Hardcore birthday show 

D.O.A. celebrates 30th anniversary with new album, shows and DVD

click to enlarge Joey "Shithead" Keithley
  • Joey "Shithead" Keithley

Who: D.O.A.

When: Sunday, Jan. 27

Where: Garfinkel’s

Even though 30 years have passed since the inception of hardcore punk legends D.O.A., Joey "Shithead" Keithley reflects on the fact that the lyrical content of their music hasn't.

"Things we covered back then and now are pretty similar," he said. "Time can change, technology can change for music, but the basic issues haven’t really. In some cases, they've gotten worse. We talked a lot about furthering the rights for people back then and that is the same thing we write about today."

D.O.A. was the band who popularized or some would argue invented the term hardcore. Their music has influenced the likes of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Rancid and The Offspring. The Vancouver boys have toured their politically charged music tackling globalization, environment, racism and censorship all over the world.

"I think we've managed to go out and get people to think and stand up for themselves," he said.

The highlight of Keithley's 30 years as frontman for D.O.A. has always been, and will always be, fans coming up to him and telling him that D.O.A. music is made of the stuff they can live by.

D.O.A. will celebrate their 30th anniversary in Whistler for Punk Night on Sunday, Jan. 27 at Garfinkel's, with fellow punkers Duvallstar and Loose Tooth.

"We are older for sure, hopefully a little bit wiser, but still confrontational to authority," he said.

D.O.A. first came onto a music scene void of hardcore in the 1970s, at the height of Saturday Night Fever and roller rinks. The track Disco Sucks became an underground hit across North America, putting D.O.A. on the music radar with no record label in sight. Later, the album opened the door to international acclaim, riots and three generations of fans.

The D.O.A. machine won't quit. The band even has their own day: former Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell's declared Dec. 21 to be D.O.A. Day in Vancouver. The band has turned out more than 20 albums and just as many singles and EPs, as well as half a dozen videos, a dozen compilation albums and one book, entitled I, Shithead - A life In Punk on Arsenal Pulp Press. They've toured the world what must feel like a zillion times over 30 years later and the boys show no signs of letting up.

The band recently returned from an Australia tour in October and released a 30th anniversary DVD called Smash this fall. Keithley also wrote an entirely new album celebrating the D.O.A. anniversary, set for release this March. The album will be produced by Bob Rock, who worked with the likes of Metallica and Mötley Crüe. Working with Rock will be like stepping back in time when Rock produced the D.O.A. single, The Prisoner/Thirteen on 7-inch on Quintessence records back in the 1970s.

So what keeps Canada's legendary punk king keep spreading the punk rock counterculture around the world?

"In a sense, what keeps us going is my personal philosophy: be your own boss, think for yourself and make change," he said.

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