The hard hitting Danish rock quartet D-A-D is back in America, performing here for the first time in over twenty years! The band, which consists of Jesper Binzer (vocals, guitar), Jacob Binzer (guitar), Stig Pedersen (bass) and Laust Sonne (drums,) touched down in New York City earlier this week, and is playing eight gigs all across the country during this two week promotional tour. This is in support of their upcoming April 23rd release, “ Dic.Nii.Lan.Daft.Erd.Ark” on AFM Records.
“It’s been a long time,” declares Jesper during an exclusive interview with RockMusicStar. He continued by explaining the long lapse between US tours, “We got a little more clever with age, and we found out that we missed America, and we want to give it another try. I think we are at a good point in our career. I feel that to a certain extent, that we conquered Europe. So, we had this preposterous idea that we could come to America and maybe we could reconnect with some of our old fans, and maybe make some new fans as well. But, we are really trying to take advantage of the time that we are here. Even though the travelling can be very grueling, that’s what we do, and we are used to it now."
While Jesper and band mates find themselves playing some of the biggest stages in Europe, it’s now back to the bare basics and playing smaller clubs on this American promotional tour. But Jesper doesn’t mind this change at all. “I love it!” he states. “It’s great because I can use all of my bad jokes. These jokes sometimes don’t over go over too well on the bigger shows, because they fly over people’s heads." He laughs and continues by saying, “With smaller shows, you can find out what works and doesn’t. We can play long jams and experiment. It really gives us a lot of freedom. This tour is very basic, no sound checks, just two guitars each, it’s like going back to the old days. We thought that we may be too old to tour way do this, because we haven’t done it this way in a long time. But, it’s kind of refreshing at the moment. And we are seeing that we can still rock the people.”
Rock the people is exactly what D-A-D has been doing for the last 25 years. And during the late eighties, Warner Brothers Records was so impressed by D-A-D that they felt that band could become the next Guns n’ Roses in America. WBR quickly signed the band to a million dollar deal and put together an aggressive marketing plan to promote the band’s 1989 American debut, "No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims." Everything was in place for the band to become rock’s next superstars.
However, , especially in the rock music industry, the greatest laid out plans don’t always work out as intended. Jepser reminisced, and explained the bands inability to meet the high expectations. “It was because of a bunch of different things. Our first single,"Sleeping the Day Away" did get a lot of promotion, but it didn’t get any higher than #108 or something like that on the play charts. We, as a band, also had the attitude that we want to do things our way. And maybe we were a little naïve to the culture of America, the fact that everything in America is like a business. We were originally a punk band, and we didn’t want to be a one of those bands that sellout just to make it. In addition, we would have needed to tour, tour and tour in America. We couldn’t do that. We had to get home and recuperate and take care of obligations back there. In Denmark, we could make ten times the amount of money that we were making in America at the time. We just weren’t big enough to make it happen in America. And during that time period there was also a change in rock music, especially when Nirvana came on the scene. So we were left by the wayside, but we still had a lot of fans over in some of the European countries and we decided to concentrate on playing there instead.”
The plan of concentrating on the European markets certainly paid off for D-A-D as they continued recording and touring there over the last two decades. And while many in America may have assumed that D-A-D. broke up, Jesper proudly boasts and clarifies, “We pretty much became the biggest band in Denmark. And have been for quite a while. If a festival needs a big headliner, they call on us.” But then Jesper quickly downgrades the self proclaimed declaration and jokingly says, “But, since we’ve been around for so long, we are not always considered the most exciting choice.”
D-A-D’s continued success overseas has a lot to do with the band’s refreshing and down to earth attitude about being in a rock band. Jesper’s explains the band’s longevity, “Very early on, we learned the importance of being true to ourselves, because this was going to be us - 24 hours a day. We need to be in a position where we the four of us could change in our own direction and not the direction of the industry. And being that way, made us happy, and kept us from breaking up. But, it may have also been the reason that we never made it super big. So, it’s definitely a two way street.” Jasper then sums up this philosophy by explaining, “We also learned very early in our careers that you can’t be chasing fads and being a bandwagon band. Because then you are always changing, when the scene changes. We were always unique in that we stuck to our style and sound.”
And while D-A-D will make another attempt of breaking into the American market again this year, Jesper has no hard feelings about not making it happen here the during the late 80's, and actually considers it a bit of a blessing. He concludes by saying, “Maybe we are not here to be the biggest band or make a lot of money. We are here to play our music. Maybe if we had hit it super big the first time in America, we would have all become heroin addicts. So that’s how we cope with not making it big. And it’s probably true. We had to keep it steady, in order to keep ourselves alive and happy.”
For more on D-A-D, please visit www.d-a-d.dk/