Veteran Canadian punk band DOA have set sail for Australia for one final tour this month. Formed in 1978, Henry Rollins described the band as “live they were monumental, change your life, blow away time … They came to town and we were like WOW!”
DOA’s slogan has been “Talk minus Action equals Zero” and the band has been active on many issues, including anti-racism, anti-globalisation, freedom of speech, and the environment.
In 2003, founding member Joe “Shithead” Keithley released his autobiography, I, Shithead: A Life in Punk.
The tour starts on April 24, the day before ANZAC Day when Australia commemorates invading another nation. Much of DOA’s work is about ending war and militarism. Keithley told Green left Weekly: “It’s always important for artists to stand up against violence. I would rather talk to somebody for an endless amount up time than start up some sort of violent action.”
DOA have been touring for more than 35 years and survived a number of pretty nasty US governments, such as Ronald Reagan and two Bushs. Keithley says the secret is “a lot of gaffer tape and beer!”
“But seriously,” he added, “it’s been a spirit of camaraderie and purpose and that purpose is trying to change the world into a better place. TALK minus ACTION equals ZERO.”
More recently, Keithley has run for office: “My mandate is to try and get people to have a lot more to say in our political system. That and education for all — education should be a right not a privilege.”
DOA has been very influential and often helped other bands to get a start, especially via their record company, Sudden Death Records.
Keithley offers this advice to musicians on swimming against the stream: “It’s real basic. Stick to your guns, play what you want to play, don’t worry about what is perceived as being popular. If you stay together long enough and you’re any good, people will eventually figure it out!”
-- Thursday April 24th
The Evelyn, Fitzroy
-- Friday April 25th
The Basement, Belconnen (Canberra)
-- Saturday April 26th
Hermann's Bar, Sydney
-- Sunday April 27th
Prince of Wales, Brisbane
Visit thedrunkpromoter.com for further information.