An Interview With Doses: Ugly Music For Ugly People
We saw Los Angeles band Doses in Santa Monica last weekend.
Photos by Olivia Jaffe
Last Friday night, I went out to Santa Monica to see a band from Los Angeles called Doses. The two-piece punk group made-up of Kristopher Kirk [guitar/vocals/drum programming] and John Gaston [bass] (formerly of the noisiest band in California Francis Harold and The Holograms) shoved themselves in the corner of the art gallery cornered by a crowd of kids and played the kind of set I needed at that moment: fuzzed, heavy, depraved and loud as hell. When they were done, I went outside to smoke and tweeted “Doses just kicked my vagina to the moon” because, they did. That’s the proper reaction to a punk show. I want to feel like I’ve been assaulted. I went home and listened to their debut LP (which was released January 1 on Going Underground Records) over and over. Fast forward a week and I ambushed Kirk during his evening shift at Permanent Records to ask him a bunch of questions about his personal life, television, hip hop and of course, the band. Because, as every good pig knows, assaults should always go both ways.
Noisey: To start you off, we’re going to play Would You Rather, or a version of that. Would you rather be mute or blind?
Kris Kirk: Jesus. Blind, I guess.
Would you rather drive a bus full of school of screaming children to and from the country to the city every day or clean the catheter bags out at an old folk’s home?
Definitely drive the bus. 100%.
What’s the worst job you ever had?
Working at Boomers. It was a low budget amusement park. I worked in the kitchen as a short order cook making mashed potatoes that came frozen in a plastic bag. You would boil the bag and squeeze them out the end.
What are the top 3 records you would save out of your collection if your house was burning down?
Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bullocks, The Jesus Lizard Head and Big Black Atomizer.
Let’s play fuck, marry, kill with the cast of New Girl, because I know you love that show.
Okay, well I’d fuck CeCe.
Marry? I’d marry the girl who played Nick’s girlfriend for a minute, the lawyer?
Julia or the actress Lizzy Caplan.
And I’d kill Winston. He’s so boring.
When did Doses start?
It started in 2011. Francis Harold and The Holograms wasn’t a band anymore and John [Gaston, bass] and I wanted to start another project but minimize the amount of people. It’s easier to play shows, write songs and work with two people’s schedules instead of four and that’s kind of why it became two people.
Why is it called Doses? Because there are two of you?
No, not at all. It has nothing to do with being two people. It was a band name that came from a previous joke. It’s not a reference to anything. There’s nothing behind it.
I think making up a band name is the hardest thing.
It’s the worst.
You have to make sure no one else has the name...
There’s another Doses, apparently. People have sent me links. They are in Florida.
Then it doesn’t even count. Florida? Come on.
The worst place in America.
When you guys played the other night in Santa Monica, you inserted some contemporary rap music into your set. Some Kanye. Can you explain this to me?
I just like rap, in general. So, I like to use it as a segue.
Tell me about your song “Pig Gut” because it is my favorite song in the LP and it was really speaking to me the other day when I was mad at someone who is a fat pig.
What do you want to know about the song? Lyrics? It’s basically about human beings and how utterly disgusting we are. Everyone can posses an ugly trait, and most people do, but we hide it well. [The song] just compares people to pigs. Essentially all pigs do is roll around in mud, reproduce and eat. When it comes down to it, that’s all we humans do anyways, but we have this entitled sensibility of intelligence because we can make cars and airplanes, science in general. We are all gross and disgusting - myself included.
What’s the best part about being in Doses?
Only having two people makes doing anything very easy. It’s a different medium for music, using the drum machine makes a difference too because we are keeping it super minimal while trying to be loud as we can. The other band was loud too, but this band we want it to be as loud as we can go.
In the band, who is Joan Jett and who is Cherrie Currie?
[Laughs] I guess I’m Joan Jett.
Because you are sassy and smokey. Going back to the two people thing, what happens if you guys get in a fight? There’s no mediator. It’s like a marriage.
Not really. I mean, I have known John for 13 years. In the first band I ever played in—which I do not want to talk about—John was the drummer. He was 13 years old at the time. I quit that band and started another band, two bands later, we start Francis Harold and I asked John to drum, so... I’ve consistently been in bands with John for about 10 years.
Then, I should have asked who is Paul and who is John.
What’s it like being a band in L.A.? Do you like it here?
I grew up in Hunting Beach which is a whole different world. It is the epitome of “the suburbs”—track homes, strip malls, after 10pm everything shuts down. There is nothing to do at all. We would come out in Los Angeles for shows and stuff, but I always hated L.A. It’s the worst, but I had to eventually move out here after I got my college degree because of job opportunities, you know.
Well, if you could live anywhere in the U.S.A. where would you go?
The Mid-West. It’s super slow. I love it. The way I see L.A. is this: there is two different musical scenes, if you must. There’s the general music scene of general L.A., the West Side, The Roxy, all these people “trying to make it”. Then, there’s smaller bands that play houses, warehouse, whatever and they just want to play. They do it because they want to.
Are you going to playing in noisy bands until you die?
That would be cool. I hope so.
Follow Mish Way on Twitter - @myszkaway