Killjoy goes out of her way to present a rare and exclusive chat with not only a fine artist, but one of punk rocks legendary drummers. Chuck...


Reprinted verbatim, from Flipside #84, May/June 1993.

Killjoy: How old were you when you joined DOA?

Chuck: Twelve...

Killjoy: How did you meet up with them?

Chuck: They knew Dimwit, my older brother. They were in a band called the Skulls, which was one of the first punk rock bands of Vancouver. They went to Toronto to try to make it, and they ate shit and died. Then they came back to Vancouver and all got drunk. I knew Joe (Shithead) from there. Then, basically, they had broken up and he wanted to form a band and wanted me to drum with them.

Killjoy: How many brothers do you have?

Chuck: I have two older brothers, Dimwit and Bob.

Killjoy: Was Dimwit a major influence for you to go into drumming?

Chuck: Just as far as wanting to drum. Style-wise, not really, because mine and his style is so wildly different. He's real straight-forward rock drumming and I more like break the think into a million pieces.

Killjoy: What were some of the other bands Dimwit was in?

Chuck: Dimwit's been in DOA, the Pointed Sticks, Subhumans. He played bass for DOA for a while when I was drumming. It was great too. We had Dimwit, Joe, and Dave Gregg and they were all shaved bald. The whole front line was bald and they were trying to get me to shave my head and I was a sixteen-year-old punker going, "No way, I'm not shaving my head. To hell with you." They looked great. It was just like the front line from hell. These big, beefy Canadians with no hair. So, what else has he been in? He's been in, I guess the main thing is the Horseman thing they did recently. He's not in them anymore.

Killjoy: What happened with the Four Horsemen?

Chuck: They broke up once when they had the original line-up with Frank Starr, and Frank was such a nightmare they finally disbanded and everybody went their separate ways. Then, they reformed for a while just recently and were in Connecticut doing a recording and apparently Haggis became such a control freak. He actually had sample drumbeats and drumfills for all his songs, just from different records and sort of put this whole jigsaw of drum parts together and gave it to Dimwit. He said, "Learn this, beat for beat, fill for fill. This is what I want, no variation." Dimwit was just like, "I'm not playing all stolen beats, to hell with you." It was a power struggle and Dimwit lost.

Otis: More like Haggis lost.

Killjoy: In 79', there was the recording of the TRIUMPH OF THE IGNOROIDS. Wasn't that performed and taped at a battle of the bands type function?

Chuck: Yeah, that was. I haven't thought about that in years. Yeah, it was just a battle of the bands they had at a stupid club in Vancouver called the Body Shop. It was basically for some cock rock cover bands, you know. Especially at that time with all ofthe long hair and the spandex.

Killjoy: Just hair bands.

Chuck: Yeah, with the cucumber in the pants type thing. Then, we came out and they were just, "Oh God." And they recorded it, so we decided to put it out.

Killjoy: Did you sing on "Wants Some Bondage" and "Let's Fuck"?

Chuck: No, that was Randy who sang that.

Killjoy: But you wrote them.

Chuck: I wrote "Want Some Bondage". Actually, me and Joe wrote "Let's Fuck", which is a take-off of "Let's Dance", which was a cover song by the Ramones.

Otis: It was a 50's song.

Chuck: Well, the Ramones did it from the 50's song and we only knew the Ramones song so we took that.

Killjoy: When you recorded SOMETHING BETTER CHANGE, there was some sort of story that you and Joe had to stay behind to record it and there was an argument about the song "Last Night". What was that all about?

Chuck: Me and Joe did that because we always mixed all that shit. We wrote it all and we mixed it all, and there were plenty of times where the rest of the band had to go somewhere and me and Joe would have to stay behind and do that. It wasn't just that particular song.

Killjoy: I had heard there was an argument on that song and that one was delayed just before going on tour.

Chuck: I don't know. Somebody else asked me that because they are writing a book about DOA in Vancouver and some woman asked me the same question. I don't know where these hell the stories come from.. I mean me and Joe were always arguing about that shit constantly. We had two totally different ideas what the band was suppose to be about. Just Joe being 200 pounds more than me and older, and I was just this little kid going, "No, fuck you! We are going to do it this way!" It was kind of stupid. No, it wasn't that particular song; I mean we had fights about every song.

Killjoy: What was the last album you played on and when was it recorded?

Chuck: The last thing they put out that I was on was some weird compilation called WAR ON 45. It was like an English compilation or something like that. I think they have since put out a bunch of CDs of unreleased material and all this shit. Jow just willy-nilly puts out stuff and I have no idea what's going on. I just got a letter from Rhino Records. I guess they are doing a compilation and they are using one of my songs on it. I didn't even know about it. I have no idea what Joe and DOA are doing at this point.

Killjoy: What was the last album you specifically recorded for them?

Chuck: I guess it was HARDCORE 81'.

Killjoy: What was the reason for leaving?

Chuck: I had quit DOA so many times when I was in it, but that last time when I finally quit, Black Flag was actually in town playing that night and they heard that I had just quit. Greg Ginn phoned me up, at my job, and said "Just heard you quit DOA. You want to come to LA?" So, that was what sort of cemented it, because if I had stayed in Vancouver, I'm sure I would have endedup playing with them again. Vancouver is a real small, enclosed scene and you always end up going back.

Killjoy: So you were playing with Black Flag for a while. Did you record anything with them?

Chuck: Yeah, I recorded a bunch of stuff with them. I don't know if any of it came out. Somebody had told me that it has, but I've never heard it. I had recorded a whole album with them, but it has just recently came out. It was all unreleased material.

Killjoy: Okay, Circle Jerks, how long were you with them?

Chuck: A couple of years.

Killjoy: Did you record anything with them?

Chuck: Yes, same sort of thing with them. I recorded a bunch of songs with them and they ended up re-recording them with their new drummer. I don't know why bands do that to me.

Killjoy: I heard you guys drove off a cliff in Texas.

Chuck: No, WE didn't drive off of anything.

Otis: We got driven.

Chuck: We got driven. We had done a whole tour, it was about three months. Otis was on the tour. He did our merchandising. We would never let Keith, the singer, drive because he is a notoriously bad driver and a drunk. So, we were driving from Houston all the way back to California, and for whatever reason, all the drivers were just dead tired, and everyone just wanted to get there. So, we finally went, "Okay, Keith, you can drive. Fine, fuck it, you can drive." He gets in the driver's seat, starts driving, and everything is cool for about fifteen minutes. Everyone is trying to sleep. And you (Otis) woke up at one point.

Otis: I was never really all the way asleep. I just felt the vehicle going the wrong direction.

Chuck: He looked out the window and saw the yellow line going the wrong way. I was sleeping in the back and I heard Keith going, "Holy shit! We're dead meat!" That was all I heard and I guess we went over a raised highway and it went down. We went over that and ended up rolling six or eight times. And it was funny too, because it would roll once and go BAM, and then you would hear "Oh shit, fuck", BAM, "Oh goddamn, were going to die", BAM.

Otis: I yelled for my mom I think at one point.

Chuck: I was just pretty much asleep and I just woke with this big cymbal case coming at me. Then, all of a sudden, I had this bass cab hitting my back.

Otis: That was the most painful exerience of my life.

Chuck: Yeah, because his foot was the size of a football.

Otis: It went out the window.

Chuck: The whole van was crushed down. The windows were right down to the seats. The whole thing was gone. It was amazing. Then, it was smoking and we all thought it was going to blow up, so me and him get out and he was in his underwear. We go out yelling, "It's going to blow! It's going to blow!" We run up the side of the highway and we were freezing our asses off. And remember Earl came out looking all perfect?

Otis: Earl got out of the van and he's got his hat straight and had his suitcase. Then, there was the ambulance. Tell her about the ambulance.

Chuck: Oh man, we had this crazy ambulance driver. He was just nuts. There was all these accidents going on and he was just driving like a maniac. I was in the front and Earl was in the back with some guy with this chest wide open and blood spurting everywhere. Earl was just all perfect and he starts freaking out about his neck because its got a twitch in it. The driver turned around and told him to shut the fuck up.

Otis: That was where Earl saw God.

Chuck: Yeah, right after that, Earl became religious.

Killjoy: Was that when he took off and you never saw him again?

Otis: Yeah, right after we got back, there was a gig at the Stardust, and he saw that guy on the highway with the crucifix and yelled, "Brother!" And he took off.

Chuck: That was another guy who fucking lost it. He went from being this big, tall human monster who had "FUCK THE WORLD" tattooed on him. He was dropping acid and ready to kill anyone, and then he became this born-again Christian. He couldn't just talk, and started bring Bibles on the road, and reading from it. Even getting into a discussion with him, let alone an argument, he had the typical rhetoric for that. And your saying, "Earl, you've got FUCK THE WORLD tattooed on you." That was probably the craziest tour that I had ever been on, that one with the wreck. It was great. I couldn't do it now. You've got to be young to survive that, but it was total insanity from start to finish.

Killjoy: what kind of injuries did you sustain from the wreck?

Chuck: I had nothing. I was fine, but Otis broke a collarbone and his feet were all screwed up, and all kinds of shit. It was great too, because when we finally got to the airport, we had the attendant ask, "Does anyone need assistance in getting on to the plane?" We were all saying, "Yeah, he does. Look." We got on the plane first. That whole tour was just fucking nuts. So much stuff happened on that. It's been more than any of the other tours I have been on, even the old DOA tours.

Killjoy: You also played with Fear?

Chuck: Yeah, for a while there, it was like I was a football player and everyone was just buying out my contract. I had played with the Chili Peppers for a while. I played with Fear and the Weirdos. The Weirdos had me for one show. We practiced, went up to San Francisco, and during the course of the show I got so fucking drunk. I played fine apparently, but by the end of the show I was in front of 3000 people, and tearing off my clothes and throwing shit into the audience, and just running around, calling Rat Scabies a fag. I was doing all this shit and the guys in the Weirdos are real low-key and they were shocked. They just literally drove off without me and left me in San Francisco. I had to get my parents to send me money to get me home. They were very unhappy about that.

Killjoy: How long were you with Fear?

Chuck: Real short. I was with Fear actually when Flea was playing bass with them. It was right in the height of Lee Ving getting his acting jobs, so he was more into that. I don't think we played any gigs though.

Killjoy: Then, you were in the Floor Lords?

Chuck: Oh God. Yeah, yeah, I was in the Floor Lords.

Killjoy: Wasn't there a single released by Bix, from Squirt Down?

Chuck: Yeah, he was a friend of Shawn's, the singer. It was some weird band. I had put it together and it became such the other side of what I wanted it to be. It started good, because I was writing most of the songs; and then I got this guy named Eso to play bass, and he turned out to be the most horrible, controlling, stupid, uncreative, bastard-cunt-dickboy-fuckhead.

Otis: Not to mention, he's getting some slugs the next time we see him.

Chuck: And you can print that. Whenever you see him, he's going to have some welts on his neck. Shawn was a great singer and Joe was a great guitar player. It was just one of those things you start and then it turns into a cluster fuck by the end of it. There were a couple a guys in the band that got into heroin and I was in a pretty intense drinking phase at that point.

Otis: So came the name the Floor Lords.

Chuck: Yeah, the lords of the floor. Yeah, we go to practice and end up drinking and shit.

Killjoy: And then you were both in a band at one point.

Chuck: Yeah, Brown Sound, but that was before the Floor Lords. I was playing bass. And it was actually really funny because in FLIPSIDE, I got voted best drummer and had me listed in Brown Sound, and I was the bass player. That was just a stupid funk band. We were just screwing aroung and having fun, because we had the T-shirt business going. We knew Jeff Newlin, this drummer guy who had this space in the same industrial complex and he played drums, and Nick from the Pantyshields was playing guitar. And Jeff was in the Pantyshields. It was just something that we would get together and Jeff had this little two-track reel-to-reel tape recorder. We made a movie. It was the most fun I had in a band because nobody really gave a shit. Bands now, everyone is worried about this or that. Whatever idea we had, it fit. We actually backed up the Chili Peppers once. They had to con me into doing it, because I didn't want to. Otis and Jeff came back to the hose in Long Beach and said, "Hey Chuck. Drink this." I said, "Okay. What's up?" "Well, we're playing with the Chili Peppers." "No, we're not." Drank some more. "Okay, maybe." Drank some more. "Sure, what the hell?"

Otis: Then, on stage, he would yell in between each song, "We suck! Fuck you! We suck!"

Chuck: Well, we did. But it was great. We had some great video from back then. There's this one embarrassing shot of me pulling my pants down.

Killjoy: Tell me about the Anger Dump project.

Chuck: Okay, it's something that me and him started doing. Otis and I have been in businesses for God knows how long, the silkscreen business and different art shows and...

Killjoy: Granite Hog.

Chuck: Granite Hog, all that stuff. We basically decided that we wanted to put out a couple ideas we had for records which is sort like the spoken word stuff, but with our idea of music behind it. A lot of that stuff is pretty derivative I find, it's always the same. We sort of want a vehicle where we can just put out whatever we want. So, the name of the company is going to be Acme BombFactory, and it's going to put out whatever comes to our heads. We want to put out a set of cards, a comic book, whatever.

Killjoy: When exactly did you and Otis meet?

Chuck: It was on the Circle Jerks tour. Actually, he knew me when I was in DOA, but back then I was just such a little pecker. When I was between fifteen and nineteen, I was like this little cute punker kid and I knew it all.

Otis: He was a royal cock.

Chuck: I look back on it now, and I am just amazed that I didn't get the shit kicked out of me more often because I would just be sitting there and telling everyone to fuck off. I'm surprised no one really just came up to me and bashed me upside the head. We met and he hated me at that point. At that point, I was just a cock to everybody.

Otis: I didn't like him, but I admired his drumming.

Chuck: Yeah, well that was what always got me by. There would be all these people who would go, "He's a good drummer. I should still hit him, but oh well." Somebody told me about this Circle Jerks show and their only memory was of me. Jessie was telling me about it. We were playing and all the power went out and it was totally black. Everybody was just standing there and then you heard the front row screaming in terror. Then the lights came back on and I apparently was standing on the lip of the stage pissing on everyone, and then I just got back behind the drums and started playing again. And I don't even remember this. That was the great thing about it. I know it's true, because a few people have corroborated on the story.

Killjoy: When did you first start drawing?

Chuck: I use to draw all the time as a kid, and then I stopped about when I was 13 or 14. I didn't actually start drawing again until me and Otis started the silkscreening business. When I was seeing him draw, and he had all of this drawing stuff around, I started drawing again.

Killjoy: About what time did you start the silkscreening business?

Chuck: It was after that Circle Jerks tour, after I quit. Probably about 83', or something.

Killjoy: What was the first piece that you did that was utilized?

Chuck: I did some drawings for DOA on the WORLD WAR III EP, I did a bunch of drawings on the back, which were fucking horrible. The first real thing that got used? It would probably be the art shows that we did. The stuff that we were doing for the silkscreen business and shit like that. I'm not realy big on doing artwork and then selling it.

Killjoy: so you never had any schooling.

Chuck: Nah, I doubt any really good artist has. I went to one Long Beach city college. I went for one semester of art school, and it was the most disgusting, degrading thing I ever went to. The teacher just sucked. He wanted you to do it this way and its just, "Well, I see it this way"; and he said "Well, that's not right." Right? What the hell are you talking about?

Killjoy: What are your favorite mediums?

Chuck: It depends. Like right now, I'm into sculpting. I like to collect junk I see in the street and put it together in sculptures. I just like fucking around with anything, I've gone from doing oils to acrylics to pencils. When I had a bunch of money, I actually bought a graphics computer just because it looks like fun. I don't really have a favorite medium. That's part of my problem. I'll just get into a medium, fuck with it, and do shit and figure it out, and then say, "Okay, fucking give me something else." Now, I'm getting into sculpting because this guy who did the special effects work on "How The Gods Kill" video, he sculpts and makes special effects in movies. I went . to his house and he showed me all this stuff.

Killjoy: Are there any special subjects or interests you like to incorporate into your artwork?

Chuck: No, it's all just interpretation of what I see around me. I just take situations and twist them up. One thing I really like doing, that I've been doing a lot of lately, is taking really cool quotes that I'll read from writers of something, and taking their quotes and totally misinterpreting them and fucking them all up. They obviously mean one thing and I'll just take it and it says another thing to me, so that's what I'll paint. It flips people out because they'll read the quote and it's something they'll recognize and then they look at the picture and say, "I never thought of it that way." Lately, that's all my artwork is, always incorporated in the painting is quotes of something. Just because I think the image of words and pictures work really well together. I don't think a lot of artists do enough. Words and quotes are a lot more powerful that way. It's a way to make people look at something a different way. It gets the brain firing off. So many people just look at art and that's it.

Killjoy: Are there any artists that influence you?

Chuck: Vaughn Bode, really heavily. I've got a lot of Vaughn Bode drawings and paintings and stuff. Link, Basil Wolverton, I don't know. I would say Vaughn Bode is the biggest influence that I have. He is the only artist that I'll collect stuff on. I don't even know why I do that. Just because I had a chance to buy a whole bunch of his stuff and it's kind of cool having stuff he drew because he's dead now. Aside from that, I'm influenced by everything I see.

Killjoy: As for Danzig, how did you end up getting in contact with them?

Chuck: I was actually in Long Beach. The Floor Lords had just blew apart and it was 4 or 5 months after that. I was just destitute, living with my parents, and that was why I was going to Long Beach city college, I took the art course. I was also taking courses on being an electrical engineer. That worked out really well. I was totally resigned to life. I was going to save up some money and go back to Vancouver and fall into obscurity. I didn't want nothing to do with music, I was totally disgusted with the whole thing. Then, I got a call from Rick Rubin out of the blue, and I had no idea who he was. Basically, he told me what Glenn was doing, and I knew Glenn from the Misfits a little bit, and he basically told me the situation that they were on Def Jam and all this other shit. He asked, "Well, what would it take to get you to come out to New York and drum for the band?" And I just said, "An airline ticket, I guess." Which was really dumb on my part, Ishould have cut a better deal. "Well, I'll take this much a week, and I want your condo." But that was just basically what it was. He just phoned up and I talked to him for maybe an hour and he said, "Fine, I'll get you a ticket." Then I left the next day. It's like how I always fall into bands. Hey, you want to do this? Okay. I just fall into it. It was like Black Flag, when they asked me to join after I left DOA. I just got into a van the next day and drove to LA with them. I knew none of them. I didn't know what the hell was going.

Killjoy: There was a delay with the most recent Danzig album and I noticed a change on the label to Warner. What happened?

Chuck: Def American had a deal with Geffen on the first couple of albums and then Rick had a big argument with them about the Ghetto Boys. I think Geffen refused to release the Ghetto Boys and that gave Rick the option to leave Geffen and take Def American another label, which is what he did. With Geffen, I guess he had not as good a deal as what Warner gave him. I think Rick was just waiting for an excuse to get off Geffen because Geffen was a really bad company. Geffen is one of those companies that will just wait for the next big thing and them everybody in the company will jump on it. They won't push, they won't fork for anything.

Killjoy: What projects are coming up with Danzig?

Chuck: We have a new EP coming out. It has 3 studio songs and 3 or 4 live songs, and that will be coming out real soon. We'll be touring American, starting April 20th.

Killjoy: What other projects are you working on?

Chuck: I've got a solo record coming out. I'm not sure when it will be out, but I'm doing a solo record, that I'm playing pretty much everything on. That will come out under the Acme Bomb Factory label, and there's a couple other things we are going to be doing, like a comic book. So, we've got the comic book, my solo record, the spoken word thing we're doing. The whole point behind this whole venture is to get it where we can have a good catalog that is financially stable. Once that happens, we'll just bring in somebody to deal with the figures, somebody we don't know, and they can deal with running everything. We'll just make the stuff. Just to be able to get an ideea and put it out and have the means to put it out. That's it.

Killjoy: Any closing remarks for your many adoring fans out there?

Chuck: A big, wet reaspberry. Leave me alone and stop writing me at the fan club.