Thanks to my buddy Tats Toku for the pics from Turnstiles Japan tour.
DR: First up, do you want to introduce yourself and tell us where you’re from, etc?
Hello! My name’s Daniel Fang. I’m from Prince George’s County, Maryland. I play drums in a few bands. I love my shitzu-pug named Shug.
DR: Where you at and what are you doing right now?
I’m currently in a van, driving across central Texas with Angel Du$t, on the Life and Death tour. I’m eating bananas from a gas station and I’m listening to Smokey Robinson.
DR: People may know you are in a bunch of rad bands including Turnstile, Praise, Angel Du$t and the sadly disbanded Mindset. Is there anymore? You are a full time touring band member then, I assume?
Yeah! Those are the current three bands. And yeah, I am pretty much at any given time either on tour or writing/recording with those bands.
DR: I guess Mindset must have been your first band out of that list, how did you end up in that band?
I was 18 or 19 when Ev from Mindset asked me to come jam with them. I was in school in Baltimore at the time and my high school punk bands had played with Mindset and were part of the greater Baltimore scene. I suppose the first jam was sort of an audition — they were all surprised that I showed up knowing all the songs, haha.
DR: Did you ever think Mindset would be as big as they were when you first joined?
Hmm, I don’t know. I don’t remember ever thinking about being “big”. I was definitely excited to just play in a hardcore band and play more places. One of the first Mindset shows I did was Sound and Fury fest, near Los Angeles. I was so happy to go to California for the first time for that.
DR: How do you feel a couple of weeks later after that last Mindset show? And how was the build up playing your last shows in Europe etc?
When I think back on the last show, or any memory of Mindset, I feel happy to have such fortunate experiences. I think we all achieved some very significant things during our existence, both as individuals, and together as a group. The last few shows we did just affirmed our reasons for doing the band in the first place. They couldn’t have gone better.
DR: It looked like a couple of you guys took trips after the final show… where did you take off to?
I had a couple weeks off before starting a west coast Angel Du$t tour, so I decided to spend most of that with my girlfriend. We went on a hiking trip in Washington state on the Olympic Peninsula.
DR: So what’s new with Turnstile?
We’ve been busy as always. In a few months, we are releasing a new 7” EP called Move Thru Me, on Pop Wig Records. Justice from Angel Du$t, Brendan and I have started Pop Wig pretty recently. I’m looking forward to self-releasing a record with Turnstile. We are going to do one US tour on the 7”, then chill for a little while.
DR: How would you describe Turnstile to someone?
20-something year-olds living in their parents’ houses. Small dog lovers.
DR: Tell us a bit about Praise, how did you/when did you guys start up?
Praise started in 2009. Andy Norton came up to me at a show in DC and asked if I wanted to jam some music he had been sitting on. Mike and Chris from Mindset, and our friend Colby, were the other original members. I can’t say what exactly drove Andy to start the band — it was probably a lot of things — but I’m so glad that he did. Praise has been a very cathartic and fulfilling experience for everyone involved.
DR: What was Praise’s first show and who was it with?
The first show was November 5th, 2009, at the notorious Sidebar Tavern in Baltimore. I believe the lineup included Shook Ones and Make Do and Mend.
DR: Praise draws a lot of influence from DC bands, is that a style you’re a big fan of personally? And which of those bands are firm favourites?
Absolutely. Andy and Anthony are bigger DC heads than I am. Anthony idolizes Brian Baker, for example; Andy draws a lot from Ian MacKaye. Minor Threat and Bad Brains are my favourite and most influential bands, for sure. Embrace, Rites of Spring, Void, The Faith, and Egg Hunt, are all super cool bands that I like a lot too. Ultimately, the most influential aspect of the core 80’s DC scene is the ethos and DIY work ethic. Also the concept of Straight Edge and rebelling against your peers, thinking independently within a sub-culture, etcetera.
DR: Angel Du$t have a different sound from what I’ve heard (not much if I’m honest) what would you say AD’s vibe is?
Angel Du$t is about just making new and interesting music. Justice is the main creative force behind AD and I love to do my best to facilitate his vision. It’s difficult to pinpoint another band to compare AD to. A write-up for the most recent record describes us as “the Lemonheads and the Bad Brains at the same time . . . but less heroin involved”. My favourite thing about the vibe of the band is that there’s no built-in audience for the music that we play. Doing the band has kind of been an up hill fight, because the aesthetic or the genre is unclear — it’s not as easy for people to latch onto — so the music and art that we create are accepted through people’s genuine interest. That’s very gratifying.
DR: What do you have going on with AD right now?
We just put out a new LP a couple months ago called Rock The Fuck on Forever. Right now we are doing a US tour on it. Later this year we are going to Australia and Japan, then touring the US again. I’m really excited about all the shows we are playing as well as the fact that we self-released the record via Pop Wig. I couldn’t be happier with how everything has gone so far leading up the release of the record. The music videos have come out looking cool, the vinyl looks beautiful, all the shows have been a blast, and playing new songs has been super fun.
DR: I Forgot about Peace, what’s the status of that band?
Peace status: chill. We recorded the one 7” EP several years ago and played a few shows off of it. It’s great to just put out music and play a show here and there when it feels right. There’s no expectation of a touring cycle or another record coming soon or anything. Everyone in the band is doing well and has exciting stuff going on in their lives. I love it.
DR: What is like being in all those well known bands? Do you like them all the same or is one more important that the other?
I love all the bands that I’ve ever been a part of. They are all unique. Essentially every hardcore band sets out to do the same thing: make intense, expressive music. Along the way, every band that I’ve played in has grown into themselves and has come to represent something special. I’ve learned so much from the different people I’ve played with, and the way our bands have interacted with different scenes, in different countries, and different types of communities.
DR: What bands do you personally draw influence from?
I don’t really have a lot of all-time favorite bands. Different bands have influenced me at different times in my life. In elementary school, Minor Threat, the Misfits, and the Bad Brains gave me an introduction to, and an eternal appreciation for hardcore. When I started playing drums, Blink-182, Northeast Groovers, and the Cro-Mags inspired me to practice drumming more. Nowadays, all of my friends’ and peers’ bands influence me more than anything. I’m lucky to grow up in a generation of so many outstanding and groundbreaking bands.
DR: Which places have been your favourite to play and visit with all your bands? Where do really want to play with a band?
Every place has its own vibe. And scenes are constantly changing, depending on venues being operational, kids growing up and moving away, and the activity of local bands. Every city has its merits. On long tours, I enjoy observing the differences between scenes of different countries, regions, states, cities. Two of my favourite places to tour so far have been Australia and Japan, mostly because how magical and rare the experience was. I really want to tour South East Asia. Hopefully that happens next year.
DR: What’s your favourite US venue to play?
Charm City Art Space in Baltimore! Unfortunately it got shut down a few months ago. I’ve played and been to countless shows there since I was 15 or 16 years old. In the last few years, I kind of lost interest in playing there because it’s just the default venue for Baltimore shows. Right after playing my last set at CCAS (with Mindset), I had a deep reflection on how greatly the venue had impacted my life, and I wanted to cry. It will always be the most important venue to me.
DR: What’s on your iPod right now?
I wish I had an iPod, haha. I mostly just use Spotify to listen to music. These are my most recently played as of today: Dag Nasty, Kero Kero Bonito, Kyary Kyary Pomyu, QT, Lil Yachty, Turnover, and The Lemonheads,
DR: And what bands should we be listening to right now?
Royal Headache, Fury, Krimewatch, Turquoise Boys (they don’t actually have music out yet, but expect some amazing tracks soon), Big Bite, Odd Man Out, Countdown, and probably so many more that I can’t think of at the moment. Listen to new stuff every day!
DR: Thanks for your time dude and take it easy.
Rock on. Thank you!