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GOING BERZERK WITH THE VIKINGS !

w/ STEVE BAISE
author: Peter Markham
published in Moshable # 16, Denmark, 1996
>>>
In our interview with The Hellacopters in the last issue, their guitarist Nicke
said that The Devil Dogs' "Saturday Night Fever" LP is probably the best album o
f the 90's, and I totally agree with him on that. Sadly that was to be the last
full length from the New York garage rockers before they went seperate ways. Gui
tarist/ vocalist The Fabulous Andy G. and drummer Joe Vincent went on to form th
e also cool outfit Los Primos. While bassist/ vocalist Steve Baise has no less t
han THREE different bands: one in Japan, one in Spain and definitely the best of
the lot, formed with some of his Norwegian friends - The Vikings !
The Vikings put out their amazing debut long player "Go Berzerk!" earlier this y
ear, featuring many swanky cover tunes and a good deal of cool originals. Good t
ime punk rock'n'roll much in the vein of The Devil Dogs, with the added talents
of members of prominent Norwegian bands. When I went to Oslo, Norway during East
er time I not only got the witness The Vikings in sweaty live action, and I got
to hang out with Steve and the boys and even went to the studio with them, but r
ead more about that in my "Fear and Loathing in Oslo" story. After a long day of
screaming "Good Head" and other intelligent things, I sat down with Steve for a
few drinks and to hear the dope about The Vikings and his many projects.
Moshable: Tell me about the other members of The Vikings and what bands they pla
y in ?
Steve Baise: It's Thomas Seltzer who also plays in Turbonegro, Morten Henriksen
who plays in The Yum Yums, Knut Schreiner who plays with Kre And The Cavemen, and
now we a new drummer Thomas Dahl who plays with The Yum Yums also. The new kid
on my cock ! (laughter)
Moshable: So you have three guitar players now ?
Steve Baise: Yeah, not at the same time, but yeah, I guess.
Moshable: You have singles on Sympathy and Screaming Apple and there's also a Ja
panese CD ?
Steve Baise: The two singles that we have were recorded at the same time, two Ch
ristmases ago, at the Christmas of '93 and the were released in '94. And last ye
ar we recorded 16 songs for a CD. We did all the basic tracks - guitar, drums an
d bass here in Norway, and I took the tapes back to New York and I did all the v
ocals and all the mixing. Then it came out in June of '95 on a Japanese label ca
lled 1+2 . And I decided that instead of having one label pay for everything, I
was going to pay for it myself and be in control and sell it and license it. I h
ave contracts with three different companies for this Vikings "Go Berserk!" CD,
it's out in Europe on Roto Records from Madrid and they'll have distributors all
through Europe and South America.
Moshable: It's the label run by the guy from the Pleasure Fuckers ?
Steve Baise: He works there, but it's run by an Argentinian guy, but Kike he's l
ike a main force there, he's not some office boy. Sympathy is putting it out in
the States, and it's a good label. I don't know how much stuff The Vikings are g
oing to do in the U.S. because they're here in Norway and I'm there. So it wasn'
t really important getting the best label possible in the U.S. that's how I felt
because we're not looking to go over there and tour for months. Just so that th
e people can have it, and enjoy it.

Moshable: So how did the band come about ?


Steve Baise: I have a Norwegian wife and I was over here a couple of times.
Moshable: The Devil Dogs were really popular over here ?
Steve Baise: I don't think so, not at all. We played for like anywhere from 50 100 people but we kept coming back. I'm from the school of if it's a good city
and the show is so so, you have to keep coming back and you get more and more pe
ople. And even if it doesn't really get better, sooner or later - "boom" it's go
ing to get better. And that's what happened last night with The Vikings 'cause t
hat was like the 8th time I played in Oslo - three with The Devil Dogs and five
with The Vikings, and there was never that many people at any of those shows.
Moshable: It seemed like people were really into it ?
Steve Baise: Well, they are now, but it was a good show though. But it took me l
ike ... I'm just saying this from my point of view, it took four years of me com
ing here and playing for people to come to see, not necessarily me, but whoever
I'm involved in.
Moshable: Still, people who liked The Devil Dogs would probably also like The Vi
kings.
Steve Baise: Yeah, that's good. The thing with me is that I've played in a coupl
e of diffenrent bands but I don't write different songs for each band, I just wr
ite and play what I do and what I like of course. So I have another band in Japa
n and you'd probably like that stuff too, 'cause it's high energy rock'n'roll, g
ood covers and some funny originals.
Moshable: So who're you playing with in Japan ?
Steve Baise: It's the guitar player from The Jet Boys, a great Japanese punk roc
k band, one of the girls from The 5-6-7-8's and the drummer from Guitar Wolf. So
I mean whatever I do, people are going to like if they liked what I did with Th
e Devil Dogs.
Moshable: So what happened with The Devil Dogs, you seemed to be getting quite a
bit of success ?
Steve Baise: Yeah, we were doing pretty good, but it's a pretty long story so I'
ll make it kind of brief. We worked really hard, we played all over the world, b
ut in the States where it was important for us ... If you drive 5 - 7 hours and
have a good show like one you would have in Europe where the show is really good
, where the people really care about rock'n'roll. But in the States it's like th
ey don't, and after a while for at the end we did a lot of touring and a lot of
work. You're in a van travelling with two other guys, and we never had a road ma
nager, we never had anybody helping us - maybe at a New York show. I think a lot
of it, I mean we were a really good band and really hard working, not professio
nal but there was no bullshit. We were never fucked up and couldn't play, the sh
ow was always the most important thing. And it takes its toll. It wasn't my deci
sion to end the band.
Moshable: The two other guys are in another band ?
Steve Baise: Yeah, but now they split up. So it's only Fabulous Andy G by himsel
f now ( drummer Mighty Joe Vincent is now in The Prissteens - Ed. ) But now we'r
e probably bigger than ever, once you break up. Because I think a lot of that ha
s to do with now that I do The Vikings and when somebody reviews the record or t

ells somebody about The Vikings they usually say it's the guy from The Devil Dog
s' new band.
Moshable: It's the same reason my friends like The Vikings.
Steve Baise: Right, and that's a good reason. Because this is the same thing, it
's no bullshit - you were there today and things gets intense and you have to be
really cautious what you say to other people, but you have to let them know wha
t the fuck is going on.
Moshable: What's the name of the Japanese band again ?
Steve Baise: It's called Pearl Schwartz. Pearl like in Pearl Harbour and Schwart
z like a very traditional Jewish last name, but nobody understands that. It's a
pretty funny joke though, I think so. We have two singles coming out and it got
started out the same way The Vikings did, The Devil Dogs played there three time
s, and I just went there in november by myself, flew there and didn't have to wo
rry about two other guys, I didn't have to worry about babysitting. I went there
and it was fucking great to have all the shows set up. It's a lot different tha
n when I'm here. I love it here and I hate it here at the same time. But in Japa
n it's a breeze. But it's the same thing with people in popular bands.
Moshable: What's the story behind when The Devil Dogs recorded "Saturday Night F
ever", you had all these people in the studio ?
Steve Baise: Yeah, I mean we basically had a party. If you really want to know,
we recorded all the songs and then we had a party, and we played the record back
and bought a couple of cases of beer, a couple of bags of pot. Had about 20 peo
ple there, the Supersuckers were there, some guys from the Posies were there, Th
e Fastbacks - big time namedropping, I fucking hate all those people ( laughter
). No, just a bunch of friends and people we know in Seattle. Because Seattle is
very cool, it's gotten a bad reputation from the whole grunge thing but it's a
really cool city and a lot of cool people.
Moshable: It seems like the best bands in Seattle are the ones who never made it
big, like the Fastbacks.
Steve Baise: So we just had like 20 people there, played the record back and we
were drinking. But it was pretty ad lipped, and we knew at certain times that wh
en it comes to this part start cheering or clapping. It was a big fucking party,
but it wasn't when we were recording which everybody thinks - "oh, they recorde
d a record and all their friends were there". No, we recorded a record and then
we brought our friends there and played the record for them with two stereo micr
ophones, one on ten people and one on ten people.
Moshable: Almost all The Devil Dogs stuff came out on Crypt, would you like to w
ork with Tim Warren again ?
Steve Baise: Well, he didn't want to do this Vikings CD so I don't know. But sur
e, I'd do something with him, I still have a good relationship with him. All the
people I ever deal with in this shitty business I still have a good relationshi
p with. I took care of most of the business and management with The Devil Dogs,
so I have all these contacts. He's one that I would definitely use again.
Moshable: It seems like all the bands on Crypt are splitting up ( at the time th
ere were rumours about the New Bomb Turks splitting up ) ?
Steve Baise: No they didn't split up. It's so weird because over here people are
always asking me ... not that that's a strange question, but I hear the same qu
estions about the same bands like it's an underground thing. About the Turks it'

s because they cancelled shows they had here, so it's either A: they broke up, o
r B: and B is what happened, is that they're doing a record for Epitaph. So Epit
aph said "Don't do the tour " or I don't know. They got signed to a good label,
a label with some money that's hopefully going to do something for them. And Tee
ngenerate didn't break up either, it's just that they're kind of taking some tim
e off. But there's two things, it's easier for them to just tell people that the
y're breaking up and I think a lot of it had to do with language communication,
it's just easier for them to just say "oh, we're breaking up, it's our last show
" or whatever. And everyone thinks they broke up, they are going to play some mo
re shows in a year so everyone going to be psyched, "they got back together!". B
ut they just taking a break, I've been friends with those guys since '90 when th
ey were another band, American Soul Spiders. I have a lot of friends here and th
ere's a lot of cool people here which is really nice, and in Japan it's the same
. I go somewhere and there's a lot of people to hang out with.
Moshable: So how's the scene in New York ?
Steve Baise: It's OK, there's a couple of new bands and there's a couple of band
s that I'm producing. When I'm not flying here or there, the one thing I've been
doing The Devil Dogs broke up I've been doing more of, is producing records. An
d recently I've started driving bands on two week tours. When I go back home I'l
l work on two records, this weekend I'm going to New Hampshire to record this ba
nd, then I come back and Thursday I'm driving this band Candy Snatchers - really
fucking great band, and they going to do a tour with The Meteors, which will pr
obably be a nightmare. And we'll go out to California, they doing a whole big to
ur but I'm only doing two weeks. And from there I fly to Japan to play six shows
and I fly back to New York, and basically I'm seperated with my wife right now
so I could travel and play and do things in music probably forever, but either I
got to get a divorce or I have to start working on my marriage. But things have
been going good for me since The Devil Dogs quit playing, instead of managing T
he Devil Dogs I'm just managing my own career - some fucking career ! I'm never
going to get rich of this, but at least I'm having a good time doing what I real
ly love and doing what I do best, as long as it doesn't cost me. So I've trying
to do different things and still be in the music business.
Moshable: So what did you do before The Devil Dogs ?
Steve Baise: Nothing much, I moved to New York in 1986, I have my ten year anniv
ersary coming up and I went to Audio Engineering School. I did that for a couple
of years, so I didn't play in any bands for a couple of years probably not unti
l like 1988. And played with this band The Rat Bastards, and that band turned in
to The Devil Dogs. But I have this thing going on in Spain now too, with this la
bel Roto. I went there in january, I felt like leaving New York so I bought the
ticket really cheap. I just wanted to get the fuck out of New York, which is wha
t you have to do if you live there and keep your sanity. So I went for 99 dollar
roundtrip, so I went to next day, which is disgustingly cheap like a 1000 Krone
r. I have a lot of friends in Spain like the Pleasure Fuckers, the same thing he
re as in Spain, plus I wanted to hurry up the Roto release of The Vikings and ma
ke sure they had everything straight. And there was this band that had recorded
basic tracks, like punkrock "let's jump on the bandwagon, we can make a few buck
s" kind of thing. And they didn't have a singer, and I just showed up out of the
blue and as soon as they saw me they were like "that's who we want to sing on t
his project". So I did that with them, there's like 12 songs. Good bands, but no
t my choice songs, like the Vibrators, the Buzzcocks, Dictators, Circle Jerks an
d just like regular punk rock.
Moshable: Is that out now ?
Steve Baise: No, it's kind of like a project, it's not big deal, But in may, whe
n I get back from Japan, I am probably going to go there and finish up the recor

d and I can probably play some shows with these guys. I have a really good relat
ionship with Roto and Kike and Madrid is really fucking cool. And that band is T
he Matadors, and they wanted me to get involved like they way I'm involved in Th
e Vikings and Pearl Schwartz and I was like "just pay me to sing on this record
and I don't want any royalties, I don't want to get really involved" because I h
ave other things going on, and it's not really fair to them if they want to do s
omething concrete. So I signed for this record and it's going to be pretty good.
Moshable: I was talking to this guy today about all the NOFX pop punk stuff that
is big now, and maybe it'll be garage punk/rock that's going to be big the next
time ?
Steve Baise: It's possible, anything could happen. I think it's really going to
change, I don't know which way but after this Sex Pistols reunion, all the kids
are going to realize - I'm hoping, I mean they can't do a reunion like this and
totally suck, it's going to have to be good. It'll turn again, and I'm not sayin
g everyone are going to have a Sex Pistols-type of band, but more people will re
alize that this is really good rock'n'roll and not this NOFX shit that is coming
out. Hopefully I think it's going to change a little bit, not necessarily in my
favour but it's going to be a big thing. After Kurt blew his head off, it opene
d up some doors for Green Day and Offspring and that kind of music became cool.
Moshable: I don't really have anything else ?
Steve Baise: Yeah, I never played in Denmark but I always wanted to, but hopeful
ly the next time as long as it doesn't cost us. We played in Stockholm as it was
fucking cool. I can't really come over here for less than four shows, not that
I'm valueable or my time is so pretious, 'cause I live in New York, and it's so
fucking expensive rent and if I'm over here and I'm not making money just paying
my expenses that really sucks. But it's always the same things - we got to get
more shows.
Moshable: But more shows in Europe basically means Germany and Holland.
Steve Baise: Of course, but now we're going to be on Roto and that means ... you
know Paperclip Agency ? They're one of the bigger booking agents in Holland and
they want to work with The Vikings because Kike is doing his job forcing us dow
n their throat as far as promote my label and band kind of thing. But I don't kn
ow if that can be done because these guys are going to school, but sure that is
what we should be doing, we shouldn't be up here for a week, we should be headin
g south.
published on the web by "turbo-archive", 2000

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