Crowdsourced: Dead Moon Answer Your Questions
We're more than happy to supply your daily dose of analysis, pontification and snark. But in the spirit of evening out the playing field, we decided to let our readers do the heavy lifting and ask the questions that THEY want answered. Enter Crowdsourced, a new series of interviews where the fans put on our well-worn (if unwashed) music journo hats.
The first exchange in the series comes from the legendary Dead Moon, Portland's punkest band and a perennial underground favorite. The duo of Fred and Toody Cole, along with late drummer Andrew Loomis, archived several shows from the '90s, including a gig at the X-Ray Cafe that forms the basis for new release What a Way to See the Old Girl Go (due April 21 via Voodoo Doughnut Recordings). Stream the live version of "It's O.K." below for the first time.
We roped in Toody Cole to do the honors on this inaugural edition of Crowdsourced. Check out her answers to a bunch of questions posed by the Dead Moon Fan Club.
What's your perspective on trying to balance a creative life and parenting, especially looking back on it now as the parents of adult kids?
We were lucky that our kids were quite a bit older when I started to play with Fred in bands. When they were very little, we just took them everywhere with us, and I stayed home when Fred was out playing gigs. Once school, etc., is in the mix, everything's much more difficult, and I got the guilts sometimes when we were gone overnight or over a weekend. Show them they are loved, try to instill independence and work ethic in them, and all will turn out well!
They replaced the front door of Tombstone Records. Can I have the old one?
Sorry, but I've got first dibs on the old Tombstone door!
Have you considered playing more low-key, seated shows, but being backed with a drummer — like Sam Henry — or keyboard?
We did consider maybe having Sam Henry play with us, but decided against it. We really love the intimacy of the duo, and so does the audience, it seems. Life on the road is so much simpler with just the two of us.
Do you and Fred miss playing the Guild Thunderbird and Vox Wyman bass you played in Dead Moon? You typically play different guitars on these duo gigs.
The old Kay bass I use and the Gretsch that Fred is playing were used in Range Rats, and are much better suited for what we're doing now. Besides, I can't play the Vox sitting down! Sure, we miss them as much as we miss being able to play R&R, but that was then and this is now.
Was it a bit of a satisfaction to see Dead Moon turn into the most internationally successful Portland band since the Wipers after the Rat$ were not sitting well with the local punk scene?
The notice given Dead Moon is amazing, and a little overwhelming at times. The body of work Fred, Andrew and I did during that almost 20 years is something to be proud of, and the songs Fred wrote during that period are timeless. Now that two of the Rats' LPs have been reissued by Mississippi Records, that band has gotten wider notice as well, and to me sounds more "current" now than when we introduced the Rats almost 40 years ago!