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LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

July 6, 2005
DDM, short for Dance Disaster Movement, is a two-piece rock/dance/electronic/noise band on Dim Mak Records. The duo once made music to inspire concert masses to get active at shows and move them hips. But since the disco-punk beast hung itself on overexposure DDM has re-evaluated their aesthetic.

Out of the blue on the afternoon of Friday, June 10th DDM's Kevin Litrow (formerly Kevin Disco) agreed to chat about the band's inspirations, a sense of appreciation for Fugazi, and the lack of scene in Long Beach, CA and across the nation.

And now, Fifteen Minutes with DDM.

---

LAS: So your name is Kevin Disco?

Litrow: What site did you read that on? Pitchfork?

LAS: No, on the Dim Mak site.

Litrow: Yeah, actually I just changed that. I put Kevin Disco [on the previous credited recordings], it was a joke actually. And it turned to backfire pretty bad. [Laughs]

When we put out that first record we barely even played any shows. So we didn't even think that we'd get to where we are at. Soo uh…yeah…it was just like, fuck it, Kevin Disco, it's just funny ya know.

LAS: What are five albums that are influential to what DDM is doing nowadays?

Litrow: When we first started the band we were really into Mice Parade. Ramda, that album we were just blown away by. That urged us to start a band in his drum beats - in that style of Adam Pierce. Lately I've been really influenced by Animal Collective. They're cool. I love Faust, their first album. Matt [Howze, DDM drummer/keyboards] is influenced by Talking Heads and stuff like that. I like Suicide and I really like Brian Eno stuff. I'm influenced a lot by his keyboard tones.

LAS: Is there a manifesto that the group has?

Litrow: When we first started the band - this was about three, four years ago - we were going to shows all the time and I was in a space rock band. A lot of the music around here was either space rock or thrash. We hated thrash, we were just bored of it.

A lot of what was going on with space rock was just people standing around and watching the bands play. There was no action or energy in the crowd. We were just like, let's start a band that's weird with loops and stuff and that makes people come dance. And it's funny because [speaks slower and louder] I never even listened to, I didn't even know what was going on in New York with this Radio 4, Rapture disco-punk scene. It just happened to be at the same time and it's just totally weird. And that kinda killed it for us after a while because we were having shows and we were like the dance, disco-punk band from the West Coast. After a while it just got overplayed and overplayed and overplayed, and we just thought this is getting really old. Now we're on this verge of let's just do what we want to do, let's not worry about being dance-y.

We seriously wrote songs to make people move with the beat. Now we're just writing songs and not caring.

LAS: Do people ask about the whole disco-punk thing a lot?

Litrow: Yeah, yeah all the time. That's why I'm telling this to you. It's a constant…right now we are just doing what we're doing. Still some of it is dance-y, some of it's soul, and some of it's industrial sounding. But it's still from our roots and noisy. It's definitely not disco-punk or anything like that.

LAS: Are there any bands or experiences that you take influence from that causes you to make the music that you do?

Litrow: I've been in bands since I was 15. One of the inspirations from the beginning was Fugazi. Because they didn't sell out, they did it for what was real, they had good lyrics, their music wasn't just hardcore: it was fucking crazy and different. They stuck to the roots the whole time - their shows were only six bucks. That was just a band that just kept me into music…They were just real.

LAS: What was your experience of identifying with them and living on the West Coast?

Litrow: Punk rock wasn't that accepted…A lot of straight-edgers were the only ones who knew who Fugazi was, and then there was a lot of skinhead stuff going on at that time. Early '90s was actually a really mean time around here. Lot of fights.

I was into skateboarding and punk rock. I liked a lot of the straight edge stuff but I didn't claim it or anything. I was into hardcore at that time but it was cool 'cause it was the real shit. You felt the unity. It's not like now; I don't even what's goin' on in hardcore shows now.

LAS: Did you feel more of a sense of solidarity between scenes back then than you do now?

Litrow: Yeah, now I don't even wanna be part of any scene, ya know. Back then there was a definite sense of unity, it was like a revolution. Bands like Fugazi made you feel that way. It was like you were all on one side, we were all here together.

LAS: Do you think there's any one reason for that [change]?

Litrow: I think music has gotten so widespread. With the internet everybody hears all kinds of music now. Then there's so much mainstream music now that just sucks and now the underground music sucks too because independent labels are becoming almost like major labels now. There's a lot of shitty music out but there's a lot of good music too and that's what has stripped up the scene. Nobody knows what's underground and what's not. Nobody knows what to be part of. You could go walk down the street and go, 'Oh, she looks cool.' And then yet she's into like the Offspring but she has a cool haircut 'cause she cuts hair. [Laughs]

With the internet and MP3s you can check out anything you want anywhere around the world. Before that, a scene could start in a city. Nirvana, for instance, and grunge that started in Seattle nobody knew what the fuck was going on until Nirvana blew up and then everybody's all, "Oh grunge in Seattle!" But with the internet, anyone around the world can figure out what's going on anywhere around the world.

LAS: Do you feel any sense of community with the other bands on Dim Mak?

Litrow: I like some of the bands on Dim Mak…All the bands seem really cool.

LAS: But there's not like a Dim Mak apartment where everybody hangs out and drinks beer?

Litrow: No, not at all. [Laughs]

LAS: What does the future for DDM look like?

Litrow: We are actually recording starting in August. We're just finishing up writing it right now. That's gonna come out on Dim Mak, full length. And we're gonna be on tour with Kill Me Tomorrow in July doing a US tour.

SEE ALSO: www.dimmak.com

--
Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other articles by Josh Zanger.

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