INTERVIEW: Demented Are Go

DEMENTED ARE GO are one of the kings of Psychobilly. For already 30 years they entertain the world with their twisted mixture of horror punk, rockabilly and country. Recently they released their eight full length, a good opportunity to interview drummer Criss Damage about DAG and their latest record ‘Welcome Back To insanity Hall. (All Pictures by Dirk “The Pixeleye” Behlau)

OOS: “’Demented Are Go’ is going on for 30 years now. You started somewhere around 1982, went through some difficult times with personal problems, line-up changes, breakups and …. ‘Demented Are Go’ has a very turbulent and insane history. Who is in the band nowadays and how did you manage to keep ‘Demented Are Go’ running all these years?”

Criss Damage: “The line-up for the last 18 months has been Sparky, Grischa, Holger and myself (Damage). Every ‘Demented Are Go’ line-up has been dynamic and full of different personalities. This is, I think, because the guys are not only bandmembers but also fans. Most line-ups have been stable for a few years, some people have left and rejoined again then left again etc….. The current line-up is very strong at the moment and we are looking forward to playing a lot of gigs in the future”.

From left to right: Sparky (vocals), Damage (drums), Grischa (bass), Holger (guitar),

OOS: “What makes ‘Demented Are Go’ what they have become now?”

Criss Damage: “We like the music we play, we’re not perfect and we don’t want to be. We’re unpredictable on stage but we work well as a unit. We all respect each other as well and we’re always trying to improve ourselves. We also don’t have spirits on the rider anymore, which has helped our performance.”

OOS: “Recently you released ‘Welcome back to insanity Hall’, 7 years after the previous album ‘Hell billy Storm’. Why did you wait so long to bring out a new record?”

Criss Damage: “It’s a bit of a long story, the songs were basically written and recorded in demo form while Stan was still in the band, Stan wrote nearly all the music but left the band in August 2010 so the songs remained in limbo. I rejoined the band in October 2010 and we decided that we were gonna record them. We chose 12 of Stan and Sparky’s songs and added 3 covers. We rehearsed the songs over the winter of 2010/11 and went into the studio in may 2011 (I think). We also had a major catastrophe in the studio with the death of our engineer/producer/mentor Tim Buktu who died of a heart attack shortly after completing the rough mixes, this led to more delays as you can imagine. We are still devastated by Tim’s passing.”

OOS: “Sometimes psychobilly records can be monotonous and dull after a few tracks but ‘Welcome Back To Insanity Hall’ is on the contrary a very strong and divers album. Its groovy and it has swinging rock’n’roll and country tunes alternating with more furious and psycho punkrock anthems. Is it this diversity that makes ‘Welcome Back To Insanity Hall’ a good record or are there other elements that play a role in this too?”

Criss Damage: As I said we had the core of the songs already written so all we had to do as a band was arrangement and some work on dynamics. There are also several different elements at work within the band, I’m basically a punk drummer, Holger is a rockabilly guitarist and Grischa is one of the best psychobilly double bassists in the world, we all used those influences in the songs and adapt these elements into the sound. We also changed our styles to suit each song, I had to get into the country thing on ‘Gone’ while Holger had to adapt to the heavy guitar on ‘Insanity Hall’, I think we did OK, I think it sounds like a classic Demented Are Go record.”

OOS: “The Album comes with some great looking, crazy artwork who came up with the idea and is responsible for the result?”

Criss Damage: “Justin Osbourne Hell of a cover… Justin liaised with Max at the record label and came up with the goods…”

OOS: “Any special plans for the future?”

Criss Damage: “We hope to write some new material in the summer, and do some more shows around Europe. There’s also a film about Sparky in the pipeline…”

OOS: “thank you for the interview.”

Demented Are Go on the WWW

Welcome Back To Insanity Hall Review


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