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A brief chat with X


LA punks X play the Marquis on the first Friday and Saturday of April, so we chatted with drummer DJ Bonebrake about what we have in store.L

Yellow Scene: X is nearly 40 years old now – what keeps you guys going?

DJ Bonebrake: That’s one reason we’re playing the way we are. We’re changing up some of the songs. We’re playing some of the songs more acoustic – a little softer. We’re playing some that we haven’t played for a long time. We’re adding new songs to the set list, and we’re changing them up. That’s one reason. The other thing is, we’re lucky we’re alive. Some people die. We have a fifth member we added to help us so we can change things up a bit – Michael Kilpatrick. He’ll play drums when I play vibes on three numbers. “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts” is a song we never did live. Now we’re doing that. “Come Back to Me” is another song we could never do live. I play vibes on that, and Billy Zoom plays guitar and picks up sax. Plus, adding other songs that we haven’t done that much, like “Dancing with Tears in My Eyes.” Michael Kilpatrick will play acoustic guitar to have extra guitar rhythm there. It allows us to do some songs that Billy didn’t want to do before. I just feel lucky that we’re around. I’m 59 years old, and I’m really active. I play all the time. You see people pass away. At this age, friends get cancer. Some survive and some don’t. I’m just happy to be here.

YS: It’s been a number of years since the last record – do you have any plans to record?

DJB: I don’t know if we’ll do a new record or not. It’s been forever. I don’t know why. We just haven’t gotten around to it. It’s a lot of work. Most of us are doing our own projects. I think some people would like it and some wouldn’t. Both John and Exene have new records all the time. John comes out with an album every year. I have my own projects. In that department – being vital and doing new stuff – we do that, but for X it’s more of a part-time job. We do 60 shows a year. We go out two or three times – we don’t tour that much. We just haven’t done it.

YS: Do you like playing Colorado?

DJB: It’s been really good. We’ve been playing there for years. The crowds are enthusiastic there.

YS: What are your plans for the Denver set?

DJB: You’ll hear songs that you haven’t heard for a while. We’ll do a couple of instrument changes. Hopefully, you’ll hear a veteran band that sounds really great. We’ve certainly performed a lot. The whole thing about playing live is that you never know if it’ll be a good night or a bad night, but that’s the excitement of live music. Most of the time, we put on a great show. We play a little bit softer. I’ve noticed doing this show that you hear the lyrics more. Old fans are loving that. That’s a plus. It’ll be festive. Everyone will have fun.

YS: When this tour’s over, what’s next?

DJB: X is playing some shows out here in Orange County and San Diego, right before the summer. We’re going to do the four albums, one on each night. We’re probably going to do a tour of maybe the Midwest and the East Coast in July. We have a couple of one-off shows here and there. I’ve been playing with the Devil’s Brigade and we’re just about to record another single. That’s with Matt Freeman from Rancid. I just started playing live with them last year. I’m in a band called the Stripminers, with Brett Anderson from the Donnas. We’re gonna put a record out. I freelance, so I play with a whole list of people you’ve never heard of. I play with a band called Dead Rock West, and we’re going to put a record out. I do an online recording service at djbonebrakemusic.com. From anywhere in the world, you can send me your track and I’ll put professionally recorded drums on it. I’m sure things will come up that I don’t even know – that’s the exciting thing about being a musician.

X plays with Folk Uke at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4 at the Marquis Theater; 2009 Larimer St., Denver; 303-487-0111; $28.


Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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