4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Dewey Defeats Truman... again?

Why make a new video for a 20-year-old song?

Dewey Defeats Truman: older, wiser, and somehow having more fun because of it.
Dewey Defeats Truman: older, wiser, and somehow having more fun because of it.

“Our 12-inch vinyl EP is still months out, due to the crazy pressing backlogs, so in the meantime, we’ll be doing several digital releases,” says Dewey Defeats Truman singer-bassist James Reader, who’s working with Scott Frazier and Mark MacBride on the band’s first new music in around 20 years. A digital 7-inch is streaming online, Always Waiting in the Wrong Line, featuring two new tracks, “Bumped” and “Broken People.” The songs were recorded remotely during the pandemic, with more due later this year via Silver Girl Records.

The band was formed in the late 1990s by members of Red Dye No. 5 and Luper, and earned a reputation as a fiery concert act thanks to tour slots opening for Jesus Lizard, Archers of Loaf, and Kelley Deal, as well as festival appearances at NXNW in Portland, SXSW in Austin, and NYC’s CMJ Music Festival. They became inactive around 2003. According to Reader, “DDT basically stopped because our van, Air Force One, died towards the end of a regional make-up tour we did after we missed some shows on a CMJ tour. We didn’t have the money to fix it, and we were all pretty exhausted mentally and physically. We decided to take three months off, and kept extending it. After a year, we quietly just loaded out of our rehearsal space and all went our separate ways. We weren’t in touch much until [promoter] Tim Pyles reached out to me to see if we would do one of his 30-year 91X Loudspeaker anniversary shows [circa 2018]. We also did two shows in 2019: one of the Casbah 30-year anniversary shows, and La Escalera Fest OCHO.”

“Yeah,” adds singer-guitarist Mark MacBride, “after those three shows, we realized that only playing 20-year-old tunes wasn’t super interesting to us long term, so we held off on booking more and shifted our focus to working on new stuff.”

A new video is streaming online: “Blue Ruin,” from their 2000 album B-Sides, Rarities and Out-Takes. Why make a new video for an old song instead of a current track? “We were actually already well into writing new stuff by then, and knew we would eventually resurface in some form,” says Reader. “We wanted to start re-introducing ourselves, and a video for ‘Blue Ruin’ made sense because Keith [York, of Silver Girl Records] had pressed it into a gorgeous transparent blue 7-inch for the 2018 shows. It was one of the first things Silver Girl had done in a long while, and other than the shows, we never really promoted it.”

MacBride reveals that “the other option was to make a video for ‘Reverse Status,’ which is the B-side to ‘Blue Ruin’ on that 7-inch, and one that was previously unreleased. But it’s longer, and would’ve taken more work and footage to get it done. I burned through several years’ worth of timelapse material I had saved up just to have enough for ‘Blue Ruin.’”

For the new EP, Scott Frazier tracked his drums at Thunderdome Studios near his Sacramento home. “When we first re-formed, Scott was flying down once or twice a month,” says Reader. “He’d get in on a Friday night, we would rehearse all day Saturday, then all head to my house and work on stuff until all hours. On Sunday morning, we would wake up, make a big breakfast, and then do another all-day rehearsal. When covid started, that kind of threw us off, so we started sending files back and forth. But during the shutdown, we booked some time with Jeff Forrest at [San Diego studio] Doubletime.”

Frazier picks up the chronology. “We started to record remotely, mainly for demos. I was using an electric Roland kit. After talking back and forth, we decided that we could record these new songs ourselves, aside from the studio sessions we had done at Doubletime. I built a drum studio at my house in Sacramento to track real acoustic drums. Mark has a full studio at his house, and James is set up to track bass at his pad. We send all the files to Mark for mixing.”

So why, 20 years after disbanding, is Dewey Defeats Truman making new music? Says Reader, “We’re doing it because we’re all older now, and have been through loss and other struggles that help you with perspective. We do it because we all mean a lot to each other, and we just enjoy being in the same space, and seeing what kind of music can come out. Honestly, there is zero pressure to please anyone but ourselves, and that makes everything a lot more fun.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Following Serra High controversy, other San Diego High Schools forced to reckon with racist namesakes

Name Shame
Dewey Defeats Truman: older, wiser, and somehow having more fun because of it.
Dewey Defeats Truman: older, wiser, and somehow having more fun because of it.

“Our 12-inch vinyl EP is still months out, due to the crazy pressing backlogs, so in the meantime, we’ll be doing several digital releases,” says Dewey Defeats Truman singer-bassist James Reader, who’s working with Scott Frazier and Mark MacBride on the band’s first new music in around 20 years. A digital 7-inch is streaming online, Always Waiting in the Wrong Line, featuring two new tracks, “Bumped” and “Broken People.” The songs were recorded remotely during the pandemic, with more due later this year via Silver Girl Records.

The band was formed in the late 1990s by members of Red Dye No. 5 and Luper, and earned a reputation as a fiery concert act thanks to tour slots opening for Jesus Lizard, Archers of Loaf, and Kelley Deal, as well as festival appearances at NXNW in Portland, SXSW in Austin, and NYC’s CMJ Music Festival. They became inactive around 2003. According to Reader, “DDT basically stopped because our van, Air Force One, died towards the end of a regional make-up tour we did after we missed some shows on a CMJ tour. We didn’t have the money to fix it, and we were all pretty exhausted mentally and physically. We decided to take three months off, and kept extending it. After a year, we quietly just loaded out of our rehearsal space and all went our separate ways. We weren’t in touch much until [promoter] Tim Pyles reached out to me to see if we would do one of his 30-year 91X Loudspeaker anniversary shows [circa 2018]. We also did two shows in 2019: one of the Casbah 30-year anniversary shows, and La Escalera Fest OCHO.”

“Yeah,” adds singer-guitarist Mark MacBride, “after those three shows, we realized that only playing 20-year-old tunes wasn’t super interesting to us long term, so we held off on booking more and shifted our focus to working on new stuff.”

A new video is streaming online: “Blue Ruin,” from their 2000 album B-Sides, Rarities and Out-Takes. Why make a new video for an old song instead of a current track? “We were actually already well into writing new stuff by then, and knew we would eventually resurface in some form,” says Reader. “We wanted to start re-introducing ourselves, and a video for ‘Blue Ruin’ made sense because Keith [York, of Silver Girl Records] had pressed it into a gorgeous transparent blue 7-inch for the 2018 shows. It was one of the first things Silver Girl had done in a long while, and other than the shows, we never really promoted it.”

MacBride reveals that “the other option was to make a video for ‘Reverse Status,’ which is the B-side to ‘Blue Ruin’ on that 7-inch, and one that was previously unreleased. But it’s longer, and would’ve taken more work and footage to get it done. I burned through several years’ worth of timelapse material I had saved up just to have enough for ‘Blue Ruin.’”

For the new EP, Scott Frazier tracked his drums at Thunderdome Studios near his Sacramento home. “When we first re-formed, Scott was flying down once or twice a month,” says Reader. “He’d get in on a Friday night, we would rehearse all day Saturday, then all head to my house and work on stuff until all hours. On Sunday morning, we would wake up, make a big breakfast, and then do another all-day rehearsal. When covid started, that kind of threw us off, so we started sending files back and forth. But during the shutdown, we booked some time with Jeff Forrest at [San Diego studio] Doubletime.”

Frazier picks up the chronology. “We started to record remotely, mainly for demos. I was using an electric Roland kit. After talking back and forth, we decided that we could record these new songs ourselves, aside from the studio sessions we had done at Doubletime. I built a drum studio at my house in Sacramento to track real acoustic drums. Mark has a full studio at his house, and James is set up to track bass at his pad. We send all the files to Mark for mixing.”

So why, 20 years after disbanding, is Dewey Defeats Truman making new music? Says Reader, “We’re doing it because we’re all older now, and have been through loss and other struggles that help you with perspective. We do it because we all mean a lot to each other, and we just enjoy being in the same space, and seeing what kind of music can come out. Honestly, there is zero pressure to please anyone but ourselves, and that makes everything a lot more fun.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Indicted Trump donor funded Doug Manchester hotel

David Alvarez scores with LA's Kilroy Realty and ambulance firm AMR
Next Article

A joyous fantasy realm of gas station hot dogs

Howlin’ Rain, MohaviSoul, the Album Leaf, Shane Hall, Hemisphere
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close