This "5 and Dime" interview was conducted via e-mail with MC5 bass guitarist Michael Davis on June 14, 2005.
The legendary Detroit rock band, the MC5, have reformed with three of the original five members. This reformed band is called DKT-MC5. Introduce the band members, and for those readers not familiar with the original band, tell me about the band's musical direction.
A big question. DKT-MC5 consists of original MC5 members Wayne Kramer(guitar), Michael Davis(bass), and Dennis Thompson(drummer). The other original members, Fred Smiith(guitar), and Rob Tyner(singer) are deceased. In their absense, we have used several different performers/artists to fill their shoes. I'll list them; Lemmy, Mark Arm, Marshall Crenshaw, Nicke Andersen, Dave Vanian, Ian Astbury, Lisa Kukaula, Deniz Tek, Evan Dando, Handsome Dick Manitoba, and Gilby Clarke. Plus various people have appeared at live shows, and taken the stage spontaneously. Peter Wolf, Roy Looney, and I may be forgetting some, sorry. All I need to say about the MC5, the original group, is that we were well ahead of our time, and maybe the most appropriate descriptive term would be, "experimental/ suicidal."
Tell me about your band's current DVD, "Sonic Revolution-A Celebration of the MC5." Where can buy it? Also, are there any plans to write and record new material?
"Sonic Revolution-A Celebration of the MC5" is a documentary, although I really hate using that word, of the 2003 gig at The 100 Cub in London, when we were invited to play a one-off performance tribute to our own band. It coincided with a line of Levi's fashions that more or less captured the style of the MC5 and the era. This DVD also contains some remarkable super-8 footage of the MC5's early days in the Cass Corridor in Detroit, as well as commentary by the band, and interviews, and the original "Kick Out The Jams" film from the Grande Ballroom. You can get it at www.svengirly.com/store.
As to writing and recording a new record, I don't give it much of a chance. We're really far apart on all counts. The drummer still lives in Michigan, while Wayne and I live in Los Angeles. That wouldn't normally stop a determined plan, but in our case, the basics just aren't there. In other words, we are of different perspectives.
Tell me about your band's touring plans in the United States for the Summer and Fall of 2005.
The touring plans are rather vague as well. We leave for Berlin day after tomorrow, and play a festival or two in the UK. Then in July, we play a festival in Finland, and after that we'll play an event in Central Park, NYC, and Brooklyn, NY. I don't have any other firm information to give you. I'd like to say we're gearing up for a lot more, but that's all I know of happening at the moment. Keep checking www.dkt-mc5.com for up to date tour dates.
What else does DKT-MC5 have in store for its fans in the next 12 months?
I don't know. I was surprised at the attention at first. We played 33 cities in the US to sold out houses the summer of 2004. A full scale tour of Australia, New Zealand, and 2 festivals in Japan. After that, we toured extensively in Europe, and the UK, and Scandinavia. The audiences were ecstatic, the reviews were glowing, and yet, at this time, I'm really wondering if the carriage isn't looking a bit pumpkinish. I think we're at a critical crossroad right now. If we can work it out, DKT could go on and produce something to shake up the music world. On the other hand, a quick look at the history of us, and you might want to cash in your chips.
Feel free to promote your website, merchandise, or anything else you'd like that applies to your band.
I have several thumpers going on at the moment. So, whether DKT pulls it together isn't going to spell personal doom. Svengirly Music is currently promoting a great L.A. motorcycle-rock monster- AA Nitro Methane fueled outfit called The Lords Of Altamont. In addition, I am collaborating with Australia's "Hard Ons". I have a project going with a great Detroit band called Grinder, featuring Detroit Redwings hockey star, Darren McCarty as the singer. Oh yes, and one more -- Destroy All Monsters is about to receive a jolt of Dr. F's amperage and come to life in an all-new, horrendeous form.
Svengirly Music (www.svengirly.com) is primarily an artist management and music merchandise company for many cool, esoteric groups past and present. Of course. we sport an official line of MC5 merch as well as CDs and DVDs and collectibles. The new Svengirly Store offers the highest quality in all creation, no shit! I'm proud of the way things are shaping up, and all the credit goes to Angela, svengirly of heavenly health, and her angelic accomplices. I'm feeling pretty good these days, and if there's one thing I've learned from all this madness. it's don't count anything in, and don't count anything out.
Last December, ex-Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell was shot to death onstage as he performed with his new band Damageplan. Please comment on this tragedy, or share a personal memory/story about Dime.
About Dimebag Darrell: What? This is a scary world. Christ was slain by whom? Kennedy was assassinated because why? Once, in the MC5, we attempted a fake assassination of Rob Tyner, our singer. The starting pistol misfired. This was a blessing. How could we presume to make fools of people with such a traumatic event? Whenever you stand up in front, you risk being shot. Yet, what if no one was willing to stand up in front? That's an even scarier world. My wife's 85 year old grandmother lives a mile from where Dime was taken from us. She was affected by the loss even though she had never heard of Dimebag Darrell or of Pantera before that night. She mentions it every time we talk to her. She sums it up best -- "What a shame that was."