Sunday, February 28, 2010

Clifford Dinsmore - BL'AST! part III

Clifford with BL'AST! in 2001, photo: Fred Hammer

In classic short and sweet style, Clifford delivers more BL'AST! history and answers. Dusted Angel is going into the studio soon to record their LP, so Clifford will be back after that with more. Until then.. -Gordo DCXX

What are your favorite songs off of The Power Of Expression?

Our Explanation and Something Beyond.

By 1985, how had the California scene changed from the turn of the decade? Where did you feel that BL'AST! fit in?

It was getting more metal influenced, with the whole crossover thing. Also, the whole "gang" thing got really heavy within the scene.

Old style BL'AST! with a bleached out Clifford Dinsmore

What exactly happened with Steve leaving and Kip coming in? What was the difference between the Steve line-up, the 4-piece line up, and the Kip line-up to you? Did you have any idea Kip would end up 20 years later with Alice In Chains?

Steve decided to leave the band, and Kip had sent us a letter asking if we needed a guitar player. C.O.C knew him and gave him a good reference, so we tried him out. He wasn't in the band for long, but we played some of our best shows ever with him, and he wrote a couple of rad songs. I enjoyed all the BL'AST! line-ups. Come to think of it, I do recall Kip mumbling something under his breath, along the lines of..."some day, when I grow up, I'm going to be in a band called Alice In Chains." (ED. Note: Zing!)

There has always been some confusion as to BL'AST!'s ties with the straight edge scene. Some early lyrics have some "straight" themes, i.e. I Don't Need II, but nothing too concrete. Where did the band fit in with the growing SE scene of the later 80s, and what exactly is going on with the sound clip at the end of I Don't Need II on Power?

I was the only "straight-edger" in the band. While I was sitting around pumping iron and listening to Insted, the other dudes were shooting hard drugs into their eyeballs, penises, and labias, and drinking Bacardi 151 out of a beer bong. For that reason, we didn't really fit in with the straight edge scene. I recall that the clip at the end of I Don't Need II was that of an ice cold 16 ouncer of delightfully refreshening Ranier Ale being cracked open.

BL'AST! Santa Cruz Skateboards ad that appeared in Rip Magazine

What were some of the perks of the Santa Cruz Skate ties? What do you remember about the Roskopp photo session/poster? How did you guys fit into the skate scene of the time and how did that fit into the whole image/vibe of BL'AST?

It was rad being hooked up with Santa Cruz, and they would give us tons of shit to give away. Near riots would constantly ensue when we would throw out a new "Slasher" or Roskopp model into the crowd. I remember throwing a "Slasher" board into the audience at The Rat in Boston before Time To Think/Surf And Destroy, and when the 2 songs ended, there was still a huge dog-pile of people fighting over it! I thought the giant, meathead bouncers were going to kill us!

The Roskopp photo session was hilarious! He broke his board on the practice run, and Tim Pumarta had to drive back to NHS during rush-hour traffic to grab a couple more. Meanwhile we were standing around with all of our equipment set up in the middle of the street. BL'AST! was four skaters and a's what we and all of our friends were all about.

How did BL'AST! develop or change after Power, and how did the It's In My Blood songs develop? Did anything with the band change, or did it feel like you just kept on truckin'? Was SST exactly where you wanted to end up?

BL'AST! was always changing and getting more hectic. We were dedicated to musical expansion, and breaking the norm. During that golden era, SST was the place to, how things have changed.

BL'AST! pic stolen from Thrash Metal Magazine, 1988


Jim Pitts said...

Blast at the Front St in Santa Cruz....always a great show!
Just fearsome live!

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, but where was part III of the interview?


Thanks for the heads up, looks like that was supposed to be part III.

Anonymous said...