Dance Hall Crashers

Dance Hall Crashers Biography

Berkeley's Dance Hall Crashers are not about two girls fronting a band, but about the remarkable band that these two girls front and the original sound they've developed. Their latest release, The Live Record – Witless Banter and 25 Mildly Antagonistic Songs of Love, not only captures the energy of their critically acclaimed live show, but also the connection that their audience has with them. The songs are a collection from all four previous full-length albums. In fact, the band let the audience choose the songs that they would play in modern online voting fashion. In being allowed to listen in on the night in question, you begin to realize why the band has been playing for over a decade…. they have a mutual love affair with their audience. This is clear to anyone who has been to a Dance Hall Crashers live show. There is no pretense. Everyone is there to have fun – and they do – even the oft-jaded press.

"Their sneers alone are worth the price of admission" – Village Voice (NY)
"A force ten gale of punkoid joy" – NME (London)
"Irresistibly catchy melodic hooks" – Washington Post (DC)
"The Dance Hall Crashers are frankly brilliant" – Kerrang (London)
"Few musicians can cover this kind of ground in so short a period, except for Elvis Costello" – LA Times

"Somebody compared us to Elvis Costello?" Elyse and Karina walked through the news incredulously. "That's a bit over the top…. He's a $!#%! genius…. It would probably make Elvis feel dirty if he heard about the comparison" laughs Elyse. Somebody interrupts to see if one of the girls knows how to fix a jacket hem that is coming apart. "No, Karina and I missed the last sewing class on tour," both girls laugh. "Seriously, you don't want me to touch that. I can't sew to save my life…. God…. That would suck…." Elyse pauses. "What if you really had to sew to save your life?"

There's not a lot of brooding and angst amongst this group. When questioned about the lack of political anthems and songs of social unrest, Elyse answers, "It's ironic because the band is highly educated and we're not an oblivious cartoon. If you get any of us talking foreign policy, economics, or basic social injustice, it will go on for ages and you'll likely be sorry that you asked. We just feel that there's a time and place for everything and with as many bad things as there are to talk about in this world, using the band as a function to have fun is just as important."

Starting in Berkeley, California in 1989 as a side project of the legendary underground punk band Operation Ivy, Dance Hall Crashers have been making records and touring for over 10 years. The Live Record is the latest in a string of DHC releases starting in 1993 with The Old Record which was re-released on Fat Wreck Chord's Honest Don's imprint in 1996. MCA released Lockjaw in 95, Honey I'm Homely in 97, and Blue Plate Special, a video enhanced EP, in 98. The band then went the indie route again with Purr in 99 and The Live Record this last year. The band has been touring internationally since 93, demonstrating their cross-cultural appeal, and garnering tons of critical attention in both clubs and festivals world-wide (Reading, Lilith Fair, Bizarre, Lowlands, Warped, etc.)

"The Lilith Fair was probably one of the stranger tours we've done," explained Karina. "Strange in a good way though. We're used to festivals like The Warped Tour and the Reading Festival where it's hundreds of tattooed guys backstage… and Elyse and me. We're usually the lighter of the bands in terms of sound. At Lilith, it was the opposite. We were playing with Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Mya, that kind of thing. So, when we came on, the mood……changed. We did have The Pretenders on some shows though, and Chrissie Hynde was amazing." Elyse cuts in, "Absolutely. She gave the audience a swift English kick in their girlie, hippie, lying down on the grass eating falafel, asses. You can't watch The Pretenders LAYING DOWN!!"

From memorable live shows to inspired songwriting, Dance Hall Crashers have made their mark giving modern music a much needed dose of fresh sarcasm and biting attitude. If you think that the band is singing about holding hands at sunset, then you haven't paid attention. "It's interesting because people often assume that the songs are about relationships, and in fact, we have very few love songs," Jason explains. "People should interpret the songs however they want, but it's interesting. That's how we came up with the title for the Live Record… Witless Banter and 25 Mildly Antagonistic Songs of Love… we have lots of dark songs that are served up with a smile. It's more fun that way." And fun you shall have, as the band's addictive energy continues to spread.

Dance Hall Crashers Bio from Discogs

American ska-punk band from Berkley, California. Formed in 1989, initially from the ashes of Operation Ivy (Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman (2) who left the band shortly after the formation), the group is in hiatus since 2004.

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