I’m going to post interviews I have done over the years here-I hope you enjoy them.
Duane Warr (Dwarr) interview from 2011.
1. I remember reading about your beginnings somewhere a long time ago, but can’t really recall them right now. Can you give me an idea of what got you into music, and what motivated you to start a band.
I lived in Jacksonville Florida on Dickson Rd. One of my buddies up the street had a box guitar. That was the first guitar that I ever touched. I picked out a few tunes by ear. About that same time I had started playing the sax at the 7th grade center. The next summer, I left Florida and moved to South Carolina to live with my dad and grandparents on a farm. My dad bought me my first guitar. We moved to St Petersburg and I ended up driving my motorcycle back to SC with no license or insurance. I stayed with the Paxton’s for 3 months, then moved into a trailer for a while. When I had to leave there the Rish’s cleaned out an old school bus next to the cow pen where I lived for 2 years. It was there that I really began to excel on the guitar. I had a white chair, a 4×12 Peavey amp and an Ampeg Stud guitar. I’d also sit on the couch and just run my fingers up and down the neck while watching TV. I started playing a little rhythm with a couple of the guys from school. I remember the first time they asked me to try lead. We were playing Machine Gun by Jimi Hendrix and I had the guitar screaming. After the 11th grade, they booted me out of Gilbert because they found out that I didn’t have a legal guardian in the area. My grandmother ended up signing for me to take 2 classes and graduate from Irmo. As far as the band, I never really had one. I would just find some guys to Jam with. It was great to crank the Marshall up and make some noise. It’s very different jamming and creating in the studio. They’re both great.
2. Dwarr=Duane Warr was music and your writing/recording always a solitary thing to you? Is it easier for you to create on your own?
Absolutely! I used to work 4 on and 4 off at the sweat factory. I had a lot of days to myself. I loved spending time alone creating music. I still long for it. I wish that I had more time now. When I was single working night shifts, 1 to 5 AM was prime time in the studio. It was like you had the whole world to yourself. I hope that I get the opportunity to create more projects in the future: music, videos and a movie.
3. My first introduction to Dwarr was randomly finding a photo of one of your albums somewhere and I knew I had to hear the music-then I saw your video and it was sealed I was a fan. Was the aesthetic that went with your music just as important as the music and how did the video/s come about?
The aesthetics were very important. I wouldn’t even touch the guitar unless everything was right. That was then, of course it’s not like that now. Who knows if it could be that way again in the future. I tried several different times to do video without success. I finally bought a video camera and hooked it up to a 4 head VCR and used my old console TV for a monitor. The first video I completed was “Are You Real” in 1993. That video helped change my life forever. The newer videos were shot on mini DV also using my projection TV for a monitor. I bought the Premier Pro editing software. I was just learning more about the software when I completed the “Screams of Terror” video. Of course that was it because I got married. I also now have a daughter. I’m scrounging to get any time in the studio.
4. Drag City reissued your second lp any reason they didn’t go with the first one? Should we be anticipating a reissue of the first lp? And are there going to be future Dwarr releases?
Yes, of course the “experts” say that “Animals” was my best work. There’s no doubt that I attacked the project with a different intensity than my other projects. I’m told that “Starting Over” is too weird for most people. We’ll see. It was a different time in my life and I had a different attitude. It’s set to be re issued November 2011. As far as future releases, I’m hungry to do something, but I have a job, a family and a home to take care of. I certainly hope that I have the opportunity to create and complete other projects in the future.
Here’s the story behind having to move into the school bus from question #1:
I guess I was 14 or 15 and we used to hang out at Millie’s beer joint. I didn’t have any money one night so I borrowed $5 to get into a game of 6 ball with some older guys. I won the first game and ended up buying beer for the house most of the night. I remember at one point winning 3 in a row on the break at $5 a head. I left with $132 in my pocket. I didn’t know that Bucky’s mom was visiting. He was my best friend’s cousin and a pipe fitter who worked out of town all week. I got to stay in a small bedroom in a single wide trailer in return for paying the light bill. I’m not sure how I made it home that night, but the next morning I got up with sticky stuff all over me. I walked into the living room and asked what it was. She said, “that must be that pecan pie you took to bed last night”. After she left, Bucky told me that I couldn’t stay there anymore. “Mom says you drink and you smoke and this place has already burned down once”. (Years later it burned down again.) So another buddy’s Mom said I could stay in the old school bus by their cow pen. She cleaned out all the animal droppings and sprayed it down with 10 or so cans of Lysol. I took the money I’d won and painted the whole inside yellow. I bought orange material and my grandmother hemmed it so the curtain went all the way around. There weren’t any seats in it and I went in and out the emergency door. One of the older guys I shot pool with brought over a truckload of shag carpet remnants, a bucket of glue and a packing knife. I put it together piece by piece and covered the whole floor. I also made a couch with end tables out of plywood and stained it. I bought purple crushed velvet material and my grandmother made the cushions. I had a twin bed in the back with a vanity. I took showers and they fed me at their house for $20 a month. They were really good people. I wish I had a picture of the old bus on Friday night when it was all cleaned up and ready for my friends to come over. I went out there several years ago and it was still there. They let somebody else move in after me and there was pornography all over the walls. I really used to enjoy jammin in that old bus…