Never heard of The Dwarves? Well, they’ve probably never heard of you either. But for those in the know, this band are a buncha San Fransisco shock-punk-c**k-rockers who have been scandalizing polite anarchic music society for two decades now. What you may not know is that singer Blag Dahlia has done some soundtrack work, and acted in some flicks too. We thought we’d catch up to the man to have a few words with him to celebrate the release of the (supposedly) final Dwarves album “The Dwarves Must Die”. Read ’em and weep…
Your songs mention horror/sci-fi/exploitation films a lot (“Donovan’s Brain”, “The Fly”, “Andromeda Strain”, “Near Dark”, etc). Are these the films you grew up watching? What are your fave kind of films or fave films period?
Those are the films I grew up watching and I love them. I’m more influenced by words than images, though. All of those titles are cool, but I don’t really know what the movies are about. I’m not very visual in that way. I love movies and I go to them all the time, but I can’t remember what they look like, only what people said in them.
Looking at beautiful women is hard because I just want to f**k them, not keep looking. The same with images of space or nature or whatever. It just makes me want to go there, not watch someone else do it.
Did you have a horror film host in the area you grew up in? If so, what was their name?
I’m from around Chicago, IL. Our guy was Svengoolie, a weird hippie Dracula guy. He was hilarious. Also, we had Creature Features.
How many soundtracks have you done?
Not enough. I would really like to do more. Mostly it’s just been movies or videos taking a track of mine and dropping them in.
Why do you use your Earl Lee Grace pseudonym for them?
“The Job” was an indie short and they wanted country type stuff so I used Earl Lee Grace. Mostly it’s been Dwarves stuff in films, but I’d like to do some straight soundtrack stuff soon.
Any soundtrack you wish you’d written?
“Dead Man” was a great movie with a really stupid soundtrack by Neil Young that’s unlistenable. Someone shoot that damn Canadian!
I understand you tried to be a projectionist briefly at one point. What’s the story behind that?
I got a job at the Alexandria Theater in San Francisco, but after a week I quit. They had broken the union and it only paid $4.25 an hour. It was a scam. The movie they were showing was Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo.
How many films have you acted in?
A few shorts and people’s school things. I’m pretty good at improvising on the fly and taking over the screen. I’d like to do more of that stuff as well.
Do you have any education in music or acting? If not, how do you approach them? Seat-of-the-pants make-it-up-as-you-go-along?
I am musically educated, but I’m at the bottom of the class. That’s what led to songwriting. If you can’t do other people’s stuff you have to make up your own.
Any current actress you’d like to have a sex scene in a film with?
The Olsen Twins. I like creepy girls.
What makes a good sountrack?
That it adds to the film and isn’t distracting. The best ones you usually don’t notice.
Any directors you’d like to work with, either acting for them or doing a soundtrack for them?
I’d like to start anywhere, that way when I got to some directors that I liked, I wouldn’t suck. Someday Tarantino, Scorsese, Coppolla. We Italians need to stick together.
Have you ever made any films of your own?
Not really. I’m not very visual. I’d rather be the subject of the film, not the fly on the wall guy.
If you were doing a porno soundtrack, how would you score it?
Lots of bad funk and moaning sounds.
Any contemporary actors/musicians you’d quote like to see stabbed in the head and neck and left to die in a puddle of their own blood during a mugging gone horribly wrong?
There is so much wack s**t in music now that it’s unbearable. Bands start off with big management and record deals before they’ve played a show. Labels spend 3 million to make 2 million back, it’s ridiculous. Movies are different because every type works somewhere, but in music some people should just stay the f**k out of it.
What’s this new exploitation film I hear you’re doing the soundtrack for?
It’s called “Christ on a Mic”. It asks the question what would happen if Christ came back as a singer in a rock band. It stars Crispin Glover, Danny Glover and Grover from Sesame Street. It’s set to air on the Christian Network over Christmas 2006.
What film soundtracks featured Dwarves tracks?
“Ghost World”, “Me, Myself and Irene”, “Kurt and Courtney”. More to come…
Are The Dwarves genuinely finished? If so, what now? A career in children’s entertainment, perhaps?
Like Jason, the Dwarves never die. Unlike Jason, we keep getting better everytime!
Check out the new album “The Dwarves Must Die” and more at the official Dwarves website.