Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Interview with Dan Mazin (ex-Keepsake, Until The End, Eulogy Recordings)

Dan has been a good friend of mine for many years now and I thought it would be a great idea to hear about his time in the South Florida Music Scene. Dan is currently residing in Santa Cruz, California but still makes it back down from time to time. I received this last night and while I said I wouldnt have a post until after Thanksgiving, I wanted to get this up as it was a great read. Thanks Dan. (Oh and I dont know why the interview is all choppy and skips lines. Im trying to fix it).

First off introduce yourself and what bands you have been in.

Hello Chip, friend of mine for 10 years, allow me to introduce myself. To you.
My name is Dan Mazin and I played in the following musical groups:
Action Jackson (when I was 14), Keepsake (when they were screamo), One
Day Away (when they were metal), Until The End (when we were straight
edge), and for one evening I was in Red Roses for a Blue Lady.I still
haven't been able to wash that feeling off of my skin. Children still
scream at the sight of me.

When did you first start attending shows?

My first punk/metal shows were when I was maybe 12 or 13. I'm 18 now.
Anyway, the city of Coral Springs would put on these outdoor
shows-CHAOS. I saw some crazy shit there. Chad's old band Backscatter,
Amboogalard, Jack Off Jill. Seriously, what the fuck were my parents
thinking letting me go to that shit? "Hey Mom, after the Jack Off Jill
show, can we get ice cream?" I should call child services on
her...John McHale probably had pictures from CHAOS even though he was
too young to be there.
Anyway that led to shows at Cheers, Squeeze, The Edge, and the New
Moon Cafe (next to the Lauderhill Uncle Sam's). I think that was its
name. Someone help me out on that. I always had an ear for all styles
of music that sort of fell into the underground world: punk, metal,
indie, HC, goth, etc. South Florida always seemed to have a great mix
of it all.

What bands were you into when you started going to shows?

Like I said, I was all over the map. I really loved everything, and
for someone my age I was highly inquisitive. I remember buying my
first Pavement record in 5th grade. I also loved garage stuff like
Mudhoney-who after all of these years I am seeing for the first time
in December. When it came to local bands I really loved Notch Above
Kafka, Vacant Andys, Ed Matus' Struggle, etc.

What do you feel your biggest accomplishment was as far as the South
Florida scene goes?

Accomplishment? Who the fuck knows and I don't really care-that was
never important to me. I think we had a good, diverse scene and that's
what matters. What I'm most grateful for are the longstanding
friendships I have made and maintained over the years. I have people
that will be in my life forever thanks to the South Florida music
scene. There's one guy in particular that stands out above the rest. A
man of distinction and endless wisdom. Alex Leone, go get me a fucking

Can you remember anything specific that made South Florida different
from other music scenes?

We had a true mix of so many styles-that's not something you find
everywhere. I think Aryeh hit it on the head. I remember the first
EulogyFest had Until The End and Dashboard Confessional on the same
bill-and it made perfect sense. It allowed bands to develop their own
styles and be creative without fear of the rigid boundaries of other
scenes. It may not be as true today, but that's how it was when I was
involved. You couldn't have a band like Poison the Well come out of
any other scene. South Florida was truly unique.

Can you tell us a story or something memorable that you remember from
your time attending shows in South Florida?

I have tons and tons of memories, but nothing stands out in an epic
way. My time in the scene was more of a sprawling tale than an quick
explosion. Although, the time that a certain Hialeah gentleman beat up
Rob Keepsake's car was fucking hilarious. Not because he beat up Rob's
car, but because he wasn't intending to fuck with Rob but someone
else. It was equally funny and sad because Rob was a good guy. Sorry
buddy...Come to think of it, I have a lot of awesome stories but they
pretty much all revolve around riots and fights. I'll keep quiet so as
to not incriminate any of my friends.

When you joined Keepsake you were pretty young. How old were you when
the first record was released?

Paul, Mark, and myself started Keepsake when we were 15. After some
line up juggling, including the infamous singer trade with PTW that
sent Duane to the Well and Shane to the Sake, we recorded and released
the record when the 3 of us were 16. When I talk to people now, they
don't realize we were just kids. Especially out here on the west coast
where I now reside, I'll occasionally run into someone who was WAY
into that album. It's sort of creepy. We were just doing our best to
emulate the bands we loved. The Promise Ring and Sepultura were our
immediate influences. We were odd ducks-I think that's why it didn't
really sound like anything out there.

What caused you to quit?

Things got hairy on the INTERNETZZZZ OMG! A certain member's
girlfriend posted some lame stuff, racist stuff. I was 100% not cool
with it. I think I was also just burned out on the work involved. We
busted our asses in that band. We practiced constantly and we toured
as much as our little hearts could handle. That all combined in a way
that made it easy to walk away. Fortunately time is a great healer and
I'm friends with everyone from the band now, but it's a really heady
experience to be in a band at that age. A serious band I should add.
We have a Wikipedia entry!

After Keepsake you joined One Day Away. How did that come about?

The guys in One Day Away were all my buddies and they needed someone.
It was about a year or so after I left Keepsake, so I felt like it was
a good time to jump in. Those guys were great musicians, light years
beyond me. It really made me up my own game. My time with them was
short-only a few shows over 3-4 months, but it was fun.

How did Until the End come about?

UTE started when PTW came home from an east coast tour and Allan and
Chris got tapped by the straight edge fairy. Allan and I worked
together (at Blockbuster video, perhaps you have heard of it Chip) and
I had known John for a few years from the Keepsake record. We were
just bullshitting one day and decided to start it up. I think John had
enough time off since Morning Again split and the Weapon wasn't going
to be full time. Eulogy was starting to take off and I think he knew
he wasn't going to be in a full time band again. So John, Allan, and
myself got Chris PTW and my close friend Brendan Ekstrom who was in
200 North (later This Day Forward and now in Circa Survive). We wrote
songs quick and dirty. Brendan had to move away before we got started
playing shows, so we asked JC from Glasseater to play guitar and also
to help us meet our Hispanic guy quota. Wylie counts as 3 white
people, so we were way off balance for a South Florida band. We went
through a millions drummers, one Mark Mitchell, and a couple of other
strays. It was fun, the shows were always nuts, and hopefully people
had a good time watching us. The End.

Youre living in California now. Are you playing in any bands out west?

FUCK NO. I need a break for another few years. I have a full-time job
and that limits my spare time. I'm at no great loss for people to play
with-the Bay Area is full of great people-it just isn't something that
interests me at the moment. Maybe one day, I'm still a young man. A
young, spry boy.

What can you say about the Hellfest 2000 weekend?

1) Dipping a guy's hand in warm water while he is sleeping will NOT
make him wet himself. It will only make him splash water everywhere.
2) Syracuse, is it really "a Syracuse thing" to have large phallic sex
toys in your apartment-if you're a guy?
3) Doug, your apartment reeked of cat pee and I threw up in your trash can.
4) Everyone in Destro, I made a mess of the van in a very bad way. Deal with it.
5) Adrian is old, or so I hear.

Tell me about Bacon.

Bacon is a delicious food. It also the name of my cat. Rather than
subject readers to 3 pages of me going on about how amazing she is, I
will take this time to DEMAND that you adopt a pet-find your local
Humane Society or animal rescue. Also, please consider adopting an
older animal-kittens may be cute, but they are Nazis. Srsly.

You also worked for Eulogy for a number of years. What was your job at Eulogy?

I worked there for about 5 years. When I started we were working on a
card table in the corner of John's apartment. By the time I left we
had a palatial office in Fort Lauderdale. Anyway, my job changed over
the years as we were able to hire more people. When it was just John
and I, I was basically a gopher. I packed orders, answered emails,
listened to demos, spammed message boards, etc. When I left, I was
responsible for manufacturing. It wasn't glamorous, but it was a
learning experience for sure. I learned a lot of good habits that have
carried over well in my current professional life.

Dan thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Any closing words
or shout outs?

I love you all and I miss you. Sometimes life demands that you pick up
and move across the country. If you get that urge, go for it. It was
the greatest decision of my life.
Oh, and Alex Leone, eat an entire bag of dicks. Tee hee.


Josh Spickler said...

hahahaha, what a great interview.

chip, are you gonna be doing more of these?


The South Florida Scene Past And Present said...

Yeah Im currently waiting get interviews back from John Wylie, Jason Lederman, The Metal Wolf (Stick Shift Lover), and Matt Fox. After those Im going to be conducting an interview with George from the Van Orsdels. If you have any suggestions on whom you want to see interviewed let me know

john mchale said...

motherfucking dan mazin!!! haha good interview homie

Vadim taver said...

Also, to be fair and balance the interview the "Red Roses" show Dan "played" was about 2 or 3 of the worst songs I ever heard. I believe I met Dan at Hellfest 2000 and the only thing I remember is Ryan Primack doesn't need to listen to NORA cds to rock THAT hard.

gaba said...

hahhahaha hispanic guy quota

iheartstuff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
iheartstuff said...

daaaaaannnnn maaaaazzzinnnn, i <3 you!!!