been a heady few months for Minus One. After coming back together to
play at the Great American Hall for DirkFest a year ago last June, Dana
Alberts and his band mates Lliam and Mike Henry have been practicing
and recording both new music written by Dana and refreshiong some older
stuff that go back to
their skate punk days on Thrasher Magazine releases. Drummer
Hart had a health scare about one of his heart valves, and announced
his engagement to Leslie
Michael Henry is soon to marry his girl friend, also named Dana. He's
been balancing his job and a new business while maintaining his chops
on bass and surfing his long board. Dana's sister Alanna, the bands
photographer, functioned as manager and overhauled
their myspace site with fantastic results.
For one, a label started
by a stockbroker in Missouri who was a huge
fan of Minus One connected with them online and offered them a three
year recording contract.
Darron Hemann, the owner
of DC Jam Records, explains:
"I started DC-Jam Records
in 2004 as a way to self promote and
distribute my own personal music . . . .My vision was to not only sign
and help bring along and promote new artists, but to revive some of the
great punk music I grew up that was now impossible to find for
purchase. I knew that if I was out there looking for it
unsuccessfully,then there must be others doing the same as well."
On Tracking Down
"The hardest part about
this job is tracking down the bands. You would
think with the Internet and all of its capabilities that it would be
easy but unless the artist has a website or myspace page all the
Googling in the world will mostly lead to dead ends.
"Lucky for me
that Minus-one did happen to have a myspace page up. When I emailed
them I had no idea they were even back together. Its always a long
shot. I grew up an avid skater listening to Minus-One from their debut
releases on "Thrasher Skate Rock Vol 1 and fell in love with their
sound. As I stated earlier, however, I could never find a complete
album by them. As it turns out, its because they never released one.
They came close. Danny Sugerman, the famed rock music promoter and
journalist took an interest in the band after Iggy Pop,William
Burroughs recommended them on the advice of Burroughs' close associate,
James Grauerholz, a Minus One fan. It never translated into a recording
deal as was hoped.
Hemann continues. "After
emailing them and introducing myself, I
received a telephone call about two weeks later from Dana Alberts
expressing the band's interest in working with DC-Jam to put out a new
record. He told me that as luck would have it that the band just
recently got back together and started practicing and playing new gigs
again, and that they wanted to make a run at a new LP so my timing was
perfect. Win some, lose some I suppose, but I was sure glad to have won
Who's On DC-JAM
"Since 2007, my label has
grown quite a bit. DC-Jam is not only putting
out the new Minus-One material but has had recent releases by Trusty
(a Little Rock, Arkansas Hardcore band that was signed with Dischord
Records in the past), The Rudy Schwartz Project
(insane, hilarious music I first discovered when purchasing a
compilation tape on a High School Daytona Beach spring break trip
called "Passed Normal" RSP had a song on there titled "An
Nothing But a Juicy Pumpkin" which I thought was too cool), The
Heard (a funky,punky hip hop group that sent me their
demo),Legendary Skate Rock band McRad (who I
tracked down the same way I found Minus-One), and Fast Piece
of Furniture (Jeff Nelson from Minor Threat is their
show promoter Frenchie found Minus One online as well. Frenchie called
for a booking for August 3th at the Retox Lounge in San
was to open on a Sunday night in lovely desolate Dogpatch near the
monstrous developments at Mission Bay. The Retox is a tiny lounge and
the bands play downstairs. Dana said it reminded him of the Tool and
Die an early punk club in San Francisco's Mission District.
Frenchie: "The Retox
Lounge show was great, the fact that the venue was
set up like an airplane with real airplane windows and seats adding a
great vibe to the evening.... Minus one packed the place with their
enthusiastic fans and they were definitely not there to
far as any expectations I had, this band showed me what it really meant to be
a veteran on the San Francisco rock scene!
"So Long Davey
came all the way from San Diego and put on a killer show and the San
Francisco band My Last Day On Earth
brought their progressive rock into the mix with an amazing stand-up
bass performance adding to the quirkiness of their catchy new sounds."
and his band played some new tunes that may or may not make the release
of "The Kids Don't Skate Here" on DC-JAM by mid-September, in
additional to their older skater classics.. They were tight and
professional. The Retox on Sunday did not have more than thirty people
in the basement.
So far the lineup is "Nick
of Time," :The Kids Don't Skate Here," "Bored of It," "I remember
John;" and then newer material --
"Someone Must Have
Dropped You on Your Head," "Sirens
Used to it," "Blindman
and "Out of the Darkness."
Video shot at
The Retox Lounge--Minus
One's cover of the Who's "The Seeker"