Joey “Shithead” Keithley Of D.O.A. Interview
Today we’re talking with Joey “Shithead” Keithley from the legendary punk band D.O.A. Along with Black Flag and Bad Brains, D.O.A. is often listed as the original founders of hardcore punk and their album Hardcore ’81 appears to be the first time that the term hardcore was associated with the music. D.O.A. is preparing for their 40th anniversary as a band with a large tour and a great new album called “Fight Back”. I had the opportunity to talk with Joey about the new album, touring, his political aspirations and reflect on his long career to date. Joey is a really honest and straight forward guy to interview who has a deep passion for activism. I hope you enjoy listening to our interview with the original Godfather of Hardcore Punk himself!
You can purchase Joey’s book Talk – Action = 0 – An illustrated history of D.O.A. right here.
And the great new D.O.A. album “Fight Back” right here.
Canada’s legendary Punk Kings,who helped spread punk rock counterculture around the world, approach a momentous milestone. For nearly 40 years D.O.A. has been happily slashing away at all manner of philosophical enemies. They’ve traveled the globe almost continuously since they formed in 1978; they released their first snarling piece of vinyl, the “Disco Sucks” EP in June of that year. That slab of plastic opened the door to international prominence, riots, rip-off record companies and three generations of fans.
In 1981, D.O.A. made the term “hardcore” their own and pushed it into the common vernacular with their legendary album “Hardcore 81” and subsequent tours. Consequently, D.O.A. has been cited as a major influence for tons of bands ranging from The Red Hot Chili Peppers to Green Day to Rancid to The Offspring. They followed that up with their ground breaking EP “War on 45” and “Bloodied But Unbowed.”
D.O.A. has always worn their politics on their sleeves.They’ve done a lot shit disturbing along the way.They’ve been harassed and busted and survived all that crap. D.O.A.’s blatant slogan,TALK-ACTION=0 sums it all up.
The stuff the band’s worked on through the years; they’ve played benefits for Rape Relief, anti-racism, rock-for brains, anti-globalization, OXFAM, first nations rights, anti censorship and environmental causes amongst many others.
D.O.A.’s sound and philosophy has been held together by Canada’s Godfather of punk Joey “Shithead” Keithley’s songwriting, singing and guitar playing. D.O.A.’s sound, although always rooted in punk rock, has managed to create a fair bit of consternation for those who would like to choose musical boxes. It’s punk, but it incorporates rock n’ roll, reggae, metal,and ska. Whatever the hell their sound is, it’s pulled out a “Yeah, that’s the shit!” from the likes of Henry Rollins, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sonic Youth, Jello Biafra, Bif Naked, John Doe, Randy Bachman, Dave Grohl, Pete Seeger, Yada, Yada, Yada, you get the picture.
In 2003, Shithead’s first book “I Shithead,a life in punk” came out on Arsenal Pulp Press. It is a definitive and raunchy look at punk and the spread of counter culture throughout western society. Sudden Death has also released “Let’s Start The Action,” an electronic tribute to D.O.A. performed by 20 different artists from around the world and inspired by the anti-globalization movement. As well, Sudden Death has recently re-released D.O.A.’s 1st two albums”Something Better Change” and “Hardcore 81”, recently picked as two of the top 5 Canadian punk rock albums of all time.
D.O.A. has travelled a long, tough road that has taken them around the world and the raw energy continues. Recently Mayor Larry Campbell of Vancouver declared December 21st to be “D.O.A. Day” in Vancouver.The band has also been featured in punk and political books published around the world.