THREE ONE G #4
1. Follow the Flock, Step in Shit
2. Coffin Nails
1. Labor Day ’92
3. Hand That Feeds
4. One Year
“I Hung Around In Your Soundtrack” Part 4 by Justin Pearson
Three One G was in no way making a profit by the releases we had put out thus far. Considering the time and labor put into the first two 7” covers alone, and the fact that there was a going rate of which we could charge for records, the profit was absorbed by the bands on tour or by what was put into creating the music in the first place. The decision to release a 10” EP was not the logistically smartest idea. The cost of a 10” is more than a proper 12” or LP, but the retail price was slightly lower than a 12”, hence making any possibility of profiting that much harder to achieve. But for reasons unknown to me at the time, I had become completely focused on redefining the packaging standards. After locating Erika records to manufacture the 10”, I then realized there was a slew of options that I could embrace. Putting cheaper priced vinyl manufacturing plants behind me and ignoring the initial costs of manufacturing, I stepped into the world of what was soon to be seen as absurdity as far as running a record label and more so, a business. I discovered the option of pressing a 5” record… but I also thought about combining it with a picture disc, taking the idea of practicality and tossing it out the window. I inquired with the plant and soon after put together Three One G #4.
I had started a band called Locust with Dylan Scharf, my comrade from Struggle, along with high school mate of mine, Robert Bray, who first approached me with friend David Astor in hopes to recruit me on bass to start a new project together. I accepted and with the idea of Dylan on vocals, the initial idea was for the band to come off along the lines of what Crossed Out had done. However, Dylan had some other ideas, such as not being just a vocalist and playing guitar as well as recruiting Dave Warshaw on vocals. Both Dylan and Dave decided to take on joint vocal duties and the band pushed forward. Three One G #4 was to be Locust’s second release. Just prior to this time, we released a split 10” with Bastard Noise on King of the Monsters, which was run by an old friend from Arizona. Locust dabbled with some synthesizers on our recordings, as Dave had a Micro Moog, but for some strange reason would not use it as a prominent instrument in the band or on our recordings. The sparseness of the synth only made Robert and I fixate on the idea of a fulltime synth player for the band. Soon after tracking the material, which appeared on one of the sides to this release, that sort of dream line up became a reality as both Dylan and Dave left the band. We recruited Jimmy Lavalle, who at the time was playing in a local band called Guyver 1. Jimmy was by default a guitar player, but was certainly talented at playing multiple instruments, and accepted the position to join Locust and play synth, while absorbing 1/3 of the vocal duties along side with Robert and I. The dual vocals with Dylan and Dave made us consider the option of splitting vocal duties among all players, with the exception of David.
For us in San Diego, things were drastically developing regarding what people were doing musically. Where we had the basis of hardcore and punk in what a lot of us were doing there, we were also discovering a new and sort of absurd element surrounding Gravity Records and a lot of acts associated with the label, such as Antioch Arrow, Angel Hair, and certainly Mohinder. Already being drawn towards this community, I was a huge fan of what Mohinder did at the time. It was faster, a bit more creative than bands of that stature, and had a world of mysticism surrounding it. I was not sure where that band came from, or how they even came up with the material on their record, but as all amazing things do, they eventually come to an end. While Jimmy was moonlighting in Locust (just before he was given the boot from Guyver 1 for allegedly “cheating” by playing in multiple bands), he had a show in Goleta, home of Ebullition, with this “new Mohinder band”. I had to see what it was all about and traveled up north with the San Diego crew. On my way up, I was certainly hoping that the same elements were part of this new thing and inquired as to who was in the band. I was told the drummer for Mohinder was involved, however he was playing bass and also taking on half of the vocal duties. I was confused and sort of disappointed in some respects– the drumming on the Mohinder material was mind blowing for the time. But I was still very interested. As we got there, and I heard that the first band called Jenny Piccolo was setting up, I realized it was this “Mohinder band”. Already intrigued by the band member’s resume, I was also amused by the Happy Days reference with the band name. They were a three piece; they played on the floor of some weird gallery, and by all means tore into less than ten minutes of punishing material that was a perfect mix of Mohinder and what was being described as Power Violence (a term coined by Eric Wood of Man is the Bastard). Not only that, but the drummer was as amazing as the drummer for Mohinder, which was hard to believe. As soon as the set was over, I realized this was the candidate for the flipside of the split 5” picture disc I had been waiting to release.
The material that appeared on the split was strange all around. With Locust, we were just figuring out what we wanted to do as well as how to fit into our skin, and had already altered our line up before this was released. And with Jenny Piccolo, they nailed it right out of the gates, but I think the quality of their recording suffered and was in no way up to par with the band’s live performance. Nonetheless, the two bands fell in love with each other and this record had to come out a.s.a.p. Both bands embarked on a US tour in support of the release of the EP, which was my first full US tour. We quickly sold out of the EP, which was shocking to me, considering the fact that most people could not even play a 5” on their record player, including myself. But the vinyl looked amazing, like a piece of art, which was my obsession from this point on. Over the years, we had pressed thousands and thousands of those EPs, never generating profit. The manufacturing cost of that record was so ridiculous and the fact that people would not pay more than a few bucks for it kept the growth of the label and any potential royalties for the two bands at a stand still. However this simply was not an issue, because as soon after the jaunt around the US was over, both bands decided to venture to Europe, solely based on this little piece of vinyl that most people could not even listen to.
A couple years after the two bands toured the EU, Three One G got a cease and desist notice since there was a Belgium electronic artists named Locust as well. The notice came via USPS and was sent from Elektra, threatening suit and repercussions in some form of legal jargon I could not comprehend. For one, I thought it was amusing, since, well, there is nothing that the other “Locust” or his label could take from me. But I also thought, given the fact that this other act’s music was more ambient and semi “normal”, all opposing parties of the Locust that I was affiliated with were slightly amused by the artwork of our record, which depicted a man who had removed his nose, as well as some pretty harsh and dark environmentalist type lyrics that accompanied the material on the record. So I then decided to just write to the label and say that Locust broke up, and never heard from them again.
In a perfect world, my idea was to write to the label, and explain that Locust consisted of multiple musicians who played instruments. Not only that, but we had nothing to lose. Therefore this guy, Locust, the label and their lawyer would have to come get what they wanted from us, and we were going to fuck them up if they came anywhere near us. But I decided to act a bit more grown up, especially after talking to Bob Barley from Vinyl Communications and hearing about his Dolly Parton lawsuit in relation to his band, Tit Wrench, using Dolly on the cover of one of their albums. Ironically enough, the gentleman going by the name of Locust wrote to me years later, saying that he was actually in support of the Locust that I was part of. He was amused by the confusion that the two acts created because of the fact that it was good publicity and bummed fans out on both sides of the fence. This was certainly a redeeming factor in my opinion, but the band I was part of ultimately decided to add “the” to our name, and we went on as The Locust.
Interview conducted with Dave Warshaw Oct. 2014
Justin Pearson: I suppose the most obvious way to start this interview would be to ask, how did you meet Dylan? He is the reason I ended up being friends with you, but as I recall, I never met you until you showed up for an early rehearsal of what became The Locust. Also, what was Dylan’s pitch to you as far as potentially joining the band?
Dave Warshaw: I met Dylan right before he turned 16. We instantly became friends and we really knew we were on a similar path. I went to his 16th birthday party at his mom’s, and from there I would eventually live in Seattle where Dylan would (in the future) come stay with me, and also start living in the Northwest. We started a crust punk band up there called HCS (Horrendous Cutthroat System). I played Moog and different electronics, and Dylan played guitar. This is the weird part: I had a really fucked up dream one night that both of my folks had died (which, believe it or not, would end up coming true in sorts). Well, I woke up, packed my shit, and Dylan, myself, and our friends Schmitty and Cam, rolled back down South the next morning. Dylan said, “Hey, let’s all move into my mom’s house,” and we did. We started growing all of our own food and playing music, among other things.
You then were approached by David and Bobby– who were YOUNG at the time, I might add. You mentioned it to Dylan at the time, when I was living at Janet’s and was asked if I wanted to sing. Our friend Cam was also asked. The first practice or two it was Cam and I, but Cam was not into singing, so Dylan then stepped up. I also remember the band was going to be called “IG88”, then “Slave One”, but one practice I was very ill, coughing up blood, dying in the upstairs and was writing vocals to “Sever The Toe” or something and that’s when the name Locust came about. Dylan and I had figured our sound was similar to that of a swarm of locust– later we would receive a cease and desist from the DJ in the UK and we would become The Locust! My memory is also like an elephant’s !
JP: That is odd. I was also at that party, I think. Was it at his dad’s house? Maybe it was the year before that, which I am thinking of. I remember John Brady showing up, with some other skinheads. At the time, John was a pseudo racist skin at a half Jewish kid’s party. Years later, John became the bassist and my comrade in Swing Kids.
Anyhow, Dylan pushed for you to join the band and the rest of us were not entirely sure what you were going to do in the band, but it certainly worked out right off the bat. We soon learned that Dylan wanted really just to play guitar. But your addition to Locust was interesting, as you got the rest of us to think a bit outside of the box. You had knowledge of what seemed to be fairly strange things in our collective world back then. Of course, your introducing Moog synthesizers was the most outstanding element, in my opinion. I was always attracted to electronic music and certainly vintage synth stuff, but I never would have thought to add it to what we were writing. I do remember Bobby and I pushing hard to have you do more stuff with the Moog, but you were always hesitant. Do you recall why?
As soon as you left the band, we said we were 100% bound to get a synth player and recruited Jimmy Lavelle. I found one of those MG1 synths at a pawn show a block from my house for $75. Bobby picked it up and Jimmy slayed that thing for a while. But I often wonder what would have happened if we had convinced you to be a more prominent synth player in the band.
DW: Ok, lemme refresh what I did! Hahaha! I also hand-made tape loops (on real tape)– this was pre sampler era keep in mind– so all of the samples were precisely recorded, then cut and spliced into the sounds we used (that people probably have ALWAYS thought were digital but were, in fact, completely tube driven reel to reel player 1/4 inch tape samples). The early recordings are almost led in by these samples, which set one’s first opinion of our shit! Those samples are gnarly… when was the last time you listened to the 5 inch? Fucking extreme power violence.
The reason I wasn’t really into playing more synth was because my Moog was monophonic and not polyphonic. Point being, I’m not conventional with things like that. To me, my part was bringing extreme noise into the project with my voice, my sounds, and my fucking bizarre messages. It was very experimental at the time in the scene, and I was very into Japanese noise and noise in general. I think, like always, I was trying to push the envelope a little further, or maybe just way differently- the original 10inch had more noise but it got shortened, and in the beginning , you guys were a bit hesitant about the Moog and the madness. That’s why I was very surprised when you guys got a keyboardist, to be honest. Back to my long winded answer- I’m not a keyboardist! Hahaha.
I appreciate you recognizing what I was doing at the time, I feel it helped to start a genre in itself. Also, thanks for having me in the band and being a consistent human being, I truly appreciate the great things I have done, and am glad that you’ve been there too. I feel like I left the band when it was appropriate; I was a little older and a little different– just enough to where I feel like we all have grown into family, where as then, I wasn’t as comfortable, maybe? And I had a shortwave theremin!!!!
JP: Man, it’s weird to hear this. I know for me, I was dead set on getting more Moog on anything we were doing. I was aware of the vintage synths at that point, but never had one presented during the writing process with stuff I was a part of. I was very into the noise aspects, especially strange science fiction sounding stuff. So I suppose the band opting for a proper synth player after you left was in part due to your introduction to what we were subconsciously collectively trying to do. I just think that it took the band a bit of time to figure out how to execute what we needed and wanted to do after your departure. Jimmy Lavelle was great for the band, but the MG1 only really could do a select few things. Once Joseph Karam got in the picture, I think we were already starting to embrace the more campy musical aspects that synths could bring to the bigger picture. So from them on, it was only a matter of time till we ventured into more “noise” type territories. But with that being said, I think Bobby and I became fully submerged in effects pedals, therefore all the instrumentation was starting to sound like various synthesizers and “noise”, for lack of a better term.
Ironically, I do think your project after you left Locust, Tarantula Hawk, was not all that far from where The Locust was headed as well. It seemed that we were all still on a very similar wave length. I suppose it’s partially due to the fact that we are all part of the same breed. But to me, Tarantula Hawk and The Locust seemed to be similar in a lot of ways. How did you decide to put that project together and where do you see your strong point as far as the instruments you choose to play?
DW: Hahahahaha, it’s funny to hear your versions compared to mine (that’s what’s neat about memories). Well, my mom became ill with cancer, so I moved up to Los Angeles to care for her. I came down a few times to see Locust, and I remember one night specifically when there was a show at your house and Bobby was wearing striped tights, and I was like WTF happened to Bobby? When I left the band, he had a metal mustache and was not into CRAZY SHIT by any means- he loved the speed and he loved the bizarre but not like this. We spoke about psychedelics and the Residents- he was obsessed- and that’s when Locust really twisted its sound to become what it was. I was soooooo surprised about how Weird bobby had become in such a short time I had been gone! Don’t forget Matt Lux was in the transformation as well, and with that being said, we (Dylan, Lux, Schmitty, Cam, and even Astor) were in LANDCANCER, which was probably the fourth coming of Tarantula Hawk! Do you remember that shit!?!?!
I do agree that Tarantula hawk and the Locust were most definitely on the same rails, but from completely different planets! We were homegrown, meaning all of the stuff we played was either handmade or so modded out by us that we would ensure people not being able mimic or “buy” the Tarantula hawk sound, per say. We were the polar sonic opposites as we had one loooong, slow, heavy set (people always thought it was one song; we knew there were several songs in there). But as you say, we were cut from the same cloth. I truly believe that Tarantula hawk could have done so much as a band, but what I always love about music and art is being a part of a scene that has not yet been formed or exploited to only become regular and boring and HIP!!! We were super underground and got to play with the gnarliest of gnar, but if we still existed, hell, we would be a weird stoner rock band. And lord knows we were NEVER a stoner rock band (nothing against it, but it’s waaaaay too common), or a heavy psyche band for that matter… just Tarantula Hawk. The Locust, right aside on the rails, was splitting skulls and also creating what would become a “sound” that people would adore. Can you imagine what it would have been like if we were just starting those bands? We would be generic! So I truly am grateful that I was able to be a part in an underground explosion of art and expression through brutal music! Tarantula hawk played our first show with you downtown at squires Warehouse! Good times BRUTHA – did I stay on topic?
JP: Bobby did certainly change over time. But I suppose I saw it a bit more gradual or natural. When I first met him, I knew he was into some weird stuff. I suppose it became more obvious or amplified when you noticed it. I think his interest in the weird and the more metal type of stuff was a unique style that came from his contribution of the band. Matt Lux, on the other hand, was only in the band for a couple shows and never wrote any material with us. I think he was set on sticking the more metal or grid core route and at that point, Bobby and I were dead set on getting weirder. Rest in Peace Matt Lux.
Nonetheless, the universe was set on putting us all together for whatever reasons.