Scoping out the Dream’s DVD with Ultimate Donny.
BY RANDY HARWARD
The dream is never the same, at least where Gil
Mantera’s Party Dream is concerned. There are no boundaries in their debauched,
proggy, synth-pop world where a boner is as significant as a long-festering
dream to be all you can be—even if that’s just a couple of crazy shithead brothers
who saw the potential of a Roger Troutman-Geddy Lee hybrid and dance in their
underwear (with glowsticks), which sometimes has a unicorn dick sock on the
front. Or straddle—and pretend to ride—each
other during a show. Or pull down the shirt of a hottie in the front row and
suckle those sweet, sweet—screeeeeech!
You get the idea. But you
should see for yourself: grab a copy of the Party Dream’s new DVD Live Performances [Volume 01] (PartyDream.com),
where Youngstown, Ohio natives Gil and Ultimate Donny put on two of the
best—and funniest—concerts you’ve ever seen. You may also wanna snatch up a
copy of their album, Bloodsongs (on
Audio Eagle, the label owned by The Black Keys’ Pat Carney).
BLURT: Where are you and what were you doing before
you had to entertain these penetrating queries?
ULTIMATE DONNY: I’m home watching The Little
Mermaid. I’m at the point in the movie where Ariel enters the castle as a
human, and she can’t speak because Ursula took her voice. It was part of the
BLURT: Do you believe in unicorns?
UD: Yes, wholeheartedly.
Not believing in beautiful, mythical creatures can be dangerous, especially
when they come to kill you.
BLURT: You’re brothers—and after witnessing the
debauchery on this DVD, I gotta wonder if your parents were drooling and
catatonic by the time you guys moved out.
UD: I think they had mixed
feelings about it. On one hand they were thinking, “peace…
finally,” and on the other they were concerned about no longer having two
creative geniuses in the house to keep them abreast of all the cool underground
shit going on in the community.
BLURT: How would you characterize GMPD’s
relationship with police throughout your lives?
UD: So far it’s been cool.
We don’t have the Luther Campbell vs. the cops relationship… yet.
BLURT: What’s the secret to getting away with
molesting a sweet young thing in the front row?
UD: Location. Location.
BLURT: One show is from 2003, the other from 2006.
It really shows how you guys evolved. In the two-ish years since that last
show, how have you grown? I noticed Gil could “fit” a Heineken bottle
in ’03 so I assume he’s graduated to longnecks, tallboys or quarts by now?
UD: We took a long break
from live performances in 2007 to regroup mentally and emotionally. We did a
lot of push ups and wrote a bunch of new songs that we feel continue in our
evolution of writing better and more “real” pop songs. We’re
stronger, emotionally stable and willing to shine our own shows this time
around. I’m not positive, but I think Gil gave up that practice.
BLURT: Never in a million years could I have
imagined an intersection between prog rock and 1980s synth pop. And try though
I may, I only get as far as understanding that you combine the simple and the
complex, then average it out. I’m missing something, though. What is it? Are
you allowed to say?
UD: It probably has
something to do with having three stereos blasting out Midnight Star, Rush and
High on Fire simultaneously.
BLURT: What do you guys have that Ghostland
Observatory doesn’t? A couple of Rush albums and…?
UD: I’m sure both bands
have plenty that the other doesn’t as well as many commonalities. One thing we
have that no other touring band has is Youngstown.
Pavlik and Mancini 1 y’all!
BLURT: The vocoder is a huge—and essential—part of
your sound. Is there an altar to Roger Troutman at your place? Has he ever
appeared to you guys in a dream?
UD: Roger Troutman is the
man. I don’t have any physical altars but loads of mental ones — David Lee
Roth, Prince, Robert Pollard, Greg Dulli. Gil lives with Jackson of Grand
Buffet, and they have a lot of weird shit in their place. There are a multitude
of things that could be altars, but I dare not inquire.
BLURT: Donny, sometimes you just gotta play guitar…
but sometimes they cut you off. How do you channel that urge in a way that
satisfies yourself and the crowd?
UD: It’s impossible. I’m never
satisfied. They’re never satisfied.
BLURT: Bloodsongs came out in 2005. How long until you cough up Bloodsongs II: The Tumescence?
UD: We just recorded four
songs in Hoboken
and NYC a few weeks ago, three for the new album and an intentional b-side for
a new single that we plan to release on vinyl soon. It’s an intentional b-side
because it’s a new version of an old song, not because it sucks. We’ll finish recording sometime after this
tour, but we have no idea what’s going on with label shit. We have no idea when
the new record drops.
[Photo Credit: Randy