Fever Dog wants you!
Perhaps it was the Jack Black-like quote—“We could make an impact on other people through our music and our rocking”—in a recent message on Craigslist that caught our fancy. Danny Nunez , a 17-year-old guitarist, was looking for a vocalist (“no pussy emo bullshit” as he put it; “no nu-metal or metal-core, death-core, grind-core, crust-core, mall-core, I’mastupidpieceofcrap-core, gore-core, or whatever else you wanna call it fake metal”) along with a bassist and drummer, between the ages of 16 and 22, to join him and another guitarist to play some real rock ’n’ roll. Not that lame-ass imitation Strokes crap, but the real stuff: the Stooges, Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Black f***ing Sabbath, the kind of tuneage that makes Viagra unnecessary. (You can contact Nunez at email@example.com.)
Got any responses yet from your ad?
Um, I got, like, three. One guy, he kinda liked what I was saying, and he wanted to meet me and my friend. We met up with him, and we jammed on Sunday. He was pretty good and stuff, but that was the only guy where it really worked out. Like, I got a response from another guy, but he was kinda … off-the-wall-sounding, you know? And I got a response from another guy, but he already had a band going, and he only needed one guitar player. I got responses from older people, saying that I left out other bands. They told me to get into other bands like Rush and stuff. And I told them, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard Rush.” Other than that, I haven’t gotten any responses. I’m still looking forward to some more. I’m going to re-post the ad pretty soon.
How would you define perfect rock ’n’ roll?
I think my standard of what a perfect rock ‘n’ roll sound is is really different than what a lot of people have these days, because I think you have to incorporate a bit of blues. If you want to play rock, you have to have a large appreciation for the blues. And that’s something that a lot of people don’t see. But I think that every band should at least attempt some sort of bluesy feel to something. Other than that, I really like when bands put in a bit of boogie. Because it started with the R&B stuff back in the ‘50s, and I think it’s great when they throw in a little bit of that, too. But it’s hard for me to pinpoint a perfect rock ‘n’ roll sound. Like, my taste for rock music varies from some of the early stuff to even into the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, when it was striving to be alive. I like it hard, in terms of like Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin—and Black Sabbath was a really big hard band to me. But, at the same time, all three of those bands, when they played live, they knew how to throw in some of those blues roots. Which, to me, really stands out—when, like, a band can go from blowing your face off and taking you away with a really good guitar solo and then dropping back into some sort of really smooth jam. It just makes it so worthwhile.
What’s your current rig?
Right now, I have a Fender DeVille 410 [amp], and I use a Marshall Jackhammer distortion pedal. It’s pretty good. I have a Crybaby wah-wah pedal. And I only have an Epiphone SG [guitar] right now, but I’m going to upgrade to a Gibson one day, once I get a job. It’s modeled pretty much after the ‘61 SG style. But if you go buy a Gibson SG, everything’s gonna be a bit more decorative; the fretboard markers are abalone. But I got the Epiphone, and I thought it was the best thing ever, and now I’m kinda over it, you know?
Does it sound good?
It sounds all right. Like, I’m gonna have to mess with the amp to get a good sound. The fretboard is really choppy, and I can’t get the job done with it entirely. It’s just more like a midrange kind of guitar, like the kind you get right before you step up to the big leagues. One day.
Do you and your pal both play leads, or do you trade off?
Usually, we’ll just start in some sort of jam situation. We’ll just be talking what chords we’re going to play, and then I’ll start playing some sort of riff—you know, involving three or four chords, and maybe I’ll throw in a little bit of picking somewhat. And then one of us will play a lead over it, and then we’ll switch. And we dabble in a bit of the twin leads—where you harmonize the leads and things like that. We’re really influenced by, um, Deep Purple did it a bit, but they only had one guitarist, but they harmonized it with an organ. And another band we’re really into is Wishbone Ash.
I knew you were going to say Wishbone Ash.
Aw, man, they’re, like, amazing. I couldn’t even imagine playing guitar without finding out about that band. A lot of the twin-lead sound has an effect on us. You know, for me, my first influence is Zeppelin, but they don’t do a lot of the harmony stuff.
You had “no pussy emo” in your ad.
Oh, yes. Entirely. Because everybody in this damned town—not just here, but everywhere else—they feel that, like, just because one guy started doing it, so now this bigger scene evolved around it, so now another guy has to do it, and he thinks, "Ah, this is going to get me somewhere." They don’t know that next year, it’s going to be a different musical fad. I remember when I was in middle school; it was horrible. Everyone was like, "Oh, we gotta play like Slipknot or Korn—stuff like that." Then it evolved. It was like, "We gotta play punk." And now this emo thing started. And it’s just like, "Whatever happened to rock ‘n’ roll?" That’s what I think to myself. I know there are some bands that have come out in the last couple of years who have really tried to save it and push it back toward the mainstream. But if I had the chance to push it out there, you know, I’d give it everything I have. And it’s something I’m really desiring in my life. Like, I don’t have any other ambition or goal, other than that.