Interview – Dan Sartain

Dan Sartain is a rock and roll artist with one hand carrying the torch for Rockabilly, the other one for Punk and a third one just to scare you off. You see, besides rocking the stage and our musical tastebuds, he knows his horror films…

Hi Dan, thanks for taking our questions. Really enjoyed Legacy Of Hospitality and Too Tough To Live.

1) Too Tough To Live felt like a real curveball after all those swet rockabilly sounds. We know you meant it as a tribute of sorts to The Ramones, so, first of all: fave Ramones album, track and video?

What a great debut. For a while my workout routine was wake up, smoke a joint, and play along to the entire first Ramones album front to back. The most common misconception about the Ramones is that those songs are easy to play. It’s easy for the left hand but hard on the right hand (assuming right handedness).

2) 13 tracks, 19 minutes. How did you manage to say so much in so little time? Incidentally, ‘Even at my worst I’m better than you’ is my fave (and my new ringtone).

I think I said the same amount of stuff as the other albums, I just said it faster!

3) Any track you felt was the easiest to make? Conversely, which was one was the most difficult?

I played drums on this record and that was the hardest part. I can play drums but I’m not a drummer, if that makes sense. I’m a jack of all trades and master at none. I knew where the accents were supposed to be which is most important. Drummers are often stubborn jerks and I wish they weren’t necessary.

4) I like the cover design, very 50s sci fi. Who designed it and what made you choose that particular motif?

I’m so glad you asked this question. My friend Kelly Keith did that cover and I couldn’t be happier about it. I found her work last year and it really resonated with me. I never bought a painting before I met her. I grew up in and around modern art galleries and I never felt the urge to buy any of it. Kelly made me into an art collector! It’s a thin line she walks between fine art and pop art. I don’t think this is the last time you will hear about her. Fuckin’ legend, maaaaaan.

5) You had a very hectic 2011. Will you take some time out after promoting “Too tough to live” or will you go back to life on the road?

I’d love to be on tour all the time. Being at home is when I feel awkward now-a-days.

6) We’ve read you’re a big fan of horror films. What is your fave horror film?

So many. Christine is my final answer though. It’s nearly bloodless. The most horrific scenes in that movie were when they were destroying those beautiful cars! Re-animator is a close second. It began my life long crush on Barbara Crampton.

7) Let’s say you get 6 months to direct a horror film based on your track ‘Hungry End’. It can be as gory or suspenseful as you want and you get carte blanche in who stars and writes. So, who is your dream cast, writer and film scorer?

‘Hungry End’ was written by Glen Danzig but I’d love to see a feature like the lyrics describe.

Without a script I couldn’t accurately “fantasy cast” who I’d like to see in a film about a baby in a meat slicer, but here are several horror genre actors I’d love to see get more work.

George Hardy, Daniel Emery Taylor, Barbara Crampton, and Mark Patton. All those people are great and huge celebrities to me.

8) The 70s horror films had atmosphere and cool soundtracks, the 80s went for gore and nudity everywhere and the 90s went for both gore and self parody, which delved into our PG-13 friendly atmosphere. On that note, what do you think is the one thing that the current generation of horror films is missing to have a particular classic?

I once heard Stephen King and George Romero comment on how the horror genre is big when conservatives are in power. I think that is true at least as far as America goes. The 80’s are considered the second golden age of horror and in the 2000’s the genre seemed to get a lot of it’s teeth back. I’m not blaming the current administration for the recent lack of good horror films, but I do think that whats in the headlines effects what is at the box office. Having said that, the Sci-Fi genre seems to be on the up and up currently (Moon and District 9 come to mind).

Oh, I’m sick of zombies and I want them to fuck off.

9) Are you still refusing to go to the party?

I wanna throw my own party!

10) You’ve tackled rockabilly in a very masterful way and now you’ve done a relentless album of punk. What’s next on the masterplan?

I was thinking of an instrumental album or possibly a covers album, or both.

Thank you very much! 

Words: Sam

Dan Sartain FacebookWebsiteTwitterSpotifyLast.fmMyspace.

You can read our review of Too tough to live here and the review for Legacy of Hospitality here.

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