Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mike Neider - BL'AST! / GUSTO


Mike Neider, the man behind the Dan Armstrong

Former BL'AST! ripper Mike Neider is always a welcome addition to DCXX, and here we get into some post BL'AST! history as well as what he's up to now with his new steamroller, GUSTO. - Gordo DCXX


What was the idea behind spelling "Blast" as "BL'AST!" - where did the name come from, why the apostrophe and exclamation mark, and what did that name signify to you?

I came up with the name around the same time we started to play or maybe even a bit sooner. Just thought it was appropriate and very suiting and it sounds real good. We were very literal almost to the point of not enjoying it as much as we should of. Haha. But believe me we enjoyed it thoroughly. The exclamation point was to make it heavier then it already is and the apostrophe between the L and A was to fill in the space a bit cuz it was kinda empty looking there. Ha. I know.

Post BL'AST you played in a few different projects, some of which maybe
never got real far and are still mysteries to interested fans. Can you give a full run down on each project other than BL'AST!, what you did in the band, and some full line-up details and info? Favorite band you ever played with (including BL'AST!)?

Ya, Post BL'AST! was always myself (vocals/guitar), Bill Torgerson (drums) and Dave Dinsmore (bass). We started out as Black Out and there were to many bands using that name so we changed it to LAB, which was Live and Burn/Life After Bl'ast!, haha. Lab was probably the most amazing time because we had a ton of fun and the tunes were out of control in a great way, we literally played 20+ hours a week. We had a ton of songs we dug and it was an amazing time. Brant Bjork joined in briefly and we also had Jerad join briefly but in the end it was always Bill, Dave and I. At the time we started getting some label interest and we were about to sign and playing out allot w/ Fu Manchu and others. I went through some lame times that made me have to stop playing for a while. Then Dave and Bill had their share of reality with there personal lives. So it was halted in a lame way, even though at the time we were ready to roll. DAMN.

Anyway we have a bunch of recordings / demos / whatever that we will release this year I believe on vinyl. Looking forward to it.

Favorite, that's like picking your favorite child. Haha. Doesn't work that way, ha. No, but liked each band for different reasons.


Mike Neider with Gusto, Photo: Ricardo Carles

The early 90s gave rise to a lot of bands in California that cited BL'AST! as a direct influence. Fu Manchu obviously comes to mind. It seems that bands like Fu Manchu, Kyuss, QOTSA, etc. borrow somewhat indirectly from the BL'AST! aesthetic: skate/Cali imagery, Dan Armstrongs, big Ludwigs, etc (especially Fu Manchu). Some of it is subtle but it is there. What do you think of this? Where did BL'AST! get it's own cues for these things? What is your relationship specifically with Scott Hill and the Fu Manchu guys over the years?

Well most of these bands that you mentioned are all friends and have been throughout the years. We all grew up with Sabbath/Flag etc...most of the same influences. Not too sure to be honest but for myself I liked doing stuff that was big and out of step w/the stream, dry and in your face as much as possible. Kinda the anti-text book, with quick attack, ha ha. Bands like Sabbath/Flag did the same thing.

I remember when Bill ordered his drums. He was a senior in high school worked his ass off and came up w/ enough dough to custom order his own set from Guitar Center/Ludwig. He ordered that huge chromo wood set that you have seen w/Bl'ast! It was radical.

Then we added our 12", 15", 18", 10" speakers w/ rack mount amps to do what we wanted to do with Bl'ast!

Mr. Scott Hill rips! The first time we met Scott I believe is at one of the first BL'AST! shows in '84? Maybe sooner or later a bit. We have been friends ever since, and all the Fu dudes rule. We have played with Fu a lot throughout the years. Scott got hooked up with Ampeg for Dan Armstrongs a while back and has hooked me up with guitars, very cool. But I am sure we will be playing more shows together. Fu Manchu is relentless.

Tell us all about GUSTO, and what's going on with the band now and what can we expect?

GUSTO is myself (guitar, vocals) Dave Dinsmore (bass) Alfredo Hernandez (drums) and the band is sounding very potent, it's kinda like our roots meet our present mentalled state, ha. In great ways. We started in 2006, due to tragedies in our families we have not gotten on a roll until now.

We have shows booked and good ones coming in the future and we are recording in 7-09 so it is looking good and we are stoked.

The tunage is very badass, like I said roots twined in some different ways and not. If your familiar w/ us you will know who it is. It is what we would like to hear and there will be a wide array tunes as time flows.

www.myspace.com/GustoJams


Gusto: Mike, Alfredo and Dave, Photo:
Alric Kaczor

13 comments:

Billy said...

The first time I heard BLAST was in Pat Dubar's room. It was a tape of what was to be "power of expression". I think I still have a test pressing.
From that point I saw just about every BLAST show south of Santa Barbara and was lucky enough to play with them too. In my experience, nothing...And I mean nothing compared to them live except the Bad Brains or Rollin's Band (right after Lifetime came out). When I die I want electrodes plugged into my brain, heart, ass and cock and have "surf and destroy" BLASTed into me. Wait...Why wait until I die? I think I'll do it now!

Billy said...

OK...I tried it. Don't put electrodes into your cock...the hole is too small.

Ruinpact said...

I assumed the apostrophe in their name came from PB B'laster, a rust penetrant spray oil.

200lbu said...

I was always under the assumption the name BL'AST! came from that Black Flag interview in Ripper fanzine where Dukowski said something like 'We like to Blast people'. He ends off the interview with something like 'Don't punch people, BLAST THEM!'. I might be a total nerd, but I always thought that was where they got the name from.

TR

scottfu said...

scott from fu manchu here. BL'AST! is one of thee heaviest things that ive ever witnessed live! saw them for the first time right before their 1st record came out. been hooked ever since. they were / are a HUGE influence on fu manchu. saw them alot as a 5 piece then once at fenders they set up as a 4 piece a i think they were even louder then they were as a 5 piece. seeing greg ginn got me wanting a clear armstrong guitar then seeing BL'AST! with the dual armstrongs forced me to get one.
BL'AST! is a top 10 band for me.
blackout = awesome
LAB = awesome
gusto = awesome
needless to say im a neider fan.
the guys in BL'AST! remain as some of the nicest people that ive ever met!
enough ass kissing. great site you have here and i agree that the antidote 7" is the best NYHC ep....

Vadim said...

Thanks to Billy for turning me on to this site: great to see a piece on Neider! I totally agree with Scott and Billy. Blast was the best live band by far. The only others that were at that level were Bad Brains, and I would say Rocket From the Crypt as well. I first saw Blast by accident in Monterey with Black Flag, which must have been 1984. Which means I was 15. (I was up there with Katon and the Hirax guys…) They blew me away right there! The funny thing is I totally remember the scene that Rollins describes in his book: watching Blast sound-check and saying that every song sounded like “Thirsty and Miserable”, which is a bit unfair. But I remember seeing him sitting in the corner and thinking “wow, that’s Henry!” Anyhow, then I got in touch with Steve and got their demo-tape, which is most of the first album, but at about half speed. After that I must have seen them every time they were in So Cal. They played in Sun Valley before the deal with Wishingwell right when school got out, and they did “School’s Out”. They also played an insanely awesome show at the Melody Dance Center in Long Beach, and I remember Clifford telling me that Mouse had all these great pics with me and Jim Burke rockin out in front. I never did see them though… I think the only time I missed a Blast show was one time when I was grounded and they were playing the Anticlub, when Clifford had horns sticking up on his head and Kip was playing 2nd guitar, but I got that video from Scott. Scott, Jim and I had a deal that if Blast was playing anywhere within a 100 mile radius, we’d go. Usually Scott was driving. Blast played in Santa Barbara/Oxnard a lot because they liked to go down the coast and surf. One time they had a show opening for Slayer at the Olympic. Scott and I went, since the Blast guys always put us on the list, saw Blast, with almost no one else there and left. Clifford told us that they were driving the famous Blast van down an alley and in his words “almost slayed Slayer.” Anyhow, those were some good times! I did see them in LA in 2001, my friend Brian dragged me out to see that (we were in the teaching cred program at UCI then). They still rocked, playing all the classics, including “Fuckin with my Head”, which they had stopped playing because it was a little too similar to a certain Flag song on “My War”. That was a cool thing to see: a number of old time regulars were there too, like Fred Hammer.

tony said...

god DAMN i fucking love BL'AST and also FU MANCHU so fucking much, all my heroes are on Double Cross it seems! Power Of Expression and In Search Of...two records in my alltime Top Ten! Bl'ast,you fuckers made me spend well over 2K for a '69 Dan Armstrong bass,it may have played like ass and was constantly in danger of being destroyed @ 9 Shox gigs but holy fuck,coolest looking gtr/bass outside of Billy Zoom's Silverjet!! all hail So Cal! andy dempz agrees!
--erba

tony said...

PS how rad is it that the guy from Fu fuckin Manchu comments here. Awesome. Scott from Fu Manchu,I agree emphatically with u on several points,RFTC melted my face every time I saw them live,they shoulda never hung it up,last tour for Camp X-Ray they were as mindblowing as ever,2 sets in one nite,loud as balls,plus "Human Torch" both sets,yowza. BTW when Fu plays Cleve next time pls skip that shithole Peabody's,we opened for y'all twice there and got shined on the dough by them assholes both times,the ol' "oh dude who pays you left for the night,come back at 1:15 on Wed". eat my dick,Mr Concert Promoter. Ahem.anyhow. Goddamn--the Rubins,Fu Manchuers,Bla'sters,this site has ALL the legends. One last thing,Scott From Fu Manchu--the Abused ep wrecks Antidote. just sayin'. THANKS you guys for all the great music and inspiration!!!

Ben Edge said...

Bl'ast! - heaviest band I've ever seen.

LAB - also great. Saw tham in '97 in Santa Barbara with Ignite and 1134.

You need a follow-up interview talking about all the pre-Bl'ast! bands (MAD, and I forget the name of the other one). Those core members of Bl'ast! had been playing music together in one form or another since '79.

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Little Neider said...

Yet Another awesome website dad,keep BL'ASTIN

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Paulie said...

If'n Mike happens to come across this, please drop a note - NIEDER RULES! - PAULIE, Boston