Danjo: Delivering the Songs of The Dead Milkmen

For those with a passion for the US punk rock and underground music scenes of the mid 80s and early 90s, the name The Dead Milkmen is sure to bring back fond memories.

More Violent Femmes than Black Flag, the band peddled a masterful brand of irreverent, stripped back, jangle-punk featuring tales of Big Lizards, Bitchin’ Camaros, Vietnam Beach Parties and Smokin’ Banana Peels, delivered with irreverent humour and shouty, singalong melody.

They scored recognition in Australia back in the day with their tracks ‘The Thing That Only Eats Hippies’ and ‘Punk Rock Girl’, which even got them some serious MTV rotation.

Having survived band break ups and the death of original bassist Dave Blood in 2004, The Dead Milkmen still write and perform to this day. With drummer Dean Clean and keyboard player/vocalist Rodney Anonymous not able to make the journey over, it is original Milkmen guitarist and vocalist Joe Jack Talcum and current Milkmen bassist Dandrew St Evens who bring their two piece project, Danjo, to our shores for the very first time in November.

These shows will see the pair performing a swathe of Dead Milkmen material, as well as some tracks from their other band, The Low Budgets. And Gold Coast fans have reason to rejoice, with Danjo locked in for a visit to the Currumbin Creek Tavern on 14 November. In the lead up, the one and only Joe Jack Talcum took time out to answer a few questions.

Many thanks for coming all the way over here to perform for your Australian fans. How did this opportunity come about, and did the original line up of The Dead Milkmen ever come close to making it out to Australia back in the day?

You are welcome. The original line up of The Dead Milkmen came close to touring Australia in 1986. A single for ‘The Thing That Only Eats Hippies’ was released in Australia but our planned tour fell through. For the upcoming tour, a person named Justin approached us and asked if we’d like to do it.

Do Danjo cover off songs from across the entire Dead Milkmen back catalogue? And will you guys be taking any requests… if we yell loud enough?

We will be playing songs from the entire Dead Milkmen back catalogue but we don’t know every single song by heart. If you yell loud enough and we have time and know the song we might just play your request.

You guys have played some interesting performance spaces, such as record stores and basements. Is there anywhere you’ve yet to play that you’d like to?

We’d like to play a show in an attic. We actually haven’t done that yet, though we have had practices in an attic. We’d also like to play in Wyoming State, and in Greenland.

What can we expect from the Danjo live experience?

A rollicking good time.

How do you see the state of punk rock in the year 2017?

Too many rules and regulations. We need more chaos and adventure.

If chaos, adventure and a rollicking good time sound like your idea of a kick-arse night out, then be sure to come along and check out the satirical punk rock delights of Danjo as they channel the highlights of the Dead Milkmen’s multi-faceted back catalogue at the Currumbin Tavern on 14 November. It’s a Tuesday but hey, what else would you be up to on such a night, plus the guys will be on early, so you know where to be! They’ll also be at Crowbar in Brisbane on 15 November.

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