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D.O.R.K. - An InView

We are sitting around in a small parlor with members of KEENWILD and two members of D.O.R.K., Schuyler (pronounced Sky-ler) one of two guitarists, and Jimmie ("Sticks"), the drummer. It is several hours before the trip to Planet Hemet and Friday night's show. It is 4:20, PM.

P.T. Rothschild - I hear you guys are from Denver?
Sky - Yeah.
P.T. - So what do you think about Kobe (Bryant of the L. A. Lakers)?
Sky - That town is strange.
Jimmie - It's a really weird little mountain town.
P.T - Uh, oh. Poor Kobe.
Sky - The people there are all strange.
P.T. - (smirking) Strange?
Sky - Yeah man, weird, freaky people.
Jimmie - (nodding his head) Six finger freaky.
P.T. - Wha'. They all have six fingers??! (Everyone laughs)
Jimmie - Noooo.
P.T. - 'Twin Peaks' weird?
Sky - Yeah.
Jimmie - Yeah.
Sky - Actually, we are from Arvada.
P.T. - Arvada? Where is that?
Sky - It's an area of northwest Denver. We all grew up there, you know, hung around the same places, except for Jimmie.
Jimmie - I'm from Littleton.
P.T - Littleton?
Sky - Columbine.
P.T. - Oh.
Sky - Jimmie came to this audition we had and he knew all our songs. He just blew us away. He's our fourth drummer in two years.
Jimmie - I saw these guys play a bunch. I wanted in this band.
Sky - He's the best drummer we ever had.
P.T. - So he fits right in with you and the other locals?
Sky - Oh yeah.

Just then Dylan, the band's frontman, walks in. All the boys in the band have that 'Luke Perry' look but Dylan is the band's 'pretty boy'. He is trying to get a clear cell phone signal to talk to his current girlfriend, whom the band has nicknamed 'Yoko'. Band drama aside we move back into the living room where Donavon and Bryan are up and moving. I chill with them for a bit and find out that Bryan is putting his Business Degree to good use by managing the business end of the band, and he loves it. In fact, if one thing can be said for this band, it is the common goal shared by the group. That is, to be signed by a label. If you check out their web site, you can feel the kind of camaraderie, the glue of loving what you do and doing that with your friends. I asked them about the name 'DORK' and Schuyler says with a smile "just watch how we play and how we dress onstage."
I watched them light up the crowd at The Wheelhouse, playing an infectious brand of punk rock and they didn't seem 'dorkish' at all. The five piece, double rhythm guitar laced band blew the crowds' face off with high octane songs like 'Rock Out With Your Cock Out', 'Don't Blame Me' and a pleasing cover of 'I Think We're Alone Now.' Closing out the set the boys (the band's ages run from 21 to 27) played their regional hit 'Friday Night'. And indeed it was.
Next up for the band and the ever expanding 'nerd herd' is an industry party (for the record labels) on Wednesday night (3/24/04) at the fabled Whiskey, in L. A. Break a leg Guys, and Rock Out...

Part 2....

I stand by the door long enough to watch the next band that follows D. O. R. K. They are a four piece group in their thirties, and while they are very talented and more polished in stage presence, they move like four individuals, not as a band. They each want to be a star. D. O. R. K on the other hand moved onstage like a band of brothers. Like a team performing in unison though independent. Whether any label people are present as yet, folks are still talking about D.O.R.K. as the other band drones into their next song, which lacks both melody and rhythm. They are more of an art house style of band. At these shows in Hollywood at clubs like the Whiskey, people come to see a band they know and then leave. People don't stay for the entire evening's entertainment. This is because most unsigned bands have to sell tickets to guarantee a certain door ($). D.O.R.K. was invited to play this industry night and did not have to sell any tickets. That is how far their 'buzz' has carried them thus far. Good band etiquette is to stay to hear the next band open before heading off to the afterparty.
Stepping back into the night I spot Schuyler start to head off in the direction of the band's new van.
P.T. - Hey, you guys rocked! It was a great show.
Sky - Thanks. How was the sound? It sounded pretty shitty on stage.
P.T. - It sounded great out front. (A band always wants to know how it sounds out front because what they hear comes from a different set of speakers.)
Sky - Hey man, we're really glad you showed up. (He is carrying his wrapped axe on his back. The Whiskey provides the sound equipment, all the musicians have to bring are their instruments. Of course if you're a drummer there's no change in your luggage toting.) Donavon and Jimmie showed me the stuff you wrote (the WHEELHOUSE Revue) just before we got here. Did we really say all of that stuff? (He laughs)
P.T. - (Laughing too) Yeah. What's next for the band?
Sky - I've got some good news, really good news.
PAUSE HERE. A note to wannabes. Whether you are The Rolling Stones or the next group to form up a band, there is always band drama going on unbeknownst to most everyone watching the show. It is something that helps drive the band. Depending on the type of drama, it can either push a band forward or drive them back. Case in point - The '99 Rolling Stones No Security Tour - UN PAUSE
P.T. - I brought something to help celebrate (I pull out a tightly wrapped plastic baggy of fresh chronic greens, bought locally from my neighborhood slinger whose source grows BC bud. We fight terrorism in So Cali by keeping it homegrown.)
Sky - All RIGHT! (We reach the band's van, he opens the sliding door and puts his guitar inside then turns back to me) All Jimmie and I had were two resin rips and a shot of whiskey before hitting the stage.
PAUSE - Yes Virginia, that's why they call it 'Sex, Drugs, and Roll ' n' Roll'. Not everyone in a band uses alcohol or other drugs to 'loosen up'. Bryan left the merch stand just before the show started and came back with a moused up Mohawk. "This is so unlike me" he said as he nervously danced around just before taking the stage. Truth be told, two songs into the set his Mohawk had melted down like an ice cream cone in summer and by the time he sang on 'I think We're Alone Now' he looked like LaVern & Shirley's Squiggy about the head. Fact of the matter is, it is not easy to get up in front of a bunch of strangers and perform on stage, no matter how talented you are. Everybody does something. UNPAUSE
P.T. - (I am just about to ask Sky about the video that the club shot when the last part of the three-sided equation walks up)
Sky - This is Angie (and I recognize her as one of the girls who was dancing up in the front of the stage. She is dressed like Popeye, built like Olive Oyl, but with these intense big brown puppy dog eyes staring out from beneath a knit longshoreman cap).
P.T. - (From here the night escalates as Angie invites her 'chumbuddys' into the van. The first in is a young redhead dressed in a short white flair skirt and a pastel purple low cut cafe blouse exposing a tasteful amount of cleavage. She looks the spitting image of the Family Guy's daughter complete with big sexy nose, only the voice is different and not a cartoon style. The second girl is a blond dressed in a dark clubbing style dress and the third one, a brunette, looks like a college student in her dark sweater and jeans. They are all either roommates and/or best friends and they are all attractive. The Family Guy's daughter, Sky, and I occupy the back bench seat known as Stoner's Row, Angie sits on the seat in front of me and the two other girls share the other seat after the three of them flirt and 'girl it up' with each other for a minute. The dust settles as my temperature raises. We have departed for Groupieville without leaving the curb. Sky produces a big gallon bottle of Ten High and passes it all around. Everyone takes a pull and chases it with a slug of cold coke. These are Hollywood girls and the antithesis of Carrie Nation. They take a shot of booze like The Simpsons' Mrs. Kerbopple, (remember the 'Do The Bartman' episode). I decline a drank for I am there to celebrate and write the story, not become part of it.) So what was the news?
Sky - Well remember when I said we were getting sued over our name?
P.T. - Yeah... (I did. Another group was suing the band over the use of the name DORK. It had even gone to the opposing attorneys and a judge. I didn't report it before because the outcome hadn't been decided).
Sky - We won. We get to keep our name. This is great. Now we can move forward you know. We're going to be playing on the WARPED TOUR this summer. Not every show but most of them. The main dude likes us and said he is going to have us onstage almost every night. We camped out at this hotel where he was staying and he knew who we were. Said we'd fit right in. Now we can go forward with printing more merchandise. We didn't want to before because we didn't know if we'd be using the name...
P.T. - Fucking excellent. (the bottle is passed around again. This time the 'daughter's speech slurs a bit and her hommies give her 'burns' over it, but ever coming to a groupie's defense I say) Nah! Look at her, she's fine. She's a pro. (Indeed the girl just needed a bit of encouragement to straighten up her act)
Sky - You know just before we took off for out here, a couple of the guys screwed up putting on the trailer (with all the band equipment and personal belongings. It is stuffed to the hilt). Damn thing came off and started rolling down the street cause somebody didn't put the pin in, you know. Coulda killed somebody if we'd been on the freeway.
P.T. - Plus it has all your equipment in it.
Sky - Yeah and none of it is paid for. We worked for eight months and saved up $1600. That's when we hit the road. If we don't get signed tonight, if we could just find someone to book gigs for us so we could travel, eat, and play, that'd be fine by us. We love doing this, touring. We all do.
P.T. - It shows in your show onstage. You guys rip and you do it together.
Sky - After that trailer thing we sat down and had a talk. I chewed their (the ones responsible) asses. We're all in this together. We have to be like a family, watch out for each other's stuff. If we have something to say to somebody then it needs to come out. We all agreed and things have been a lot better since then.
P.T. - Every band has to have 'the Talk'.
Sky - Yeah and now with the name being cleared up and playing the WARPED TOUR this summer...

Before long the party was starting to move on and I had miles to go before I slept. Though D.O.R.K. had been playing professionally for over two years and had scored a regional airplay hit with 'Friday Night', this was the road tour that would graduate them as a contender to 'make it' because they had had 'the Talk' and now they had played The Whiskey. Welcome to Hollywood!

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