Gainesville, Florida, is a hot, sticky place where all the boys are cute and toothless and the weather makes everyone slow like stoned cows. The climate has suppressed the town's over all movement--cars crawl like babies, showers run slow like a gob of spit. Nothing is fast except the punk music. It's like cutting open a chocolate cake and finding a hot dog. I just didn't expect it to be there.
St. Dad, who got their name from the Black Flag song, "Family Man," started as an "artsy fartsy" trio, but when they added a guitar player, it transformed into the dream-like mess it is today. St. Dad don't think they are doing anything special, but I disagree. Their self-released 7 inch, "Do As I Say, Not As I Do," and demo tape, "Keep It In Your Pants" (which were recorded in a five bedroom bungalow once inhabited by Bo Diddley) makes me feel like I am in the garbage compactor from Star Wars, except the piles of garbage are not garbage, they are mutilated growls and fuzzed-out guitars. It's a very good feeling to get from a four-song punk record.
I first met St. Dad when we played a show together at The Junkyard in Gainesville, their hometown. Our tour driver, Daniel, had told me about St. Dad. "They are amazing," he said, "just you wait." When they played I was spellbound. The lead singer, Gus, stomped in a circle, pushing his twisted, love-note lyrics out of the back of his throat until his face turned red, while Arlington (guitar) wiggled up and down like a worm coming up to feed. After the show we invited them into our van for some much needed air conditioning and a "Skinny Little Bitch" singalong. Then, we bought a bunch of Four Loco and Arlington put on a Dishrags record and I knew we were in for a wild summer night (see the photos below).
Vice: Gus, how do you make your voice sound so crazy? Are you possessed?
Gus: I'm just good at making glottal sounds.
Is this something you've done since you were a tiny baby? Or did you develop it later in life?
I wanted to do a dark, soul-salsa band, like Hector Lavoe or Billie Holiday, but on drugs or something.
I think Billie Holiday was on drugs.
Yeah, she was on the junk.
Are St. Dad songs happy or sad?
Arlington: St. Dad songs are both happy and sad, but they don't make us sad.
If you guys were turned into action figures tomorrow, what would your names be and what kind of powers would you have?
Gus: My name would be "Street Captain Samarai," and I'd be able to cloak myself into any surface. Also, I'd have the ability to appear anywhere I wanted to very quickly.
Arlington: Mine would be "The Genie," and I would have the power of granting myself an infinite amount of wishes, so really I would have an infinite number of powers.
What about Riley (drums) and Matty (bass)?
Gus: We dont know, they're not here. But together we become a big monster of a tornado that fucks shit up like the Power Rangers or Voltron.
That are powered by the sweet juice of Four Loco.
Arlington: Always. We drank some last night at our show in Orlando, then we ate acid.
Before or after you played?
Gus: While we were playing I thought I had done something really bad to someone in the crowd and their "bros" were coming to get me. So I dropped the mic and tried to leave. Finally, I realized that I was tripping and we finished our set.
Arlington: We played really badly. Acid and punk do not mix well. Loading our gear was really hard, plus it was the fourth of July, so everyone was being crazy. Then the cops showed up.
Riley and I got locked inside and couldn't leave because of the cops. Well, we weren't locked anywhere, we were just hiding "where no one would ever see us" you know, "in a safe place."
I wrote a song about you guys. It's in the works.
Liar! What's it called?
Gus: After writing poems for stupid girls all my life I've almost got a song of my own!
Dreams can come true. Hey, remember when we were swimming and that crust kid showed up? He put the fence post down his throat trying to make himself puke? Who was that guy?
Arlington: Ha! Yes, that was Warm Carl.
Why "Warm Carl"?
Gus: He has warm insides.
Did you guys ever find Anne-Marie's underwear?
She asked me to hold it and I balled it up and threw it into the van.
If I find it, I'm going to frame it.
St. Dad - "Money Hungry"