Let me tell you a story.
When I was in my first year at university, and quite miserable, I borrowed a film from a guy named Dale. This film was Airheads – and if Dale is out there and wants it back, well, I guess that’d be okay. Airheads is about Brendan Fraser with pre-raphaelite hair, Steve Buscemi in the skinniest trousers, and Adam Sandler in I SWEAR his only funny role ever. They are a band (their sound is more like power slop, but they don’t like to limit themselves to labels), and they accidentally take an indie radio station hostage (toy guns) in their quest to “be heard”. Sometimes, there is nothing better than lying down and watching Airheads.
The band’s main song is Degenerated and I always thought that it just seemed a bit too something to be “a film song”, y’know? “What’s Johny doing out on a Tuesday night, Johhny can’t read, Johnny can’t write, kids just don’t understand. Johnny don’t care about the world, long as he can do his girl, and prove that he’s a man”. Too much real anger in it, to have been written for Brendan Fraser to fill the soundtrack. I never got around to looking it up though.
There is a second story which I don’t need to tell you; you have read my posts on Cubesville. Searchboxhinthint. The Rev Richard interviews a lot of people but one of his interviews that struck me the most, and stuck with me, was this one where Paul Cripple of Reagan Youth mentions how the police treated the disappearance of his late bandmate Dave Insurgent’s girlfriend. She was a prostitute, so when she didn’t come home to him there was no serious treatment – she had been abducted and murdered. That is an interview you should listen to.
Two things collided cos Reagan Youth wrote Degenerated. All KINDS of interested.
And this is where this interview comes in! Meet Madame St Beatrice, frontwoman of DUST ANGEL; bandmate of Paul (who chips in here and there, I’m told), neat lady and twitter pal. You can find her here, with more links to follow..
We “met” when you re-tweeted me realising that I’ve known at least one Reagan Youth song for years – “Degenerated”, which is featured in one of my faaaavorite films: Airheads. Can you agree with me that Airheads is just super? And when struggling for recognition have you ever, like me, felt the hot sauce-flavoured pull of “the airheads method”?
I’m glad you dig Airheads, but when Paul Cripple went to the premiere he found the movie rather tedious. When 20th Century Fox first contacted Paul about the song they had already filmed the scene with the song so Paul had them by the balls in a sense (he could’ve said no and had them re-film the scene with a song they didn’t choose initially) so Paul said they could use it (and yeah he made money, as did Dave Insurgent’s father) but he pushed them to consider “Heavy Metal Shuffle” from Reagan Youth’s Volume II to be used instead of Degenerated being that the movie was about a heavy metal band and not a punk rock band, but of course they said no. I’ve never actually sat down and watched the entire movie Airheads but I’m crazee that people like you and others dig the shit out of it.
Reagan Youth & You : So how did you get to know Paul Cripple, anyway?
I met Paul Cripple when he returned to the hardcore scene when he moved back down to the Lower East Side. He disappeared in the late 80’s when Dave Insurgent started his downfall and Paul fell into drug addiction and worse, ended up marrying an actress. But after a divorce and rehab he came back invigorated and we met and hit it off right away. After some years together Paul insisted I sing in a band with him because so many skinny white boys would get pissed off at a black girl blowing their asses away at heavy metal/hard rock. And I went for it and I’m glad I did because I’m having a blast playing shows and recording songs. And never in my life did I ever believe that would happen to me.
Is this your first band? Give us your history! Have you always been a singer?
Yes, this is my first band and the only time I ever sang before was in the school choir in high school.
What is your ULTIMATE STAGE OUTFIT???! Let your imagination run free; be not swayed by cost or practicality.
Black tee shirt ripped all over, tight ass pants a black vest my hair coloured in some outrageous hue and killer boots. I wouldn’t mind dressing 1920s gangster moll!
Is “the Dust Angel experience” about the performance, the entertainment, or the message?
I would think it’s about all three, but in different degrees. If the music sucked who would listen to the message, let alone come to see us perform so the music is the primary force behind the band. Next would be the message. We want our lyrics to actually speak to others, not just to ourselves and to make people think about what’s going on with the world and their world in particular. There’s no way I would ever allow Paul to write a song like “she’s my Cherry Pie”, I think I’d shoot him dead on the spot if he came to me with a song like that….lol. And as for the performance side, we are not about wearing our underwear on stage and rolling around on broken glass to freak people out. It’s more about letting our musicianship shine through and give the songs an added dimension that aren’t on the recordings. We don’t want the band to sound like a karaoke version of our songs but to do something musically that people would not hear on our recordings so they can say “Wow, did you hear how they rocked that song, it’s like they took it to a whole other universe!”. I think we’re getting there, not quite there yet but we did just start four months ago, so wait until we have a few years under our belts, maybe then they’ll be bootlegging our performances of our best songs floating out there, you never know…lmao
Dust Angel: explain tha name?
We called the band DUST ANGEL because Paul and I are big fans of the 70’s and it just sounds like the name of a band that was from the 70’s. And Paul always says I have an angelic face so Angel had to be included in the band’s name. One thing it doesn’t have anything to do with is PCP, we do not endorse Angel Dust (A drug that is made up of embalming fluid that people use to get high on)
Describe your perfect fan.
Someone that will love all our songs, fast, slow, mid tempo and actually listen to the lyrics in order to make them think about their world and their life in it.
What’s something you get political about? Something that really gets you riled and talking.
The way the United States of America was started by rich white men who didn’t want to pay taxes and how the United States of America (the home of every member of Dust Angel) is still about rich, white men who don’t want to pay taxes. And when those rich fucks muck the economy up they get the government to take the working man’s taxes and bail them out. NOW THAT’S FUCKED UP SHIT! Maybe that’s a concept album we’ll be working on in the near future?
You’ve said shows away from home are better: how come? Do tell!
New Yorkers are so self centered. and everyone is in a band, regardless if they have a musical talent or not. And they only come out to support they’re own musical projects, not even their friends. When we play these smaller towns and cities the people there actually get excited that someone has made the effort to visit there stomping ground and they are so much more appreciative of not just DUST ANGEL visiting, but any visiting band. So even though we’re from New York, later for New York…..until they start paying attention to our band…..lol
Your myspace page compares your vocals to Tina Turner, which I can understand. So inhabit the Tina in Mad Max 3: who do you want to see fight to the death in Thunderdome? Which weapons would you make them use?
I wanna see Master and Blaster fight each other to the death using nothing but their bare hands…..lol
Make us like the three guys in your band with one sentence each. Go!
Paul Cripple is a guy who hates racists, republicans and the religious right but loves the underdog
Malik Panther is a great looking guy and that’s why he models as well as play’s bass for Dust Angel
Mikey “Three Fingers Agrovator” has a heart of gold to match the gold ducats he’s always flashing around
A number of the songs you have online have pretty sexual lyrics and titles: is that something you feel you bring to performance, or is it something that happens to be present in them already? Is it an important part of your own musical expression?
Yeah, some songs are sexy but what did Freud say? It’s always all about sex, so why not throw sex into our songs; right?
You and Paul use the internet to promotion a fair bit; I’ve seen your videos, tumblr, twitter etc: how important a part of the band’s ethos is your net presence, & interaction with fans and friends outside of your stage performance?
The internet provides a universal platform for us to connect with fans and interact with them worldwide. But most importantly we can reach people who have the same taste in music as the band. What’s the point of reaching out to people who listen to pop crap when we want to reach out to Uriah Heep fans, right?
Imagine there’s to be a Dust Angel film, and you get to pick the genre. What would it be, and what would be the one scene you would INSIST upon staying in the picture?
I would want the film to be a cross between “Night Of The Hunter” and “Bad Lieutenant” (the original with Harvey Keitel) and I would insist that the scene with the Jersey Girls showing their ass and how to give head to the Bad Lieutenant stay in for sure. And then Robert Mitchum can show Shelley Winters how Love always wins the fight over hate!