Speaking with…Joie Calio
When Dada’s “Dizz Knee Land” hit radio in 1992, fans flipped over the line, “I just flipped off President George.” More than a decade later, the song has gotten a resurgence, thanks to another controversial President George.
“So many people have asked what that song is about and they’ve come up with all these ideas,” says bassist/singer Joie Calio. “It’s all of that and none of that. I like to leave it at that.”
The trio, which also includes guitarist/singer Michael Gurley and drummer Phil Leavitt, has completed its fifth album, which is just waiting to find a home — but most likely not on another major label.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE CALIO HAD TO SAY:
Pre-Dada: I worked at Geffen Records and got a lot of free CDs.
Your contribution to Dada: I’m the guy who puts all the songs together that audiences hear before the bands go on. My CD-to-CD burner is my new toy.
Dada is: The mothership now. I’m not saying we’d never sign another recording contract, but I don’t want some record company to be in charge anymore.
History of “Dizz Knee Land”: It’s our best-known song, but it’s not our best song. I got the idea for the song in a dream where I saw this word “Disneyland” on a bus. I heard a melody and then I woke up, wrote it down and called Mike up to finish it up.
“I just flipped off President George”: [Neither] Bush has said a thing about those lyrics, I doubt they really care what a little band like us says.
In your CD player now:: The new Eels record, “Summer Teeth” by Wilco. And the first Pete Yorn album and the last Beck record.
Favorite music: I’m a fan of records from the 1950s and 1960s.
What frustrates you: Whenever I hear something that’s too good, it pisses me off. There are a couple of songs on the Eels album that makes me feel that way.
On your bookshelves: I love anything by Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller, Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac. On the Road made me read every Kerouac book their was. I love the Beat generation. All the great ones really are great.
Book you’re recommending: Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison. It’s really harsh by really good.
Your book: I have chapters of You Can’t Hear It But You Know It’s There on my Web site (www.joiecalio.com). It’s more of a novella than a book, based on the wacky tales of my youth.
Last good movie you saw: I loved “A Beautiful Mind.” It moved me, I love old movies.
Name a movie better than the book: “A Clockwork Orange.”
Marlon Brando or James Dean? I’ll have to go with Brando. I love all his movies.
Better Lolita – Sue Lyons or Dominique Swain? Sue Lyon!
Favorite kitschy movie: (John Frankenheimer’s) “Grand Prix.” It’s very campy and cool. That movie wrecked me for life on cards. Every now and again, I’ll have a Grand Prix party.
Last time you cried: I went to a screening of “Casablanca” at Mann’s Chinese Theatre (in L.A.), had a few cocktails and cried. I can’t believe that movie came out when it did. It’s still relevant today.
Motto: Not all bands are created equal… as far as artistry.
Flavor-of-the-month-bands: That’s not a bad thing. It’s like you have stuff in your closet that you’ll wear the rest of your life adn others you’ll wear this summer and throw out. Nothing wrong with that.
Chicago: It’s the first out-of-twon city we conquered. We were never even that big in L.A. It’s the first city we had our big, “Wow! Ohmigod they love us!” moment.
Final words: Our well has not run dry.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times