D.R.I It seems as though for D.R.I. life on the road is just life. In the last two years alone you’ve played countless events across the world and show no sign of slowing down, if anything you are picking up momentum. On average how many dates do you play a year? What is the secret to sustaining yourself physically and mentally with a gruelling schedule like yours?
Spike: We have played somewhere between 80 – 100 shows a year lately. We spread them out throughout the year. And do shows just about every month besides January, and either June or July. So we have a month off in winter and a month off in summer. We do not tour like we used to, and do two long tours of 59 shows in 60 days. Nowadays we do a week or two of shows and take about 3 or 4 weeks off in between them. It is way more expensive this way. But, it is also way more feasible for us to do with family and kids and trying to be around for them both. I think the short tours we do also helps with the monotony of touring. Right around the time you start needing a break you get one. And after being off for a few weeks you’re ready to go back out and in a few days another tour starts.
I read an admirable review of the opening night of your current tour where you played the High Noon Saloon. The reviewer noted how memorable the crowd atmosphere was in addition to how you always keep your set list interesting by changing up the song choices. Do you feel that switching up the set has contributed to sustaining so many shows? Does it also allow you to enjoy the sets more and avoid growing tired of the same songs?
Spike: We have an awesome fan base. The majority of our fans have been with us forever. They know what to expect and what not to expect. The know the in and outs of a DRI show. How to act when in the pit. To look out for one another and help each other out if they are knocked down. Where to stand if you don’t want to be smashed into. So they seem to get along just fine.
We have 40 songs that we pick and choose from, and play about 33 or 34 a night, in 90 minutes or so. We also change the order of those songs on a regular basis, so we are playing a different set every time we come through town.
It has it’s pros and cons. There is a well rehearsed confidence you get when you have played the same set over and over. You know what song is next without looking at a set list. You can be more of a showman and have fun. When the set is new to you, you’re a bit more cautious about your surroundings, what song is next and how do they run together. Where is my Setlist and am I able to read it before we start the next song? Both of these must be noticeable to the dedicated DRI fan who has seen a bunch of shows.
Bill Metoyer is having another productive year behind the boards, besides in his many other roles in the industry, adding to his résumé Helstar’s Vampiro, EMP: Underground Vol. 1, and of course D.R.I’s newest EP But Wait… There’s More! Why have you chosen to work with Bill so many times and why do you think he has appealed to artists for decades?
Spike: Our first project with Bill was our third record, 1987’s Crossover release. Bill was the in house guy at metal blade records. Our new record label. We got a long right from the start. He helped us achieve a production we wanted, but have not been able to obtain yet. He also did the next two consecutive release 4 of a kind, and Thrashzone both on metal blade. I really liked working with Bill in the past. He was good at what he did and made the studio experience fun.
To work with Bill on the new EP – But Wait… There’s More, was a no brainer. The songs were short and fast like the first couple releases we did. We had two days off in the middle of a Southern California tour. Bill has a studio in Southern California. We wanted to give this EP and old school look and feel, like it was done around ’86 or ’87 And Bill was on the same page as us.
D.R.I. have been known largely on account of your contribution to the crossover scene, however But Wait… There’s More! persists with a straightforward hardcore edge. Before the EP came out you said it was just to gauge interest and see if fans wanted more. Personally, my only complaint is that there isn’t more of it. I’ve listened to the record back to back four times in a row on numerous occasions. How have fans been receiving the new music and can we expect a new full album? If so, will it be akin to this hardcore sound or more of a metal tone?
Spike: This is the same response we got from the majority of people. Everyone wants more. We have never thought about a full length release since 98. In fact I wrote the music to the 3 new songs on the new ep back around 1998. Those and a couple other short fast hardcore songs were supposed to be for a new full length back in ’98. I was planning on writing some more hardcore songs and some slower more metal songs too and mixing them together like most of our records. But that never came about. We wound up having a fall out and dropping our label Rotten Records. So a new release never was in consideration again until last year.
With the success of But Wait… there’s More, we are seriously discussing a possible full length. If not, we will at least do more EP’s in the years to come. Whatever we do it won’t be very soon. You can at least expect there to be a year or two before we release the next one. And I imagine it would be be a mix of old and new. In traditional DRI style, a Hardcore Punk and Thrash Metal crossover.
Keep up with D.R.I. through these links here: Thanks to Metalheads Forever Magazine.
D.R.I. OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.dirtyrottenimbeciles.com/
D.R.I. FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/DRI/137263955229?ref=hl
D.R.I. BANDS IN TOWN: http://www.bandsintown.com/D.R.I.
Jay Rollins / Metalheads Forever Magazine