DEADBOY PRO INTERVIEW-by IE ROCKABILLY
And who are we speaking with?
Danny Oberbeck-Singer/Drummer, the others are Dylan Oberbeck-Guitar/backing vocals, Julian Johnson- KING Doublebass
Can you tell me a little bit about Craic Haus?
CRAiC HAUS began as a novelty offshoot of my traditional Band PADDY DOYLE'S BOOTS. It was a way to get my son Dylan, (who was 13 at the time) on stage with his guitar. He was learning at such a rapid rate, I felt he would benefit from the experience. He quickly became my favorite guitarist (sorry Billy Zoom). Since then we've honed our sound and wrote a ton of songs. His good friend, he just graduated from Claremont High with, Julian Johnson (Jonny Come Lately) joined us on KING DOUBLEBASS to give us the ultimate SHAMROCKABILLY SOUND.
How would you best describe your sound? (to those who have never heard of you)
We're one part Rockabilly, one part traditional Irish, and one part old school PUNK rock. Imagine Flogging Molly and Reverend Horton Heat mudwrestling on a Sunday!
One thing that I find very to be very cool is that you are playing in a band with your son. Not many dads can say that.
Actually we're running across a lot of bands that are. Tony Slash from the ROCKETZ has his son playing drums ever since Andy Martinez passed away. Los Chilaqz has the singers nephew on drums, My friend Frank Agnew from the Adolescents had Frank Jr. playing with them for awhile and even John Doe's daughter is getting into his act. When I saw him at the Hootenanny a couple years back he told me, he'd never been so nervous as when his daughter got up to sing with him. It's an odd balance to be in a band with your kids, it requires a lot of respect, trust and communication on both sides.
How long have you been playing drums?
I started when I was 12. I had a band called the MUCK with Jamie Reidling, who was 10 ( US BOMBS,CADILLAC TRAMPS and tons of other bands you've heard of) Oddly enough, Jamie was a guitarist and I was the singing drummer back then, but he later picked up the drums sticks and never looked back. My first band that had records out was LOST CAUSE , when I was 14. What a TIME!!! We played with every big PUNK band you could imagine including several shows with Social Distortion, TSOL, the CIRCLE JERKS, FEAR, MIDDLE CLASS, 45 GRAVE, the GEARS, VICE SQUAD, CH3 and endless others. We had a couple of records out that Rodney used to play on KROQ frequently. I saw him recently and thanked him for giving us a shot and getting us on the radio. He smiled and softly said "SURE, you're welcome", and then went back to eating his Canters soup.
That’s not the only instrument you play right?
As a songwriter ( and gig whore ) I'm forced to play a shit load of instruments...none of them well, but, people keep coming back for more. My biggest talent is to surround myself with amazing musicians, that way i look like I know what I'm doing.
Growing up, what were your influences?
My Dad played Rockabilly and Dixieland Jazz on the piano in the house when I was very young. That's where I developed my choppy chops on the drums. The first record I can remember buying with my own money was BOOGIE FEVER by the SYLVERS. I think what turned me on about music was the stories of the songs..." I took my baby to the pizza parlor...to get a bite to eat...you know she ate her pizza dancing to the beat, she's got the BOOGIE FEVER" It all goes back to CHUCK BERRY and his incredible story telling. That's where my love for Irish music came from. Those Stories are epic in scope! I also listened to a lot of the Contortions, Alice Cooper, BAUHAUS and once I saw -X- open for DEVO, when I was 13, that was it!!! Whatever it was they we're playing, I was BUYING. I still haven't found a group that gets me going more, on all senses. Once again it's those amazing stories of Johnny, Pauline and the rest of the great characters John and Exene so beatifully and honestly created.
Your son Dylan is a very talented guitarist, what’s his story?
He had no interest in music when he was young and would sit quietly at my shows. One day in 6th grade he asked me if I could show him how to play guitar for a talent show his school was having...and maybe I could teach the other three kids in the band to play something? I asked "when's the show?" he said "in about two days". I asked what song they we're planning on doing and he said "YOU GOTTA FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY by the Beastie Boys". I said "absolutely." I tuned everything to an open (E) and showed him where to place his finger all the way across the fret, told the bass player just to stay on one note and look cool and the drummer already had it down. The singer, a very quite kid, grabbed the mic and once he heard the boys sounding like a real band he changed into a rock star. They stole the show and completely rocked the HOUSE, girls screaming... the whole bit. They stuck together and worked up a few more tunes but still were playing in open chords. I wanted to get Dylan some proper lessons, so we went to our local music store, STYLES and signed him up with whomever. He lucked into getting a guitarist named JOHNNY FORTUNE, a local surf guitar legend. He taught Dylan the newest songs by WEEZER and the OFFSPRING, the stuff that all the kids were learning, but one day on our way to lessons, Dylan forgot to bring a song to learn, all I had in my car was a Chet Atkins CD. We popped it in and the first song up was YAKKITY AXE ( the theme from Benny Hill) Dylan said " I want to learn that!!!" My eyes bugged out and i said gently, as not to squelch his enthusiasm, " Dylan, that's CHET ATKINS, he's the greatest guitarist that has ever lived, maybe you should pick something easier." He said "NO". After that half hour lesson, Dylan came home playing the entire tune, note for note and blew us all away. His teacher was thrilled to be able to pass on this unique guitar style. Dylan soon joined the FINGERSTYLE GUITAR GUILD where he's gotten to Jam with the likes of GARY LAMBERT (JOHNNY CASH) BOB SAXON (PASTY CLINE, GENE VINCENT) and other top notch playes that are thrilled that a young man is wanting to carry on this old tradition and artform.
We ask this of bands with brothers, but with a father and son…..what about conflicts of interest? Like with song writing or the music?
He's very involved in the arranging and sound of our songs. He knows what he wants and we discuss what we're doing all the time to make sure that it is a partnership. We disagree sometimes about what songs to play live, but we trust each others instincts.
It seems that The Rocketz have taken you under their wing and are taking you out on the road?
They are taking us up north in a few weeks for a few shows. I think our backgrounds and situations are similar, so we understand the whole FATHER/SON/BANDMATE issues.
Now Craic Haus is not the only musical project you and your son are involved with. What else do you do?
Dylan often sits in with my other band PADDY DOYLE'S BOOTS. We also have our Traditional Irish Band called JOHHNY CRAIC with Julian and his twin brother Adrian Johnson. We just recorded a full length CD out (out SOON) It's a great show. It's chock full of acoustic Guitar Mandolin, Banjo, Upright bass, Harmonica,Didgeridoo, Pennywhistle, tamborine and plenty of great IRISH tales.
What came first, Craic Haus the traditional band or Craic Haus the sham rockabilly band?
SHAMROCKABILLY. It just seemed natural. It started as a FUN play on words, but SHAMROCKABILLY really has defined us and how we write and how we play. We're certainly not the first to blend the Irish with the Hillbilly sound, (most real Hillbillies were IRISH) but we're focused on making it a legitimate form of music.
Well, we will all be watching your band continue to grow, any last words?
We've got another album written and waiting to be recorded, we're having a blast with our current CD " WHO'S YER PADDY NOW?" available on iTunes. We're meeting and playing with amazing bands. Our friends and fans are the BEST. CRAiC HAUS translated from Irish and German means 'FUN HOUSE'...and you're all invited! If the HAUS is SHAMROCKIN' ...don't bother knockin'
Danny, Dylan and Julian