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[Originally published: Issue #7, circa 1989]

[Photos courtesy of the immortal Ken Salerno]

[LOOKING BACK: I remember the first time that Tony handed me a cassette copy of the first All album. "You gotta hear this. This shit is DOPE!" I remember him saying. And he was right: I was immediately sucked in by the amazing "lead bass" style of Karl Alvarez, and the wonderful vocal harmonies.All went on to explore and experiment a lot more, but the first album was pure pop magic. We were so psyched when they sent us responses to our mailed-in interview -- it felt like we had "achieved all", fanzine-wise! -- Mickey]

What do you get when you put together three ex-DESCENDENTS and the original DAG NASTY vocalist? A band that has it ALL. Here’s some interviewage with drummer Bill Stevenson, who also co-produced their album.

 

Karl Alvarez – bass

Stephan Egerton – guitar

Bill Stevenson – drums

Dave Smalley – vocals

 

THREATENING SOCIETY: What do you hope to do musically and lyrically with ALL that you didn’t do with your previous bands?

BILL STEVENSON: Being in a band is a constant growing process. We all learn from our past.

TS: Explain the concept of “ALL” for those who may not know.

BS: ALL is the total extent.

TS: How do you achieve ALL?

BS: I can’t answer that because I have never achieved ALL. I am questing, though.

all city gardens

TS: Why did Dave leave DAG NASTY?

BS: Dave left DAG NASTY to go to college.

TS: What do you think of the new DAG NASTY?

BS: I am not as interested in their current product as they obviously are with our musical style. Oh well, I guess imitation is the best form of flattery. (I believe the DAG-ALL controversy is based on the ALL song “Alfredo’s” as compared to DAG’s “La Penita” – both about Mexican restaurants. The argument is who did their song first and who copied. – Ed.)

TS: How did you get Dave to sing for ALL?

BS: I called Dave while he was in Israel about 2 years ago and we decided to do it. I knew at that time exactly when Milo (DESCENDENTS’ vocalist) would be leaving. Dave was a big DESCENDENTS fan and I thought his style would fit in well.

TS: Is the dedication on the album serious? (It reads: “Allroy Sez…” is dedicated to Pat McCuistion, my friend and only real hero. Pat died December 16, 1987 when his boat, “Explorador” sunk in a storm while he was fishing on the California Coast, in terminal Pursuit of ALL.)

BS: Pat is dead. He was my hero. This is not a joke.

 

TS: How has the response been to ALL so far?

BS: The response has been very enthusiastic, and we are on our second tour. We will stay on tour until the van breaks. (The van apparently has close to 150,000 miles on it – I don’t think it’ll last much longer. – Ed.)

TS: How did you get Dave to sing for ALL?

BS: I called Dave while he was in Israel about 2 years ago and we decided to do it. I knew at that time exactly when Milo (DESCENDENTS’ vocalist) would be leaving. Dave was a big DESCENDENTS fan and I thought his style would fit in well.

TS: Is the dedication on the album serious? (It reads: “Allroy Sez…” is dedicated to Pat McCuistion, my friend and only real hero. Pat died December 16, 1987 when his boat, “Explorador” sunk in a storm while he was fishing on the California Coast, in terminal Pursuit of ALL.)

BS: Pat is dead. He was my hero. This is not a joke.

All City Gardens 2

TS: How has the response been to ALL so far?

BS: The response has been very enthusiastic, and we are on our second tour. We will stay on tour until the van breaks. (The van apparently has close to 150,000 miles on it – I don’t think it’ll last much longer. – Ed.)

 

TS: Do you ever miss the kind of music you used to play with BLACK FLAG as compared to the music you play now?

BS: I like a lot of different music. I generally just play what I feel at the time, and don’t really think about it much in black and white terms.

TS: How has the alternative music scene changed since then?

BS: It is tamer and more conservative.

 

TS: Maximum Rock ‘N Roll called your album “commercial”. While it’s very accessible, I wouldn’t exactly call it commercial. Do you think your music is geared for a wide listening-audience, or does it not matter, as long as you’re pleased with what you’re doing?

BS: It doesn’t work to run music through some kind of ideology. They tried that in the ‘70’s. We just play what we want.

 

TS: Next few months?

BS: We will be touring and recording steady.

 

ALL is touring across the nation until late August, so you may get a chance to see them this summer. They will also be going to Europe in October. When they return, look for an “Allroy For Prez” EP. For tour info, call the ALL hotline at (213) 534-1790.

 

ALL / P.D. Box 1224 / Lomita, CA 90717­

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