Hey all, thanks for all the questions. To me, a lot of this is like being a witness to a car crash… I’m not necessarily doing this for kicks, but just answer some questions from an interesting period of my, and our, lives. People have attached some really stupid shit, and even goofier motives, to things I’ve said before. My answers are what they are, take em’ or leave em’. Anyone from Des Moines will know me, and know what I’m about. I’m pretty blunt about it. Enjoy.
Oh, one more thing… because it always comes up. Here’s a timeline of my involvement in everything.
June 1992 – Joel Ekman and I leave Redline.
August 1992 – Corey and I meet at a screening of Pink Floyd’s The Wall
Fall 1992 – Joel, Corey and I start Freakshow. I move into Thelma’s house. We start practicing. Corey and Joel write ‘Sometimes’, ‘Surgery’, ‘Mother’s Ghost’, ‘Turn Your Head’, ‘Funky Milk’ and another half dozen songs that do not see the light of day.
December 1992 – I’d had enough drama instigated by close friends of ours and quit the band. It’s a long story and nothing I want to get into here.
The next day, December 1992 – Marty Smith joins band, band changes name (undecided at this point) all the same songs/same deal, plus Dead Man’s Glare, based on a riff from Marty. Later on, Tony S. comes in as bassist. More songs written, some songs changed, added to, or modified.
January 1993 – I move out of the house. Stone Sour is decided as the new band name, based on an idea via Joel. They prepare to record the first demo tape at Otho. They record that spring.
Summer 1993 – Band fires Marty Smith, hires Shawn Economaki on Guitar. Plays first show at the Runway nightclub. Band fires Tony, breaks up temporarily. Attempts to regroup with Economaki and Josh Rand on guitar, with friend Todd Smith on bass. Band breaks up again.
June 1993 – Joel asks me to come back to the band and I do so, with reservations.
July 1993 – We find out Corey has been writing with another local group, band breaks up again. I give up and move to Denver, Colorado.
Through 1994 – Band re-groups with Josh Ryling and B.J on guitar, Economaki on bass. BJ eventually leaves, I move back to Des Moines and except for being called up as a “special guest” at SS shows, I stay out of playing with ANYBODY for the next decade.
Q; How come the early Stone Sour years seem so selfdestructive, if u hear all those old storys. On the other side you have these very melodic, beautiful ‘love songs’, if you ask me, like ‘Sometimes’ or ‘I Can’t Believe’. ( From: The Shape – MFKRboard member )
A; Well, Corey has always had a knack for writing melodies. In fact, it was the very thing that drew me to him originally as a writer. Most of the people in Des Moines at the time was either trying to re-write thrashy stuff or AC/DC-esque kind of stuff (“OOOH YEAH!” kind of shit.)
I remember a conversation Joey one night at Sinclair, at the very very beginning of Slipknot, saying, “He’d be awesome if he’d stop writing all that cheesy shit!”. What Joey had to come to realize is Corey IS the source that “cheesy shit”, its what makes him a songwriter.
Q; How did you get into the rockmusic-scene of Des Moines ? – ( From: uwey – MFKRboard member )
A; I went to junior high school with a group of guys that were going to start a band and didn’t have a bass player. So naturally, I bugged the shit out of my Dad to buy me the cheapest bass we could find. I showed up at school with my new bass, hoping to join the band and they looked at me like I was nuts. They wanted a bassist, just not ME as a bassist.
Later on, I worked behind the scenes as a tech here and there, put some shows on at school, in basements. This was in the days before a “scene” per se. I learned about sound, P.A’s etc. by watching people who knew what they were doing. It was kind of the dark ages for bands in Des Moines at the time. It wasn’t unti the 90’s when things got co-hesive, and then I did a lot of leg-work for Stone Sour. By that point, I had left playing behind so I figured I had might as well pitch in behind the scenes.
Q; Do the D‹M F‹X plan on playing anymore more shows? Or maybe even a CD? What is the current status of the D‹M F‹X? – ( From: xxleftbehindxx – MFKRboard member )
A; Ah, well… there hasn’t been any DUMFUX activity for a while now. Corey has moved onto other things. The rest of us play out as ‘The FAMILY’ every now and then. I refuse to call it the DUMFUX without Corey there. Anyone who witnessed one of our shows knows how much fun they are. I’ve got a lot of great memories.
Q; What bands/projects do you currently have in the works? – ( From: The Grater Vayne – MFKRboard member )
A; I started a solo/supergroup project called DROP DEAD LAST in 2009. It includes a lot of my friends in the local scene, including my old buddy Joel Ekman and members of JUNK POET, CIRRUS MINOR, and a bunch of other locals.
I’ve been slowly (understatement!) piecing together an album’s worth of material. It’s taken awhile, because I write slowly. The good news is when I do write, its pretty good shit, so the wait is worth it. I write pretty much everything, demo it out, and invite friends to contribute. Its cool to finally being comfortable enough to write string sections and guitar solos. It feels good.
Q; Do you know that Shawn Economaki has left Stone Sour and what are your thoughts on it? – ( From: uwey – MFKRboard member )
A; Yes. I’ve actually known about him being sacked for a while now, before the announcement. What do I think? I THINK IT’S FUCKED. Am I surprised? Not really. I try to take the high road but it honestly makes me sick to my stomach. I’m hoping Shawn decides to do something new, he’s a very, very creative musician and a great guy.
Q; What were your reasons for leaving the band? ( From: Prosthetic William – MFKRboard member )
A; The first time? A mutual friend was making our lives… well, my life… unbearable. It turned us as friends and band mates into assholes and at each other’s throats. He eventually got what he thought he was looking for, until kharma stepped in. At this point in life, I’d like to think we both learned a lesson out of it.
The second time? I was tired of Corey being inconsiderate to the people that cared about him the most and his lying to me and Joel. It was subjects I’d have to re-live and re-learn plenty of times in the next twenty years. Eventually I learned.
Q; Also, did the old Stone Sour demos ever come in a physical format? Like promos given away at shows? – ( From: Prosthetic William – MFKRboard member )
A; The “first” 1992/93 demo was a giveaway and a demo for venues to book gigs. The 1994 tape was sold at shows and record shops in the Des Moines area.
Q; To the best of your recollection, are there any songs that you wrote/recorded in your time with the band that went on to become a new track? Such as anything used on the Roadrunner debut and later. – ( From: Pyramid Head – MFKRboard Moderator )
A; As I mentioned in the timeline above… a lot of it made it onto the tapes. Corey and Joel were the songwriters.
Q; What is your favorite memory of playing with Stone Sour, and was Stone Sour the band’s official name when you were in it? I know about Freakshow, but am curious as to how long you were in the band after the name change. – ( From: Pyramid Head )
A; See the timeline. Also, I had fun jamming to a lot of the “fourth batch” of songs when I moved back in with Corey in 94’…. Take a Number, Bedanya… stuff like that. I’d grab a bass while Corey and Joel were ironing out the parts. Later on, Economaki would add the final bass parts. Jams. That, and I’d get up at shows and play a little, here and there. Sometimes I’d help Josh Ryling by playing a rhythm guitar part under his so he could work out a solo here of there.
Corey asked me to come back a few times in the mid 90’s, pre-Jim. I didn’t feel I was a good enough player to do it.
Q; How often do you keep in contact with the guys, now? I know they’re busy, and I’m sure you’re keeping yourself busy, but how frequently would you say you get to contact any of the members, and who? – ( From: Pyramid Head )
A; I’m still friendly with just about everyone. I rarely run into anyone these days, but when I do its like old times. We’re all (well, the ones who have it) Facebook friends. I haven’t spoken to Corey since the night of Paul’s funeral. I’ll leave it at that.
Q; You mentioned a long time ago that you had the original ‘Crowz’ cover artwork that Corey was working on. Any chance of you ever releasing that to public? – ( from: Random Hero UK – MFKR1 admin )
MFKR1 General Questions——————————————————
Born and Bread?
Denny: Clinton by accident, via the East Side of Des Moines!
What is the current status of the D‹M F‹X?
I know you play guitar, but do you play any other instruments as well?
Denny: Voice, guitar, bass, piano, a little percussion. That, and I can program orchestra/strings on computer.
How old were you when you started playing?
Denny: Singing, I was a baby. Bass and Guitar, I was 13
Care to tell us what bands you’ve been in?
Denny: Redline, Freakshow, Stone Sour, Dumfux, Drop Dead Last.
What kind of guitar/s do you play and what is your all time favorite Axe sort?
Denny: I currently play an LTD EC-1000. I’ve always wanted, and never been able to afford, a Gibson Les Paul. My dream axe is either Steve Jones’ Les Paul (Sex Pistols) or a 59’ like Joe Walsh/Jimmy Page
Knowing that you and Corey were friends and hanging around a lot back in the day, what is the most memorable party you guys ever went to? Could you tell us about that party? (if you remember anything lol)
Denny: Oh, remember everything. It’s kind of a problem sometimes ( I think my favorite party memory is the ceiling fan incident, but I actually remember how it REALLY went down, not the ‘Sins’ version. Trust me, the real version is a lot funnier.
Another Corey one – Where did you guys meet and what was the reason for you two hitting off?
Denny: We met one night at Billy Joe’s Pitcher Show, which was an all ages theater in Des Moines that recently closed down. It was a hybrid theater/bar/restaurant that had chairs and tables inside instead of padded rows of seats. You could order a pitcher of beer and a pizza and watch a movie while you ate dinner. Cool place.
Anyway, we were introduced by the younger brother of the singer of Redline. Joel and I had just quit the band and were looking for a vocalist. We were about to hire a guy in a rival band called Yankee Rose when I met Corey. The first night we just talked about movies, music, art, comedy… crazy stuff. We both knew obscure Monty Python comedy skits… stuff like that. It was like he had found his tribe. We were brothers instantly. To this day, he’s still like a little brother to me. That can be good sometimes… or bad.
You must’ve seen Slipknot back in the MFKR era at the Safari Club and local venues. Did you attend many of their shows? And did you ever or do you still have a copy of the Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat album?
Denny: Hell, we were at the first show. Corey, Economaki and I were standing in front, with Mick standing behind us. Back then it was all friends and family. I think I went to pretty much every show I could back then. I was at the first show, Mick’s first, Nyberg’s Birthday party, Corey’s first, Andy’s last, Greg’s first, Sid’s first, Greg’s last, Brandon’s only (Omaha), Josh’s last, Chris and Jim’s first… Dotfest I, II…
Clown had two different copies of MFKR “saved” for me… that ended up going to music industry people as demos. There only ever were 1000 copies or whatever, so when they were gone, they were gone. I’ve JUST recently gotten a hold of a burned copy.
For a while there in the 00’s… people were bootlegging the shit out of those things… the used record store here in Des Moines used to boast they paid for his big screen television. They had it on fucking vinyl!!!???!?!? The clerk would say, “Well, you know, this is VERY RARE.” Yeah…well… no shit Sherlock… its so rare its fake.
How would you describe the atmosphere at the old Slipknot shows when Andy was still the lead vocalist?
Denny: Deep. Dark. Dank… A lot of D words… It was very cathartic, very emotional. I can’t really explain it that well in words. I had a habit of standing directly in front of Clown and just being moved by the shit. Primal energy. A physical and chemical bonding. Very tribal. When you see people dancing and doing crazy shit in Haiti… it’s that kind of zone. It was never so much a mosh pit culture then as it was an emotional thing. People really were swaying and responding to the shadow side of it all.
Since then, it’s a more boom-boom-boom-boom kind of thing. Less ‘(Heartache and a Pair of…) Scissors’, and more ‘Sic’ or ‘The Blister Exists’.
Is it true that some of the members of SK were sleeping on your apartment floor at the time when the band was getting signed to RR?
Denny: Corey,(his then girlfriend) Leslie, and l shared a duplex not too far from the Safari Club. Corey and Leslie shared one room, my girlfriend and I shared the other. We had various people crashing on the couch and on the floor. The only SK member other than Corey who lived with us was Paul, who (somehow) slept next to my weight bench in the sunroom. We had a lot of fun in that place. Paul and I got really close and had a lot of fun times there.
Who is your biggest musical inspiration and your Hero in music? And what is your favorite band of All Times?
Denny: Musicaly, probably Jimmy Page or Eddie Van Halen. My heroes have been many, but for a loooong time it’s been Henry Rollins. He’s put up with more shit and still amazes me. My favorite band of all times is Led Zeppelin.
Favorite sort of beer?
Denny: Anything wheat or dark. I love Shiner Bock.
Favorite comic-book hero?
Denny: oh man… probably John Byrne era Wolverine.
Favorite Movie of all time?
Denny: another “oh man”… hmm, ‘Laurence of Arabia’
Do you have a favorite video game?
Denny: My last video game system was an Atari 2600. So… River Raid.
Which of these does Denny like the most? – South Park, Simpsons, Family Guy
Denny: All three, but South Park the best.
When Corey joined Slipknot, nobody had ever known him as a ‘Growler’ before, only as the soft melodic voice and occasional ‘screamer’. Were you surprised to hear him do that kind of gutteral vocals when you first heard it? Did he ever show you that style before at rehersals back in the day?
Denny: I knew he could growl, but the first time he played with SK at Safari was a revelation. The first gutteral “DOH” or whatever the fuck that first word is in ‘Slipknot’… the first time I ever heard him go that low was that moment, and it surprised the FUCK outta me. He was trying so hard to do it right, to impress everybody, that he really nailed it… melting face latex and all. I’d never
What did the Spanish priest say to the Iranian gynecologist?
Denny: “Look, YOU spread the word, I spread the…”
Do you have a favorite ‘Slipknot’? and a fav. ‘Stone Sour’ song ?
Denny: Slipknot, it’s a tossup between ‘The Blister Exists’ and one of the old ones that never made it to an album. It’s the one where Clown is screaming in response “GET UP!”…. “SIT DOWN!!!”…“SHUT UP”… “FUCK YOUUUUU!!!” or something like that. I can only remember parts of it. It was in the Carve, Windows, Interloper batch of songs.
Do you still meet or hang out with any Knot members these days? Who did you see last?
Denny: Hmmm… probably Clown or Sid. I see everybody at some point. I had a friend over from England and we ran into Sid in his truck at a stoplight. We both stopped and said hello for a minute. Later on she said to me, “Wow, this really is a small town.” To us, it was no big deal… I’ve known Sid since he was like… 14 or something.
Do you have a good ol’ backstage story for us from the old Knot days? What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about it? Smiley
Denny: Getting accidentally locked out of Ozzfest 01’ at Mile High Stadium in Denver, only to be rescued by their old security guy who lived there. He got me back inside, only to find our entire party had been escorted to the other side of the stage. I ended up sticking with the band through the “huddle” and walked with them onstage. I ended up right behind Clown, standing next to Ozzy and his family. It was a cool place to see the show, except for Clown coming 2 inches from knocking my head off with the pipe when he threw it (not looking where…) behind him. Occupational hazard with Clown.
Can you describe the late Paul Gray in ‘One word’ from the heart of Denny?
Thank you Denny for taking the time and talking to us, and all the best to you with your life and future projects!
Denny: No problem. Glad to help out.
-Interview by Finnur/Master of Crowz of MFKR1.com & MFKRboard.com (May/June 2012)