TATTOO YOU: DENIZ TEK & THE GOLDEN BREED'S
ART AND STEVE GODOY

Deniz Tek's returned to the new release racks with his US-based touring band, The Golden Breed, in tow. The album is "Glass Eye World" on Career Records, the label co-owned by Deniz and his Montana-based musical mate Ron Sanchez of the psych band Donovan's Brain. It's a bristling effort, full of feisty, rocking songs and arguably more punk in feel than The Iceman's recent solo band output. It's very much a band effort too, with the Golden Breed sharing the spotlight with songs of their own. The Golden Breed are Art and Steve Godoy, identical twins on bass and drums respectively, and a more colourful background you're unlikely to find. Former profession al skateboarders, they are tattooists by trade and cut their musical teeth in the burgeoning SoCal punk scene of the '90s as members of the Exploding Fuck Dolls. THE BARMAN decided to catch up with the Godoy twins over a virtual soft drink or two in February 2003. Here's the result.

 

The album's great and a different feel in many places than the stuff Deniz has done before. So how do a couple of ex-pro skaters from a Cali punk band join up with a rock 'n' roll doctor from Montana?

Art: How did we end up playing with Deniz? We started communicating with Deniz in, like '91, and ended up playing with Deniz for the first time in '93 or '94. We had read an interview with him in some zine where he said he was in an emergency room in Montana, Billings to be exact. We called info and by luck, we got the right hospital and he was even working that day!

We introduced ourselves and communicated by mail and fax for a long time. A year later, he was on a long lay-over in LAX airport where we all agreed to meet for the first time. Anyhow, we had gotten rid of the un-needed band members and were going as a three-piece with me singing, Steve on drums and Paddy on bass. Sometime after the initial meeting with Deniz, he told us that he had a medical convention in San Diego. We happened to have a gig one of those nights and he came and brought the white Epiphone and we did five Birdman songs..."Not bad for a first practice," he said.

We did lots of little tours in the coming years with him in between Exploding Fuck Dolls business. Those were so fun, so many funny inside jokes and great food...always. Tacos Jalisco is a restaurant in Orange California we would eat at every day.

Let's back track...who were your former band the Exploding Fuck Dolls? I believe there was some major label interest but it must have been fun getting gigs with that name!

S: The Exploding Fuck Dolls had a long list of members,but I will start from the beginning because the first line-up is the one we feel sums up the bands intended style and feel.The first line-up was Art on guitar/backing vocals,me on drums/backing vocals,Dev Gilmore on bass/backing vocals and Kevin Edman on guitar/lead vocals.This was THE Exploding Fuck Dolls we loved best. Unreal music arranged and written by Art and Kevin,...we played like 10 shows...stronger and stronger following each time,then Kevin died...Art and I carried on,Dev moved to Hollywood,we got an ex-guitar player from one of our old bands, the Goat-fucker (his name)...to sing we got Duane Peters,an ex-pro skateboarder,on bass this guy named Ricky who was fired and replaced by a stand-in, non-commital guy named Brad.This line up had the biggest following of Orange County punk fans...HUGE...Los Angeles,San Diego,San Francisco...BIG.But the members had drug problems,excepting for Art and me,who never did 'em. These others also were Alcoholic Anonymous/Narcotic Anonymous guys ...fuck...should have been called the Exploding Fuck-Ups. We actually had major label interest...

Who were some of your contemporaries on the scene at the time? Did you put out any recordings?


A: The other contemporaries during the Fuck Dolls' reign were bands who are now huge. We have had No Doubt open for us (before Gwen sang). Sublime opened a huge weekend festival which we headlined in Huntington Beach. Pennywise opened once, Offspring was around. We shared the bill with Social Distortion once, Guttermouth opened...

See, the major labels who showed interest were RCA, MCA, London, Virgin, Hollywood Records and Mercury. We would call these fuckers at major labels, like this one guy who was head of Immortal through sony and go,"Where's our deal? All your bands suck where's our advance?" Out of all the labels who did show up at gigs most said:"The band is great, singer sucks". That was Duane at the time. Things went south with these guys doing their drugs and when the labels were signing all the bands, we had no singer. The timing was always hit and miss - or should i say shit and piss. The releases we had were one single and another ready to be pressed at that time. Later we released another single on Munster (pictured). We have tons of recordings tons of unreal stuff...just you wait til ya hear it.

S: We are releasing ALL the Fuck Dolls line-ups' recordings soon. You will NEED to hear and review it!!!

Art, I believe you're a tattooist in Vancouver. How's that for a working gig and how's your most notable customer? How did your recent apprentice (Hana Tek, Deniz and Angie's daughter) do?

A: Tattooing is great. My shop rules. The workers at my shop are great.

Our claim to fame is havng tattooed Julia Gnuse, the world's most tattooed woman exclusively. She had no work on her before I tattooed her.

Having Hana here was a pleasure. She is so talented and smart as hell. This isn't something you just pick up; she had to start from the ground up and she has worked real hard to get to the level she is at. We had sent her learning material which we wrote up to teach her while she was in Montana so she could be at least "book smart" about what she was getting into. We'd send quizzes and problem solving questions.
Until you actually have the machine on and are gonna sink the needles for the first time, you don't know how stressful it can be...ask Hana. She is resourceful and mechanically logical. She can tune machines with her eyes closed. She can tell you which spring gauges you will need for the specs your machine may have, tell you which wire gauges make your machine run at low current...She learned lots - more fundamentals than 80 percent of the artists out there. She needs to get out there and start coloring people up! We would snowboard and listen to punk and tattoo...

Steve, what do you do for work and where?


S: I also tattoo for a living,we both do the same thing,as we are twins...always have shared the same interests.I live in Long Beach, California, though.

Tell me about the pro skating thing. Were either of you at the level that you could make a reasonable living?

S: As far as our pro skateboarding carreer,well...well, I could go on forever, but will make it brief. We did have the ability, notoriety and status to make a living at it and finally started to make real money at the end of our careers, but throughout it,our career was controlled by these idiots that would not allow room for two heavily tattooed guys who represented "outlawness" and the "do what ever the fuck you want and fuck 'em if they don't like it" lifestyle, yet never did drugs or drank and were dedicated to skateboarding, even through tough times we personally had... like being homeless for a year, eating out of dumpsters and so on.

We did not match their criteria - "they" being some of our sponsors or especially the two existing
publications, so that meant, no coverage in the mags and even less support from our lame sponsors...so Finally,after four years, we got the right sponsors who backed our own company financially...yeah...then out came the rug from under our feet...skateboarding crashed along with our backers pulling
out...again to back another surf style company. That's that.

But look at skateboarding now,they are all trying to be "punk" and have tattoos...we pioneered this ALL...12 years ahead of our time.

Do either of you guys play regularly in bands, seeing as Deniz Tek & The Golden Breed shows are few and far between? Tell us about the Vancouver show in 2002. What was the set list like?


A: Not in any bands currently. Though Steve and I are gonna start writing an album soom

S: The order of songs in the Vancouver set were:

What It's For, Hangin' On, Breaks My Heart, Let's Go, Hand of Law, Shellback, Day to Ride, Snake, Steel Beach, 1 Eye Sam, Smith & Wesson Blues, 2 Pam Chloride, Brpother john, Dark Surpise, New Race.
Encores: Blood From a Stone, What Gives?, I Got a Right.

Amazing show too...sold out. I would stand up from back behind the drums at any time and all I could see is people the whole way back to the entrance of the club...loud cheering, really appreciative fans,the best...we videotaped it.

A: Vancouver was a great gig, I paid for all these 1/4 page ads and set up this club to play at. The promo was unreal not just from my end but from the club and it's promoters. The place was packed, from front to back - so packed that they were turning people away! That's the most packed place we have ever played with Deniz.

Did you hear about sighting of the late Joe Strummer in a Golden Breed T-shirt by the way? I heard he was spotted at a Mescalernos show in NYC.

S: We did hear about Joe Strummer wearing one of our shirts at the NYC show...cool.

As an aside, Deniz's love of all things Stones, which is probably more abiding than the Stooges and MC5 influences always quoted, is pretty well known. What are the main musical influences for you guys? (I suppose I'm trying to get a feel for the different nature of the album, compared to other things Deniz has been invovled in.)

S: We are mainly influenced by early English punk bands...Chelsea,999,Damned,Clash,...Irish ones too...Boomtown Rats,Stiff Little Fingers. We like Motorhead,Thin Lizzy...as far as rock bands go. Of
course our all time favorite band is Radio Birdman.I think you can hear a bit of all of those in our songs.
Art is a genius songwriter...and him and Deniz together is unbelievable!

A: Our main musical infuences are old English punk bands, though we don't sound like any of them. We like the rawness and musicalness of those bands...Birdman is still a favorite. We write what sounds good to us.

So how long did it take, all up, to record the "Glass Eye World" album and in which studios was it put down?

S: The "Glass Eye World'"album is two years in the works. It wasn't intended to take that long...but here it is now. We recorded at Dave Weyers in Billings, Montana. That guy is great - there's no one like him! We then recorded at Ron Sanchez' place in Bozeman ,Montana. Rad set-up he has there in his basement. That was fun, especially watching Deniz sing Dark Surprise...YEAH.

Then finally in Vancouver,Canada...we recorded two songs with Arts friends/tattoo clients at their college for record engineers...all that was really not rehearsed, maybe three times each song. I am so stoked on that session,we worked together well.

The live song, "2 Pam Chloride", sounds like it was taken from an ulltra hot show. What was the deal with that? It was in Dave Weyer's shed, I heard, and you did a sprinkling of Birdman songs? Which ones and what was the rest of the set?

S: The live "2 Pam" is great,the show was in front of a bunch of Deniz' daughter's friends, fans of Deniz', invite only...sounds big in Dave's shed huh?

That set had some obscure songs in it: "Mesozoic Cave","Lunatics", "Ze Good Way", even "Hit 'em Again...basically a lot of the same songs we had done with Deniz on the first 'Jalisco Tours' through California.

Who's "1 Eye Sam" by the way? Any relation to "One String Sam", the Michigan blues guy? What's the song about?

A: Sam who? This song is about Sammy in Mexico. He is a cholo, he is real connected and he is someone you don't want on your bad side. We seem to get along with those types so we are now connected too. He's a great friend. He has a glass eye. He says he's the "only one left" and that he is "a survivor"- from the gangster/lowrider era. He lives in Guadalajara and for being who he is and living as hard as he has (doing time in a US prison, deportations, drugs) he is now straight and owns several tattoo shops not only in hs town but at some beach resorts. He has contributed tremedously to building awareness of "safe" tattooing and passing legislation to make tattooing accepted and regulated in Mexico.

Mexico is a very catholic and religious country so it's hard work to do what he does. He puts on the biggest tattoo convention every September in Guadalajara. The guy is a tattoo pioneer in Mex, along with two others but the others fight for all the credit so It seems unfair that he hasn't gotten the recognition he deserves - "never get an equal piece of the pie". He scares alot of the tattooers in Mexico, the guy gets tons of respect. He's great.

The "plastic shades" part in the song is about a phony who 's going on 10 percent of his liver.

I like the feel on "Let's Go", the second album cut which you guys co-wrote. Are the lyrics autobiographical? Can you expand?

S: "Let's Go",was written originally by Kevin Edman (EFD's first singer,myself and Art)...we kept the music for the Golden Breed and changed the words. It's basically about Art and I hating incompetent people, wanting to get away from them...they will all be washed away by the rain...dead or alive...no sympathy from us...

What are your fave cuts, respectively?


S: My favorite songs on the "Glass Eye World" CD in order are...hmmmm..."Wild Card","What It's For","One Eyed Sam","Clifford Possum"..they all rock!!!

A: My favorite tracks are "What It's For", "Let's Go" "Flight 19". I actually like 'em all...I remember having low blood sugar while I sang "Wild Card" so I got all slow on some of the last verses. The Vancouver tracks rocked too - "Always Out of Reach" and "Out of Action". This album is so great.

Did you hear Birdman demo'd "Always Out of Reach" and "What It's For" recently? What's your reaction to that?


S: I have not heard Radio Birdman's versions.

A: The Birdman version of "What It's For" is what I heard. I thought it was real good. The middle eight's different. I think ours sounds more "raw" but theirs definitely rocks.

Any prospects of US shows by Deniz Tek & The Golden Breed?

S: As far as show possibilities here in the US for the Golden Breed...Fuck yeah, we will be playing here. No doubt about that.

Since we're in a Bar, what are you both drinking?


S: Barman,while I am here at the I-94 Bar, please give me another pineapple juice/7-up....after that I will be ready to find me some gravy!!!

A: Let's see, if we were gonna order drinks at I-94, how about some lemonade? Bottoms up!

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