Tag Archives: Dan Melchior und das Menace

Interview: Tony Allman and Mat Bisaro on tour with Dan Melchior und Das Menace

Wednesday night I hit up East London to catch the brilliant Dan Melchior perform songs from his latest record, Assemblage Blues (released by Siltbreeze). Aside from a keen interest in hearing his live show, I was proud to witness it feature two musicians well-known to the Columbus scene. Mat Bisaro (Guinea Worms, Necropolis) and Tony Allman (El Jesus de Magico) were chosen by Melchior for this ten date European tour through five countries.

I caught up with Mat and Tony for a bit after the show to chat about the tour and playing with Melchior.

DW: Did either of you work on Assemblage Blues?

Tony: He sent me stuff a long time ago, probably over a year ago now and some of it he’s gonna record hopefully with us at some point for and LP on Columbus Discount. One of the songs we played on was one of those. But normally he records everything himself.. the guitar, the vocals, the drums, the bass. So eventually we’re gonna try to do live recordings in Columbus.

DW: How did the two of you get hooked up with him to do this tour?

Mat: He put out two records with Adam and BJ on CDR and ended up being in town for their barbeque last year. Continue reading

This weekend in Columbus: CDR VII

It’s that time of year again, when grilling meat, arm wrestling, and indie rock somehow end up together in awkward sentences (like this one). This weekend is the seventh annual Columbus Discount Records BBQ, where the local label shares the wealth and gives you a wealth of local/international talent to gaze upon for as free as possible. This year’s version of the tradition entails two star-studded rock shows (Friday night at The Summit and Saturday night at Carabar) as well as a multi-faceted get-together Saturday afternoon at CDR HQ (corner of Oak and Parsons, just up the street from Carabar). Highlights:

Friday night at Summit: Sets from local Uggs-rock veterans the Guinea Worms and the most-successful, longest-lasting Rock Potluck band ever, Sandwitch (featuring Ron House), are those most likely to slay. Omaha’s Yuppies will play the part of the noisy visitors from out of town, and the night will be rounded out by intergalactic party Mormons Outer Spacist and the sheer spectacle of the Unholy Two. You will probably leave this show wearing beer.

Saturday afternoon BBQ: Obviously, free PBR and grilled eats would be a highlight of any day. However, this party also includes your chance for eternal glory with an arm-wrestling tournament! The male and female brackets are both sure to be tough, but you still have a couple days to train. If all of this is not enough, local legends the Cheater Slicks will play a set in the CDR studio around 5:30.

Saturday night at Carabar: This is where the big guns come out, so hopefully you are not drunk enough or drunk enough to enjoy it. Local wonders (and musical inspirations to Beck) Times New Viking will headline and close the festivities. I am excited for another visit from the prolific globetrotter Dan Melchior, who will surely entertain with whoever might be backing him up, and a set from Harrisburg, Ohio’s favorite sons, Mike Rep and Tommy Jay, will lend some tuneful and grizzled character to the proceedings.

More information, conspiracy theories, and conjecture here.

Columbus Discount Records Celebrate Year 6 (Equality): Interview With Co-Founder Adam Smith


MP3: Piledriver Nitemare #2 by Dan Melchior und das Menace
MP3: Untitled .WAV File by Deathly Fighter
MP3: Little White Chords by Sandwitch
MP3: Don’t You Look Sideways by Bassholes
MP3: Accidental Space Tourist by Guinea Worms

One of the most foolish notions that has circulated this year is the idea that bands like Karate Coyate, Wing & Tusk, Ghost Shirt, This is My Suitcase and other indie groups exist as a reaction to the existence of Columbus art-rock, art-damage, shitgaze or whatever moniker is out there.

Bands of those types, that reflect the current climate of national indie rock have always existed. I don’t think Ryan Horns wakes up angry at Chris Lutsko.

Call it the 09 We Want Action.
Hopefully a Tiara emerges.

Just as Columbus has always had musicians that were keeping speed with the rest of the nation, it has also had a long-history of weird drop-outs that accidently have a reoccurring appearence.

Columbus Discount Records along with, but not to be confused with the local bands on the legendary Siltbreeze label, obviously would be the current crop of indigenous strange.

Columbus Discount Records is celebrating. For full itinary please check our message board.

What was your first release?

Terribly Empty Pockets – Sexy World Single. That record was like, the best record Flying Nun never put out. I still think it’s a great pop single.

What was motivation behind creating CDR?

At first we were just kind of blindly doing it, like, we knew there was a vacuum that needed to be filled and we had a lot of ideas about Columbus Punk rock as a sort of cultural history or lineage that we felt was being overlooked a lot by dudes in the city and we wanted to not let that happen. Some of that stuff was stuff we could articulate and some of it was just stuff that was intuitive to us. A solid set of ideas on what we were actually trying to pull off didn’t come till a few years ago.

These days, the manifesto is to do anything we can to keep that lineage going and to make records that teenagers and young adults can get their hands on and understand that you really don’t have to go down that right-wing type path. When we were kids, it was punk rock records from Columbus that made us realize that there was an alternative way of life to doing what the sociopaths on the right did. That’s really big underlying goal w/ each record we work on, is to put something into the world that some kid will pick up and understand that it’s a great idea to drop out. As poor people, we really don’t have the power to affect a lot of change, and I’m not allowed to just go behead the Glenn Becks of the world, so you figure out alternative ways to increase the freak power in the universe and you can really do a lot to push back through simple, unassuming things like 7” records.

Why is maintaining and nurturing a Columbus specific culture so crucial to you?

It’s important to have a local infrastructure for every kind of artist, be it a shitty rock and roll band or a painter or a graffiti artist, whatever. Keeping it local, and not really focusing on “making it” on a national level takes steps and people out of the process that make the art bad or plastic or uninspiring. I think local culture is better than big, national culture in almost every case. So it’s important to think about the Cultural History of Columbus rock and roll in a way that is accessible to younger bands so they can find the stuff and can learn from the dudes that owned their city before them. That’s why we’re always digging into the Columbus back catalog, the more stuff from the past that comes out, the better understanding everyone can get of how they fit into it. And it’s important for bands playing in Columbus, OH now to do a little homework and find out about the lineage they are a part of, even if it is only to buck it, that’s good enough. A band that has sort of tapped into that energy and is of Columbus and not just from Columbus is in a way better position to move the people they are playing to, because what is being created belongs to both the audience and the band in a more tangible way. Continue reading