When Death comes, it wears a sparkly red tie and matching derby. Well, the drummer…
- Posted on Jul 14th 2010 3:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"Over the course of a year of talking about it and thinking about it there was a lot of discussion: Do we have really anything left to say?" singer-guitarist Dan Kroha tells Spinner.
The Gories decided they did, and after performing in Memphis and Detroit, Kroha, co-frontman Mick Collins and drummer Peggy O'Neill went to Europe last July for two weeks of shows. This summer, they're at it again, albeit on a smaller scale. The group is currently on a six-date mini tour that culminates July 31 at New York City's Lincoln Center, where it will join Death, Question Mark and the Mysterians and Mitch Ryder for the Detroit Breakdown, a special Motor City rock 'n' roll throwdown.
Kroha says he and his bandmates approached last summer's tour with some trepidation. They barely rehearsed, but it wasn't because they didn't care.
"We didn't want to suck," he says. "There have been a lot of band reunions lately. It's kind of the thing to do, and not all of them are good. We wanted to make sure if we did it, we did it right. We wanted to sound like the Gories people wanted to hear."
For Kroha, that meant relearning to play the way he did in 1986, when the Gories formed one January night in his bedroom. In those days, he, Collins and O'Neill were, at best, novice musicians. Inspired by the obscure '60s trash-rock bands featured on Crypt Records' 'Back from the Grave' compilations, then in heavy rotation on Kroha's turntable, the three made music by sheer force of will, creating the raw, soulful, frayed-wire sound that was their trademark.
"It's a matter of restraint, but it's also a matter of taste," Kroha says. "I'm not that great of a guitar player, so it's not that hard. It takes a bit of restraining it, and it takes respect for how it was. And it takes being conscious of what it was.
"I went back and listened to the Gories again, listened to some live tapes just to hear what we were sounded like," he adds. "I wanted to get the tone of the guitar right. I wanted to not play anything I didn't play back then. I actually did study up on it."