SCS: Do you consider Awesome Dirtbike, a continuation of Thieving Winona / Bear Eats Fish or since itís a different lineup including a puppet, do you consider it a new band?
Jeff: To me, this project has always been it's own living, breathing creature. I wouldn't be surprised if we went through ten more line-ups and name changes. We try to have fun and keep it interesting. We have never taken it too seriously, that's sort of the purpose of the band. Many people may consider Awesome Dirtbike a joke, which is fine with us--hopefully you enjoy it, but I find that bands who take themselves too seriously are actually much more comical than drunken puppet antics.
SCS: How did the idea of the puppet show with Chester the gay biker come about?
Jeff: This is how I remember it: Michael was bored at work one day and was exposed to a surplus of arts and crafts material. He showed up at our home that night with a puppet on his arm. This prototype puppet was dubbed "Roger." Roger starred in one performance at Duffy's, appearing once during the song Foxhole to add some falsetto vocals. He was puppeteered by Madison Vetter while hiding behind a cardboard box. Later that year, the band was hanging around and drinking. I brought up that we had developed a healthy pile of green in the band fund, and asked them what we should do with it. "Puppets!" Amos shouted with a raised fist. Everyone seemed to agree, and we asked Madison to step in full time as puppeteer. Chester's personality was pretty-much left up to Madison. I should point out that Chester's sexual preference is unknown, but his gay-biker look is actually what landed him his role in the band.
SCS: If people come to see you live, what should they expect?
Jeff: Unfortunately, Awesome Dirtbike suffers the same problem as Andy Kauffman. What I mean
is, sometimes our antics are employed to entertain ourselves more than the audience. We
cooked corndogs on stage once and fed our audience. Only a couple of people seemed
entertained, but we laughed our asses off. We try our hardest to make every set unique,
its too bad we can't write a new batch of songs for every show. One criticism we've
often heard is that the puppets distract from the music. Hopefully the audience can get
the best of both worlds. We all put our blood, sweat, and beers into our performances,
so you can also expect some pure, honest, raw, and artful rock & roll.
SCS: I know at one point, going back a few years now, you had started recording your 2nd CD, whatís become of that, and can we expect to see anything anytime soon?
Jeff: That recording was good, but it was done during a transitional period of the band. Matt
was playing guitars, and I was playing drums. It was also recorded by someone who
probably burned the tape. It is safe to say that nothing will come of those sessions.
Our next recording will be done by Fancy Productions at the Jellybean Ranch and will
feature Amos on drums and Fancy on guitar. We have begun work on the songs for the
album, and it is either going to be called "I Have Fingers" or "Change Me Mommy, I
pooped my soul"
SCS: How is the band different with Michael Fancy on guitar as opposed to Matt, and has it changed the bandís direction any?
Jeff: Matt, who left to focus on school and his films, is dearly missed, and we still play a
couple of his songs. Michael and I have been working together musically since the dawn of time, so the songwriting goes quite smoothly. I do miss the Brady-Matt songwriting magic though. The only other real difference is that Matt had the tendency to put his foot down on ideas that were too silly, Michael enjoys silliness as much or more than the rest of us. It's also god to be working with Michael again since he kicked me out of his band after 12 years of unconditional loyalty.
SCS: Do you have a favorite song of yours to play live?
Jeff: I think everyone in the band has a different favorite song to play. right now I think
Musket Ball and Contrra Punto are high on everyone's list of favorite stage
songs--probably because they are the newest.
SCS: Are there any you donít like playing anymore?
Jeff: Not really. Brady and I have been playing a couple of our songs for three years, and it
can get old, but that's what beer is for.
SCS: Most embarrassing moment in a live show?
Jeff: We played a show at some sports bar at the west end of town (playmakers, perhaps) and
the entire show was an embarrassment. Our equipment was malfunctioning, we were all
forgetting the songs, and it was my first show with my cape--kind of awkward. Other
than that show, we are usually having too much fun to worry about anything like that.
SCS: Have you learned anything in your experiences in a band that you feel newer local bands could learn from, or made any mistakes they should avoid?
Jeff: Don't be douche-bags and insist on playing at certain times, and don't hog stage time.
We have run into so many bands that demand to go first or last or in-between, as well as
bands who play too long and leave the last band with a shortened set. It's important to
be flexible and accommodating with the venues and bands. No one likes a Prima Donna.
SCS: Who are some local bands or musicians that you admire or feel should be recognized?
Jeff: The Government. The Gov't seems very underrated to me. Don't get me wrong, they
always draw a good crowd, but I'm surprised that more people haven't seen what I see in
them. Their music defies time and space. They dabble in blues, country, metal, and
folk and still manage to rock my pants off. They always put on one HELL of a show.
Amos Joseph. I am lucky enough to have this man in my band. Amos has played bass,
guitar, and drums in several bands including Minutia Stew, Suzy Dreamer & Her
Nightmares, The Hot Carls, Sad Old Lady, and Bear Eats Fish. He is a hard worker and a
Tery Daly. Tery has been lending his guitar, bass, drumming, and signing talents to
several bands around Lincoln for a long time (The Static Octopus, The Atomic Pigs. The Honey Hush, Suzy
Dreamer & Her Nightmares, and The Master 8000). I don't know if people know how much
work goes into maintaining this website, organizing scenefest, etc, etc, etc. That
definitely warrants some recognition.
SCS: Ahh, thank you sir! What single song, in the entire history of music, do you most wish you'd written?
Jeff: PinkFloyd's "Atom Heart Mother Father's Shout Breast Milky Mother Fore FunkyDung."
(Yes, that is one single song)
SCS: Who do you think is the most underrated artist in the music industry?
Jeff: Post-Pixies Frank Black or pre-Polyphonic Spree's Tim DeLaughter
SCS: What can we look forward to in the next year from the band?
Jeff: More Shows, more songs, and a full-length album. You can also look forward to Michael
Fancy (of Minutia Stew, Awesome Dirtbike, Hedwig & The Angry Inch) getting himself and
his new band back on stage! His new material is DELICIOUS!
SCS: Awesome, I look forward to hearing the new songs and seeing what other wackiness you've got in store for your audiences!
- Tery Daly