#DEBAUCH2015 INTERVIEW: Dan Destructo of NO FRAUD
Photo from No Fraud’s Facebook page.
No Fraud — one of the acts at Debauch 2015 this weekend – is an authentic Florida punk legend around my parts. They have been one hell of a loud, intense, high-energy, thrashy hardcore punk band since 1984, which is actually not too long after I was born. They’ve played with tons of the classic hardcore punk bands, which I won’t bother to rattle off, and you can look up instantly yourself anyway. If you happen to have one of their old tapes lying around, I can say with borrowed “authority” that you are probably a permanent punk on some objective level. We can skip right over subjectivity as a yardstick for this sort of music-commodity-as-identity bullshit. It’s punk as fuck; it’s true like science.
For context, No Fraud came out of Venice Florida, which is basically a shit-hole with little to do besides surf and skate. So, being in an intense, fun band like theirs was probably an inevitable output of their shitty surroundings; it was probably that option, or else sell real estate, occasionally go to the hospital, and do boring suburban drugs until they all died. That is definitely just conjecture on my part though. I’m not being a dick; Venice is in my own proverbial backyard, and I’ve spent a lot of time there myself. I know.
I’d seen No Fraud play in a record shop with Scrotum Grinder and some other bands when I was a teenager. Their high energy performance made me fucking nervous. I felt like they were going to destroy not just their own equipment, but the venue and everyone in it, and I liked that feeling. I remember thinking that Dan Destructo, the vocalist (and subject of this interview) had a near-transcendent level of not-giving-a-fuck, and it probably influenced a lot of my own standards for hardcore-punk performance energy.
I somewhat recently saw them play at a skate park in Sarasota, wherein they shredded while kids skated literally all around them. I’m pretty sure Dan skated at a few points during the set too, amidst the teenagers and twenty-somethings. At some point during their set, I realized that there was a huge probability that I’d never see anyone skating and performing hardcore punk music literally at the same time again — especially at that particular advanced point in their shredding career. Literally at the exact moment I thought this, Dan Destructo said this into the microphone: “put skate wheels on my coffin.”
Fuck yeah. I mean, fucking hell; yes, please. Put skate wheels on that man’s coffin.
Anyway, without further ado, here is a transcript of our brief interview over Facebook chat, presented more or less verbatim.
MM: Dan Destructo. Two initial questions. Do you deny that you are the singer of No Fraud? Do you deny that you guys live in Florida? Shit, actually: third question: is it possible I accurately remembered you picking someone else’s nose during a set in Sarasota Florida, when I was like 15 and probably had just learned to walk and speak from being such a fucking young baby at a punk show?
DD: I would like to deny it. Well one of us does not live in Florida and yes picking of the nose is just a simple helping hand.
MM: I’m sure you guys have been hearing that punk is dead since probably your second show, and have probably not stopped hearing it all the way since your last show. If punk is dead, does that make continued punk performance a kind of zombification?
If punk is not dead, is it just good at constantly faking its own death like an indecisive Andy Kaufman? Is it worried about the social security collapse? My joints personally ache all the time, but I can’t speak for punk’s collective joints.
DD: I am dead as well; the other guys just look like they are dead. So, we can at least hang out and talk about cool stuff. If Punk is dead, I hope Pop Punk died first.
Andy Kaufman kicked ass.
Well, trusting any Government with money is a bad idea, especially a capitalist / consumer based one. Social Security is a good idea to stop greedy people from ripping the floor out from under trusting people.
I have been in pain most of my life, but that’s what you get for throwing yourself over the edge. Punk’s growing pains are like most people’s: dumb wonder, rebel youth, suckcessfel arrogance, regret, the cycle starts again.
MM: Would you agree with this analogy? Punk is to Meryl Streep (circa mid-1980’s / Out of Africa) as Pop Punk is to any literally any Kardashian (circa any time from spermhood to greasy butt glamour shots)?
You can probably come up with a better analogy, if you want. But I would be curious if we at least have this analogy in agreement.
DD: Ummm not a major Streep fan but them Kardashians [are] horrible and that may have been a Streep peak!
MM: You guys have gotten to play some fairly hard punk music across a wide spectrum of weird political moments. Would you say that punk (especially hardcore punk) became more or less political, on balance, since it’s inception?
Tangentially related question: Let’s assume Donald Trump (for whatever bizarre reason) had asked to use a No Fraud song in a campaign ad: how would you reply?
DD: Yes, we were coming from our punk roots which had some politics and anti-authority posturing. Early ’80s Hardcore just seemed to add the DIY concept and since most of us wrote about what was going on in our lives, fucked up modern politics were starting to seem like they were around to stay, and […] the decline of the middle class started in the late 60’s early ’70s. So, we were and still are angry, hence Political Hardcore Thrash.
Donald might be allowed, because I can do nothing but laugh when he’s on, but there would be a disclaimer. Something like “No Fraud does not condone the use of politics but D.T. as we like to call him does the best parody of a politician we know so on with the show”
MM: So, reptilian conspiracy theories: true, false, or deep entertainment?
DD: Well I like to keep an open mind so there could be some for of reptilian smarts out in the universe, but why would they come here? Trump would just send them back home.
Follow No Fraud on Facebook.
TuffGnarl.com’s 2nd Annual Rock & Roll Debauch is this Saturday, August 22 at Churchill’s Pub (5501 NE Second Ave, Miami, FL). The show starts at 7 p.m. Admission costs $8 at the door. Use the hashtag #Debauch2015 to follow or talk about this event on social media.
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