The Madison post-punk duo discuss their in-the-works new EP and April 23 show at The Frequency.
Madison duo Dick The Bruiser have always sounded more like a bizarro funk outfit than a couple of guys who came up playing in post-punk bands. Drummer Tony Sellers and bassist-vocalist Kevin Wade have played together for almost 30 years, including in the instrumental band P'elvis, which was certainly distinctive but also not shy about its debt to noise-rock outfits like The Jesus Lizard.
Dick The Bruiser, formed in 2008, still has that aggressive underpinning, but there's a playfulness tied in with the menace. Wade shouts chopped-up, absurdist wordplay over his fuzz-bass riffs, and Sellers' drumming lands hard but also swings, drawing on jazz and R&B feels as much as it does on Touch & Go brutality. Wade also occasionally waves the head of his bass over a theremin, adding a layer of swoopy, goofy noise. On "Kissy Fit," from 2012's Purgatory Stories And Severe Songs, Sellers channels a bit of Clyde Stubblefield while Wade lays down a hyper-referential kinda-rap: "You're not Kim Gordon / or Geddy Lee / or David Bowie with Bing."
The duo have been laying low for the last year, but recently tracked six songs for a forthcoming, as-yet-untitled EP, and will play April 23 at The Frequency with Cave Curse and Transformer Lootbag. I've been listening to rough mixes of a few of the new tracks, and while they're not ready to share, they actually show a bit more of DTB's noise-rock DNA, with more harsh and pounding rhythms and Wade's vocals verging over into screams. Wade and Sellers joined me this week at WORT to catch up. Give our conversation a listen below.
Don't forget to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and catch WORT-FM's weeknight news show In Our Backyard, which partners with us to produce these. Thanks to Dylan Brogan for producing this interview.