The Dragons

Hey, Lucky it's Mario from the Dragons here. I'm sitting around here with Mr. Jarrod Lucas, like the boy wolf, he's the drummer, Ken, guitar and Steve Rodriguez... He's passed out! (Snore, snore!) He might wake up midway to the interview...

We are interviewing ourselves, in San Diego and let's see if anything makes sense...

We just got back from a 15 city tour. We played with the Demons from Sweden, we played across America. It was their first trip with us and our first national headlining tour. We played everywhere from Denver, all the way around the country to Austin, Texas, then we came back and met up with the other Swedish band called the Helicopters and played the west coast with them.

The Dragons are:

I'm Jarrod, (psychotic laughter) Jarrod Lucas - Drums Born in London, England

I'm Ken, okay... Ken Mochikoshi Horne - Lead Guitar, Born in Yokohama, Japan

Hi, I'm Mario, spelt Mahdeeyo phonetically. Mahdeeyo Escovedo - Lead Vocals, and Guitar, Born in Huntington Beach, CA

Snore.... Zzz.... Steve Rodriguez - Bass Guitar, Born in Stockton, CA

Mahdeeyo: You are asking about our best gig, well, I'll tell you mine. It was like a Monday night. Usually Monday or Tuesday nights are the slower out of the bunch. We had just got through cold 4 degree temperature in Denver.

Jarrod: Nah, it was minus 6!

Mahdeeyo: It was minus 6 something, whatever and we got to St. Louis and we felt, oh, it's Monday night, it's gonna be a slow turnout, but the whole city showed up ready to party. We'd never even played St. Louis before. Everybody kept bringing us drink after drink after drink. We went through our set and we were still playing time lapse so we went into a bunch of covers, everything from Freddy Fender's Wasted Days, Wasted Nights to Stones to, of course, NY Dolls. It was one of our favorite bands. From there the party just got started, we went to a couple of bars where they were feeding us big, big Jack On The Rocks. The Swedes have never really been out to the United States before so we were taking them and we got them accustomed. It was the first night that we really all got completely trashed on Jack On The Rocks. We ended up at this, whatdoyoucallit, Dance club called, er, er, Foxies, in the eastside, the goodside of St. Louis. We each got dance partners and we danced up a storm! I was proposing to several of the dancers, making promises of bringing them home and whatnot and whatfor, at one point my dancer gets up and says, I gotta go to work. I didn't know what the hell she was doing, but she was dancing alright, I turn around and she's got, like, Ken's head between her legs and she was doing this vibrato on his forehead. That was Foxies and that was my favorite place.

Jarrod: Oh, hell man, there was so many. We played around 15 shows. New Orleans was great. There's something about New Orleans, everytime, that's really cool. Nashville was really cool too. Right across the street we saw a great act, I dunno who that guy was, but he knew how to play the piano.

Mahdeeyo: Yeah, there was this big old black guy on a little keyboard playing all these bluesey songs.

Jarrod: I've never been to Nashville before, but they know how to do it pretty good out there. (I'm detecting a serious country accent entering into Jarrod's voice as he talks about this!) Also, where was it, we were in Brooklyn, remember we were in...

Mahdeeyo: That's what this interview is for, it's for NYC.

Jarrod: Oh, oh, yeah. We were in Brooklyn, in this one bar.

Mahdeeyo: Sweetwater, no?

Jarrod: No, the Luxx.

Mahdeeyo: That's where we played, Luxx.

Jarrod: That was pretty cool.

Mahdeeyo: across the street from Luxx. That's the bar where if you get laid, you get a bottle of your choice.

Jarrod: and if you get naked, you get free shots. So I asked her, and she said she'd seen too much that day.

Mahdeeyo: It wasn't worth taking your clothes of.

Jarrod: It wasn't worth it, nah.

Mahdeeyo: or fucking yourself.

Jarrod: exactly. Austin was great too, the SXSW.

Mahdeeyo: right, and Philadelphia at the Khyber Pass too. Philadelphia has always been a good city. It's kinda cool for us, especially this time, because the last tour was interrupted by the 9.11 bombing. We were in Kansas City and we woke up to all the pagers going off, but of course, you guys know more about that than we do. I guess we got it pretty easy compared to what you guys got.

Jarrod: We were supposed to be out there at Luxx just two days later.

Mahdeeyo: Actually we were pulled over on the way home and the bomb dogs run through the van and they took apart my cellphone like it was some decoder for some terrorist device, but...

Jarrod: Three o'clock in the morning that was.

Mahdeeyo: It was really good to finish this trip out to the East Coast, especially to finish up the tour that we couldn't last time. Luxx made us play their early show and they had some dance club afterwards, so only the coolest of the cool came out this time. Next time we expect everybody to represent and see the Rock'n'Roll because we love the Rock'n'Roll. I was thinking, this is a good time for Rock'n'Roll. I was listening to the radio the other night, I heard the Strokes, then they went into the Hives and then they went into the White Stripes all in one block of music and the good kind of Rock'n'Roll is being played again and not the hair band, Metallica kind of Rock'n'Roll.

Jarrod: not that nickel slot, polyesta festival.

Mahdeeyo: So I think it is a good time for Rock'n'Roll especially playing with the Demons who are a great Punk band and The Helicopters who are more straight Rock'n'Roll. I'm really excited. It was cool, we had sold out show at the Troubadour.

Jarrod: And Slim's in San Francisco, same with that.

Mahdeeyo: Jarrod tried to break in the back dressing room at the Troubadour, the bouncer caught him naked back there with a girl and said, "Come on guy, what are you doing, you don't that back here." Actually, Jarrod thought you do do that kinda stuff. I thought at the Troubadour your supposed to get drunk and get laid in the dressing room! You should've told him, you do do that back here! We do that back here!

Jarrod: I won't do that again, too many rules there, you can't take your beer into the bathroom for some strange reason! But it was a really good show!

Mahdeeyo: I was very impressed with Chapel Hill. A club owner in Los Angeles had a gallon of Whiskey sent to us for us to celebrate in Chapel Hill and we did! Yes we did! And everything we wanted they could provide. We live in a border city where anything you want for party supplies is pretty good. But I was surprised at Chapel Hill, they have the best party supplies that you might want! Actually in NYC too, we went out to visit one of the best places to pick up a little of this, a little of that.

Jarrod: what was the name of the place?

Mahdeeyo: We'll leave the name out of it, but let me just say that the name stood for what I wanted to get and you walk to the back of this night club, like a small bar and this guy like with this plush velvet jumpsuit, had the gold chains hanging out with the mirror glasses. All he needed was an alarm clock around the neck, but it was incredible. 'Course I was too drunk and gave him the wrong money and I almost got shot. It was like a scene out of Carlito's Way or something. "Hi, I'm Benny from the Bronx." But luckily our roadie was there to give him the right amount of money and I didn't get capped, but that was really cool. We had a great time in NY. One of the best gigs, for me, I'd say. St. Louis, I liked a lot, Philadelphia, Austin, I mean, in Oklahoma City, The Green Door, we took an eight hour drive out of our way and it was like playing here in San Diego it was packed and they knew the words to every song! They put us up at the Marriot, it was incredible, they treated us like kings.

Jarrod: It was really cool playing a place you've never to been before and actually seeing people sing your songs.

Mahdeeyo: Especially for us, I mean on an independent record label and to find our cd they have to really want one and in Oklahoma City all this bunch of people that did find it and do want it, that's pretty cool, very happy. Kenny? The silent one... Speak...

Ken: Best gig story? I don't know. Out of the tour, all the shows are pretty good.

Mahdeeyo: Steve? What's your best gig?

Steve: (zzz... Snore... whistle through teeth)

Jarrod: The best show of this tour or the best show we've ever played? This thing in San Francisco, the 'Incredibly Strange Wrestling', what they do is they have a wrestling ring in the middle of this huge empty hall and in between the wrestling acts bands. They've got like, La Chingona, El Gran Fangorio, Sassy Sasquatcho (

Mahdeeyo: They do like the border patrol vs the illegal immigrants.

Jarrod: Yes, that kind of a thing, and in between the wrestling acts the band will play, like three of four songs or something like that and then there will be another wrestling act, but the thing that gets me is the entire time people are throwing these corn tortillas, not at the wrestlers, but at the bands, and by the end of the night, this place is covered in like this corn sawdust all over the place. Everybody gets hit and for days you are picking it out of your ears and your hair! That's a party! (Laughter all round) It is, it's great, it's fun... (More laughter) Now this tour, Denver was minus 6 degrees, we got back in the van and we had sodas and whatnot in the van and by the time we get back they are frozen solid and while we are unloading, I had my shirt hanging out of my pocket, the one I played in, by the time I got back into the van after loading the stuff up, it was frozen solid too, and I've never been in anything like that before and coming from San Diego I've never experienced that, don't plan on it anytime soon really, that was the most interesting show. I hadn't seen snow in about 13, 14 years so it was pretty interesting. Luxx was great, the bartender was pretty cool too. Here's Mario...

Mahdeeyo: That's enough, idiot! The worst gig, I dunno. When we first started, I put out an ad. I said something like, looking to put together a band, into Johnny Thunders, Dogs D'Amour and Ken answered, we were just 19, he's just come over from Japan. As you can tell, he's the Japanese silent type. Listen... (Nothing) ...See. (laughter) and he had this long red hair, his guitar was painted all red and black, something written on it like lazy danger, crazy killer... written on it. And we had a band called M80. We got a chance to play with our heroes. Johnny Thunders, we would open up for him, we opened up for Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks, for Shooting Gallery and for Cheap and Nasty just some of our heroes which we were always fans of, it was a good time. When we decided to get more serious, we decided to form the Dragons a couple of years later. Then we met Steve, on bass, and then later on, Jarrod. He was used to playing high speed MetalŮ Crash Metal.

Jarrod: No, it was Punk Rock!

Mahdeeyo: It was high speed Punk! So we used to have to try and slow him down, then we realized there is no way to slow him down. It's taken us about eight years to get him to a speed that we can keep up with! But he rock'n'rolled our band and since then we've released five CDs. Our first show was at SXSW in Texas. We met a little Welch man who said, (putting on a very British accent) "Baby, you rock, man! Mario, dig this, you are going to be a star. You are going to be a star, man! I love you guys, you're going to be famous, big. Big talent. Big talent." I mean, if you can picture him, he had like these high tops on, spandex and about eight backstage passes around his neck, balding with a leather jacket on. Actually he still lives in NYC, he's very handsome, well dignified man. He used to go out with ladies with one arm and one leg, but that's another story that I'll leave for him to tell you, but thanks to him we recorded in Spain on Impossible Records and a very independent cd on Scam-O-Rama Records. They were dealing our cd's out of the back of the truck! Then we signed to Junk Records out of Long Beach, CA, with Louis who is actually from Queens Blvd! Everywhere we go, no matter where it is, it could be Las Vegas, it could be San Diego he goes, "Hey, this reminds me of Queens Blvd, I love this place." We've released four CDs with him, Cheers To Me, Rock Like Fuck, Live At The Casbah and our latest CD, Rock N Roll Kamikaze And we've also done our greatest hits and released it in Japan on Grant Records and last April.

Ken: Grant Records used to be a porno company and they had a lot of money and they wanted to make records and we are one of the bands to go there and release a CD over there, but now I think they are not doing anything. We toured with Guitar Wolf to Osaka, Nagoya, two shows in Tokyo. We played at the Mushroom and Sun Hall.

Jarrod: Tokyo was the best one. We played at Club 251, then we found this really cool little club.

Mahdeeyo: Yeah, it was amazing. We walked in, we always had these guides with us, and finally, me, Jarrod and Steve, right Steve...

Steve: Snorrrrrrgruntzzzz...

Mahdeeyo: We walked around a corner to this bar. It was this long bar and you walked in and the whole side of the wall was just filled with vinyl, any kind of record that you could want. There was like a DJ, but he was dressed like a sushi chef almost, and you could say, "play Hanoi Rocks Boulevard of Broken Dreams," he would walk over and he knew exactly where that LP was. He'd put it on, they had Heineken on tap and we would just sit all night long until all the guys passed out then we were dancing with their girlfriends.

Steve: Oh, Man.

Jarrod: She bit me on the head.

Mahdeeyo: Yes! These girls bite! They thought you are raw fish. Raw Americans.

Jarrod: She just liked to bite you, hard, right on the top of your head!

Mahdeeyo: It was Club DMX, what a great club and we love that DJ guy. We just sat there drinking up a storm. We went there twice. Then the record label guy, the king of porn or whatever, took us to a place, it's like a district. You can go to a club in Roppongi and it's like a man's dream. It's kind of exclusive, but he got us in because he's very well known over there. You walk up and there would be 15 of the most beautiful women you have ever seen. Dance partners, yes, dance partners. The Dragons love to dance. We danced up a storm! We're a bunch of dancers! That's what we do, yes, we're dancers!

Jarrod: Hehehe...

Mahdeeyo: and that's another story to share.

NYW: What's your favorite position?

Ken: By yourself.

Mahdeeyo: By yourself? The one handed jab! How many sexual positions do you have?

Jarrod: I've got this one, what's it called? The Rodeo. Yeah, what you do is you get behind her, you squeeze her tits and you say, "Hey, these feel just like your sisters!" and then you just hold on! Yeeha!!

(Huge laughter all round)

Mahdeeyo: What is my favorite position? I like to be the weak one and the girl bosses me around and tells me to do stuff and then hits me over the head with a bottle and

Jarrod: and starts biting you on the head.

NYW: What are you going to be when you grow up?

Mahdeeyo: I don't plan on growing up! I'm going to be a non grownup. What's that Hellacopters' song? An adolescent in denial. A hopeless case of a kid in denial. That's us. It's a good time for Rock'n'Roll, I hope people get out there and listen to bands! There's a bunch of good stuff out there right now, and not the crappy stuff that's being played on the radio. But of course if we were being played on the radio, then it wouldn't be crappy.