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A brief chat with Danger Danger


Steve West is a founding member and drummer with New York 1980’s rockers Danger Danger, the group responsible for anthems like “Naughty Naughty,” “Bang Bang,” and “Monkey Business.” They’re playing the Buffalo Rose in May, so we had a chat.S

Yellow Scene: What has the band been up to?

Steve West: We made a record a couple of years back called Revolve. Time’s flying, but that’s the last new music we did. Right now, we have no new music and no plans to record. We’re just loving going out and playing. Last year was our busiest year in a long time. We did a reunion tour with the five original guys. We hadn’t all played together in about 20 years, so it was nice to get back together. We went back to Japan, toured the UK. 2015, we’re back to the usual touring band. Myself, Bruno Ravel and Ted Poley, plus our guitar player Rob Marcello who has been with us for the last 15 years already. So things are good. Ww’ve just been touring a lot, playing overseas. We love playing in America but unfortunately don’t get to do it much. It’ll be great to come back to the Denver area. We haven’t been there in over 20 years. We’re excited. The Buffalo Rose looks really nice. All my friends in bands play there. I wish there more places like that for bands like us to play. We used to play a place in Denver called Bangles – I don’t think it’s there anymore. It’s about 100 years ago so I may be dating myself.

YS: What keep you going through all the trends?

SW: Paying the bills. You’ve got to make a living. Honestly, for a long time when grunge kicked in, we were all almost out of business in the mid-1990’s. It was hard for 10 years – we struggled and nobody could do anything for us. We couldn’t get any gigs, there was nowhere to play. But we soldiered on and went overseas where we didn’t take as big a hit. We built a following there and maintained the fans we had overseas. We basically weathered the storm. Eventually nobody cared about grunge anymore, and everybody want to hear good, American rock. They missed having fun, they missed the era of 1980s hair band and realized it wasn’t so bad like MTV claimed it was. It’s been growing steadily since 2000. We’re bigger than ever. We kept playing, kept writing good songs, trying to be the best band that we could be in our genre, not trying to be anybody other than Danger Danger. We tried that with a record in the mid-90’s that was bit more grungy, trying to fit in, but we realized that that doesn’t work. We made a great record, but nobody wants to hear Danger Danger sound like a grunge band. I get it, but it was a great lesson. We do what we do, and you either like us or not. Now we have fans from seven-years-old upwards.

YS: Is Colorado a place you’ve had fun in the past?

SW: Oh yeah, it’s a blast. We played a bunch of places back in the late-1980s with Alice Cooper, then we were there with Extreme, Warrant and a bunch of bands. Colorado was always great for us, the fans were always great and we always had a lot of fun. Bangles was the place to play back then, and it was always a great time. It’s such a shame that we haven’t been back to the area in so long. I’m just glad that the guys reached out to us, and wanted to have us come out. We’re excited to see some old fans – I hope they’re still there – and I hope we see some new blood that never had the chance to se us.

YS: What are the plans for the set?

SW: It’ll be what we feel is a “best of.” The songs that the fans want to hear. It’ll be half the first record, and half of the Screw It! record. Then we throw in something from the Revolve record, and that’s pretty much it. Like I said we haven’t played Colorado in 20 years, so I think the fans want to hear the music that they heard back in the day. That’s what we’re gonna give them. Maybe we’ll throw in a surprise or two – you never know when we get on stage. It depends how much alcohol is in us. It’s gonna be a fun show – everyone will be happy. I think we’ve gotten better with age.

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

SW: t’s been a quiet year after last year. We took a little break. This show in Denver/Golden is our first show of the year. We’re headlining a festival in Sweden in July, and we have no plans after that. 2016 will be the 25th anniversary of the second record, Screw It!, and we’ll be doing a big celebration for that. That’ll be a busy year for us.

Danger Danger plays with LVictoria and Mr. Steak at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 23 at the Buffalo Rose; 1119 Washington Ave., Golden; 303-278-6800; $20-$26.


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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