Random memories by Matt DeeCRACK
Hey this is Matt from DeeCracks here,
I was fighting my memory loss and tried to revisit some moments of DeeCracks’ past. There's an uncountable number of stories. Unfortunately, most of them can't be published here but maybesomeday they'll be revealed via the R-rated Striped Block. So, here we go.
...We played a guerrilla show in our hometown.
In 2007 we released our first and only full length album as the Cretins. To celebrate that we threw a big party with bands, prizes and a professional female dancer almost getting fully naked on stage...
However, to promote that event we decided to try something different. The idea was to take over the dancefloor at any event prior to ours and a ragga dub party happening there the Friday before seemed perfect.
Since we were friends with the club's staff we could get /load in that afternoon, check sound and then hide everything in the DJ booth. Shortly before midnight we returned. The place was packed well.
We ran on the dancefloor, set up between the people played 3 songs and 10 minutes later we wereout the front door again.
Needless to say, none of those people came to our show.
...We almost played a full set in Mexico City
This one's about the last 2 days of our 2015 Mexico tour in which we were scheduled to play the same venue twice in a row.
The first one was a headlining gig at a festival hosted by a local Punk rock radio station. Right after arriving at the club, way too late due to a ride that turned out to be 14 hours, I basically just wanted to get out of the van and take a piss so I asked the promoter/barowner to show me the bathroom.
He grabbed me by the arm, pulled me through the crowd and pushed me right towards the stage and yelled "Play!"; At this point of the tour I knew time tables mean nothing in Mexico so I kindly ignored that. The place was packed by the time we were going on so we were sure it'd be fun. And it was, until we were about to finish the first block of our set when I noticed the promoter yelling at us from the side of the stage. All of a sudden, the power went out and we got forced off the stage. I confronted the guy right away. He didn't give a shit and the fact that he pointed out he'd get his gun to "solve" this issue kinda made me back off.
Mormi, our tour manager took over the argument and soon after told us to get out of there.
Long story short the show the day after got cancelled due to that guy losing it at some point and apparently injured several people so the cops had to arrest him and shut down the place.
The lovely Mexico City punk community managed to put together a last minute gig for us, which turned out to be an incredibly great farewell party after all!
...we went to Tokyo
Russia and Japan- that was our thing in 2013 (besides getting kicked out of the States).
The Russian leg of the tour was amazing. People were so passionate. We simply had a great time! No complaints! On the last day the Cretin Boys (the band we toured with) threw a farewell party in Moscow with acoustic sets by both bands - the first and so far only acoustic show we've played with crowd surfing btw.
I think around 7am I went to sleep only to get up an hour or so later to go to the airport. A 10-hour flight to Tokyo was waiting for us. In my case that meant no sleep at all cause I am not able to do so on planes, trains, cars aso... and, to top that we had to go straight to the venue after the arrival...
(usually we keep the first day off when we travel abroad )
Even though we were stumbling around Koenji like a bunch of zombie chickens, somehow the excitement of being there for the first time kept us going... kinda.
Shortly before the venue opened its doors after soundcheck I caught myself falling asleep standing up leaning against the wall, Mike passed out backstage and Manu was probably outside looking for girls...
I was convinced I won't make it. Until the show started.
I've heard a lot about the Japanese scene already but what I could witness then was blowing me away.
Bands like So Cho Pistons and especially Kingons played with such an intensity, perfection, energy and fun, it was unreal. My only thought was: "How the hell are we ever gonna keep up with that?"
And all of a sudden, I was more awake than ever.
Bottom line is Japanese bands are better than any drug, coffee or whatever else your go to thing is to stay awake! Try it!
...Paul bought a bag of dried shrimps at a gas station in the middle of the Mexican desert.
We accidently recorded Attention! Deficit Disorder.
Back in 2009 we were still trying to establish our new name (we were legally forced to drop "The Cretins" in '08) so we decided to put out a new release. Our bassist Phil (Apey) decided to quit but still agreed on laying down bass. Well, actually he appears only on one song here since he seemed to have forgotten how to play our songs. In the end I recorded the bass then (fun fact).
Originally the plan was to do a 7" so we would have something new for our 2nd US trip with our friends Johnie 3 coming up that summer for which a new bass player was found in Hank (Mugwumps). Even though he's not performing on ADD, his face is on the cover and he did backings, as well as most 1-2-3-4 's (fun fact). He remained a bandmember until 2012.
The pre-recording process is always the same for us. I demo the songs at home (Garageband) send them to the guys, they learn it, we practice once or twice, that's it.
Throughout the session, which took place at a practice room with our buddy Phillip (Beat Beat) and Seppo (Boysclub), it became kinda clear that we should do something more with this than "just" a 7" but we weren't fully convinced until we got the mixes back from Marco, ex-Cretins guitarist and (since then) producer.
The original recording sounded pretty cool but a little bit too rough but when I heard the first mixes, I knew we had a record.
A favourite memory will always be the tracking of the primate sounds in the song Monkey Boy, which were all done by Mike (Chimp, Ape and Gorilla). We were setting up a mics (and Bongos maybe as well?) in the warehouse, where the practice room was located. He had no headphones so we just told him to go bananas and we cut something together. When I went out to let him know we had it I found him screaming, trying to climb a shelve and (at least in my memory) pounding his bare chest
ha ha... he really felt it then......
I think we also did the "Ratfight" in the song Ratface there (which sounds more like a horde of rabid dogs)...
So what can I say ?
2 pressings (1500 vinyl copies 1000 CDs) later it's now sold out...but rumour has it there might be reissued again....
...our Canada tour was sponsored by the Le Trou du Diable brewery and we had beers worth a thousand dollars in the van.
I recently went through my junk at home and found the setlist from my first official show back in 1996. I gotta say I don’t really collect much "memorabilia” of my musical life but this one I kept. The list contained 7(!) songs. 2 originals, 2 Ramones, 2 Screeching Weasel and 1 Richies song. I couldn't help thinking how funny it is that all these years later, not only do this bands still mean a lot to me, I'd be personally involved with them. Maybe even call some of them friends?
Ever since I saw the Ramones for the first time I was captured by their "we don't care" attitude and the raw noise of the show. They were fascinating and intimidating at the same time. They were rock stars to me .
So when we got invited by CJ Ramone to support him on his last(?) Europe tour in the summer of 2019 we immediately said No! ha ha. Of course, we didn't think about a No for one second.
Even though we opened up for him several times over the years a 4-week tour, being in the same team, is something else.
It was one of the best tours we ever had. Not only because all the shows were great but more because I got the chance to hang out with one of my teenage heroes. And find out that the Rock star is a guy like you and me... just with a ton of cool stories to tell and a legacy of inspiring millions of kids, like me.
Next on the (set)list was Screeching Weasel. A DIY band with reputation to always go against the grain and live by simple rules: Do what YOU believe is right and think with your own brain! Needless to say, I was attracted by that.
We got to meet, support or simply watch several SW projects over the years but we definitely became closest with founding member and former guitarist John "Jughead" Pierson.
When we decided to have a little 16th birthday party in Vienna (sep '19) John was one of the first we contacted.
We were already talking about doing something together some years prior, like playing BoogagaBoogadaBoogada in its entirety, but somehow that never happened, so we were thrilled that finally something worked out.
We put a set together, incl. songs by all of his bands and it was such a blast performing those with him on guitar and our friend Will DeNiro (Zatopeks) on vocals.
I really hope we can do that again someday.
Also part of our Sweet 16 fest (and last but not least on my list) was a band from Duisburg, Germany called the Richies.
At age 15 that band was a “lifesavior” to me cause at that time I thought the future of German punk would be sitting around, talking politics and listen to bands whose main goal is to spread the message that right is bad, left is good. I mean I have my own political views but my point is that music should entertain, not teach.
So, when I heard the Richies for the first time I couldn't believe they were from Germany. They sang in English, wore leather jackets and had songs about girls, summer, McDonalds and bikes.
The future was bright again.
I am honoured I can call them my friends and that they came to Vienna for the first time and played a killer show!
2019 had been a busy year. Shows in Turkey and Russia, Punk Rock Raduno and a tour in Canada with the Steve Adamyk Band are unforgettable.
But playing with my friends and heroes is definitely something I will someday tell somebody else's kids.
SOME HONORABLE MENTIONS:
...I was almost refused access to Mexico cause I refused "tipping" the border control
...I learned and "tipped" a Mexico City Airport worker so my guitar would travel back home with me.
...I got a Weasel tattoo by a ferret in New Jersey
...Manu fell off the stage in Budapest
...Mike fell off the stage in Klagenfurt
...Paul fell off the stage in Tel Aviv
...I DIDN'T fall off the stage but managed to fall flat on my face ON stage between two songs in Madrid