October 15 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 25  

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Who needs critics?

By Megan O’Toole
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
A DAY IN THE SUN. On a break from working on some new material, Full White Drag relax in the sunshine.

Dave Mueller, frontman of the Windsor-based “post-punk” outfit Full White Drag, took a few moments to answer some of The Gazette’s prying questions.

“Post punk” is one of those ambiguous terms that doesn’t really have a definite meaning, but one often used to describe you guys. What does it mean to you and is it a fitting label for your band?
To me, post-punk bands are bands who grew up listening to and subscribing to the punk rock, [do-it-yourself] attitude but don’t really play in punk rock bands. We are not really a “punk” sounding band but we all grew up with that mentality of do-it-yourself and do it your own way and try to do it differently then anyone in the past has ever done it.

Describe the Windsor scene.
We have a nice little community of bands [in Windsor] doing some amazing things. We do have a bit of a shortage of decent venues, but we seem to be surviving. The nice thing about Windsor is that pretty much all of the “elite,” hard-working bands sound totally different but all share a common bond in work ethic, mutual respect and community spirit.

Your music has been a staple on campus radio for awhile. What is your take on campus radio and the eclectic blend of music it delivers? Do you think it is a better forum for your sound than mainstream radio?
Campus radio rules. We are all avid listeners and two of our members have been regular DJ’s on CJAM/UWindsor radio. So we are full believers in the “power” of campus radio. As far as campus radio versus mainstream radio, they are two completely different forums. Some bands can only exist on campus radio, some can only exist on mainstream radio and then some are blessed to be able to have a following on both... so we’ll see where we end up.

You have played with some pretty cool bands (e.g. And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead, Hot Hot Heat and Girls Against Boys). What have you learned about the industry from them?
We’ve learned if you work hard, know what you’re about and believe in what you’re doing you can be a successful band. You also have to be incredibly tight and beyond well-rehearsed, know how to entertain and put on a good show and try to write great songs. We’ve also learned no band will ever “make it” until the entire survival of each member depends on the success of the band.

Is there anything you wish you’d done differently on the last album?
No, not really. The Independence is a portrait of what we were about at that time. We are proud of it. I think there are some great songs on there that have stood the test of time [and us playing them hundreds of times]. But we would never attempt to make the same record again. The new stuff is an evolution and we couldn’t be more excited.

What inspires your songs?
When I first started writing lyrics I was really into more abstract themes, but lately I have just been laying it all on the line and saying exactly what I want to say, which is way more liberating and also more rewarding. I sing about anything that moves me at the time we’re writing the songs, from love found or lost, to spirituality, to the city I live in, to the moments in between... and whatever else needs to be sung about along the way.

How does it feel to read glowing reviews of your music in large Canadian music publications such as Chart and major newspapers like the Toronto Star?
Ha. It is a nice feeling to get respect from “the critics.” But we don’t measure success by what they think at all, because for every critic who thinks one way there might be 10 others who think another and you can never really win unless you get thrown onto some hype train and everyone and their mother falls in love with you for three months. The most important reaction for us is that from our fans... if we can connect with them and move them then we are very happy.

Full White Drag play Call The Office tonight Oct. 16 with PW Longs’ Reelfoot.



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