by James D. Bonisteel
Seeing Dink live is a great treat for all to see. They
have a great light show, they use old projection equipment and
make the most out of it. What comes out of all of it is one of
the best lighting you'll see for band of that size. But that's
not the only reason to see them; they're something you have to
see live to really appreciate it fully. They have worked with
bands like Dave Ogilvie from Ministry and Sascha from KMFDM, in
fact he helped remix "green mind" on Dink's album.
- You are from Kent right?
- Kent, Ohio yes the land of kent
- How long has the band been together?
- It will be two years the end of this month, next week
will be the anniversary of our first show, it started
out like a studio garage band. I have a MIDI
electronic-type-thing-computer-thing at the house and
to be honest with you we used smoke a lot of pot and
drink a lot of beer and makes tapes on the weekends,
but we had never sent a tape to any record company
before so like we started sending tapes to labels like
Nettwerk and like Sub-Pop and like all these
independents you know because that's who we considered
we were. And of course we all got rejected by them I
mean. I think that radio stations that play local music
are great! I mean, that's how we got signed. We had a
song called "Green Mind" and it got played on a local
Cleveland station called the END (WENZ) which is an
alternative station and it got really good response and
out of that, majors started calling us. We talked to
Island first and then we talked to some other majors
and then Capitol came.
- What made you choose Capitol over the rest?
- Our A&R guy is an Englishman named Perry Watts Russell.
He's the brother of the guy who owns 4AD. I mean, they
are good people I guess in the music industry, but he's
truly a guy who likes music and that's pretty cool.
It's not a business thing for him and then the
president of the company, Gary Kersh. We met him and
it kind of helped to make the decision
- Where did the name Dink originate from?
- Well, that was from when I was in elementary school.
It's what you would call somebody like asshole or idiot
or whatever. So yeah that's where that came from and
it's taken lots of new and beautiful meanings since
then, small penis being number two on the list.
- Where did that phrase "GO TO HELL" come from anyway?
- That's a local car salesman from Akron. It was taken
from some of his commercials on the radio.
- Who usually writes all the music in this band?
- Rob Lightbody and myself (Jer) and another guy in the
band named Shaun. Well, Shaun does all the sequence
sampling, and he builds a little skeleton to make it
look good and looks for samples gives us the tapes. We
take them home and beat them around and come up with
the guitar parts and vocals and bring it back in and
beat it around some more until we get what we want. I
mean that's usually how it works. It comes from the
other ways, too like sometimes a little guitar riffs
come first and then we build machine parts around that.
But usually Shaun brings sequences to us.
- If you were going to talk about who has been your
biggest influence in your music, who would that be?
- If you asked each of us you would probably get a
different answer. I mean we have a real diverse
variety, like Jeff, our bass player, is a big metal
- Do you ever get people thinking you're somebody like
Bon Jovi when you're riding on your tour bus?
- Yeah that's what I think about when I see tour buses.
I think it's a lot more fun on a van because you're
like five or six or seven of you in a van and you're
driving everywhere and you have to go to all these
- I'm sure it's pretty cramped though.
- Actually it is. You get to go to the weirdest places,
you get to have pit stops in the middle of the night.
I like that kind of stuff.
- Sometimes it seems like when radio stations sponsor
these shows also, I have noticed you have to sometimes
go through hell to talk to the bands.
- Well here's a perfect example. We're having problems
with our second single which is "get on it," and
they're playing it here in Salt Lake City and it's
getting sporadic air play across the US. But radio
programmers are saying that it sounds too much like
this White Zombie song "More Human Than Human." Well I
like White Zombie, I like them for who they are and I
really dig that song just because it has a slide guitar
in it. But radio with programmers, we're having a
really hard time and it's bullshit. I mean it's so
I mean, we had a fairly ok success with "Green Mind"
and in certain markets we have been getting this
attitude like we're a kiddie band. Like especially in
Chicago because it gets pushed on this radio station
that's like a top 40 slash alternative station. I mean
they try to label you it's not like that at all. We
take our music very serious. We're not no damn kiddie
- Where did all of you meet at?
- In Kent, Ohio. It is a college town, but we didn't
really know each other at school. Through school, we
kind of knew each other. We would come there go to
school then hung out. There is a really good music
scene in Kent. It's a cool, small university town with
a fairly good bar scene that allows you to play and
that's how we met.
- Who do you think has been one the best bands you have
- Well so far, Lords Of Acid was really cool because they
are a great band. They are a very interesting group of
people. They are going to come through here again I
guess. You really need to talk to their sound person,
his name is Ludo. He is truly a "lord of acid." He's
the one who does all the sequencing and does all the
production and stuff. Ruthie did the background vocals
for the record. The other guys that are in the band on
the tour really did not do anything on the album, they
were hired musicians for the tour.
- You have a really good light show who does that?
- His name is Mark Hughes. I like to call it
"interactive light." We used cheap equipment to do it,
actually our whole thing is based on cheap shit...I'm
serious. We have done everything ourselves. It's a
complete do it yourself thing. We still do the
stickers...we still do everything. We're in-between
management right now so we're doing management that's
fairly unheard of on a major label. They're kind of
edgy about it, but oh well. We bought a lot of the
lighting equipment at thrift shops. What matters, I
guess, is how well it looks. By the way mark used to
teach film at kent state so he's good.
- So where are you heading to after your big break?
- It looks like europe for most of the summer.
- So if there is anything you would like to say to all
your fans out there what would that be?
- Eat Dink, it's good for you! Well seriously, come out
and enjoy the shows. We really enjoy seeing people
having a good time and thank you very much for
© 1995 Rational Alternative Digital