yes. they are the dudes who sing ‘boyz-n-the hood. read on and get the poop on dynamite hack…
You know what happens when you talk a lot and you get someone on the phone that talks a lot? A great interview. It also means that I have to do a hell of a lot of typing. And that is the only downside to shooting the breeze with a cool guy like Mark Morrison of Dynamite Hack. Continue through the whole interview to find out things you may have never known, or wish you didn’t know, about this band. It’s full of laughs; hopefully you get the jokes. I laughed like an idiot for almost an hour. Don’t miss their gangster side and infatuation with Kate Moss.
How are you doing?
I’m pretty tired, but besides that, everything is in tiptop shape.
Tired from traveling?
Well, actually we’ve had a few days off, so I’m actually just trying to catch up on my sleep. I am learning on tour how little sleep your body can actually function on.
I was on ‘dynamitehack.com’. Is that your official site?
Yeah. I don’t get a chance to go on there very often, but when I do, it’s to make sure it’s updated and stuff. It’s not something that I can actually get involved with because of lack of time.
The one thing I liked is that the site is really lighthearted. It doesn’t have all these shameless bios and animation.
We promised ourselves if we ever do that, we’ll break up. Serious it’s something we can’t do.
Those pictures of you are funny where you are ‘pillowhead’.
(laughs) That was my character I had like four or five years ago. I had this really big body pillow and I’d stuff it behind my head so I could lay down anywhere I wanted to.
That picture of your manager.
I noticed you have a lot of nicknames for him, but seriously he looks like Goldberg from wrestling.
(laughs) Oh man, I never heard that. That is funny. His picture is on everything we do. It is hilarious.
(laughs) That is funny. I also thought it was cool that the lyrics were on the site.
Yeah. I do hear that people are mad that we can’t put “Boyz-N-The Hood” up there.
I know. I read the Sony lawsuit statement. That thing was hilarious. But how in the hell did the Beatles’ song “Blackbird” get involved?
The cease and desist thing?
That was pretty cool. We were proud of that. The people who maintain the Beatles catalog are trying to sue us.
I know Eazy-E didn’t sample it, so did you guys copy the arrangement or something?
The original version uses a pretty straight rip-off of “Blackbird” in it. The lyrics are the same, but the melody is different. It was exactly like “Blackbird” and purposely so, so we got that letter from Sony and we had to go back and change it to what it is now. It used to be exactly like it.
So you must have been listening to NWA and Eazy-E back in the day then?
Hell, yeah. Eazy-E’s album, Eazy Duz It, is amazing.
It’s a classic.
I know. Me and my friends used to drive to and from school listening to nothing but that album for like three or four months. I still know like every lyric.
I loved the NWA album, Straight Outta Compton, too. That thing is a classic.
I loved them too.
I had the cassettes. So the nasty thing about MP3’s and Napster is that I ended up downloading them instead of buying them, so I see why Dr. Dre and Metallica are so pissed off. I mean, they have a right, but I was downloading songs I never heard of, like some Eazy-E Christmas song and some other tracks I’ve never knew existed from Eazy.
It is hilarious.
Maybe I should go take a look.
Yeah. I love Eazy. That is why when I saw you guys did a cover of “Boyz-N-The Hood”, I was like ‘No way!’. What made you think you could even do it that way?
Chad had written this punk song, and he had most of the lyrics except for this little section of it, so he just started singing the Ice Cube song “Good Day” and he came up with this idea to do a punk song with rap lyrics. And this was probably like in ’94 or ’95. Then I came up with this little guitar part and started singing “Boyz-N-The Hood”. Chad came running in the room and was like, ‘What the hell is that you are playing?’ and I told him I was just doing the same thing he was. He was like, ‘That is awesome! You have to keep it.’ I wanted to change it to a song about this girl that left me and he told me I couldn’t change it or it would be shuffled away with every song written about a girl.
I thought before I heard it that there was no way it was going to work. But when i finally heard it I was like, ‘Damn, that is good’. I thought the original was just way too hardcore to work.
(laughs) I’m still kind of surprised it worked as good as it does.
So were like Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and the rest cool with it? I mean, they get money from the publishing.
I heard MC Ren is mad. We’ve heard Dre likes the song and Cube heard it. Ren seems to think the original was like some bombastic jet plane and this is some prop plane. It’s his right to have his own opinion. It’s upsetting because I want them all to like it.
Speaking of celebrities and songs, have you heard if Kate Moss has heard the song “Dear Kate”?
(laughs) I’m kind of waiting to hear if she heard it, but there is a real negative line in there that Chad wrote, “They all say you’re flat, they all say your face looks like Eric Stoltz in Mask.’
(we both begin to laugh hysterically)
Oh man, that is wrong.
I know, but I didn’t write that line. All the lines I wrote were about loving her and how I dream of her, and then I needed one line and Chad said how about this line. I thought it was funny so I had to use it, but I hope if she hears it she knows that, she’ll understand that I didn’t write that. But I heard you could just give her some blow and she’ll just do you all night long.
(laughing so hard I almost begin to cry) Oh man! That is so wrong.
(laughs) Oh, I don’t think I should have said that. I don’t know how reliable my source is.
You went the hard way by writing a song.
(laughs) Yeah. You have to put in the hard work. Buying blow is the easy way out.
Yeah, instead of spending money on her, you earn money.
I never thought of it that way, but you are right. (laughs)
Okay, shifting gears. What did you grow up listening to?
There were two different schools. On one side I was listening to Richard Marx. At that time, I was hanging out with my sister a lot. She is three years younger than me and she liked all this pretty piano stuff. My favorite band was U2, Depeche Mode, and The Cure, and then my sister’s influences, I’d gotten into like Richard Marx and Air Supply. Then when I was around my friends, we’d listen to gangster rap. The only thing I never listened to was country.
It’s cool seeing all the people that grew up around my same age with the same exact influences as me. I dug U2 and also at the same time was into Public Enemy and Eazy-E. But it could be worse. We could have been born ten years later and would have to explain that our favorite groups were the Backstreet Boys and Limp Bizkit.
I don’t know what the mix of Backstreet Boys and Korn will sound like.
Me either. Diane Warren is going to define what the next ten years will bring. She’s writing pristine pop for everyone from Aerosmith to Christina Aguilera.
I know. Actually, the funny thing is that I heard Aerosmith just recorded in a total pop studio where LFO and Joey McIntyre recorded their albums.
Really? Man. (laughs) Oh, no. I think that means there will be a whole bunch of “I Don’t Want To Close My Eyes”.
Did you watch the Oscar De La Hoya fight?
Diane Warren wrote a song that he sang.
That he sang?
(laughs hysterically) Are you kidding me?
I swear to you. It’s true.
Oh my God. (laughs)
I couldn’t believe it when they said Diane Warren wrote it. What can’t she do?
You’ve got to be kidding me.
I have to get a copy of that. I have to. What kind of song is it?
Like a ballad.
Well, did I even have to ask? I guess that is all she does.
She is the ballad-writing machine.
She must just churn them out.
She is the Burt Bacharach of our time.
She must be just insanely rich. I bet she is just laughing at her own wealth. (laughs) Burt Bacharach. That guy is a true talent. There are so many good songs.
He just sits down and writes. A lot of artists are like, ‘The song just hit me.’ Not that guy. He just sits there and makes them happen.
(laughs) I know. Diane Warren and Burt Bacharach were standing first in line when God was handing out songwriting skills. I was downstairs getting good hair. (laughs)
(laughs) Okay, enough of that. I probably should let everyone know a little about Dynamite Hack. How and when did you guys get together?
The band has been together since 1997. Chad and I have been writing songs and living together since ’94. We wrote separately, but got feedback from each other on songs. I think “Boys-N-The Hood” was written in like late ’95 or ’96. Most songs were written in ’96. The band kind of formed. I was writing songs trying to impress Chad and he’d write trying to impress me or whoever. A friend was having a cd release party in Houston and asked us if we wanted to play and we said ‘Okay,’ so we formed a band. Chad played bass, and he never played it before. We had our other roommate, John, play drums. He never played them before. And we had like a month to do it. We practiced every day for a month and played the gig. That was in like ’97. All of the sudden we got a gig at this one place. It was the diviest punk bar and it smelled like urine every day. It was an old strip club and every mirror was broken. We were like the house band there. Every time a band would cancel, they’d call us at like 7pm and ask if we could be there and play by 9:30pm. We did that for like two years and finally another place would give us a gig.
How did you get signed from playing such a crappy place all the time?
Well, that was totally different. We kind of put up the money to record the album and a friend of ours heard it. He was a jock on 101x and wanted to put it on the air. We told him no one would like it, but he told us it would do good. I think it’s a pretty emotional track because a lot of people hate it because they think it’s blasphemous to Eazy-E and a lot of people like it. Dallas took it and it was number one phones for like three straight months. I can’t even begin to grasp that. Then the labels came calling saying ‘We can do this’ and ‘We can do that’ blah blah blah blah. (laughs)
Was it the same record or did you have to go back and do it over?
No, it’s the same record. We just re-mixed it. It’s funny because we get reviews that say it’s over-produced crap, but we made it for so little money, so I guess it’s really a compliment. It was so under funded. (laughs)
How has the tour been?
It’s been good. Never in my wildest dreams did I think any of this would happen, so I’m happy.
Are any of you married or are you able to enjoy the fruits of touring?
(laughs) We are all enjoying the fruits of touring, although most of our fans are like fourteen-year-old girls.
Really? So you have to check IDs.
They are cute and I like to look, but
The worst thing is that they look like they are twenty.
I know. Fuck, it’s insane. I’m like, ‘That girl has got to be twenty-one,’ and she is like fifteen.
You have to get your manager to check ID.
We have to get a copy of the age of consent law for every state.
I heard there is this website where they have every age of consent on it for every state.
No way! Dude, you’ve got to give it to me.
I don’t have it. It was on Howard Stern one morning. He was interviewing a band and they were talking about it.
I need to know. Damn. I need to get a hold of that. (laughs) God, I’ve got to find that because the situation has presented itself.
They were talking about some state where it’s like fourteen. I was like ‘What the hell?’.
It is seventeen in Texas and, like I don’t know, but it’s like young in Arkansas.
It’s a good way to get on Mtv.
(laughs) Yeah. MTV would be all over it. Kurt Loder would be up there talking about how dirty we are.
+ charlie craine