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Rewind With Russ Dwarf, 1/9/02



Killer Dwarfs Singer Russ Dwarf

We last talked to Russ on October 3, 2000. Since that time, the Killer Dwarfs have put out a live CD & DVD. Russ also can be seen in some of their promo photos wearing a Metal Sludge shirt and even wore one when he hosted a show on Much Music a few weeks back! To thank Russ for all his support, we thought it was time to catch back up with him and ask him a variety of insulting questions.

1. What are you currently up to? This is your one and only chance to plug whatever it is that you have to plug.
I’m down here on the farm, gettin ready for the snow to fly, hangin out with the goats… and running Metal Sludge with Jim Bob! Oops did I say that! Oh ya and that Dwarf gag… New Live DVD/CD…I’m sure you haven’t heard of it… Writing some new tunes for a possible new KD CD… Oh and getting ready to re-release "Stand Tall" our second Dwarf record from 1986… finally!

Killer Dwarfs 1986

2. When we last talked to you 2 years ago, you basically said that the Dwarfs were over and done with. What in hell made you decide a Killer Dwarfs reunion was a good idea?
Never Say NEVER! Yikes! Prove it. I never said such a thing. Actually, Canada called us back up into service… I’m sure you’ve heard the tales of our military dilemmas. Plus we owe our Webmaster cash and it’s all in USD$!

3. A few newer up and coming bands (i.e., Sum 41, Bowling For Soup) have cited you & the Dwarfs as a musical influence. How does this make you feel?
Excellent! Somebody was listening… makes me feel like Tony Bennett.

4. Give us your 3 best and 3 worst memories of your days with Killer Dwarfs.
The first Killer Dwarfs album. They called them albums back then can you believe it! (Another fine petroleum product.)

Getting ripped off for Stand Tall.

Having Epic/Sony drop the ball on Dirty Weapons and saying they couldn’t sell "Doesn’t Matter" to radio, and then turning around and putting it on the next record and repeating the same move… fuckin Brilliant Folks! Now that’s marketing… another fine reason to stay out of school!

Meeting Darrell "Doggs Balls" Millar Dwarf in the summer of 1981 in Quebec City!

Playing San Antonio, Texas the first time after slugging (or shall I say "Sludgeing") it out for years in the Tundra of The Great White North… where men are men and hockey sticks hurt!

Finally getting that "real" record deal in the summer of ’87 Epic/Sony (marketing geniuses and petroleum product entrepreneurs)

5. Rank the following singers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a bucket of goat piss and 10 being the pride of the farm.
What can I say about this fine bunch of fellows that hasn’t already been said? Obviously they are all top of their craft or you wouldn’t have taken the time to write out all their names. I personally am in no position to grade what I would hopefully consider my peers. I’ll be diplomatic about this: as a good wannabe Republican would say, "kill ‘em all and let God sort it out!"
Phil Lewis = I’m patiently waiting for the Girl reunion tour!
Alice Cooper = Hands down the biggest influence on me. I owe him a lot for the education I got from those early albums… and he also loves Canada!
Sebastian Bach = Charismatic and extremely excellent front man and singer… and Canadian!
Jizzy Pearl = We wore out "Black Out In The Red Room" on the Weapons tour…
Nicholas Walsh = Friend and another very talented fellow all around… check out his new band Revolver… another Canadian boy!
Jani Lane = Great songwriter and singer.
Donnie Vie = I love Enuff Z’Nuff… one of my fav bands from the late eighties and beyond. Great melodies, cool voice…
Stephen Pearcy = Loved Ratt as well… saw them the first time they came to Toronto…
Brian Vollmer = Yet another Canadian Boy… I got to scream backups on "No Rest for the Wicked!"
Axl Rose = I totally loved GNR from the first time I heard them… over the top spirit and love for R&R! He’s got one of the most unique voices in rock for sure.

Above all, The COOP is KING!

6. For what reason have the Killer Dwarfs not toured in the USA since reuniting? You continue to tour in Canada but have not gone south of the border to do shows since 1993. Are there any outstanding warrants for your arrest down here, or doesn’t anyone want to book you anymore?
I’m thinkin no one loves us anymore… or maybe they can’t afford us! LOL! We hope to come down before the giant space ark shows up and we have to escape to another planet… and then…

7. Which do you prefer and why:
Labatt’s Blue or Molson Canadian = Canadian because if I said Blue I would be shunned by my fellow road hockey teammates. Peace Love and Road Hockey!!
Elvis Presley or The Beatles = ELVIS because without the King there would have been no Beatles
MuchMusic or MTV = neither… I prefer the Farm Report!
Vancouver or Halifax = Halifax because I have family there…
The Headpins or Goddo = Goddo. Gino Scarrpelli Rulzs!! Chop Chivies Hot Dogs!
The Simpsons or The Waltons = God that’s a hard call… What would Jim Bob say if I pick Simpson’s? Oh you guys are devilish.
Accept or Krokus = Accept, hands down. What’s a Krokus?
Tim Horton’s or Dunkin’ Donuts = Horton’s all they way… I had a horrible experience in Jim Bob’s hometown with an evil Taliban type employee @ Go Dunkin Dognuts! You’ll have to ask him for more details. My lawyer says I’m not allowed to discuss this matter until the lawsuit is settled.
Hand jobs or rim jobs = Please, let’s use the technical term "Hand Carving" thank you!
Johnny Solinger or Sebastian Bach = I’ll have to say Bazz on this one. I’ve never met Johnny, but he is a very good singer. Hey, you guys should think about doing some stuff on Bazz… It would be great if he would do 20 questions eh! (That’s a Canadian expression) I’m sure it would be really entertaining. I bet he has a few choice things to say. I actually haven’t talked with him in years… wouldn’t that be cool if I could conduct the 20 Q with him huh…

8. On the Killer Dwarfs live DVD, the audience looks more like they’re at a Gordon Lightfoot concert rather than a rock show. Everyone’s just kind of standing around with their arms folded. Did somebody put morphine gas in the fog machine that night or something?
Hey that’s the Canadian way… calm and reserved unless you don’t show up for the gig!

9. Speaking of your DVD, how come there aren’t any extras or special features? It’s just straight concert footage and a scene selection menu. What gives?
It’s all Jim Bob’s fault! We wanted to put all sorts of extra stuff on there, but he was too busy fuckin’ around with some other crap… bastard! Honestly, we wanted to keep the cost of that debacle down to a minimum. We are currently putting together a 20 year retrospective for the 2 fans waiting for something extra.

10. What do you remember about writing or recording the following songs:
Heavy Mental Breakdown = First BBQ… summer in Toronto… the whole band living in my one bedroom apartment… lots of drinking and blind faith… walking up to the studio… meeting Rock Stars like Mick Ronson and Michael Wagner… I hate that freakin first album!
Stand Tall = 20 nights over 6 months… am till am… borrowing money off my Mom to do the record and thinking this was our last shot @ a career…
Keep The Spirit Alive = being in a basement with the music Mike Dwarf had written, putting the tape on and having the whole song come together in about 20 minutes…
We Stand Alone = painful days of singing so much I got a cyst on my jaw… I remember singing one line for 3 days while another band came in and did a whole record in that time. The video was fun… but man everyone hated me for that comedy. If you look @ it today (which is painful for me… nice hair) everybody was blasted by the end of that gag… too funny. Darrell had beers hidden in every toilet in the building (we weren’t allowed to drink on the set as it would upset the crew). "There’s fish in the tank!" For some odd reason we were actually listening to someone who thought they were in charge… very un-Dwarf like…
Dirty Weapons = L.A., Andy Johns, and Bob Hope!
Doesn’t Matter = This tune was an afterthought. When we went into pre-production in Toronto, we usually went over every single detail of what we would be doing for the record. So after months of work, we’d pretty much knew actually what was going on the album. When we arrived in L.A. to start recording, we did another 2 weeks of pre-pro with The Johns to make sure we were good to go. After the first day, Johns asked us to write one more tune… so Mike and I went home that day and wrote that tune in a half hour. It came to us very easily and to me is one of the best songs we ever wrote… it really reflects our life.
Hard Luck Town = Tommy the Miner, The Cod Father, and The Beach Boys!
Ice Men = cold?

Russ on stage in front of a rabid crowd wearing a Metal Sludge shirt!

11. What rock star wears the most ridiculous wig you’ve ever seen?
Besides me? Jimi Hendrix… Now if he had had the current technology of weaving fine Canadian Goat hair to his sconge then it would have been absolutely un-recognizable.

12. You’ve been known to wear a Metal Sludge shirt in promotional photos, television appearances, and during concert performances. Has anyone ever blown you any shit or given you a hard time about it? Let us know so we can have them whacked.
Well as far as the Sludge "cheap promotional tactics" JB makes me wear it at every event… my Gawd what a world we live in! Secretly though I do it because I love METAL SLUDGE!

13. Yes or no, and please feel free to elaborate, has Russ Dwarf ever done
the following:
Been arrested = ah maybe Yikes!
Starred in a television commercial = One for Post Alpha Bits cereal in 1973 with Bobby Orr
Fired a machine gun = I had to, he wasn’t working hard enough
Touched another man’s penis = does a goat penis count?
Jacked off in a portable toilet = never
Auditioned for another band while you were in Killer Dwarfs = does Iron Maiden count?
Gotten aroused during a rectal exam = only when JB does it!
Gotten into a fight with someone in the audience at a Dwarfs gig = too many times… TULSA!
Refused a fan’s request for an autograph = Never
Had sex with a goat = not today…

14. How’s things down on the goat farm? Any new goats you want to tell us about?
The Goat Farm rocks!!! It’s been a relatively quiet year at the farm… except for the day Axl didn’t show up for his milking. Things got ugly that day… the black side of Bing!

15. What do you remember about playing or being in the following cities:
Detroit = Harpos, KFC, Firearms
Montreal = Mitch Lafon, Poutine!
Denver = John
Chicago = We got robbed one night there… some wankers stole 5g’s worth of merch and my sweaty stage clothes (like who were they gonna fit? I’m middle-aged man now and I still shop in the kids department…) then back at my room someone had broken in… well some jackass at the front desk gave them my key and stole 1000 bones, my passport, visa and Canadian Tire Card!!!! Lovely experience that was… hey, isn’t Jim Bob from the Chicago area?
Atlanta = Home of Elton John?
London = England or Ontario? Ontario = no heat – KFC and Motel 6 / London England = Maiden – Wembley – Hammersmith – Dogg’s Balls exceptionally drunk and naked on stage (with Maiden)! (We have footage)

Dallas = Z-Rock
New York = Epic – meatloaf sandwiches
Winnipeg = coldest place on earth… tons of rock fans!
Hollywood = never been… is that by Arkansas?

16. For what amount was your largest music-related check and what did you do with it?
Too Funny. People actually get paid for this? Next you’ll be telling me Santa Claus isn’t real.

17. If you could go back in time and re-live one year of your life, which year would it be and why?
1960 – because I wouldn’t have a huge Visa bill to pay after being at JB’s weddin! I brought the shotguns!

18. The Last of Russ Dwarf:
Last DVD you rented = Dr StrangeLove I bought it!!
Last concert you watched from the audience = Poison
Last time you got a speeding ticket = 1999. What has Jim Bob been sayin about my drivin?
Last time you saw Andy Johns sober = He drinks?
Last time you saw Mike Hall naked = ah… last summer at the Peach Festival?
Last time you smoked pot with Jim Bob = Last summer in Montreal?
Last grade you completed in school = second
Last book you attempted to read = I’m currently reading a few. Let’s see, which has the most pictures? Crue – The Dirt, Elvis – The Final Years, Rommel – In His Own Words
Last time you went to the dentist = I go to a carpenter for my oral needs
Last time you got drunk = Jan 17th 2000

19. By the way, whatever happened to your band Penny Black? It took 5
years to put out a CD, and then when you finally did, Penny Black never did another single thing. Not one show or anything at all. What gives?
Well we actually did a few shows before the cd came out… Plus we auditioned for a beer commercial! After we finished the record I went on a goat hunting safari for awhile and all I could find were asses (donkeys I mean). When I got back, things started happening with the Dwarfs, and one thing led to another… or should I say back to another. I’ve actually been working on new tunes since late summer and hope to record a new side-project cd (not a petroleum product) in the future. It’s a labor of love for me and brings me a lot of happiness… I’m not in it fer the money eh… on yer way…

20. Do you realize that more people probably know about Jim Bob Dwarf than Russ Dwarf?
My plan has worked out perfectly. Next step: World Domination… then I’m moving to Europe!

21. Time for Metal Sludge’s word association. You know how this works.
Gene Simmons = He’s from Israel
Chris Jericho = BIG Dwarf fan!!
Jason Hook = Hollywood Hill-Billy & all around good guy!
Bad Ronald Dwarf = WW2 veteran (for the wrong team!)
Snake Sabo = good Fella and great song writer
Andy Johns = Genius
Joe "The Godfather" Anthony = Godsend! RIP!
Andy Wigderson = X-KD manager
Steve Harris = Coolest Rock Star ever!
Jim Bob Dwarf = A Dwarf’s best friend! And a huge David Hasselhoff fan!

So there you have it straight from the Dwarf’s mouth. Thanks to Russ and his twin brother Jim Bob for all their support!

For more information on the Killer Dwarfs, you can visit their incredible website which has some of the best HTML ever, at www.KillerDwarfs.com! You can also drop by Russ’ goat farm at http://www.grahamburgergoats.com!

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