The Generators are by far one of the hardest working punk bands out there. As a band, they have a sound that brings you back to the days of No Future Records, with a modern explosive pop-punk sound. Their song 'City of Angels' appears in many places on US TV. Doug is one of few people in the scene that does most of the leg work for any band he is in. He also brings an explosive live to any stage that he appears on. Doug took some time to answer some questions about the band and for that I am very grascious.
Doug Dagger from the LA Punk band The Generators here.
How did the band start?
The Generators started in March of 1997. Most of the members at that time were from my previous band Schleprock, which was formed during the late 1980's. We had been just recently dropped from Warners Brothers Records and half the band wanted to do something new. We had been touring and releasing records for 8 years and just got sick of what was going on with everything so we made a change. We came up with the name The Generators, during one of the early rehearsals.
How did you come up with the name?
We were originally calling the band The Rooks, but we found out that their was another band from New York City called that, so we thought The Generators would be a good name and we went with it.
Who would you say are your influences?
The band has tons of influences, so it is hard to nail that down. Obviously we are a Punk band Los Angeles and we have similarities to older LA Punk bands like Social Distortion, or Bad Religion, but we also grew up as kids loving all the old Brit Punk stuff like The Angelic Upstarts, Sham 69, The Damned, so its kind of hard to nail down our influences.
What was the punk scene like back in 1997, when the band formed?
In 1997 the whole street punk resurgence thing had not started yet. The Punk scene was kind of dying out from where it was during the early to mid 90's. At that time it went corporate crazy with Green Day, and The Offspring, and every kid was listening to bands like Rancid, and Green Day. So things slowed down and it was kind of getting back to normal. The local Punk shows became smaller and kids were rebelling against all the mainstream Punk stuff, so you were seeing the early forms of the new street punk scene evolving. Lots of mohawks, spiked hair and skinheads were the landscape of the late 90's in L.A.
How do you feel it has changed?
The scene is always changing and that is what it always has done. It has to change to stay alive. I think in late 2010 and early 2011 the scene will have a small resurgence again.
What is the song writing process?
The Generators write songs in different ways. Sometimes the guitar players will bring me their ideas and I will put lyrics to them, or I will create the song with the lyrics and melodies in my head, and call them over so they can help me put those ideas to guitar chords, because my guitar playing is not that great. So we make it work and that is always how we have made the music.
Your first Album, ‘Welcome to the End’ has got to be one of the greatest tributes Oi! music as a whole, tell us about the album…
Welcome To The End was one of those records that was painless to make. It was a fun time making the record, we just hung out and recorded the songs. It was painless, and it was us just having a good time.
‘City of Angels’, has been used quite a bit by various entities, what inspired the song?
City Of Angels was an idea that I had in my head. I was hanging out with my very close friend Roddy Radiation from The Specials, and I told him that I wanted to create a Ska/Reggae Punk song that incorporated that Latin Mariachi sound. He told me that I better do it before he does, so I got the lyrics and melody together and had the guitar player Mike Snow help me bring it to life. It was one of The Generators first songs.
How do you feel the 2 follow albums ‘Burning Ambition’ and ‘Tyranny’ differ?
Every record you make is like a child, you try to love them all the same, but you have different feelings about each one because they are all different to you. Burning Ambition was our way of trying to show the more aggressive side of The Generators. The original recording actually sounded amazing, but we had a friend mix the record and it lost so much when we made that mistake. One day we might re release that record and show what it really sounded like. Tyranny was one a really god record for us at the time, but unfortunately didn't get the chance we had hoped in the record stores. It just did not break through as well as we hoped. We really felt that this record was our signature Street Punk album. We could not land any big tours to get it out there, and make a name for The Generators. After the release had passed I felt we lost some steam, and no one was willing to give us a chance in the United States to prove ourselves.
Tell us about your last album ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’…
Our latest record "Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea" is our 7th full length record. We pushed ourselves to really show we can make a great Melodic Punk N Roll Record. We put our hearts and a lot of thought into it, and it got a lot of praise from everyone which is great, I already feel like it was a long time ago that I was in the studio making that record, ha ha. Yeah I like that record a lot.
Can you give us some idea of what to expect from the new album?
The New record is kind of bringing the band back to where it started in 97 to where it is now. It is challenging to merge the sounds of 77 Punk into our modern Southern California Melodic sound. It will be a different record then what we have previously done in the past years. I am excited about it thats for sure! I am up for the challenge.
There is a lot of buzz about the current lineup, tell us about it…
The new lineup is partly my old guitar players coming back to play music with me again. Mike Snow who started The Generators has returned to So. California from residing in the Mid West for 9 years, and Sean Romin from Schleprock has returned to be along side me as well. Brandon Lutz is still on Bass guitar, and we just recruited local long time punk drummer Lou Guzman to beat on the drums.
You guys have a done a ton of shows with a lot of great bands, who are some of the bands you have done shows with?
We have played with tons of great bands. I would say if I were to name just a few. Stiff Little Fingers, The Damned, Bad Religion & The Angelic Upstarts.
Do you prefer to do shows at large venues, small clubs or festivals?
It really does not matter if we play a small club, or a big festival. As long as the fans are having a fun time that is all that really matters.
Where do you plan to tour in 2011?
We are planning a few small tours in 2011. We will be heading to the South and South west USA, as well as Europe in September 2011.
Is there a favorite band you like to do shows with?
We do not have a favorite band to play the stage with. We have a lot of great friends in different bands that we have played with. Too many to name.
Is there a favorite place you like to do shows at?
Too many to name.
What do you see is the future of the Generators?
The future for The Generators for right now I’d to put out our new record, and do some touring and just have a good time, that is all you can really ask for is to just enjoy what you love doing, and give the fans a good show.
How can people contact the band?
If anyone wants to get in contact with us they can contact us through Facebook, My Space, or The-generators.com