Talking one last time with Double Dagger

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On the eve of the Baltimore legend's final show.

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Edan Wilber | October 20, 2011

double dagger

Double Dagger by Bruce Willen

Excited for your last NYC show at Death by Audio?
Oh what? I thought we were headlining CMJ at Madison Square Garden? DBA rules, all day, every day.

The first time i ever got to see you guys was at Floristree Space in Baltimore for the second Whartscape. I was a fan from the first song. Was that an important show for you guys or had you already been pretty established in Baltimore at that point?
We were already pretty well-established at home, but that was definitely a turning point. It was a huge audience, the entire room seemed to be… There was this manic energy. A lot of people have said that was their favorite show or like, the show that elevated us for them in their minds to something more than just another local band.

What is your least favorite occurrence at a show you've played?
One of the many times people lost teeth or bled a lot. That sucks when people get really hurt. Or the two pairs of glasses Nolen broke by being stupid.

Are you psyched for the end to come? Sad? Scared? Nervous?
Yes.

Are people telling you things that are touching you in any way since people know this is the last time they will be seeing the band?
Definitely been getting a lot of that. Online and especially at the shows, a lot of people have been saying the band has been really important, has meant a lot to them. People coming up to us to say that the band has helped them get through some hard times. That's really incredible for us. Lots of big, extended hugs from sweaty people.

What brought about the end?
We knew we were starting the trend of bands breaking up in 2011. It's part of our goal to prove contemporary music sucks. You'll miss us when we're gone.

I once heard Nolen say at a show “If your band sounds like another band…break up your band.” What band did you guys start to sound like?

Grungehammer.

What are your plans for the future?

Hoverboards, space cities, those pills you add water to and it turns into a 3-course family meal. Denny has a new band called Roomrunner. Bruce and Nolen are talking to a few folks about separate projects. Flying Segways.

Are there any final release plans?

We're in talks with Thrill Jockey about doing a 7-inch of our last few songs and a DVD. Our friend Gabe Deloach (a filmmaker from Virginia. His first movie is The Harvest) decided he wanted to travel with us for the last eight shows and is going to put together a short documentary of the last tour. It's gonna focus on the live stuff, but will also include short interviews with various people, etc. We're really psyched about his plans for it.

What are your favorite tour foods?

In Chicago we always eat at Irazu and Sultan's. Clifton Diner in Cleveland rules. The grease trucks in New Brunswick! Fat sandwiches: best post-basement-show food ever. Denny and Nolen got some currywurst on the street in Vienna, best €2 meal.

Whats good listenin' in the car these days?
Longmont Potion Castle, compadre. Volumes 1 through 8. [A compendium of really incredible prank calls.] Ima send you an interview of me WH00PIN some ass. And the new Future Islands and Kill Em All.

What are your favorite record stores, in Baltimore or otherwise? Why?
Baltimore: Celebrated Summer, True Vine, and Normal's. Permanent Records in Chicago, Easy Street Records in Seattle. Great people at each in addition to carrying good stuff.

What's the best road prank some one has pulled?
On the Baltimore Round Robin tour in '08, Bruce went up to Dan Deacon and said 'Did that kid ever find you? The one who was gonna bring that suitcase full of your stuff to you?' and Dan freaked out. Bruce said 'Yeah, he took it outside saying he was gonna bring it to you,' and Dan bolted out the door. Later he hid Bruce's bass just before we were supposed to go on, in retaliation.



We had a show in Charlottesville, VA, with Future Islands, and when they showed up, Nolen was all dressed in white, as Samuel Herring, the singer, often does when Future Islands plays. That did not go over well at all.



Bettina from Thrill Jockey came with us for a 3-day trip we did with Future Islands, and bought a 42-ounce Big Gulp guitar at 7-11. During Future Islands' set, Bruce got on stage and drank from and 'played' the guitar. That is probably the only time Gerritt Welmers (synths for Future Islands) has ever smiled on stage.

Reading anything interesting lately?


Denny's been reading Girls To The Front, about riot grrrl. Bruce is reading The Information by James Gleick. Nolen's reading We Owe You Nothing (collection of interviews from Punk Planet) and When Miners March.

The second time i saw you guys was at The 3-Day-Weekend Festival in New Brunswick. That show fucking ruled. You guys were all wearing polo shirts with popped collars and khakis. I didnt get the joke but thought it was funny anyway. What was up with that?
We just thought it would be funny because we hadn't played New Brunswick in a while and we figured it would be a lot of kids who didn't know us, and being right by Rutgers it made sense to dress that way, just to confuse the audience. “Why are these frat bros playing our punk show?”

Any more history of band costumes?
In '08 we wore these striped camouflage shirts (we had a friend cut up 4 different types of camo pattern shirts then sew them back together, so each shirt had 4 patterns on it) for a while.

At Whartscape '10 we all happened to show up in clothes referencing the military.

Several times we all wore the Maryland Black Flag shirt that Nolen designed, and too many times to count we would all show up wearing red shirts, by coincidence.

What are your favorite things in the universe?
Alcohol. Pussy. Weed. Duh.



What's your favorite record?
Bruce: Too hard to say.

Denny: Nirvana – Nevermind

Nolen: Enemymine – The Ice In Me

Any plans for reunion shows?
Isn't it a bit gauche or premature to ask that? We haven't even played our last show yet!

Will you save me a T-Shirt? Large?
Are you okay with Youth Large? We have a lot of those left.

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