Interview - Lee Dorrian
Sam: So, Spitfire
is putting out the new album, but you're switching
over to Century Media?
Lee Dorrian: "Nuclear Blast we just signed to"
Sam: Ok, Nuclear Blast (same difference)
Lee Dorrian: "Spitfire put out the last album, but that was like in license from our English label that we're not with anymore so..."
Dawn: Good decision to move on from the English label?
Lee Dorrian: "Not really...well, we were on Earache for many, many years, did like 6 albums with us. And I was involved with Earache since 1987 with my old band Napalm (Death) and stuff so... when we did our album called 'Endtyme' that was our last one for Earache. We got a new deal with this company called Dreamcatcher in the U.K. and it started off really good, and then they didn't pay us and it got alittle bit weird. So that fell through, Nuclear Blast offered us a deal and we just signed that."
Sam: Have you guys been on the road very long?
Lee Dorrian: "There's like this one, and 2 more shows left so, we started like September 3rd or 4th, that's not that long, it's like a month tour or something."
Dawn: Then you go back over?
Lee Dorrian: "Back home on Wednesday"
Dawn: Was it a bitch trying to get in here with all the visas and stuff now?
Lee Dorrian: "Not really...well, it's different than it used to be because now you actually have to go to the American embassy in London and have an interview before you get your visa. Before, somebody would just apply for it and get just it, now you actually have to go there, like first thing in the morning and wait in a cube and be interviewed and stuff. They have to see the validity of your case and that whole shit. Which is kind of weird because it's like a week before the tour, they give you the appointment and if you fail the appointment then you're fucked on the tour which you'd been organizing for the past few months. There's not much we can do, it's been a good tour though, it's cool."
Dawn: Where have you guys been?
Lee Dorrian: "We started off in Long Island and went down by Cleveland, and out to Denver and California, Texas, Florida...The tours we used to do lasted like about almost 3 months, we'd play like everywhere..."
Dawn: Now it's here with the Presidential primaries and everything, has Tony Blair gotten shit back in England? They don't do too much here, it's like very risk focused on alot of stuff...
Lee Dorrian: "Tony Blair is not really liked at all anymore due to that fact..."
Dawn: Bush said jump and he did...
Lee Dorrian: "Yeah, in a way. I think he's kind of scared because America is so powerful. The history, the allegiance with America we have obviously goes back to the 2nd world war. I think he'd rather have us be outcast in Europe, than be independent of you. Still as we know, there is no justification for that war, because they still haven't found weapons of mass destruction..."
Sam: They never will.
Lee Dorrian: "So everybody is just like, not everybody, but, you know, for a start Tony Blair is supposed to be like left wing, he's supposed to be like, Labor. And he's turned out to be more fucking right wing than any kind of right wing party that's ever existed in power.
Dawn: You don't hear about that too much over here, the media is so U.S. centered...
Lee Dorrian: "Of course, I noticed watching the news"
Sam: Unless it involves us in another country, that country's news doesn't matter, that's the attitude.
Lee Dorrian: "I've noticed alot of people really don't like Bush either up here. I don't think I've spoken to one person who's actually pro-Bush over here."
Sam: In the media polls his approval rating is through the roof, but when you talk to people on the street it's a different story.
Lee Dorrian: "Well, that's the kind of people we're going to be coming in contact with, they're not going to be like nazis...well, occasionally that's happened on tours in the states, it's been like, fucking extreme white power kids at the shows thinking that it's like...I donno. The first time we came over we played in Oregon, there was this guy, we'd just finished playing, I remember going to the back of the hall, there was this restroom was. This guy just came out and appeared, KKK in massive letters tattooed on his back. And he'd just been getting into our show, and I'm like...fuck...just made me feel quite sick. A few incidents like that... they don't even...the funny thing is, they'd be going to like Napalm Death shows and stuff like that, these Nazi skinheads. I mean not all skinheads are nazis, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that, definitely not in England anyway. But it just shows that they've got no fucking brain, if they're going to go a Napalm Death show, for the enjoyment of going to that show, do they have any idea what the lyrics are about? Good for Barney, the singer in Napalm, he confronted them every night, told them to fuck off. What they fail to realize is that skinhead identity and culture comes from fucking Africa anyways."
Lee Dorrian: "Yeah, it's the black guys that came over to England in the 60's and brought ska music over and stuff."
Sam: Are you guys going to go back into the studio after this tour?
Lee Dorrian: "Probably not until next year, we've got to write some new stuff, we haven't even started on that. We all live so far apart in England, you see, so, we all live in different cities. It costs us a fortune to get together and rehearse and we've only just signed the deal so...I guess when we get back, late October we'll start working on new stuff."
Dawn: You get the verse first and then you work from that?
Lee Dorrian: "Pretty much..."
Dawn: Or is it that it paints an image in your head and then it comes out?
Lee Dorrian: "I have ideas or think about things all the time but I don't actually sit down and write a song like that. I wait until I hear the right riff to go with the idea that I have. Sometimes I come up with the title first and build a story around the title."
Dawn: But it's very much story orientated, for me when I'd listen to it, it's like taking you on a trip somewhere, especially with The Ethereal Mirror, some of the shit on there...
Lee Dorrian: "I used to write kind of outright political lyrics in the early days. Some of the songs I still write in Cathedral do actually have some kind of political signifigance behind them, but I like to kind of not be so outright and outspoken. I like there to be some kind of mystery, I like to make a story, build pictures out of those ideas so you actually see images whilst you're listening to the music. I like to use those kind of words that build up a picture, as opposed to just being blatently political. So you could say it's almost like escapist politics in a way, which kind of contradicts the idea. We're a rock n' roll band at the end of the day, there's no big soap box for us to stand on, the main thing is the music."