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Dust Eater Dogs


The three brothers Majabacka are back with a new album entitled Oil. Their greasy rock self-described as hard rock 'n roll is just like oil. Oil can be used in many ways. Dust Eater Dogs likewise can have different faces. The Dust Eater Dogs sometimes bark like a dogs with rabies, and in other cases their rock is more gentle and kind with influences from country and folk music. Undoubtedly this is the outcome of the personalities of these Finnish brothers. Longtime friend and guitarist "houndlike" Harry assisted them on Oil. Singer and guitarist "barkin'" Benny speaks out.


Discography: Thunderleg EP (1997), Motor (1998), King Kong Fist (single; 2000), Oil (2001). Available through: Dust Eater Dogs. Official website: Dust Eater Dogs.  Interview by: mpo. Date: November 27- December 12th 2001.


This year Dust Eater Dogs released it's long awaited second full length album Oil. What do you think of it?

Well, at this point when the promotion is not yet over I should be saying it's the best album ever. But to be honest, I think it's alright. It is the best rock 'n roll album out of Finland I've heard, and song-wise it's really strong, and in some ways it's genius. Well, it's my own work so I'm not sure how much credibility there is in my words, but in many ways I'm satisfied with it.

There are problems though. When we wrote material for Oil, we were mainly playing as a three piece (without Harry). And before the recordings we had hardly any gigs, so how it went was that we rehearsed the songs and recorded them without trying them live. In live situations you'll find out what works and what doesn't, and the songs mould into the band with better groove. So many of the songs were still bit raw when we recorded them.

Have you heard us live? If you have, you know that sometimes the energy is just superb. So far we haven't been able to capture the live energy and groove and power in studio. We hope to do it next time.

I'm satisfied with a certain rawness in Oil. I dislike overproduced rock 'n roll. Rock 'n roll should be dirty etc. We did it live in studio mainly, with vocal and solo overdubs.

You said that in live situation you'll find out what works and what not. Since the recording of Oil I'm sure you've done the songs live. What kind of difference would be prominent if you would record Oil right now? Is it only the sound, trying to get a live rawness to it? Or also song structures or whatever?

The changes in the songs are not really big. Just minor things, but the biggest thing is just when you play the song a lot, you somehow grow into it and the groove just seems to come more naturally. Those things are quite weird; you can record five versions of a song in the studio and you don't hear much difference, but still one version is better than the other. We haven't done all the songs live at all. Brothers New Life is one of those, and Ballad From Gravel Road. We've done them only once. It works well live, but the thing is because some of the new songs are so heavy, they just wouldn't fit in the big picture.

Oil was supposedly to be a cover album. From all the covers only one song was put on the album. What happened?

Yep. After recording Motor, we wanted to do a cover EP. In the early stage of the band we played many covers. The covers were our favorites from childhood up to date. We tried and thought of some Stryper, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Allies, Omar & Howlers, Cinderella etc. Alongside the process we came up with many rock 'n roll roots songs of our own and some ended up at the album. At that certain stage we had so many songs of our own that we decided to make a full length with our own songs. We also included some earlier songs that didn't fit in with the former album. So that's the story of it. We have stacks of different kinds of songs waiting for the right  moment. Our creativity seems to be endless. At the moment I counted good track listing for two or three albums. So you will definitely hear from us in the future.

When I checked the CD booklet I noticed the songs on Oil were written in the period 1996-2000. Why did you decide to add the actual dates to the songs?

The previous question hopefully answered that. One reason was also, that I was going through some extremely hard times in my personal life during 1998-2000, so many of the songs were written between that time, and you can see the process that doesn't seem to get anywhere. Or does it?

The dates also display the fact that good songs are not limited in time, they don't grow old fashioned, and that we've always been aware of our roots which are deep into country, folk etc. Think of some of today's neo-metal shit. It's only production that makes them sound good. The songs can't be played with acoustic guitar unlike Black Sabbaths Paranoid. That's what we want to do, timeless good rock.

One of the older songs is Motor, but a newer version of it. The single King Kong Fist contained two other versions of that song. Can't get enough of it, eh?

Heh, we just didn't succeed recording it. I think the version on Oil also sucks, though it's bit better.

Oil also contains a thirty second bonus track that sounds like pre-Motor material. What's the name of this song and can you tell where it fits in Dust Eater Dogs history exactly?

Well, here we have the screw up of this round. You always have to have one. The producer is to blame. The song is called Pepperpot and it was recorded in our basement in 1996. We sent the producer the whole story on a minidisk, and it was lot of fun. There we try to play the song and it just doesn't work. I get really angry and tell the dudes to do it one more time because I don't wanna scream anymore 'cause it gives me a headache. Harry starts to hum the riff and the band joins in. There's a small argument in the end.

But!Alas! That poor wretched producer cut off all the fun stuff and only put that little piece on the Oil CD, even though we asked him to put the whole lot. Damn. Anyway, the producer is cool. I like him a lot.

Another Dust Eater Dogs song was featured on the compilation album BLAM, the Sitruunamaailma sampler. Title of this track is Sex Belongs To Marriage. I was wondering from what recording session it comes as I expected it to be one of the songs on Oil, but it isn't...

Nope, it is that notorious song from Motor sessions which was censored of the album. So it was recorded back in 1998.

Censored? I don't see why it should be censored. What's wrong with it?

Well, the Day-Glo dudes thought that because Motor had so many strong religious themes and opinions, they didn't wanna take risk of annoying critics with such a strong statement as Sex Belongs To Marriage. Well, I understand the point, if you're a commercial label, but being a punk label of some sort you really shouldn't be that cowardly. I believe that it is that kind of strong opinions that draw the interest in the first place. But anyway, the song wasn't musically very well.

So, they were scared and didn't want to stand out as label with strong views.

Oil was released by T.O.Y.S. Records. What kind of company is this?

Take Off Your Shoes is a small indie label, which puts out dirty rock 'n roll mainly. Not any big hits. Bands like Icon clan, No Mans Band etc. I have a good friend working for EMI. I showed him OIL and he was impressed. He told me to promise to stay indie and avoid the majors, to keep our originality. Heh, no problem with our attitude.

Dust Eater Dogs exists for quite some years now. Besides playing in the band, are there things that you like doing?

DED is just hobby alongside all other stuff. I graduated from Arts Academy and I'm looking for a full time job, Daniel and Markus work for Hansaprint, Christer studies and works. Nordblom studies theology at the moment, Python Sallinen is studying Hairdressing, Sebu works for Radio Extrem, Timi sells insurances and has his booking agency and Clay Records. Timi is our new road manager. He's a clown, good fun. Markus is getting married in January.

Me, Dan and Markus also work for Turku Homechurch (J-blast goes there as well, as well as half of Minus SF, Taken for Granted, Mordecai etc.). Harry is the second pastor nowadays. He also has a new band. I'm a worship leader, Markus is in the elders, Dani is leading the prayer team.

Then we have this Mass of Power and Peace project, which is a power pop/stoner mass sung in Finnish, featuring Harry on lead vocals. The album is already recorded. We've been doing shows with it, it's kind of a rock-service. There are a lot of things.

You, Daniel, Markus and Harry are in the band officially. Nordblom is your sound engineer, Sebu your manager and Python does light engineering. But who the heck is Christer in the Dust Eater Doghouse?

Canine Christer is the new guitarist. Harry has finally left the band. Check out the picture in Doghouse (Dust Eater Dogs website, mpo). Christer fits in the family great and has brought us new energy.

After a long search I found that news bit on the Dust Eater Dogs site. Why has Harry left the band after all?

Harry left the band after some years of hesitation. Now being  a pastor in Homechurch and having a family, he just didn't have time to commit himself to the band any longer. He also grew a little bit apart music-wise. But as I mentioned, we're still in close relations with him through many things.

The funny thing is, that Harry was never meant to be an actual band member. Back in 1996 when we started DED and were looking for a guitarist, Harry came in to fill the spot before we could find a permanent member. It took us five years.

And Canine Christer, can you tell where he comes from? Has he been playing in other bands and how did you come across this guy?

I don't know too much of the background of Christer, but how he was found, was through a project band in which Daniel and Markus played. The group was called Homepopes, and Christer was the other guitarist. (J-blast did vocals for the group). So the decision was quite obvious, when it came to choose a new member. And me and the boys had been talking about a new guitarist for some years already, though Harry was still in the group.

Oil was recorded more than a year ago. How's the band currently doing? Are you planning live shows and new recordings?

Last weekend we had our first shows with Canine Christer. Some people told us it was better than before. Well, the new stuff is heavy as heavy can be :) We're feeling great and full of enthusiasm. If our new manager does his job well, only the sky is the limit. We know that we're the best whenever we feel like it. Very often we only feel like tired old men.

A remix album should be out soon for the song Thunderleg. Also a reprint for Motor and Oil (possibly a double album) should be there as well. After Christmas we start to record demos for the new album. Hopefully we'll get down to recording it next Summer.

The remix of the song Thunderleg, is that the long awaited remix by Jimi Tenor that got messed up? So, sort of a remixed remix of Thunderleg?

Yep, that should be coming. But no big names have been confirmed so far, so there's no need to make big noise about it yet.

Okay, and the new stuff? You said it's heavy as heavy can be. What musical direction are you heading since Oil?

Musically we call the direction Heavy Rock. There are some influences of thrash metal, and more of hardcore. Still, it sounds like DED and while talking about heaviness, this is according my point of view what is heavy. For instance, I don't see this black metal or neo metal stuff as heavy, but for instance some Bruce Springsteen can be really heavy at times...

Sky is the limit, but when it comes down to touring Europe, what can be expected? The band Icon Clan (also on TOYS Records) toured Poland & Germany this year. Is that also an option for Dust Eater Dogs?

Yes. Actually, Warner Music has been interested in DED. If that happens, we have to reconsider everything again.

Speaking about avoiding the majors...

Yeah, this is how it goes. As long as a group is indie, they are proud of it, but whenever there is possibility to get into a Major label, they change their opinions. Well, I'd personally stay indie if there was enough resources, but the financial side is always the problem. Three things are needed for major attention: Good music, good management and a big label. We only lack the last.

Anyway, are you actively seeking tour possibilities in Europe regardless of label developments?

At the moment I think that we won't be able to tour Europe before summer, there are many things to take care of in Finland first. But we will certainly come to it, sooner or later...