Death (left): “I wanted to get back to songwriting. I haven’t played my own music since 2011. People think I’m this cover musician...”
“I’m getting my old band back together.” Diana Death is jet-lagging from her recent trip to London and back. She tells me the original plan was to travel as part of the El Vez Punk Rock Revue, that is if All Tomorrow’s Parties (the Drive Like Jehu–curated gig scheduled in Manchester, England) had not canceled and left several bands in the lurch. “But I’d planned to take the time off from work anyway,” so she used the opportunity to vacation instead. “The weather was beautiful. It wasn’t like what the meteorologist said it was gonna be.”
...live at Casbah (2008)
Death, 39, is a veteran of punk-rock bands such as the Johnny Thunders tribute Chinese Rocks, the Little Richards, and more. “I got really busy.” The group she is reforming was alive from 1997 to 1999 and called the Gory Details. “We played places that no longer fucking exist,” she says over calamari and tacos. Elegant in all-black, she looks conservative for a hard-core anarchist punk; she’s just come from her day-job at a downtown law firm. “The Boulevard, Homer’s, and this place called the Oblivion. The Oblivion, it went into the oblivion.”
She says the reason for the reunion stems from a discovery of an old cassette tape of the Gory Details. “I thought, Wow, there are some pretty good tunes. So I called up the drummer, Heather — she’s the reason the band broke up.”
No, not in a bad way, Death explains. “Heather moved to Seattle in 1999. So she said, ‘No, you can’t have the Gory Details without me.’”
The net result is that Death will fly north so they can rehearse (“she wants to use only her drums”) before the reunion gig at the Casbah on 6/6/16.
“I found our old bass player Damien,” she says, and her eyes sparkle. “That’s his real name, Damien. Right? I want to release our album on blood-red vinyl.
- Monday, June 6, 2016, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
“Damien and I practiced all day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. a couple of times earlier this year,” she says. “We practiced hard both days. There’s always room for improvement.”
Is there a future for Gory Details, or will this be a one-off show?
“Heather has expressed interest in keeping it going,” Death explains. “We’ll probably do a show on Halloween.”
But there is more at stake: “I wanted to get back to songwriting. I haven’t played my own music since 2011. People think I’m this cover musician. I’m not. I’m an artist. I’m a songwriter.”