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Non-Prog Interviews

Dare Dukes

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Dare Dukes From 2009

MSJ:

This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Who is in your ultimate super group?

Tom Verlaine
Black Francis
Jeff Tweedy
Memphis Minnie
Dr. Seuss
MSJ:

What's the greatest thing that's ever been said about your music?

One reviewer called it "sour pop," and I thought that was pretty accurate.  My wife says, "Dare Dukes' songs are the best songs ever written by a human being," and that's pretty great - though it does make me wonder if there are songwriters in the animal kingdom she likes more than me.

MSJ:

Who are your main musical influences?

Pixies, Sparklehorse, Neil Young, Bonnie "Prince" Billy

MSJ:

What's your favorite iPod track this week?

 "Be My Baby" by DM Stith

MSJ:

What's the last album you bought that you're enjoying?

The Slow Bang by Madeline

MSJ: Have you seen any great live shows lately?

Avett Bros at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC a year ago.

MSJ: What's the last huge outdoor music festival you attended?

Merlefest

MSJ: What is your guilty pleasure band?

Electric Light Orchestra

MSJ: What was the first album you ever bought?

The Sound of Music

MSJ:

What about the first concert you ever attended?

Peter Tosh at the Circle Star Theater in San Francisco (the stage is in the round and it spins slowly during the show!)

MSJ:

What's your favorite artist and album?

Jeez louise, that's a toughy - maybe David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust?  Maybe Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot?  PJ Harvey's early albums - Surfer Rosa and Doolittle by the Pixies - stop me, stop.

MSJ:

If you could create your own fantasy music festival, who would the top 6 headliners be?

1. David Bowie in the Ziggy Stardust era.
2. Bob Dylan
3. Television
4. Velvet Underground
5. Wilco
6. Pixies
MSJ:

Keith or Mick?

Brian

MSJ: The Grateful Dead or Phish?

Velvet Underground, Fugazi

MSJ:

Have you ever been inspired by an author or a book to write a song, if so, which one?

Faulkner--a massive influence for me.

MSJ: If you were a superhero what famous musician would be your arch-nemesis and why?
Moby.  His fame seems to be directly proportionate to his lack of talent.  And, this may be neither here nor there, but an ex-girlfriend who dated him briefly told me that he likes to have (nay, insists on having) sex with guns.
MSJ:

Have you ever illegally downloaded music?

Loads and loads

MSJ:

Illegal downloading has been pegged by the major labels as the leading cause for poor sales. How do you feel about this form of file sharing and would you agree with the labels?

First of all, I wouldn't trust a major label to accurately assess anything other than its own bottom line, least of all the health of our creative culture.  As corporations they are designed by law and intent to do nothing but make money.  If, in spite of this mission, they happen to foster creative work, it is purely by accident.  We shouldn't assume a direct relationship between the profit margins of major labels and the wellbeing of our music culture, and that certainly includes the capacity of artists to make a living at what they do.

 

I haven't the slightest idea about how file-sharing is affecting the music industrial complex.  I can't imagine it's helping them much.  I don't know what their measure for sales are.  Are they talking about industry-wide numbers that include sources for independent music - or just their own sales?  It's clear they are no longer the gatekeepers for artists and fans, and that's a development that can only be described as “great.”  Our intellectual property laws in this country are built around a false premise that creative individuals create their works alone, in vacuums, without outside influence.  This is insane.  Art is created communally, and "individual ownership" is a very difficult thing to pinpoint when one starts to consider the communal process that occurs to develop ideas and genres and styles, etc.  I think the Creative Commons licensing structures are much more reflective of the natural lives of ideas and works of art.

 

Do the industry's numbers mean that fewer artists are making a living?  That's what I'd like to know.   I'd want to know the answer to this question before I made a judgment.  I do think for artists with less visibility file-sharing and mechanisms like myspace and last.fm that allow artists to give away their music can only be a good thing.  Real fans will increase exponentially if they can listen without monetary risk.  Will they eventually start paying for the music?  I know the hype, but I don't know the answer to this.

MSJ:

In a related question how do you feel about fans recording and trading live shows?

I think it's great.

MSJ:

What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?

Oh god, every time I play I feel like I'm parodying myself badly.

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