Dez Dare

Former Geelong native Dez Dare left for Oz about a decade ago. Now located in the UK, the former Warped member in 2021 dropped his debut solo LP, Hairline Ego Trip. With Dez pretty much operating as a sole trader, in terms of doing everything with the LPs production, the album is full of social and political commentary, and contains nine ripping post punk tracks, and was well worth the wait considering the time inbetween releases from Dare. 

You moved over to the UK, in 2010, what made you wanna leave Oz and settle overseas?

I have been back and forth a few times now. I guess I am pretty restless. This seems to be ingrained in me. I am adopted and only found out about my birth parents as I got older. They were both wandering types it seems. I first came over in the mid-90s on the usual working holiday visa. I had a record by Thee Vinyl Creatures out over here and thought I would have a crack but the band broke up before I left so… classic story. I moved in 2010 with my ex-wife as she was English and we wanted to spend more time with her family. 

We split and I stayed. I have a family over here now and a good job in the arts. We live in Brighton which is a great city, loads of music and art. Close to London and Gatwick airport for European trips. It’s alright.

Is this your first project since moving to the UK, and what made you want to make a solo LP?

First project proper. I recorded a cover of 'Annette's Got The Hits' by Redd Kross for a Record Store Day compilation I released in 2014 under the name El Grumpos. Just haven't been motivated. Stupid adult life getting in the way! Lucky, or unlucky, for the world I am very immature, finding new and creative ways of avoiding being an adult every day! 

I started this project with some mates in the US and Australia. It was meant to be a collaborative digital thing across oceans. That adult life got in the way again and I am very impatient. So, Dez Dare was born. Just me. In my spare room annoying my family and neighbours! Just the way all underground music should be created 🤘

Do you play all the instruments yourself? What was it like working solo as opposed to collaborating?

I did it all, yes. Wrote, recorded, performed and produced the videos. I am quite used to taking on most roles in a band. Every band has one and I was the control freak in most of my bands. Well, from '92-93 onwards. It's not better or worse than being in a band. It does allow me to work fast which I like, and helps be spontaneous in both the visual and musical elements. Plus I really like just making things so doing everything is fun

Do you have a band lined up when it comes to playing live?

I haven't played a show yet. With the raging pandemic ongoing I have been focusing on recording. I think the first version of Dez Dare will be an audio-visual thing. Loud guitars, noise, beats and weird shit projected over me. That's what I am thinking.

First track on the LP Dumb Dumb Dumb, you mention you have a strong distaste for nationalism (so do i)  any particular incident/moment that made you want to write that track?

I think I have always been confused by nationalism. No place is better or worse than another. Whenever I moved from Australia to the UK and Europe I would get those "why travel, Australia is the best place in the world" conversations. It makes no sense.

When in reality people are the same world over. Same biases. Same neurosis. Same zealous belief that who they are and what they believe in is the best. Which in reality is redundant, as reality is subjective. The zealots of this world cause it the most destruction. Whether it is religious, cultural, conspiratorial, capitalist… balance is needed or things break. 

Second track Conspiracy, O’ Conspiracy, was that inspired by the current pandemic?

Let me start by saying I think conspiracies are hilarious! Flat earthers! Fucking great. UFO chasers are awesome! (even though the term refers to an unidentified flying objects… no mention of space bugs or the like!). It's all good fun until someone gets hurt. When  bad actors start propagating misinformation that hurts people I get pissed off. Megalomaniacs being elected by Facebook ads. Anti-vaxxers causing deaths indirectly from the comfort of their yoga studios. Digital platforms need regulation and people need to take responsibility. 

Bullshit needs to be called!

You also wrote a song My My Medulla, and you mentioned you are Autistic and you said “the song looks at the struggle to find clarity with the ones you love”. Writing about personal issues like that, is it easy or do you have trouble being personal on record?

This is the first record where I have been this direct. I find it much easier these days to understand shit I deal with. In my teens and 20s I was a mess. I think Autism is hard for autistic people to understand so it's very hard for anyone else. The more I talk about these things with others, the better I understand it and the more awareness there is around Autism. You can feel very disconnected, nearly like you are in a different reality looking in on the world your friends and family inhabit. Not sure it came across like that in the song, and it is easier to sing about than it is to discuss in interviews. I think it is important to talk about. Awareness is always a good thing.

What else is happening in the world that would make you wanna write some lyrics and shout into a mic?

Where to start. We have covered Autism. The human condition. Nationalism. Conspiracies… I like horror, psychology, sci-fi… everything I do is kinda like if Camus wrote a book with Phillip K Dick about the state of shit right now. 

That being said, it isn't all bad. In fact the track 'Goodbye Autonomy' includes a sampled voice from the Open Speech Repository reciting Oxford sentences about day to day basic and nice things. Ending each verse with "what joy there is in living". I guess that's the juxtaposition I write about the most, and the general aesthetic of Dez Dare. To have beauty there must be ugliness. Without the shit you won't enjoy the little things.

Love the LP title 'Hairline Ego Trip' how did the name come about?

To be honest it is simply a string of words that fit in with the ideas I am working through when writing. To start with anyway, then it develops. I know the direction when I start but always leave lyrics till the end. The title came first and the rest fell inline. I guess to analyse, it is really about the fragile balance of egos that make up our societies, in the short existence of human consciousness. The world is on a hairline of a destructive ego trip. Shits messy.

It said that you built a Frankenstein’s monster in your house in terms of the home studio, you do all that yourself?

That sounds fancier than it is! My wife and I share an office in our house. My half is filled with amps, mics, guitars and weird sounding synths! I have started a campaign to move Mari's desk into the living room so I can buy more weird shit to make weirder records, it's not going well.

What memories do you have of running your label/touring company Low Transit Industries?

Man, I started LTI 22 years ago again with Simon Baird. So much time, so much fun. What I most loved doing was saying fuck you to convention. I started in DIY punk and my ethics and work hasn't really changed since I was 15. When we were told a band wouldn't sell, we worked harder to prove ourselves and prove that the band deserved the support. When we couldn't get touring companies to tour our bands, we did it ourselves. I am most proud of this even though we didn't always succeed. We did what we said we would do, give bands the support they deserved and had a great time doing it. 

I don't remember the spreadsheets, hours at the post office or chasing missing drummers across Sydney in the middle of the night anymore, just the fun we had getting people to listen to bands we loved.

What’s next?

I have started recording the new album titled 'Ulysses Trash' and getting my weird arse animated noise fest of a live show up and running! 

Standard final Q, favourite Fall LP?

Can I trade The Fall for Pere Ubu? Both experimental and influential but from different continents. I like The Fall but only started getting into them recently. Pere Ubu on the other hand, I have been a fan ever since Bored! covered 'Final Solution' on their album 'Take it Out in You' (1990). 1978's 'The Modern Dance' is the best. 'Non-Alignment Pact' is a massive art-rock-noise masterpiece! Gold!


Popular posts from this blog

Ron Peno

Munster Times: the Digital edition of Matt Ryan's Rock 'n' Roll fanzine!