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