Rock Eyez Webzine
Rock Eyez
Rock Eyez Webzine


Interview with Dregen
(Guitar - Backyard Babies)

Dregen & Brian
Photo by Stephanie Rademacher


Interviewed by Brian M. Rademacher
Date: February 26th, 2005


On February 26th , 2005, Rockeyez was invited to do an in-person interview with BACKYARD BABIES (Dregen) at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. We first met with Andres the BACKYARD BABIES road manager. He told us Dregen would be about 30 minutes late. I thought to myself, “This is not going to be a good night.” Not 30 minutes later Dregen came in and not like the usual rock star walking past you and making you wait… Dregen came right towards us introduced himself and was one of the nicest stars you could meet.

In 1989, The Band was Called Tyrant, right.
No. 1987 in 89 BACKYARD BABIES was formed. It's the same band, we changed the name.

I guess the first; album was “Something to Swallow,” in 1990?

How long did it take to record?
A day or something. “Something to Swallow” was something on a little label 2000 copies or something were made.

You have an extensive catalog going through demos and forty-fives.
Yes yep.

Most of them are they independent?
I still have this love for forty-fives, seven-inches so we try to keep it up. So everything we do is still on vinyl.

So they are really collector items since they are in small quantity.
Yes, very much

In 1994, “Diesel and Power” came out.
Yes, that is like the first sort of say proper release. We got signed in 1993 by Mega rock Records. Then we toured a lot around Europe and then we signed with a label called MVG and recorded “Total 13.” Then we started out here Scooch Pooch a sub-label for Sub Pop records here in America .

“Total 13” came out here in 1997?
Yes that is when we did the first US tour as well in 97'. Actual we did it with these guys as well (Social Distortion).

Seems like the European Crowd is more responsive to you than the American Crowd is. Is there a reason why?
Yeah, because we are from there and tour there. Now that we have a proper, US release We want to concentrate on the tour over here…

Your latest Album was released in 2003.
Yeah 2003. It's getting too loud in here let's go to the backstage. You guys doing an interview right now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ok everybody let's get out.

So your last release came out in 2003?
Yeah, in Europe an album called “Stockholm Syndrome.” The thing was that after “Total 13” in '97 we signed a worldwide deal with RCA records. Which was good for us in Europe and Japan . But wasn't good for us in ah I guess RCA records in America is all about fuckin' Britney Spears . Whatever, they didn't want to release the last two albums and finally, we are out of our contract now. We signed with Liquor and Poker now.

I have been reading your bios all night long and they compare you guys to early Motley Crue. Who are your influences right now?
Well it hard for me. I don't know if BACKYARD BABIES is a punk-loving hard rock band or hard-rocking punk loving band. We grew up, all the guys were born in 73' so we grew up listening to everything Sex Pistols to Clash and the Ramones, New York Dolls and all that but at the same time we all have our share of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest records as well.

So if I went to your place right now what CD would be in your player?
Oh, what did I listen to yesterday? Dolly Parton (chuckle)…

Dolly Parton!!! What's wrong with Dolly Parton? There are two things not bad about Dolly Parton.
That was after a quite a bit of beer. Probably we were listening to the last Helicopters album

Are you still with that band?
No, I quit that in '99.

The new BACKYARD BABIES CD came out in 2003 are you dong extensive touring or you writing new material?
We have been touring ever since that album came out. But now this album called Tinnitus is coming out in the states. Which is a compilation of “Total 13,” “Naked Enemies,” and “Stockholm Syndrome.” You get four songs from each just to give the American fan a hint of what we've been doing. I think in six months that they are going to release the back catalog as well. So what were doing right now is to start slowly writing songs. We have a little set -up in the back of the bus. Doing these fifteen years as a band, I don't remember ever writing one single song on the road. Actually, we try to do it different since like rock n roll music is kind of conservative in that way. That we still play the basic two guitars, bass and drums. We try to write different from each album.

When did you start this tour?
We started out in Scandinavia two weeks before we came here. The first in the states was in Las Vegas the second of February.

How long does the tour go for?
It goes until the 23rd Of March in Las Vegas . But than we have a show the 25 th back home in Sweden, So we are going to tour 14 dates after that.

Are you going to be picked up on another tour, or are you doing some headline shows?
When Social D got their days off, we try to put in our own shows. Two days ago, we played in Brooklyn at a place called North Six. It went well but it was a fuckin' snowstorm.

What about the headline shows?
Yeah, yeah they are booking shows now. “Tinnitus” is coming out the 5th of April. So I mean were coming back as soon as possible. To do either our own headline tour or another support tour if we can find a good band. We are kind of picky. I don't see a reason why we go out with a band that… I can't see any amount of money in the world that we would go out with fuckin'… Limp Bizkit. It's always good to go out on tour with your old favorite bands and stuff. Just before we came out here, we were out a month with Velvet Revolver. That was a good tour. In 2001, we did AC/DC for a month and a half. We toured for a while with Monster Magnet.

“Tinnitus” what label will that be on?
Liquor and Poker that will be on April 5th.

You play a lot of European date and US Days what do you do with your time off sleep? Sleep and fishing. We do normal stuff just hang with your friends out drinking beer play pinball doing the usual shit.

Can fans get the forty-five that you were telling us about?
We are on a Major label in Europe. But we have way more freedom on the Major label than we have on the small independent label. The Major label will let us put out some punk rock songs, some seven-inches and that is fine with them and sell them on the tour.

So what punk bands did you like?
Stooges, MC5, Sex Pistols, New York Dolls, Ramones, The Deadboys -
stuff like that.

What are your plans for the future?
We like touring, but making an album is a necessary evil. To tour in a way. We still are strong believers in the “live” scene so to say.

When Tinnitus comes out will fans be able to get it everywhere?
Yeah, everywhere. The first single is called “Minus Celsius” which we recorded a video with Dean Carr a guy who has been doing a lot of Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC stuff, and Busta Rhymes.

How does the shows in Europe compare to the United States?
That's the good thing about rock n roll. It doesn't matter if you're in Japan or wherever. People behave the same everywhere around the world.

I heard some countries are more laid back than others?
The thing I like about America, you have a bit more people to go see shows here. Like in Europe, they come to shows if they got an established band and happen to know them. In America, it is more of a “live” country they go out to see a show.

Tell me, how long do you play a live set?
We do a forty-five minute set, but we went over yesterday.

Do you want to say anything in conclusion?
Yeah, well before we went out we released a live album called “Live in Paris.” It was from the European tour we did last spring. We also have a DVD called “Jet lag.” It is a fifteen year history of BACKYARD BABIES in 1 hour plus you get all the videos hopefully that will be out in the states real soon. Cool.

Thank you very much.

Special thanks to Dregen, Andrew Demarest, Black & White PR, Andres BACKYARD BABIES Road Manager, Starland Ballroom.

Photographs taken by Brian Rademacher and cannot be reproduced without written permission from Brian Rademacher. © 2005 All rights reserved. The contents of this site may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of
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