If you don't already know this, The DILS were one of the best sounding punk rock bands in California. Formed in late 1976 by Kinman
brothers Chip (guitar/voc) and Tony (bass/voc). Although they were a very active band they only released 3 7''s, all of
which are now worth a lot of money. I've only got the first one (got it back in the good old days when punk singles were
bought to be played, not kept in a bank vault) and I can't really afford to get the rest now. Luckily for all of us most of their
stuff, including various live recordings, have been reissued over and over again (see Discography). The band had at least 4 drummers before they
called it a day in 1980. Chip and Tony went on to success with country band Rank And File, experimental industry type project
Blackbird and are now touring with Cowboy Nation (and going back to country).
This interview with Chip Kinman was made in mid-April 2001.
(For an interview with Tony about the basic Who? Where? and When? get a copy of MRR #215
and a lengthy piece by drummer John, from June 2003, is now up in my guest writers section.
- Going through some old fanzines, both the band and reviewers/interviewers mentioned The Clash a lot. There was this
discussion about how The Clash were for real and you weren't, etc. What would you say about that now?
- I said they were wrong then and I say it now.... ignorance and intellectual laziness were/are the hallmarks of pop music criticism... a dead form to be sure!
The oldest fanzine interview I've got with the band (summer of 1977) says that a lot of the songs are written by their manager Peter Urban.
- How much of the lyrics were written by Peter Urban?
- Hardly any. We thought some of his songs were funny. Never sang one of them more than once or twice.
- How did you get involved with him?
- We met him at a Ramones show (Joey Ramone R.I.P.) and thought he was an interesting fellow....
Peter Urban was a Marxist and the band said in interviews that they were communists. Chip used to wear a Hammer And Sickle shirt on stage in case the ideas in their lyrics didn't get across to the audience. BUT don't think they were a preachy bunch 'cause they weren't.
- How do you feel about the communist/maoist stance you had c:a 77 - 78?
- We were more interested in making punk rock revolution than any other kind. We dropped the commie thing quickly when we realized there were millions of people slaughtered for the sake of socialism...
Chip Kinman 1978
- Looking back, do you feel you were being used by others?
- No-one has ever used us for anything... the commies would want to set up booths at our shows. We told them to get lost!
The Dils were never members of any socialist party and their ''political'' lyrics looks pretty fuckin' PUNK ROCK, especially compared to some of today's ''political'' lyrics. They had anger, passion and energy.
- There was some controversy over the songs Negromania (''Negromania/ I got no roots/ I don't want no past'') and I Hate The Rich among LA's punks, if I remember it right? VOM did the I Hate The Dils 7", etc. What was all that about?
- I think VOM just thought it was funny... they were a funny band with songs like "I'm In Love With Your Mom". We played Negromania maybe twice.
- You wrote a statement for the press - The Dils Don't Hate The Poor - did anyone actually believe you did?
- I don't remember any press release... sounds like Urban's idea....
- I'm sure you could make some money reuniting The Dils. Ever been tempted to do that?
- We would never get back together. Death before suck-ass! You wanna see The Dils?... come see Cowboy Nation... it's the same thing!
- Are there any unreleased studio stuff with the Dils?
- It's all been released....
- I know about the Up In Smoke cameo (for more on this film go to The GERMS section of
this zine) and the version of Citizen in the Louder Faster Shorter film. Was there more
filmed with you and is it available somewhere?
- Yup... there is a Live In Houston video floating around. I have some footage that people have given me over the years... some Target Video stuff. All very hard to get. I know a fellow who is talking about releasing a cd rom... we'll see...
- Plain Jane And The Jokes (the Insults) and DOA both did Class War, and other bands have covered your old songs too. Never seen you comment on them. Have you got any favourites?
- Lots of bands have done mine and Tony's songs ...my fave is probably Mike Watt's version of Big Train...
- The Dils toured with DOA, didn't you?
- Yes. We toured constantly from '77 till '90...with The Dils, Rank And File and Blackbird... stopped touring and now we've started again with Cowboy Nation... dates can be found on our website. All the shows with D.O.A. were great! Never been to europe....
- You've changed your musical style a lot throughout the years - do you think you'll ever wanna write songs like the old Dils stuff again?
- We always grave rob our old catalogue for bits and pieces. Two Miles To Town on the new Cowboy Nation record is x-actly like a Dils song... only faster!
THE DILS DISCOGRAPHY
I Hate The Rich/You're Not Blank 7'' (What records 1977)
2 great songs. Re-released in 1990 on Gift Of Life records. Both songs + What Goes On (live, prev unreleased) included on V/A LP/CD What Stuff (Iloki records 1990).
198 Seconds Of The Dils 7'' (Dangerhouse records 1978)
The classic song Class War with Mr.Big on the flipside. Side A is available on the V/A LP/CD Dangerhouse Volume 1 and Side B can be found on Volume 2, both albums on Frontier records.
Made In Canada 2x7'' (Rogelletti Records 1979)
3 slower songs - Sound Of The Rain, Red Rockers and It's Not Worth It. A re-recording of the first one also appeared on the Rank And File album Long Gone Dead (Slash records).
V/A - Rat Music For Rat People Vol 1 LP (CD Presents 1982)
This LP includes a 1977 studio recording of one of the band's first songs Blow Up. The album was reissued with new art work in the mid 90's (some copies on blue vinyl) and is still available.
The Dils Live 1977 - 1980 LP (Triple X/Iloki records 1987)
14 songs recorded live. Out of press.
Dils Dils Dils LP (Lost records 1990)
Side A has the 8 studio songs mentioned above on it. Side B contains live tracks from 1978 and 1979. Out of press.
The Last Goodbye LP (bootleg 199?)
A live recording from 1980. Out of press.
Class War LP (Dionysus/Bacchus archives 2000)
Includes the first 7'' and 10 live songs recorded in 1980 previously released on The Dils Live 1977 - 1980 LP. Still available.
Check out The Official site for
a lot more on The Dils and
Chip and Tony Kinman's other bands.
Drummer John Dil's story written for this fanzine is up here
Back to The Index Of Interviews