Angry Amputees play kick-ass crusty punk with energetic female vox and aggressive melodies. It’s difficult to pull off that sound well, and even more difficult when your bassist is a quad amputee. We spoke with punk rock torso Dalty about his journey from handicapped to handicapable.
So you’re an actual amputee. How did that happen? Did you once own a diamond mine in Sierra Leone or something?
Dalty: You forget I’m not only an amputee, but I got lots of cool burn scars all over. Landmine. Da Nang 72′, man. Charlie had dug in deep, took out the whole unit, and I had to crawl through the jungle for three days.
What makes you angry? Poor airline service?
Dalty: What, that doesn’t that piss you off? Incompetence really gets under my skin. On planes, gas stations, liquor stores, I try to go fucking buy a ten bag of rock only to get a fiver… Stupid people not getting it straight on a daily basis and fucking up my whole program. Hell, just go take a look at the idiots living in the White House. That doesn’t even warrant an explanation for anger.
By being a bass player without fingers, do you prove that anyone could play the bass? I mean, it seems like such an unnecessary instrument – you can’t even hear it!
Dalty: And there you go! Can I even play? It doesn’t even matter. Nobody’s listening to me anyway, they’re looking at Stacey. If it says anything to anybody wanting to play bass it says, “You don’t need talent, you just need to look good doing it.”
Does it bother you when people use you for a football or pillow?
Dalty: I’m more of a punching bag. You know those blow up ones that look like clowns that keep bobbing back for more abuse? Yeah, that’s me. Really. Stacey beats the crap out of me all the time. But I think it’s cool because ultimately, it’s kind of a turn on getting beat up by chicks.
Knowing that punk rock fans are total fashion sheep, do you fear kids chopping their limbs off in order to be like you?
Dalty: Man, that would be the highest form of compliment. We would then have a real Angry Amputee Army. Billy Hopeless, who used to sing for the Black Halos told me once he was wearing our shirt somewhere on tour and was completely loaded out of his mind on booze and drugs screaming, “I want to be an Angry Amputee! Fuck all of you!” while holding a machete in his right hand. He was going to lob off his left arm. I guess the rest of the band had to hold him back because he was really going to do it. I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever heard. But then he ended his story with his head hung low saying, “Yeah, that was a bad night…” I started dying of laughter right there and told him, “Shit! You should’ve went for it, man!”
You are in an elite circle of “special” musicians – there’s the one-armed dude in Def Leppard, that quadriplegic guitarist who writes songs by blinking his eyes, and Fred Durst, who I suspect has Down’s Syndrome. Have any of them been an influence on you, in terms of coping with disability? Would you ever consider forming a supergroup with them?
Dalty: Fuck yeah! Rick Allen rules! I can’t say his drumming per se influenced me, but he had really cool hair. Just tight mangly locks of fro-dom. When you got that going for you and you pull it off with confidence, that’s influential. And he does only have one arm. It’s like that line from Commando, “Come on, Bennett – I only have one arm!” I don’t know who the quad is, but he sounds kind of boring to watch, like a shoegazer or something. Hell, I guess what else can he do? Yeah, I’ll take him on for a guitarist. Him and Rick. I don’t know about Fred though, I don’t think he could keep up. That, and the fact that he’d make a really shitty video for us and probably try to get on my girlfriend. No, he can go join The Kids of Widney High. Actually no, that’s not fair either. I like that band, and he’d blow their whole program as well.
Is masturbation difficult without fingers? Is that why you’re angry?
Dalty: Naw man. There’s no problem in the tugging department. I just had to go from righty to lefty. The old switcheroo. The lefty’s got more going for it. It just took a few times to get used to that comfort zone; right vs. left hand, left brain vs. right brain. If I’m not feeling too lazy I’ll use both. But I’m usually pretty lazy.
How do you talk groupies into having sex with you?
Dalty: Easy. Look for the girl that looks uncomfortable from standing too long in high heels at any show and say, “Hey, you want a seat? It comes with free plumbing.”
Would you give up the band if you were invited to join the circus?
Dalty: If the money was there, what the hell. Probably more of a moonlighting thing though, we could then plan our tours around circus dates. You know what, I could be pretty good at being the punching bag all dressed up like a clown getting beat by women. I already have experience at that level. And hey, those circus acrobatic chicks are pretty fine. Are we talking Barnum and Bailey here or Cirque Du Soleil?
Your debut album totally rocks. You prove that even the weakest members of society can still contribute something and shouldn’t be mercifully put down. How does that make you feel?
Dalty: Downright horny for the Lovin’. I gots more to contribute to the world than just pretending to play bass and looking good doing it you know.