Generation Kill – Perpetual Indifference

Wednesday, 13th November 2013

Dead Rhetoric: I think I’m paying you a backhanded compliment because it sounds so real.

Dukes: It’s totally made up. We wanted to make it a little choppy, we wanted people to know we took different pieces. It was totally made up, I wrote it before, and then I made him say what I wanted him to say. Then the whole time, people are like, “Are we going to get into trouble with this?” I’m like, “Nah, I don’t care. Whatever.”

Dead Rhetoric: In terms of people’s reaction to you singing, what type of reaction have you received thus far?

Dukes: All positive. I haven’t heard anything negative except for a few douche bags on Blabbermouth. Typically, “Where the fuck is Zetro?” and shit like that. People are stoked, they’re like, “Wow, I didn’t know you could sing!” Even [producer] Zeuss was blown away. It was fun to do and fun to experiment, like on “There’s No Hope.” That song, it was the hardest to sing, but the whole middle section with three different vocals overlapping, they’re very Queen-esque, but have some Mike Patton in them. That, and go to the middle part, it was so much fun to try and do and experiment, and I don’t get to do it any other time.

Dead Rhetoric: Some of the lyrics are politically-driven. Where do you draw the line without being too preachy?

Dukes: Well, people are always going to draw their own conclusions. I read a lot. I watch a lot of documentaries and I try to stay current on events and keep both sides of the argument open, but I’m pretty much in the middle when it comes to political parties. I’m not right, I’m not left. I think they both have things…I’m right in the center. I try not to be preachy, try not to be preachy like The Clash, even though they are one of my favorite bands of all-time. But, I wanted to be honest. If you’re honest, people can read into it. “Prophets of War,” I wrote that while watching The World According to Dick Cheney. The guy is just an evil fuck. He didn’t care about anybody or anything. All he cares about is money and power. And “Born to Serve” was written about food and how if you control the food, you control the people. That’s really how America is. It’s driven by food, fear, money, and greed. I don’t know where the line is, but I hope I’m not crossing it and just giving people food for thought.

Dead Rhetoric: You’ve been in Exodus for nearly ten years now. Have you given much thought as to how these years have gone by?

Dukes: I’m actually writing a book right now. I’m actually writing book about my whole life, but what led up to that is only a couple of chapters and the rest is what I’ve been doing the last ten years. It’s been surreal. I was a regular guy, working a job, and this opportunity came across my path and I took it and I was there, right place, right time, and I guess with enough talent to get me in the door. It’s been surreal. I’m totally grateful for it and I don’t take it for granted.

You know how you read about those people who meet soap opera stars who think they’re the people they’re playing in the soap opera, I hate those people. I hate people who think the guy onstage is who I am. I don’t read reviews, I don’t listen to critics. Once in a while I’ll read the comments on websites, but I always know that these are people who have no clue what they’re talking about. I don’t read reviews because if you’re not a musician, I don’t give a fuck what you have to say. You’re either a failed musician and now you’re a writer, or you’re just a dick. How am I supposed to know what your thoughts are? You might be doing a review on a metal album and you might not even like metal. Kerry King once said I’m the best thing that ever happened to Exodus. That’s all I need to hear.

Dead Rhetoric: I enjoy how Gary always says that people think it was his stroke of genius that he found you, or the things you say onstage are prompted by him. He always goes back to “I can’t control the guy. He says what he wants to say.”

Dukes: I would make them cringe. Listen, I never repeat the same thing. I make it up as I go along. I’m like a standup comedian; I’ll engage with the crowd. If I’m in San Francisco and I want them to be crazy, I’ll say “Hollywood is crazier than you guys.” Next thing I know, people are stage-diving off the fucking amps. It’s inciting the punk rock side of me. It’s therapeutic. People want to be entertained. I never really have a “speech.”

I went out with a couple of bands and halfway through the tour, I know exactly what they’re going to say every night of the tour, and I’m like “What the fuck?” I never wanted to be like that. Sometimes I say stuff and I’m wrong. Sometimes I say the wrong thing. Sometimes it just comes out of my head and I mean to say something, but it doesn’t come across that way because the inside banter in my head is different than the crowd can understand. Sometimes I do cross lines and I’ve been better lately. But, I don’t think people want to see multiple shows of the tour and see the same thing every night.

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