were already doing it we just started hanging out and doing it too It was a thrill every night it was fun and dangerous. It was rad as fuck to be a part of the first and second wave of punk and hard-core , even the gang violence punk rock scene was fun.. from a distance!!

What was it like juggling a band with Adam Horovitz, who was also in the beastie Boys, one of the world's biggest groups at the time? I have no idea how everything worked out, it just did. There was really no plan. We just hung out and it happened organically. We’d go to the the Farmers’ Market down on Fairfax for breakfasts, and meet up for dinners and birthday parties, or hang out at G-Son or the X-Large store, just do normal stuff. It wasn’t really a thing.

Tom: Adam was such a funny guy hanging out with him was like hanging out with Bobby De Niro he had the hottest chicks a fucking range rover filled with weed the guy was out of control having parties and was really funny and cool. he brought the New York B Boy shit to LA. and We ate it up ..

Why do you think Adam wanted to do a punk band in addition to the Beastie Boys at the time? That’s a good question. In the “My Crazy Life: The Oral History of DFL” Ione Skye says “I think, for Adam, he had been in the Beastie Boys for a while, so DFL was a new dynamic with new players. It probably felt nice and uncluttered without any baggage.” Ione was Adam’s wife at the time, so I’m guessing she’d probably know.

Tom: I'll tell you why! adam wanted a piece of that LA hardcore! Monty and I have been in the scene for a longtime and that seemed exciting to him it was just as exciting as we wanted to have a part of that beastie boy legacy. Adam loved hearing about all the old stories from back in the day shit like Oki Dogs and Godzilla‘s.. ha ha!

The b-side of the reissue has an entire live show recorded at a party at G-Son. What was the vibe like and what was the party like? Tom: “The function at the center” was just a good time party for all .. it brought LA punkers mixed in with the B boys and some Hollywood actors and shit it was a taste of what it used to be like in the 80s..

Monty: We recorded the record the day before the party. I think that was April 22nd, 1993 and the party was on April 23rd. The party was in this live room at G-Son, kinda like a big gymnasium that had a stage for recording and playing music, a skateboard ramp and basketball hoop (there a good diagram in the Beastie Boys Book). The party was great, but was kinda overwhelming. There were a lot people. The who’s who of 1993! Anthony Keidis, Drew Barrymore and Tony Alva were there. I think Evan Dando and Winona Ruder were there too. Max Perlich was the drum tech. Christian Hosio skated through our set. I was super nervous when we played. It was like a blur. Since all the instruments and mics were set up from the day before, Mario recorded everything. That live set was never released until now.

Monty: To me, having DFL on trust along with Circle Jerks and 7Seconds codifies you as an iconic band. What does being reissued by Trust in deluxe format mean to you? I mean it kinda blows my mind to be on the same label with iconic bands like the Circle Jerks and 7Seconds. It’s the icing on the icing. Also, my hope is that by being on Trust we can turn a new generation of kids onto DFL and our old school hardcore sound.

Tom: Straight up homage we’re stoked to be a part of the Trust Records catalog Joe and the family we met through them Have been super nice Even though the catalog/Legacy started with the 80s bands it’s great to be identified being from the 90s to have a seat at the table with those great icon bands!

What's one thing that you would like the audience to take from My Crazy Life? Monty: I hope they dig the thing as much as I do.

Tom: That everybody deserves “second chances." Plant your Roots!