Photo: Hultner Photography
Edmond’s Dave Klein has had a busy year. Twelve months ago he played the final show with Euclid Crash, started a new band with former members of EC called They Stay Dead, recorded two EPs with his new band, played numerous shows, and joined pop punk legends Screeching Weasel. That’s what I’d call a busy year.
Dave: You recently joined Screeching Weasel. How did that happen? What’s it like playing in such a legendary band and with such a character as Ben Weasel?
Dave Klein: Ben was putting together his new band earlier this year, and he had his old guitar player, Zac Damon, back on board. Zac’s buddy, Pierre Marche, was set to play drums, but they needed a bass player. Ben called Mike Kennerty (All American Rejects, These Enzymes, Mr. Crispy) to chat about the future… Mike had produced Ben’s solo record as well as this year’s Screeching Weasel LP… My name came up, I got a list of 40 songs to learn and that was pretty much it.
Dave: Will playing in Screeching Weasel interrupt at all what is going on with They Stay Dead?
Dave K: There’s a lot of hype and momentum surrounding TSD right now. We haven’t even been under this name for a year, but we’ve done some amazing things. I’ve had to take a few trips out of town and some time when I was in the studio, but so far it hasn’t been a problem. The plan is to play a few shows here and there with SW. We’ll just have to employ a little creative scheduling in the They Stay Dead camp. My guys are pretty stoked and have been really flexible. Let’s hope I can stay in their good graces.
Dave: Did you have any input on the writing process of the new Screeching Weasel EP?
Dave K: This batch of songs was complete before I was even on the short list of bass players. Ben sent demos with vocals and guitars, and I filled in the blanks. I was able to try some really cool stuff that you’ve probably never heard on a Weasel record. It was interesting trying to balance my usual, flashier style with what I was supposed to play. I’d say, “what would (insert any pop punk bass player) do here?” I think I pulled it off. There’s a short line in “No Reason To Lie” that kills me every time I hear it. I’m really proud of this new record.
Dave: They Stay Dead is planning on releasing your second EP soon. Is the recording for this release completed? Will the EP be available in CD or just digitally?
Dave K: We finished 3 songs in September… with… wait for it… Mike Kennerty. He’s kind of our go-to guy right now. He’s one of my dearest friends and it’s been a complete pleasure working with him so much this year. That guy is a work horse. I swear he spends more time producing/engineering records than the bands do. There’s nothin’ wrong with that guy. So, anyway, the new They Stay Dead stuff will be out later this month digitally and on CD.
Dave: Are there any plans for a They Stay Dead full-length album?
Dave K: We’re operating under the illusion that the full-length format is on its way out. Our working theory is that we, and people who like our music, would rather have a few new songs every few months than a full album once a year. As of today, no… but tomorrow someone in the band will change their mind for sure.
Dave: Do you think your involvement with Screeching Weasel will have a positive effect on They Stay Dead?
Dave K: I hope so. I met a few kids from Muskogee at the Chicago Weasel show. I turned them onto TSD. Obviously, I’d love for everyone in the world to know about my band. So, if it gets us more attention, GREAT! But it’s a different style of music. I don’t expect a ton of cross-over, but Punk-Is-Punk, right?
Dave: Besides They Stay Dead and Screeching Weasel, are you working on any other projects?
Dave K: My daughter, Ana, and I are working on a new band called “The Last Kiss.” She’s 7 and really into Paramore right now. It’s all about cool outfits, boutique fliers and songs about breakin’ up with boys. It’s gonna rule. Get ready! (Editor’s note: This sounds AWESOME!!!)
Dave: If you could work with anyone (musically) who would it be?
Dave K: I’ve already been fortunate enough to play with most of my favorite musicians. I’ve toured with one of my favorite guitar players of all time. I’ve played bass in NOW TWO of my favorite bands. I really like the 7 musicians in my life right now. I wouldn’t trade any of them, and nobody could fill their shoes.
Dave: What’s next for you?
Dave K: sleep… maybe.
Dave: Any final thoughts?
Dave K: Yeah, I’d like to let you know about a major life change I’ve undergone. I, Dave Klein, now play bass with a pick. I know what you’re thinking… “sure, who doesn’t?” But out of my top 5 favorite bass players, only 1 plays with a pick. I hadn’t played with a pick since I was 16. In May, I made the switch. It was a difficult transition, and I’ve worked really hard to get to the same level that it took two decades to achieve with my fingers. I’m really proud of it. I hope it opens some doors, creatively. We’ll see.
Read more of Dave Brown’s interviews and thoughts on his political and culture blog, Oklahoma Lefty.