20 Questions With Dusty Watson (Part 2)

Professor Bunkum’s methadone finally arrives:

First: Lux Interior, R.I.P.

And...we’re back after a few, umm, “tense” days, and I’m happy to say that the ever upbeat (ha ha) Dusty Watson has agreed to play along for 10 more questions. In case you didn’t get it the first time around, Dusty is a really nice guy. Here we set him up to say all kinds of nasty things and be bitter about being the best surf drummer on the planet, and he just says nice stuff. But it’s entertaining nice stuff, so you can keep reading.

We didn’t give Dusty any free ad time last time, so here it is: check out www.dustywatson.com or his MySpace site to get this guy’s itinerary. He’s in half a dozen bands, all of which are made better by his presence. Also check out the DVD “Pounding Surf – The Art of Surf Drumming” on www.surfdrums.com.

Now back to the program:

11. Has Dick Dale ever asked you to have relations with his wife?

Dude, that is a rude question and totally out of bounds. Where would you get such an idea?

12. Does Dick Dale walk around the house naked? What's the most times you've played "Wipe Out" in a row?

Well, I have been at Dick’s house when him and his son Jimmy were running around out back naked but they were swimming so I’ll give them that one. Dick is a free spirit in all sense of that word. But he also is experienced in life so generally he wears a pair of undies. And no they are not whitie tities.

The most times I played Wipe Out in a row was with the OG wipeouts, The Surfaris. We were on a float in the Huntington Beach 4th of July parade and we played Wipe Out for over 2 hours straight. People were running along side of the float pouring water over my head while I was playing.  I shit you not.

Dusty at Melkweg in Amterdam with Dick Dale

13. According to your sources, how many hours of Pro Tools were required to bring Lars Ulrich's drumming up to par on the last Metallica album? If Lars Ulrich were fighting a death match with Tommy Lee, would it be possible to hope for a winner?

That’s insider information, sir. But from what I heard from a very reliable source, the band took the usual several months to track and then they took the drum tracks to yet another studio to “fix”. I really don’t know what that means but you know just making sure everything lines up properly. I don’t think that is so out of the norm these days, but I don’t really know.

And to answer the 2nd part of this question, I can’t say that I am a huge fan of either one’s playing so if I heard about a death match between these two I would probably just roll over and go back to sleep.

14. Are double kick drums for pussies?

I happen to like double bass drums. Like A LOT. I don’t play them and haven’t in many years, tho I did do a Cream Tribute band gig with a friend of mine a couple years ago and set one up it was fun as hell. It’s powerful as hell driving 2 bass drums - it's like the difference of riding a crotch rocket or a Harley...you can FEEL the double kicks vibrate your balls, ya know? I have used slave pedals off and on (Dick Dale, Supersuckers) but I usually just stomp on one pedal and one kick drum.

15. Bill Ward was always looking for the One. Did he ever find it?

I don’t know that story but I adore Bill Ward. I was already in love with his playing from my Black Sabbath records, then when I got to see him live for the first time at the California Jam in Ontario in’73 or ’74 man that was the shit! Single rack with double bass – what a set up!

16. Travis Barker got famous playing along to a complicated drum loop on YouTube. Do you think he could pull it off if you made him sit on your bass drum pedal at the same time?

I don’t need to give Travis any shit. That guy can fucking play. He’s got too many tats and wears his shorts too low but other than that he’s alright.

17. Why should anyone give a shit about Cozy Powell? Couldn't Tommy Aldridge kick any drummer's ass during the 70's?

Cozy Powell played on so many records no one is even aware they are listening to him. And the live work with Jeff Beck, Rainbow, Sabbath, Whitesnake...he really was a powerful drummer. I love the red sparkle Ludwig double bass 26’s he used to pound. Cozy died in 98 drunk driving at 100+ miles an hour talking on the cell phone from what I know. Now that’s living in the fast lane. I used to watch Tommy Aldridge as often as possible. I musta seen Black Oak Arkansas over a dozen times in the 70’s at the Swing Auditorium. A million years later I saw him again with the new line up for Thin Lizzy and he was still awesome as hell. I admire Tommy a lot. He might be the best all around rock and roll drummer ever.

18. Are blast beats for faggots?

I’m not into that shit I don’t even know how to calculate how to do that for more than 30 seconds.

19. Do you think Norwegian Black Metal is at all relevant today? As someone over the age of 45, do you know of any of your contemporaries who gives a fuck about the difference between death metal, black metal and grindcore?

Dude, I wish I knew more about that stuff cuz I know there are a lot of people totally into it. I really don’t know shit tho maybe it’s cuz I’m too old, ya think? Hmmm. I was in Norway and Sweden a few times and the kids were showing us some of the churches that had recently been burned down all part of that scene. Pretty wild they would take it that far ya know. Like I said, I don’t get it. Nah, nobody I run with knows squat about that scene.

20. And, finally, could John Bonham even carry Keith Moon's TV set up his hotel room?

John Bonham was HUGE! All his tracks are spotless and fills perfect and grooves undeniable. Solid as all hell. Keith was completely out of his mind and more of an actor behind the drums. Fun and witty and entertaining as hell but nowhere near the power of Bonham. Keith’s playing reminded me of Dino Danelli from the Young Rascals, another quirky fun drummer to watch. Bonham was a solid crusher. Dig ‘em both and cite them as influences but I would always go with Bonham on that comparison.


And there you have it. 20 questions with one of the nicest guys in rock / punk / surf / blues / etc. Now go listen to Pat Travers’s “Snortin Whiskey, Drinkin Cocaine” to hear Tommy Aldridge in action [Professor Bunkum was very excited when wine snob flick “Sideways” had that tune playing in the background of the tow truck driver’s house.]