BLURB / BLOG / BIO
Blurb... I hate that word. It sounds like verbal vomit. Like its something not worth reading. Blog is not much better, is it? Blog sounds boring. Bla Bla Blog ....
Who Am I? I'm Spike, DRI. Here's my story.
Born and raised in New York, I learned to play guitar when I was about 16. It was the mid 70's. I was heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Black Sabbath. I played in a couple of bands with friends, playing both bass and guitar. Then after a few years of that, I heard of this new thing called "punk rock". I was a pissed off kid, and I loved it. I started playing in bands that played Sex Pistols and Ramones covers. We played parties, little bars, and a few big clubs. I even managed to record a few songs, and release a 7 inch record. So what's next? Move, of course.
I moved to Texas when I was about nineteen. And, shortly after started a band called D.R.I., the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles. It was early 1982. Punk Rock had evolved into what was called Hardcore. It was like punk rock on steroids, times ten, and DRI played it. The fans slam danced to it, and started stage diving. We made the DRI logo a universal symbol for slam dancing. We wrote hate songs about everything, and started playing as fast as we could. We opened for Black Flag, Minor Threat and the Dead Kennedy's. We had to be extreme to compete with the likes of them. Our songs were short, and fast a hell, With break neck, stop on a dime cuts. All of a sudden were breaking records for speed, and amount of songs on a record. People are buying our records, and going to our shows. So what's next? Move, of course.
It's spring 1983. The whole band is moving to California where the hardcore grass was greener, but where We had no homes or even family. In-between tours, we begged for coins, ate at soup kitchens, and slept in vans, under broken down cars, and in trees. This went on for a few years before we made enough money from the band to survive. Around the mid 80's, we started to get into bands like Metallica and Slayer, and it began showing up in our music writing. All of a sudden, you got hardcore punk bands playing across the street from speed metal bands. DRI is playing hardcore speed metal punk rock and gaining fans from both sides of the extreme music scene. We start to tour the world.
It is 1987 Hardcore punk had fused with speed metal and had now evolved into what is called Thrash Metal. DRI was thrash metal. We were on MTV's Headbangers Ball. We were on Beavis and Butthead. We started to pull a thousand people a show, and DRI went from a club act to a Hall act. Barricades went up separating stage and crowd, and the fans became too distant for us. After all, we were all about slam dancing, and stage diving. Some of my fondest memories of my life are playing DRI shows where there were a hundred people on the stage slam dancing and stage diving into a sea of people. The crowd was part of the show. The crowd was really more of the show then the band members were when we were in our prime. Seriously. Think about it.
We were still basically a bare bones band. No frills with us. No dress up, or down. No make up, No visuals period. We didn't even let them use smoke at our shows when they tried too. Just lights. So when you have a steady stream of people climbing up onto the stage and stage diving off, that becomes part of the visual experience of the show. But when we are the only ones on stage for the whole show, and in the spot light, the fun was gone. I know I took a conscious step backward towards were we came from, our roots. I'd rather play a club with 300 people in my face, then a stadium with 30,000 people 100 feet away from the stage. Call me crazy. That is just me. So DRI takes a step back out of the limelight and exists on our own terms, taking a do it yourself approach. We refused to play the large halls with barricades. We refused to sign with a major record label.
We only managed to put out 10 or so records since '82, but we basically have been touring the world for 25 years. We still can play to two or three hundred people a night, just about anywhere in the world. And its still intimate. We do play festivals, and draw large crowds on our own now and then. But that only reminds me why I don't like it. We haven't released a new record in 10 years now. We don't need to. Sure some people want one, but for the most part, our fans don't want to hear it. They want to hear their old DRI favorites.
So as you can see, DRI has been my band, my life, for the last 25 years of my existence. Sure I had a personal life, but I was, and am, DRI. Lately I have settled down, and have been raising a family. It was time to put the band on the back burner and put family first. Imagine that, a whole year without a tour or even a show. It has not been done in our 25 year career. I moved the family to a better quality of life, which I am sorry to say was away from California. All was well and going as planned in our new home, so DRI set up a tour. Unfortunately it was soon canceled due to myself being diagnosed with cancer. I had surgery, radiation and I am still on chemo. It looks like the cancer was caught in early stages, and I will be ok. I still have the rest of 2006 to finish chemo and recover. I plan to tour with DRI again, and maybe even record. Who knows. I also plan to spend more time with family now, and less time touring and working for DRI. Since my time was almost cut short, my time left has somehow become more important.
Its 2009! And its time to get the D.R.I. machine fired up again. We will be working out the rust and squeaks at select weekend locations around the world. We expect to be in full tour mode again in 2010. See ya soon!
2010. Met the most awesome girl in the world, and moved her in with me!:)
2011. The band manages to play 116 shows this year. We decide not to try and do the long 30-60 day tours like we used to back in the day. We are happy playing one or two 4-5 day long runs of shows per month and being home more often.
2012. Well, a lot has changed in my life since my last entry in 2009. The good news is D.R.I. is going strong again. We have played about a hundred shows each year in 2010 & 2011. The bad news is, a cancerous polyp was found and removed during my last colonoscopy, in the end of 2011. And so, I had what was left of my colon/large intestine removed in Jan 2012. There were complications, including an infection, which prolonged my expected recovery time. I am scheduled for a second surgery in April, but we will only have to cancel or postpone a few shows here and there in 2012.
Two more Surgeries to end out 2012, but hey I am still here. Looks like im done with fighting colon cancer. Now on to fighting the medical bills that came with it. My mom passed away and I am looking foward to a new year.
2013. Moved back to California! Gotta love the weather here. More medical issues. Tendonitis & kidney stones. Forced to take more time off, but very happy through patience and months of therapy I am able to play guitar again. Hopefully I can make a complete recovery from the tendinitis.