BY RORY AXELROD
If All Dinosaurs had an Obama-style hit list it would read like the Yellow Pages, as drummer Joe Willis said jokingly between sips of an ice-cold brew dog: “When we play, we just want to sweat our faces off and make everyone die.”
For those who have never witnessed the beer-sploshing, sweat-flopping, frantic madness of an All Dinosaurs show, this statement would seem absurd. To anyone who has seen the wild antics of the band just having a good time, it makes perfect sense. This exuberant energy is only possible through absolute absorption in the moment, completely consumed to the task at hand.
“I do what I do, and I act like an idiot sometimes, because I want to see people doing that,” said bassist Gheramy Demery during a recent interview at the Spitfire Saloon, which also houses the band’s practice spot. “If you’re not into what you’re doing, no one else will be.”
While the band is confident in its ability to reach a crowd on a primeval level, it is well-aware that its brand of technical thrash punk — a term I coined, despite anything guitarist Dave Gibian might say — isn’t for everyone, as the band’s other guitar player, Bo Bowersmith, explained: “We understand that we aren’t playing music that’s easily digestible.”
Gibian said the group’s direction really came into focus for everyone at an early practice, when Bowersmith, not happy with the direction a recently penned number was going, suggested the band run through it again, only as fast as they could. Since then, All Dinosaurs has been blasting at full steam ahead, and damn if people don’t get it.
The group’s sound, comprising parts old-school trash and technical metal, and played at breakneck speed, developed with no preconceived notions. All Dinosaurs’ technicality might be something that’s overlooked at its live shows. This is chalked up to two things: It’s faster live than on the record, and that’s the way it should be, according to Willis.
“If you have the time to pay attention to the subtleties during the live set, then we’re not doing our job,” Bowersmith explained further, before hopping over the back of the booth to get another round.
The band explained that its sound really developed from the four members playing together, collaborating and writing what they know, not what they think people want. “This is four people playing instruments, and this is what came out,” said Gibian. “ We have to write what we know.”
Demery explained it is in similar fashion to that of AC/DC writing “Big Balls:” That’s what they knew and that’s what came out.
“Same with ‘Raining Men,” interjected Willis. “When they recorded that, it was literally raining men.”
This honesty, and to some extent humor, informs everything for the band, from songwriting to performances and even the relationship of its members.
“I said it about love, and I’ll say it about this band: ‘There is no love, only lust and compromise,’” explained Gibian.
“When you lash out in anger at another person, what are you really doing?” Demery asked rhetorically. “Just trying to make yourself feel better.”
And with that, the interview ended and the band members wandered off in different directions, leaving me with the tab. At least, that’s the story I’m laying out.
The band will be releasing its latest gem July 28 at the Beachland. The event will serve as a co-release party for All Dinosaurs and the second edition of the “Lake Erie Monster” comic book. Party starts at 8:30