Weedeater's Dave 'Dixie' Collins on Customs Officials, Politics and the Upcoming Australian Tour

Smoke it. Get High.

I’m on the phone to Weedeater’s bassist and vocalist Dave ‘Dixie’ Collins and the phone-line is making him sound like some kind of weird demon. I'm not even high and it's still quite disconcerting. Dave’s in North Carolina, preparing to wrap up his final interviews for the day before nicking off to a bar for a few beverages.

Right, we’d better smash these questions out so he can go and get refreshed. First up, the imminent Australia/New Zealand tour. Dave is excited. “I’m very much looking forward to it, man. It’s gonna be our first time in Australia and we’re really excited about it – it should be a good time. We’re just lookin’ forward to comin’ over there and playin’ some kick-ass shows for some people that we haven’t been able to do that for in the past. I wish we had some more time to actually check things out more but we’re pretty much playin’ every night and flyin’ around so we probably won’t get to take some days off and enjoy ourselves a bit more. But we’ll have a damn good time while we’re there and we look forward to getting’ fucked up with everybody over there and havin’ a nice time.”

And given the name of the band, coupled with the fact that you make no secret of your love of the herb, are there constant issues with customs and strip-searches? He chuckles, saying “The Canadian government has been known to pick us apart but all through Europe they’re pretty receptive and don’t really care - they might even crack a joke about it. But we’ve been through Canadian customs where they’d researched us before we got there and they printed out a picture of us from High Times magazine and they were like ‘what’s this all about?’ and I was like ‘Man! We obviously don’t have any of that shit on us!’ so yeah; it’s a double-edged sword. When law enforcement finds out the name of the band, they‘re definitely gonna pull us over to the side and not let us through as fast but at the same time, at live shows, people give us weed!" And that is always a bonus.
And being a three piece outfit, what are the advantages? “Well, it’s only three people gettin’ paid for one thing! We’ve been a three piece band since inception [1998] and it works very well. What we’re tryin’ to do is fairly simple – easy to play but hard to write type of stuff – and it just seems to work well if we keep it simple with a three piece outfit. We try to keep the live shows and studio recording sounding like the same thing – and that definitely comes across and that’s the way we’ve always done it and that’s the way we always will.” And the writing process, how does that work for Weedeater?  “We all come up with different riffs; me and [Dave] Shepherd, our guitar player, we really don’t put a lot of stock of going into the studio with a perfected piece of work. We have some riffs that we’ve thrown around and we go in there and just shoot from the hip; it’s always been a bit of an off-the-cuff type of thing for sure.”

Seeing as Dave’s previous band Buzzov*en, (as well as luminaries such as Acid Bath) have been credited with giving birth to the sludge metal sound - I ask if he sees Weedeater as an evolutionary product of that particular era. “I guess so. It’s in the same vein – no pun intended – and it’s very similar stuff so I guess we are the logical progression of that. It’s funny but we’re getting more recognition for that sound now then we were back then, which I don’t understand – but that’s cool!”

We get talking about cold, hard cash and I’m pleased to hear that the band are making enough to be able to concentrate solely on the band’s output. Dave’s daughter gets a mention in the conversation so I ask if she thinks he’s cool or just a silly old man. He laughs. “I figure it’s a little bit of both! Some of her friends at school will be like ‘Your dad’s in Weedeater?!’ and she just rolls her eyes about it. She thinks I’m pretty cool right now because I just got her a car!”

And American politics right now, what the fuck? He gets quite vehement. “I think it’s shit, man! I might be moving over to where you guys are!” I mention it’s pretty fucked up over here too and we get all philosophical with Dave adding “I think we’re pretty well screwed, but like you said, who isn’t? The whole world is goin’ to hell in a fuckin’ handbasket so what are you gonna do?” Smoke it up, I say. “Yeah – that’s about it.”

After the seriousness of political discussion, I turn the conversation to a lighter, spicier topic. Namely hot sauce. Is it true that you guys are yet another band with a hot sauce product? “Yes we are! Outer Limits hot sauce. The guys over there wanted to bring out a Weedeater hot sauce; it’s a jalapeno sauce and it’s delicious. We sell a shit-ton of it!” Are you bringing any to Australia? “I’m hopin’ to get a couple of cases shipped over for the shows. We won’t be able to bring any with us [on the plane] but I’m hopin’ to figure out a way to get some over there.”

Weedeater. Herbs, hot riffs and hot sauce. What more you could want?