I first heard Diesel Boy on the the second Fat compilation “Survival of the Fattest.” I picked up the album Cock Rock and instantly became a huge fan. I saw them at the Shelter in Detroit while they were touring for the album and met up with them before the show. Super cool guys.
For whatever reason, this interview was done via email. There are touring stories I remember hearing from them that aren’t in the interview, as well as the great story of the hidden track at the end of Venus Envy.
For what it’s worth, the bands Facebook page is still active. Maybe it’s a sign that someday, we’ll see a reunion? We can only hope.
Interview done with Diesel Dave.
Give me a history on the band. How did you guys meet, get started and all that?
We all met at a Chevron station in San Francisco. All four of us pulled up to the pumps at exactly the same time. We started talking, quickly became friends, and shortly thereafter started the band.
How long have you all been together?
How did you come up with the name Diesel Boy?
It’s a long boring story that would make all of the people reading this article put the magazine down and turn on the TV.
What were some other bands you guys were in?
Escape Goat, Shyster, Brutal Juice, Punkus Funkus, The Gun and Doll Show, Kix.
What are some of your influences?
Howard Stern, Dave Letterman, NOFX, Elmore Leonard, Green Day, Led Zeppelin.
What do you guys do besides the band?
Some of us work periodically, but for the most part, we bring rock to the kids full time.
Tell me about the recording of Cock Rock?
Making “Cock Rock” was a really good time. It was our first time in a real recording studio and our first time working with a producer. We learned a lot about making records and I think we learned a lot about being a band.
We were relatively unprepared for the task of making a record and we had to either sink or swim. And, for the most part, I think we learned to swim, but I suppose it depends on who you ask. We made the record in about 8 days at Motor Studios in San Francisco with the red-haired Ryan Greene producing. As for the story about a band member having sex on tape, this is true. But the DAT that contained this recording was subsequently lost and the offending audio never ended up on the record. The only remaining moans can be heard on the first break of “True Drew.”
Venus Envy is an excellent album. You can feel and hear the band has gotten a bit tighter since Cock Rock. Tell me about the writing, making and recording of the album.
Making a second record is a lot different than making your first. The songs that make up a first record are generally an amalgamation of the band’s best material up until that point. You sort of have your whole life to make your first record and a few months to make the second. Obviously, lots of touring and playing every night helped us grow as a band as well. And, I think we were all really happy with teh way the second record came out. The record pretty much ended up being the record we had set out to make. Recorded once again in SF at Motor Studios with the still red-haired (although freshly cut short) Ryan Greene at the helm.
By the way, whose belly is that on the back cover (Venus Envy)? Who did the art for the rest of it?
The cover is a famous painting of Venus in a half shell by Boticelli. And that’s Greg’s belly on the back cover.
How did you guys hook up with Honest Don’s?
We threatened to set up our gear and play Iron Maiden songs outside their office until they signed us.
Who writes the tunes? Where do you guys practice?
I write most of the songs and the lyrics, although everyone contributes in some way. Justin has been a songwriting maniac lately, and his songs are getting really good. We practice at the Rehearsal Zone on Airway Drive in Santa Rosa, CA. We are in studio D4 and our alarm code is 666.
Have you guys ever thought about putting together a video?
Yeah, all the time. Maybe one of these days…
Do you guys have chicks?
Do we have chicks? What kind of question is that? We’re fuckin’ Diesel Boy dude.
What are your goals as a band, what do you want to do?
Party with Pantera, date a cast member of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and appear on an episode of MTV’s “Fanatic.”
Have you ever met Drew (Barrymore)?
They shot the movie “Scream” in Santa Rosa (our home town) and through our stealth detective skills, we found out Drew’s hotel and room number. And since she was staying at the hotel under the name Daisy Blythe, we ordered 50 bucks worth of daisies and had the flowers delivered to her room along with a copy of our CD and a little note. But we never heard from her. Since then, a director friend of mine has also given her our record, so I know she’s heard the song, but we’ve never had personal contact. And whenever we play L.A., we always put her on the guest list.
So did you make your cash on the album Venus Envy? Do you guys do alright as a punk band?
We’re rolling in it. We make boatloads of money. Justin just bought a new Cessna twin engine plane, Geoff bought a small Mexican village outside of Chihuahua, and I just bought MC Hammer’s old mansion in the Oakland Hills.
Every time I see you guys live, the place goes nuts when “Titty Twister” is played. Tell me about the tune.
It’s just one of those songs that for whatever reason people seem to love. I guess everyone can relate to its subject matter in some way. Everybody’s had one of those embarrassingly drunk nights at some point in their life (except maybe all you straightedgers out there). We always joke about eliminating that song from the set list one tour just to piss people off.
Fat Mike always told us that once we had a song on the “Survival of the Fattest” comp, our draw would increase tenfold, and he was basically right. No matter where we play, or who we play with, there’s always someone that knows every word to that fucking song. God bless it.
What are some big names you’ve toured with?
Harvey Manfrenjensenton, John Sinelinden, Henry Schlessingerberg.
I’m sure you have friends in bands within the industry, any we know of?
Too many to list. Over the course of touring the past few years, we’ve ended up becoming friends, or at least playing with most of the other bands in our scene. We’re friendly with most of the bands on FAT. it’s like a big punk rock family.
So looking back on all you guys have accomplished, what’s it really like doing all of this shit? It seems like a fucking blast.
It’s been amazing. We’ve met tons of awesome people, been places we never dreamed of going and have gotten to tour and make a couple of records. We are really grateful for getting the chance to do this.
What’s in store for all of the Diesel Boy fans out there (new album)?
Well we recently got a new drummer (Geoff Lackey) and it’s been a lot of fun playing again. We can’t wait to make the new record and we can’t wait to go out on the road and play live. I think our new stuff is really good. It’s nothing tremendously different then what we have done in the past. Same Diesel Boy vibe, just a slightly different approach.
Why did Mike leave the band? What are his plans now?
You know half of all married couples in this country end up divorced. Try being married to three other people. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. And the reasons why are complicated. As far as his future plans, I’m not really sure. I’m sure whatever he chooses to do, he will be successful. He’s a smart dude.
When and what do you have planned for the next tour?
Our next record should be out in late May, and we should be all over the US and Canada come this summer. We’re also hoping to do Europe and Japan as well, so look for us out on the road. And if you come to see us, please bring us some clean socks and some bananas, Justin can’t live without ‘em.
Check out Diesel Dave’s new band – The Dirty Outs.