The punk rock band The Dwarves has taken the “Sex & Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll” mantra to heart, with nearly three decades of decadence under their belts.
Formed in Chicago and now based in San Francisco, The Dwarves gained early notoriety for ferocious 15-minute shows that often degraded into violent brawls, and at times included onstage sex-acts. They also raised eyebrows with controversial song and album titles and artwork, including the 1990 album Blood Guts & Pussy which shows nude women (and a midget) drenched in animal blood.
The core of the band is singer Blag Dahlia and guitarist HeWhoCannotBeNamed, the latter the subject of a death hoax which got the band dropped from their record label Sub Pop. Dahlia was himself in the news when he was assaulted in 2004 by Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Josh Homme.
Blag Dahlia answered the following questions by email, with answers received on 5/29/13. This was for a preview article for the show by The Dwarves on 6/6/13 at Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara – tickets available from Electric SEX Enterprises.
Jeff Moehlis: What can we look forward to at your upcoming show in Santa Barbara?
Blag Dahlia: We are the best looking band in show business, so I’m thinking red carpets, paparazzi and lots of coke!
JM: The Beach Boys will be playing that same night in Santa Ynez, which is close enough that some Santa Barbarans will make the trip. What would you say to someone who is trying to decide if they should go to The Dwarves or The Beach Boys?
BD: They might be a better band, but we draw the line at huffing tape head cleaner and fucking the Manson girls.
JM: I’ve noticed some disturbing parallels. Your guitarist is called HeWhoCannotBeNamed, and Lord Voldemort is often referred to as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Moreover, both were widely thought to be dead, and came back. Surely this can’t be a coincidence?
BD: Harry Potter’s been biting our style since the 90’s. But we were dead long before he was, and we’ll be alive long after his fictional ass is done sodomizing hobbits and… wait, what was I talking about?
JM: Speaking of HeWhoCannotBeNamed, were you disappointed with how Sub Pop reacted to the death hoax?
BD: Disappointment dogs Sub/Pop like the stench of a fat girl from Seattle. And HeWho lives on, in the hearts of small children and cute puppy dogs.
JM: What was the Chicago punk rock scene like when The Dwarves first started out?
BD: It was pretty fucking tedious. But the pizza was good.
JM: Why did the band make the move to San Francisco?
BD: We needed better hair if we wanted to move to LA.
JM: When I think of punk rock and San Francisco, I think of the Dead Kennedys and The Avengers. Any notable interactions over the years with Jello Biafra or Penelope Houston?
BD: Penelope is still kind of cute, which is pretty astounding. Jello was always an ugly son of a bitch, but he talks like Fred Schneider from the B-52’s so he’s OK with me. And I still do the best Jello imitation you’ve never heard.
JM: Have you reconciled with Josh Homme?
BD: If Donald Trump had bingo flaps and played really shitty guitar, he’d be that guy.
JM: What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?
BD: Don’t do interviews.
JM: Do you want to set the record straight on anything about The Dwarves?
JM: Who is your favorite dwarf from the pop culture world, for example from the Hobbit movie or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?