If one can be a charming thug, Atlanta’s Dinos Boys are charting that course right now, probably in the back of some dive bar bathroom. That’s where they seem to spend at least 29% of their time, given not just their trashy twists on obscurant ‘70s power pop, but their excellent live show that has bashed all over dive stages with iffy tattooitus and guitar string snaps for around two solid years now.
Their just-released debut album, Last Ones, is a co-release with Brooklyn’s Oops Baby Records and Atlanta’s Die Slaughterhouse, which makes sense because leader Danny Song cut his teeth (literally) in the Brooklyn punk scene, forming Dinos Boys circa 2011, but soon moved to Atlanta, bringing in Chase Noles, former lead singer of the Heart Attacks, Mike Koechlin from Predator and Beat Beat Beat, and Matt McCalvin, formally of Gringo Star.
They just spat around SXSW some, and expect a tour soon. For now, let’s check in with Mr. Song (guitar/vocals) and Mr. Noles (vocals/guitar).
Band name questions are the worst. But is asking, “Who is Dino?” a band name question?
Danny Song: There is no Dino. DINOS is short for Despicable Ignorant Nasty Ole Shit-stirrers.
Where are you originally from?
Song: Atlanta born ‘n’ bred. I was in NYC from 2007-11.
Chase Noles: Made in Atlanta, gonna fade in Atlanta.
Can you tell me a brief history of the other band members?
Song: When I started Dinos Boys it was with Danny Gold of Stalkers, Ryan McHale of Nightbirds and an old Atlanta friend, Ryan Roberts. Now it’s Chase Tail (aka Noles) on guitar/vocals, Bison Beavers (Beat Beat Beat) on bass and Tyler “Slim Jerry” Kinney (Manic and Mercenary) on drums (recently replacing Matt McCalvin).
Noles: Yeah, he made sure everyone was under 5’8″. I remember him stressing his band to have an image like mischievous, punk hobbits, which I was totally into.
Danny, why did you move to Atlanta?
Song: I lost my rent controlled apartment in Williamsburg and ended up living in my van for 50 days. This was around October, 2011, so as winter approached, the van just didn’t cut it.
Since NYC always gets bagged on for gentrification, let’s have you tell us what’s great about living in NYC, and what sucks about living in Atlanta, just for kicks.
Song: Ha ha, well for starters, in NYC you can bail on anything and not get shit for it. Also, Irish goodbyes. There’s free food everywhere if you know where to look. Drugs are delivered to you. As for Atlanta sucking: I hate driving and none of my friends have cars; and you can’t buy beer from Saturday midnight ‘til Sunday noon.
Noles: New York is great because Dinos Boys do not reside there anymore. Atlanta sucks for everyone because they have to deal with Dinos Boys antics on a day to day basis. Both are great cities where we have warriors and princesses for friends and sometimes Slim Gerry makes out with warrior princesses, but not like Xena, more like Chyna from wrestling.
There’s a good scene for trash-punk bands and such down in Atlanta these days, no?
Song: Yes, the hardcore punk scene is definitely booming. Great house shows all the time. Great bands like Mercenary, Manic and Wymyns Prysyn. Labels like Scavenger of Death.
So the new album. It’s your first whole album, right? Where did you make it, and how long did it take?
Song: We recorded it at my house, all on a Tascam 414 Portastudio, dumped onto ProTools. Nothing too funny or weird, it just took forever to finish. I think we even took a four-month break between music and vocals. Fuckin nightmare. Hope everyone enjoys it.
Noles: It’s my first LP ever and I’m super excited and thankful.
And yes, that was a veiled transition to asking about the wild rep of Chase Noles.
Song: Nah, he ain’t so bad. Just feed him some strong bows and a blunt and he’ll chill.
Noles: Super chill. Check my resume.
How/where did you two meet?
Song: I met him about 10 years ago at the old Lennys. He was in the Heart Attacks then, and they played there often.
Noles: Never remember meeting him.
Do people assume Chase has been to jail, what with all the neck tatoos?
Song: We don’t really talk about it.
Noles: Hey, I’ll talk about it. Some dude named Scrapman shaved his dreads and kept them in a ziploc bag. We used to play football with his dreads. Even sharpied a Wilson logo on the bag, started a team and challenged the guards. They made a movie about it. I haven’t been to jail (for an extended stay) for three years. Basically had my face, neck and everything visible tattooed before jail. My legs were empty minus a Bart Simpson I did on myself. There weren’t very many people besides Lil Wayne and the MS 13 gang with cool, tough face tattoos back then, especially white folks. So they assumed I was Aryan Brotherhood in an all-black jail in Dekalb County. I have a noose on my arm that says “Hang Loose,” but after hearing my twang and my knowledge on hood rap, they knew I was just a wild albino gorilla. Fought a 19-year-old over stolen ramen and saw someone get dunked on while both shoeless. The worst year was 2010. I think I spent four months total, on three different occasions in jail. Spent my 23rd birthday watching Beetlejuice fight J.B. at 4:30 in the morning over breakfast. Woke up on Halloween in a paper suit in the crazy unit with no idea how I got there or what I was convicted for. Google my name. What’s the first thing that pops up when searching? Not “Chase Noles Saved Christmas,” that’s for sure. Guess which pictures I was on mushrooms and/or Xanax.
Will do. So, back to the new record, some questions about certain songs: What did you start riding when you “hit the knee high height” (assuming I’m hearing the lyrics right, in Knee High)?
Song: Ha! Chase wrote that song. I bet he was in shotgun of a Buick with no baby seat, cigarette smoke, windows up.
Noles: That song is about a certain run from police. “Ready to Ride” implicates you are down for whatever cause or action. Like you’re a rider. Been since day 1: 0% Police, 100% Rider. The pre-chorus lyrics are, “Raised outlaw, never followed with the flock. Sniff every rat out, run every road block. Too damn fast and invisible to cops. I don’t stop. Knee High!”
Where’s Hoovertown, and is there an actual girl from there?
Song: Hoovertown is a place in every sad lonely girl’s heart, a stall in every bar bathroom. And yes, there are hundreds of girls from there.
Who’s Marie Laveau?
Song: She was a voodoo lady in New Orleans. We went to her grave a couple years ago to pay respect. There’s a photo of us at it, I think, on our Instagram. I wouldn’t know for sure. I have a shitty phone.
Noles: I’ve always been interested in paranormal stuff and found out about Marie through the history Channel when I was 15, and had a lot of respect for her and her story. At 19, I visited her grave on a Heart Attacks tour at five in the morning. It was me, our fill-in bass player and some big, wild street dude who sold us seven surely fake valiums for $10. Didn’t even rob us. Went back there most every time with Heart Attacks, usually drinking in front of tour groups mid-day. I introduced Dinos to her grave a couple of years ago, and so we paid a simple homage to the Voodoo Queen in that song. People think we pronounce the name wrong in the song, but those people are just going by what they heard from someone else. Like all dummies.
Is She Cut Me a cover?
Song: Nah man, I wrote it.
Noles: I wish it was a cover and not real life. Some people watch DVDs, some people’s lives are DVDs.
So if She’s Outdated, what are you?
Song: Well, I just turned 30. So I guess I’m outdated too. Fuck.
Noles: A young, fine-tuned wild stallion, with a beautiful mane to match.
How often do you guys practice, and where?
Song: We don’t practice often. Usually once before an upcoming show. We practice at my house, my neighbors don’t care. One is my brother and my other neighbor is Shocked Minds’ Josh Martin’s little brother.
Noles: Dinos Boys don’t practice. There’s a right way and a (Danny) Song way of doing things. If we practiced, it wouldn’t be fair for the other bands we play with because we’d be too good. If we practiced, we’d probably have three LPs and an extensive merch catalog by now, and we’d be touring the moon with god with millions of dollars and space pussy galore. But again, that just wouldn’t be fair to everyone else.