The Ex Senators
e-mail interview with Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T
June 2012

"Its time to wake up!

“If you ever loved the bug eyed passion of the prime time Clash and the heart
on sleeve words are our weapons poetry of socially concerned rock n rollers like the Boss or Billy Bragg then the Ex Senators are talking your language.” ( UK)

Where are all the rebel songs is the most asked question of these times. Where are the songs that relate to the meltdown, the songs of defiance, the songs of community and redemption. Rock n roll can be many things but sometimes it has to have a social conscience. It has to relate to the real world. Lennon, Dylan, Strummer, Bruce- the canyon of names, blue collar rock n roll poets, voices that have to be heard in the meltdown.

The Ex Senators fit firmly into this tradition.

They exist in that world that is beyond fashion and talent show hucksters. This is a heartfelt rock n roll with songs of struggle sung with a celebration of life and the empowering rush of believing in the power of rock n roll. The subject matter is the voice in the wilderness, the international craving for community in the face of the machine.

It’s timeless rock n roll material and in the right hands it’s truly effective.

The band, who come from Chicago, have dumped the phoney fashion parade for an album of songs that deal with the modern politic with a passion and a wit that is startling in its brazen concern for the truth in a time of mainstream musical lies. Their debut UK single, ‘Start a Fight” is proof that mainstream rock can actually have a power and purpose.

The song comes with one of the videos of the year. An animated call-to-arms clip that doesn’t pull it’s punches and makes its point with a wit sharpened by an intelligent anger. The clip, like the band’s songs, hits all the right targets with its creative overload.

“The concept for the video was all this political bullshit meets The Ramones Spiderman,” grins frontman Dmac. “In a nutshell, the political dialogue in America has become nothing but hyperbole and hatred on both sides of the aisle. They’re all full of it.”

DMac speaks fondly of musical truth tellers such as Joe Strummer and Billy Bragg, Springsteen and Dylan whilst voraciously eating up the world’s media on the Internet, trying to find some sort of truth out there. Intelligent, passionate and with big hearts The Ex Senators typify a lost world in rock n roll, a world where music means something and can effect change with its passion and it’s intelligence."

Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans

The Ex Senators - who, what and why?

Dmac : vocals, rhythm guitars, keyboards, general nuisance
Van: lead guitar, bgv's, bourbon
Phabulous G.J.: lead guitar, bon vivant and funkmaster extraordinaire
Bryan Doherty : bass, beer, bail bonds.
Clyde Davis: Drums. All things sexy.

A rock n roll extravaganza of epic proportions.

It was this or jail.

Who are your heroes - musical, political, artistic, other?
The list of musical heroes depends on what day of the week and what mood you're in. Its a wide range from David Bowie, Jay Z, Beastie Boys, The Cult, The Clash, Public Image, Big Audio Dynamite, Foo Fighters, Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg, The Stranglers, Hunters & Collectors and more. much more. I could quote back to you how each of these artists or bands have come up in the studio, rehearsals or live in passioned arguments, explanations and constant musical conversation in this band. You have all these influences and then you have to chuck all that and just do your thing.

Political heroes: I'm amazed at the people in the Arab countries taking the steps they have recently to claim their own governments. it's incredible. Maybe someday that might happen in Detroit or New
Orleans. Watch out because you'll see how brutal the US government can really be when that happens.

Artistic: I absolutely love Christopher Hitchens. Didn't always agree with him but he was a real hero of mine and still is.


Tell us a bit about the single and its video.
The single "Start A Fight" and its video are a reaction to the overload of negative hyperbolic vitriol coming out of the every television and radio in America for the past three years and none of it making any sense nor having any real impact other than raising the level of hate and mutual distrust. Oh and then there's the UK remix which is a jaunty little number with its own video. dedicated to our good friend and passionate Ex Senators fan Rupert Murdoch. Espcially the line about "Set their minds on cruise control". That's for Rupey.

Describe your sound to a hard of hearing dead Republican senator.
Be happy your dead and deaf. You'd greatly dislike the cacophony of our disonance.

What are your plans for world domination?

Beyond buying a map and playing a show followed by driving and then another show, and a's not much planned out from there yet but we're getting round to it. Oh and a few more videos, singles and albums in there. And a pint.

I am just finishing Dorian Lynskey's book on protest songs, many of whose chapters end in defeat. What makes you think you can be any different?
That's kind of where we've come to... "how quaint" a protest song. I'd venture to say that the point of protest or of any social commentary in music isn't necessarily "victory" as we always become
the thing we despise. As a songwriter, you can observe the world or dream the world. In this case, some of The Ex Senators album is an observation on some not very nice stuff going on and a bit of an alarm. a call to action or a wake up call. 'Start A Fight' is a wake up call. Is anyone paying attention to the game being played? Leveson inquiry anyone? 'The Kids Are Trouble' is about the drug culture society has become... and not about legalizing pot. But 85% of the world Ritalin supply is consumed in the U.S. What? things like that are in our music and in the conversation we are having with our friends and fans online every day. And then there's another track "United Corporations of America" which is a friendly little ditty dedicated to Mitt Romney and Karl Rove in the US and all those lovely companies around the world who now own the political process we still think of as "democracy".


What can the UK look forward to in terms of your live experience?
It's a rock and roll extravaganza of epic proportions. Some serious thump to shake your ass. Punk shall be embroiled with the funk and
even some skanki ska ness will be in the mix. and guitars.

How can our readers get hold of your music, and why should they bother?
The album drops August 7th everywhere at all the music outlets online and of course at our website but I'd say go to Spotify first cause its free to start and then if you
like it, buy it or add us to your playlists and come see the band live.

And finally, a typically English question - what's best, chips (fries) or cream buns?
Chips. no doubt. With vinegar or tartare sauce or curry. and

Thanks to the band and Brad for sorting this out!

wers to questions...It's never about looking forward to it. Actually maybe I should change the
script, maybe we are looeir musicm the 3rd album?