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"Zeke, the one, the only, bad ass northwest mad men newly reunited and reformed. Back from the grave, delivering the most insane rock and roll your ears have been craving!" That's what everyone can read from their official website in the biography section, and that's undoubtely true. Here you are, Exploders, the report of a pleasant, funny and crazy chat with the drummer Donny Paycheck. Don't miss it!

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Hi Donny, we're really glad to have you here on The Rock Explosion! So let's start from the beginnig of your career going back to 1993, the year Zeke was formed. First of all, why did you choose Zeke as monicker? Who suggested this name and what does it refers to?
Zeke was a friend of Mark who introduced him to punk rock as a teen. He was telling us this story when we were out drinking to have a laugh. During this time we had been trying to name the band on the way home Dizzy Lee Roth said to us we should name our band Zeke we all laughed. Much to my surprise the next time I went to Mark's house he had a logo made up and the name stuck.

What do you like to remember of that period?
We were just a bunch of hoodlums drinking and partying getting into fights and doing fucked up things, somehow we managed to get a record made and go on the road and stay there. I think it was just dumb luck because we should have been put in jail for drug abuse and d. u. i. but we never got caught.

How did you feel during your first recordings of "The Dutchman's Coffin" (Wrecking Ball Records)? And above all...why did you choose such a weird

This is a bootleg of our demo tapes that we intended to release as an album because we didn't have a record deal or anyone who could pay for us to record one. This guy was legally asked to stop making them. We will however re-release them with different art and some bonus tracks in the future. As for how I felt, I felt glad to be able to record anything because for so long I had been in bands with such flakes that just wanted to say they where in a band to get laid that when we finally got some reviews and people dug it I was stoked. Pinstriping the Dutchman's Coffin is a tribute to Von Dutch he was one of the founding forefathers of custom culture and one of the first pinstripers and he is dead hence the coffin reference.

"Flat Tracker", "Super Sound Racing" (Scooch Pooch), "Kicked In The Teeth", "Dirty Sanchez" (Epitaph), "Death Alley" (Aces & Eights), "Live &Uncensored", "Zekeyou" DVD (Dead Teenager), "Till'The Livin' End" (Relapse). What would you like to say to describe each of these releases and which Zeke's songs do you feel closer to for some reason?
Each record has been a progression of Zeke not only musically but as human beings as we grow and as we change members we write to suit those perimeters. I feel close to the first, the songs on flattracker they are some of my favorite and the last 2 records are real special as we have covered some ground I think no other band can cover.

With Zeke you've had an exceptional career, you had the chance to play with great bands such as Iron Maiden, The Misfits, Korn, Slipknot, Pearl Jam, Suicidal Tendencies, Methods of Mayhem, to name a few, in many different places: from stadiums with 50,000 people, to bars and clubs with 10 people. Is there some live act of the ones I've just mentioned which you like to recall with most pleasure?
Well you didn't mention the Supersuckers and I love them, those guys are like brothers and it's always special to play with them. I'll have to say that Maiden was super cool too although we did not get to meet them. They rocked and I am a long time fan. Also we have Motorhead dates coming up in the States and I can't wait to meet Lemmy, he's one of our heros.

Then in 2002 you've taken a break, left Epitaph's roster and this all made your fans think an era was ending. But one a year later, Donny released a collection of unreleased bits and live tracks entitled "Live and Uncensored" on his own label, the Dead Teenager Records, and the legend continues...I've read that you were asked to make a reunion just for the afore mentioned album release party, but that the "fire and energy of that night sparked the band to reunite and start touring again". Amazing...but true?
Yes, we decided that playing a few more shows would be fun so we went off to SXSW to play some shows. Soon after that we went out for a short tour
during that tour we were approached by Relapse and a new record deal was in place so we were back in full force!

In October 2003 you decided to sign for Relapse (Mastodon, High on Fire, Alabama Thuderpussy, Bongzilla, etc.) under which you released in April 2004 "Till' The Living' End". How do you feel working with this label? Do you have you something in mind for Zeke's next future? When should we expect another full-length?
We are currently and always working on material and we expect to have another full length out around April 2006. We have a split with PeterPan SpeedRock out Feb 3 it's a 10" and CD we do 6 songs 2 new 2 covers and 2 live form 1998. European release only on Bitzcore go to www.bitzcore.de to buy!

Describe us the making of the "Dolphenwulf" video and tell us something also about the two recent dates you had in USA with The Hives. How is it sharing the stage with these guys?
Dolphenwolf is a song about motorcycle clubs, outlaws, musicians, drag racers, saturday night stock car racers, you name it, people who like to party,basically living their own way riding hard and free to do things the way they choose, no rules no holds bared. So we tried to encompass that with the video using the old biker footage to get our point across.The Hives where great, they rock, and not only that they are Zeke fans. They treated us with the utmost respect, I have nothing but love for them!

You played in the Ramones tribute album "We're A Happy Family" the two tracks "I Believe In Miracles" and "Daytime Dilemma" (Dangers of Love) both with Eddie Vedder. Describe us that event: who decided to cover just those songs and why didn't you propose at least one without the partecipation of Vedder? Try to describe us Pearl Jam singer both as musician and as man.
Well it might have been hard for us to not have him on those songs because he asked us to be his back up band for the record and that was the only way we were going to be on it! Look at all the other bands they have platinum album sale and we are just a little ol' Punk Rock Band. The songs were Ed's idea and he was in contact with Johnny and those were the songs he wanted Ed to do. Ed is a great person he still calls me up to shoot the shit. He's a rock star so some times he gets a little caught up in that but he's really into trying to be a good person. He once came to a Zeke show and was standing in front when a pit broke out, a girl fell down and broke out her two front teeth and Ed paid for them to be fixed!

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You Donny and bassist Diamond Jeff Matz are both part of the band Camarosmith, do you see your future more likely linked to Zeke or to this latter project? Which reasons led you to form this band?
Camarosmith is no more due to musical differences!

Tell us something about the producer Jack Endino, who worked with you both with Zeke and Camarosmith. I know he's considered as the grunge talent scout, cause he worked also with Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, but as far as I can see neither of your two projects are too similar to this kind of music genre...
Jack Endino has recorded everyone from Zeke "Kicked in the Teeth" and "Til' the Livin' End" to the Dwarves "Blood Guts and Pussy" from the Hellacopters to Bruce Dickinson's solo record from Nirvana to the Black Halos to Sound Garden. I think he's pretty well rounded. But hey people give him credit for grunge because everybody saw it on MTV. What more can I say if you want a good sounding record hire Jack!

What's the aspect you really love the most of the music biz and viceversa what do you really cannot stand?
I love live shows meeting people and seeing other country's I hate the biz part of it!

One month ago a 25 years old guy went to a rock concert and shot guitar player Dimebag Darrell Abbott and three other people for reasons left unknown. Comment this episode. Which reaction did you have to this news and, more generally speaking, what do you think of the artist responsability towards their fans? Sometimes idolatry can be a double-edged weapon...
I was shocked and felt sorry for his family. I also wondered what Phil Anselmo must be feeling since he said so many bad things about Damage Plan. When things like this happen it's tragic, it goes back to like John Lennon just some wacky fan trying to make a statement and get his 10 seconds a fame sort of like a murderer! There is no artist responsibility he did nothing to provoke being shot!

Where and how do you see yourselves in 10 years both in public and in your private lives?
I hope still playing music, married still and enjoying life as usual.

In February you'll be backin Italy for tour dates: what do you think about this Country and what sort of idea do you have of Italian punk rock scene?
As far as I can tell Italy has a great scene, I love Italy my great grand parents are from Lucca they immigrated in 1904, so I feel at home there, I look forward to coming back!

What do you remeber of particularly funny or unpleasant linked to the last time you've been here?
The only thing I can remember is a venue change and then driving all over the city for 1 hour to find the hotel!

Now a funnier question. It's like a kind of game. You have to pick up one of the two options and eventually explain the reason of your choices:
Iggy Pop vs Handsome Dick Manitoba: Iggy I love the Dictators but The Stooges rule!
Sid Vicious vs Johnny Rotten: I hate the Sex Pistols but at least Sid died young and left a pretty corpse and that's what he set out to do.
The Ramones vs The Green Day: Ramones! Greengay sucks!
Brodie Dalle vs Tim Armstrong: Who?
Camarosmith vs Zeke: Zeke the singer of this band had his head up his ass!
Zeke vs Motorhead: Zeke the new Motorhead!

What's your opinion about mp3's, file sharing and so on? Do you think that internet is a good way of spreading music and promoting bands or that it promotes pure theft?
They are good things more people can hear your stuff and if they like it they will buy it. The band who bitch about this already make so much money they just want more. For bands like us we don't make royalties off records we make our money from live performances so mp3's are good if your a good band more people will come to see your show and therefore make more money!

The wildest and craziest things ever done in your life:
Go on the road with a band! Get in bar fights, poking eyes with drum sticks, waking up next to a fat chick and not knowing how you got there! Jumping into the crowd to fight with someone, getting caught with drugs at the Italian border!

Your top 5 albums of ever:
Black Sabbath's Vol 4, Led Zepplin's first album, Ramones "Rocket To Russia",
Motorhead's "Motorhead" and Dwarves' "Blood Guts And Pussy"

What do you use to put on the stereo when you feel particularly blue? And when you feel partucularly excited?
Black Sabbath for all things!

So Donny, thanks for your time and I will be there to see Zeke performing in Italy. Use this space to greet Italian Zeke's fans and our Exploders all over the planet!
Thanks for interview, party on Garth, party on Wayne, see ya soon on the shores of Europe love ya!

Intervista realizzata e tradotta da Margherita Realmonte

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