Friday, 26 August 2011

1334Bats Interview - Dave Bats - Owner of "Release The Bats" - Longbeach, CA

How did you first get introduced to Deathrock and why did it stand out for you?
DB: I was into Punk and New Wave in the 80's but when I discovered Siouxsie and The Cure, the two main ingredients for a fledgling would be Gothic type of the time, all the rest just came along with my new discovery. Also the girls. Chicks with big colored hair and leather jackets were way cooler than any other girls I knew at the time. The term DEATHROCK was used to describe the fashion and music style of the time, 45 Grave, Christian Death, bands like that didnt fall under the "Gothic" term and the normal people that surround us everyday dont understand Gothic. "Deathrock" scares normal people, especially today. ha ha

What made you want to open Release The Bats and how did it first start?
DB: A long time ago I was asked this. Ill quote myself, "Release The Bats is a natural backlash to the mainstream Goth scene of today. In 1998, The Que Sera, a bar we frequent in Long Beach California, asked us if we'd like to throw their annual Halloween party. Myself & Jenn Skott, along with Jeremy Meza slammed our brains together over cocktails one evening and thought that an 'old school' Gothik party would be the best! Since, at the time almost all of the so called 'Goth' clubs were spinning techno and that one damn Virgin Prunes song, the media was eating the scene alive and trying to bury it in the same hole as the rave scene, we said 'f*ck this!' and brought the REAL DEAL out of the grave!"

Were there any other names you were thinking of for the club?
DB: We tossed a few names around but nothing jumped out at us. A lot of the cool names were already used at some point in time too. We wanted something different than the rest. Release The Bats by The Birthday Party was playing on the stereo one night when me, Jenn, and Shane were together and we all sorta looked at eachother when Nick Cave started yelling it out in the song. Too perfect!

So many bands have played there over the years, who were some of the most memorable for you?
DB: Hmmmm... hard one. Each RTB is great and every band we've booked are superb artists! But I hafta say, the most memorable for me personally was when ELEMENT and Kommunity FK played. I played bass for both bands and both bands played RTB numerous times. Each show was awesome - and I was in them! (In fact, ELEMENT is playing again at RTB on October 28th for our 13th Anniversary!)

Do you have any stories of meeting Rozz Williams and do you have a favorite album he was involved in?
DB: Only Theatre Of Pain - thee album. In the 1990's our bands played on the same bill several times so there was always back stage shenanigans happening. Keeping that to myself though tee hee! We weren't very close, mostly band relationships but he was a cool person and to this day I miss him and the art that he could still be creating. Everything changed when he left. But ya, Only Theatre Of Pain should be in everyones record collection.

What bands are you listening to a lot at the moment?

DB: Peter Murphy's new one ("Ninth"), Japan's live album "Oil on Canvas", Portishead, rediscovering the three first Dead Can Dance albums. Tomorrow will be something different. Next week something from the 1960's. Im all over the place with music at any given time really.
If I owned and I-Pod it would explode!

Any upcoming events you'd like to let our readers know about?

DB: Our band ELEMENT ( is back together, new music, new guitarist, unbelievable how its going! We have two shows in LA, one on Sept 10th and then at Release The Bats' 13th anniversary in October! Weeeee!!!!!!!!

Thank you Dave!

For more information on Release The Bats and events be sure to visit -

 - DJ De Ville

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